How did we become a Telstra Business Awards Finalist?

It is Thursday 11th July as I write this, I am quite excited, as on Monday, I will fly to Brisbane with my 7 year old daughter Bonnie to attend the black tie Gala night for finalists in the 2013 Telstra Business Awards held on Tuesday 16th July.

I have had a lot of people asking how did I get to this point, was I nominated or did I apply etc?  So I decided to share a little of that journey for those of you who are interested, and it might inspire you to nominate someone you know in business.  I received a letter in the mail earlier this year telling me I had been nominated for the 2013 Telstra Business Awards and that I would need to go online and fill out the forms to be considered.  I have no idea who nominated me, but if it was you, thank you.  When I seen how much information was required to be filled including 3 years of extensive financials etc I wasn’t keen.  A lovely lady Bridie kept ringing me to see how I was going with the info and I told her that time wise I really needed to be working on my business and not pursuing glory.  Bridie pointed out the benefits of applying and of becoming a finalist and then it seemed a bit more of a priority, so I filled out the hours and hours and hours of information required and sent it off the day before the deadline, as you do.

I got a phone call some time later saying I had made it to interview stage and an interview time was set up for 7th June.  Had to have a laugh, I was driving along after picking up my 7 year old from school, my mobile rang, I pulled over as I was answering it, my 7 year old was talking, the radio was on and I heard someone saying something about Telstra.  Earlier that day I had rang about my 20 year old getting a landline connected to her unit and thought this was someone ringing back regarding this, and after saying “are you ringing about the phone getting connected?” I was told that no actually it was to tell me I had made it to interview stage of the Telstra Awards and would 7th June at 12 noon be suitable for this man and his colleague to fly up from Brisbane and drive out to my home in the bush 100klms away from the airport and conduct an interview.  Well it wasn’t that bad a mistake I found out at the interview when introductions were being made that the man I had been speaking to was in charge of cabling operations for Telstra, whoever says Telstra aren’t efficient and don’t give good customer service, you need to eat your words.  I ring about getting a phone hooked up and that afternoon the head of cabling calls me personally LOL.  The other esteemed judged who graced my kitchen table on 7th July was Darren Crombie – he is just the Director General for Queensland Government for The Arts, Innovation, IT & Science, no big deal, these sort of people sit around my kitchen table regularly (not).  They informed me at this interview that there had been hundreds of applications for the Micro Category (1-5 employees) and that a company had been hired to go through the applications and get them down to 40, where 8 judges then narrowed this down to less than 10 for interview, and 6 would be chosen as finalists.  Anyway after doing a presentation and answering many questions, trying to sweeten the judges with my home made scones, jam & cream and cappuccinos, which I had my barista trained 25 year old out there making for them (hey fair go, business is all about marketing and providing a good experience, I was just showing them my attention to detail) all I can say is these things must have done the trick, when I look at the other 5 finalists I am up against for this award, I figure those scones must have been pretty damn good.

So will drag out and don my mother of the bride dress (only formal dress I own and have just done our print run of new products, so are too broke to go shopping) and leave my 7 year old with her 22 year old sister who lives in Brisbane (had to take her with me, she would have never forgiven me if I didn’t take her to see her sisters), leave my husband at home to mind the farm, my eldest daughter will drive down from the Sunshine Coast and accompany me to the Hilton for the Gala black tie event where the Queensland winners for each category will be announced.  So there you have it.  If you have any questions please don’t hesitate, would love to hear from you.

Amanda Belot (with a slightly enlarged ego, that my husband is trying desperately to keep under control).

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