I like pop music, I can’t help but occasionally indulge in some reality television, and I love it when my parents make me dinner.
There’s the obvious reality that I’m not still 22. I’m married, own a house and have a toddler son with another little bean on the way. I pay property taxes, rake leaves on weekends and get nervous when I walk by a group of teenagers.
However, my age did get noticed recently by the Perth and District Chamber of Commerce. In October, 2013, I was nominated for and awarded the Young Entrepreneur Award.
The award was handed to someone under 35 (yes!), and who runs their own business while giving back to the community.
A colleague, Lynn Marsh, nominated me for the award, and it was presented to me at the Chamber’s annual dinner. You know, in front of 200 people.
I was so excited and honoured to be given the award, especially because I love my town so much. I could seriously be on a commercial for our town, as I’m constantly raving about it to friends and complete strangers at the OnRoute rest stops along Hwy. 401.
By the time I was called up to accept the award, four other awards had already been handed out. Top that off with the guests not having yet eaten. I wanted to ditch my speech as I felt I would be annoying to take up more pre-dinner time. But I also knew it was my chance to express my gratitude and appreciation for my community.
When they called my name, I nearly puked. I instead smiled and approached the microphone.
Here’s a snippet from my speech:
“I have learned so much over these past few years – not only about myself but about how business works.
I learned that having confidence in your work is imperative; that honey works better than vinegar; and that having this passion for the work has made me feel productive yet, at the same time, like I’ve never worked a day. Tonight I have learned even more about the strong character and generosity of the Perth and District Business community as we all work together to contribute to the growth and prosperity of our beautiful town and region. Thank you once again for this tremendous honour. I will treasure it always.”
Then – like any normal 22-year-old would do – I dropped the microphone and mouthed, ‘Peace Out’.
Question: If you had the chance to address your local business community, what would you say?