My closest friends know that I hate winning awards.
Some people think I LIVE for awards because I've won so many. Nope.
For years, I didn't understand why I hated the recognition and applause.
I do love to win. And I love applause! (I'm a performer and a musician, after all.)
And I like seeing the trophies on my shelf, reminding me of the mountains I have climbed.
But I love playing the game even more than I love winning.
And I don't need the applause to motivate me to win. I do it because I love the thrill of pushing myself to my limits. I don't need anyone to motivate me.
I do that all on my own.
When I was in 5th grade, I won a contest for selling the most candy bars for our school fundraiser.
In 9th grade, I sold the most magazine subscriptions.
I don't care about candy bars or magazines. I didn't really care about the prizes I won. But I LOVED playing the game. Reaching for a goal. Pushing myself to the limits.
In high school, our high school teacher called out the fastest typist in our typing class. Wrote her words-per-minute score on the blackboard. I saw that number as the number to beat. I worked harder. I won.
I aimed to be the cheerleading captain, piano accompanist for choir, and chosen for the leadership council in high school. I achieved all of those things. I saw the standard, worked hard, focused, and achieved those things.
(In the Strength Finders test, "Achiever" is one of my top strengths. Pretty clear, isn't it?)
In college, I pushed myself to my limits. Practiced every day. Composed music. Arranged hymns. Accompanied multiple vocalists and the women's ensemble. Became a discipleship leader on my dorm floor.
I never expected to win "Graduate of the Year." It wasn't on my radar. When they called my name, I was shocked. My neighbor nudged me. I wasn't even paying attention. I didn't work hard to win the award. I worked hard for the thrill of the chase. The journey. The experience of being the best I could be.
I actually hate playing sports. I hate running. (I HATED running the mile in school--I was always last.) I can't catch a ball and I can hardly throw one.
But I'm super competitive.
I don't play the game of business to win or receive awards. I play the game because I love it.
I'm in business for the thrill of the chase. For the challenge. For the uphill grind.
I never ever fear failure because failure isn't possible. What would failure look like? My business failing? I'll start another one.
Someone stealing from me? I'll build it again.
An idea flopping? Ha! It happens all the time! I'll just start a new one.
I never fail. I only learn.
Being in business because you LOVE IT is the number one predictor of success.
If you LOVE the competition and the thrill of the chase, no one can ever steal that from you! It's yours.
And you may win awards along the way.
People may write articles about you. Blog about you. Invite you to be on their podcast.
Your college may honor you and give you a trophy.
Or you may fail, fall, trip, and stumble.
But as long as you get up and try again, you are always winning.
2020 has been a year of challenges. But I'm going into 2021 like it's a new game. Clean slate. Time to try again. Take what we've learned and play the game again.
What can we innovate? How can we pivot? How can we change? What can we improve?
I love the game of business. I'll never stop playing.
And maybe I'll keep accumulating trophies, but they aren't the point. I hate even pausing to accept an award. Because it's not the end. I'm just getting started. There's so much more to do. To learn. To accomplish.
It's not that I hate the attention. It's not that I hate being on stage (I love it). It's not that I think that I didn't I earn the award.
Accepting an award feels like the end of something. The culmination.
And I'm no where near the end. I still have so much more to do.
I just love playing the game of business.
2021. A new year. A new beginning.
Let's do this.
About the Author
Hi, I'm Jen Hickle!