Last Friday was the night I had been looking out to for quite some time. Our regional “Businessman of the Year” award show, for 2015. I was totally ready, and I thought I looked great in my brand new suit. Not just me, but also my family, friends and Yalp colleagues were there. We all trusted it to become a night to remember (i.e. me winning), and we were ready to celebrate. We arranged a few tables at the front row, and enjoyed the festivities, wine, food and video presentations. Although I must say the video presentation of myself and Yalp left a lot to be desired… Fortunately the jury evaluation looked great, which made us all believe this would be our moment for sure.
But unfortunately, I didn’t win…while a fellow entrepreneur with an IT company did. NO WAY – I lost!!! I saw the disappointment in the faces of my family, friends, colleagues, and even my son; who came and sat on my lap – sadly proclaiming “How can this be dad? Your products are so much better than some random IT company!” Soon enough I received an avalanche of hugs and kind words, like “you’re still the winner to me Ben.”
Extremely nice to hear, and sweet, but to be honest I was not able to fully suppress the disappointment. I had been living towards this moment quite a lot, and to actually even counted on it. At Yalp we’ve developed five High Tech products so far, put them out onto the market, and are giving the world something truly unique. Inspirational to say the least. We are right in the middle of national and international developments, but take extra efforts to remain in touch with local initiatives, by actively contributing in every way we can. We love bringing passion and fun into the communities we touch, and do so with a very special team that shines with energy and enthusiasm. What else could I possibly have done?!
Now, two days later, I am writing this blog, and thereby able to get a bit more perspective on the matter. My rival; fellow entrepreneur is a great winner. A solid Dutch company, which tackles great projects all throughout the country. A driven personality as well, which I noticed when we met a while back. Our initial meeting quickly turned into a spontaneous dinner.
Fair enough, I missed the great peak experience of winning , but thankfully I also had many wonderful moments leading up to the award show. Wow, even the nomination got people fired up like I hadn’t seen them before. Everywhere I went people said: “Ben, I heard you got nominated – how amazing! We voted for you of course!”
Paying it forward
Right before the gala evening, I had my most special moments, when my family handed me a wonderful gift: an engraved watch, saying “Entrepreneur in heart and soul, November 20th, 2015.” To top off this momentous occasion, I also received a wonderful card from my parents in law saying “We’re already delighted with you as a son in law, but also extremely proud for all that you’ve accomplished so far.” My colleagues handed me a wonderful book about leadership, with the inside cover reading “Ben, to us you’re a winner no matter what. You make us proud. -The Yalp Team.”
With these truly special moments in the forefront of my mind…and all of the support and love I have received in my heart, I feel truly blessed. Anything but someone who lost an award; I’ve simply received too many wonderful things. That is what I’m taking away, and bringing forwards into the daily running of my business. Challenging the young and old, helping them enjoy life, and getting them into that “playful” mindset and way of being again. Because paying it all forward, in the best way I can, is what it is all about in the end.