"Your playing small does not serve the world,” by Jamie Berube of WP Creations
As a businesswoman and entrepreneur being recognized through nominations and awards is nothing short of incredible and somewhat daunting.
Jamie Berube is owner of WP Creations. an award-winning Canadian Franchise Company designed to cultivate the individual artist and business owner as well as provide excellent customer service to our clients.
If you have ever seen the movie Coach Carter, you will recognize this quote from one of the character's, Timo Cruz.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It's not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others”.
As true and as accurate as this is, it is still a personal struggle for me. As a businesswoman and entrepreneur being recognized by my peers whether through nomination or by me applying for an award, is nothing short of incredible. With pride, I carry the honour on behalf of the company as a whole. For me, as an individual, I wrestle with the emotional ups and downs surrounding this.
When in a comfortable and familiar setting, I am confident, much like most people. What I pride myself on is that I purposefully put myself in uncomfortable situations, step outside my zone and make myself vulnerable to allow myself to be challenged because I know with practice my comfort zone will become bigger and bigger. But even still, I'm nervous.
When it comes to awards, I have the common thoughts, will I win? What if I don't? What will people think of me? Of our company? I'm ok not winning sometimes. I feel a sense of relief, depending on the situation and the type of award and what type of work goes into it afterwards. If there is additional work to be done during the judging process, sometimes I would rather step back. Sometimes I blame it on not having any extra time to devote to the awards process, but because I am a strong believer in, “We all have the same 24 hours in a day” this feels like an excuse. But why? In doing some self-reflection I have to think about why this is, and am I ok with it?
Last year WP Creations won the Awards of Excellence and Franchise Choice Designation with the Canadian Franchise Association. These are very humbling awards because they are based on surveying and votes from my franchise team about myself and the franchise system of tools and support that I have provided. It’s a scoring system with other non-traditional franchises (no brick and mortar franchises) with similar number of locations.
Last April, at the awards ceremony, they were announcing who the bronze, silver and gold winners were. I had a speech prepared in case we won Gold. I WAS SO NERVOUS. Would I stumble when I walked? Was what I was wearing nice enough? Franchisees from around the globe would be looking at me! It was important to me to have something written to be able to acknowledge my team as they were the true winners who truly understand what franchising is all about and how very fortunate I am to have such an amazing group of people. I very much wanted the opportunity to do this, despite being so nervous. But when we didn't end up winning gold, it meant I didn't have to speak and lo and behold a sense of relief again! I could wipe my sweaty palms and tuck away my speech.
So here are we again, in 2020 and my team is receiving another survey about WP Creations. Will we win again? Are they still happy this year? Am I fulfilling what they need, or will there be another company doing it better? What if we don’t win? What will they think? What will new potential franchise owners think? Will it deter them from wanting to join our family? So many emotions every time this process happens.
Momprenuer of the Year
Recently, I was so honoured to have been anonymously nominated for the Momprenuer of the Year award. I sincerely wish to thank whoever was responsible for this humbling experience. The nomination process required me to complete several steps to be accepted for consideration. It challenged my brain to really dig deep and self-reflect on how I started with the company, what I’ve gone through both personally and professionally and it gave me pause to really realize where our company could truly go.
It was a bit of a time commitment for an amazing opportunity that would help draw attention to WP Creations. And as I have previously stated, it comes with a set of emotional ups and downs. What if we are voted as a finalist? What if we win? What will I have to do to get to that point? Do I have the time to put into this process? I am also camera shy; will I have to step up and get past that shyness? How many times might I have my picture taken or be part of the media? Will I look ok? Will I say the right things? Is this what I really want? The business entrepreneur side of me says, “Of course I do as it will help my team!” But the Jamie Berube side of me says, “Oh boy!”
As a professional, I am always on board with anything that will help spread awareness about WP Creations and who we are and what we do as I am so very passionate about us and my amazing team. As women entrepreneurs, I want to do whatever I can to help support the growth of their businesses.
On a personal level, however, I’m ok with being shy and quiet. It's a constant internal battle finding a balance between who I am as a business woman on the outside and who I am on the inside. On most days there is definitely an equal balance but on other days, when opportunities present itself that put me on display in front of a wider audience, that is when the balance is shifted. I just have to remember that every time I put myself out there, it is always pushing me for the greater good of others.
Hopefully with more opportunities, I will be able to get just a little more comfortable with the business side of my personality.