I had an interesting experience on Friday… well, when I say interesting, I mean terrifying.
But, nevertheless, strangely satisfying.
Derigo, the training business I run, has been about for a while; ten years, in fact. In that time we’ve built up a nice group of customers and we tend to get new customers through word of mouth. Sound familiar?
I’ll bet that a lot of business in EB is done this way.
However, we’ve had a recent departure. At the beginning of the summer a local body that represents business (don’t ask me any more ‘cos I’m not going to tell you) decided to add an income stream to its model and provide training services.
Of course, it wasn’t going to deliver the training itself and put the work out to tender.
Back in May I went to the first meeting and listened to a number of people saying that a body that was supposed to be representing local business was actually setting up in competition. For me, there were no such qualms… our business is nationwide and increasingly international, so there was no competition for us.
I completed the tender doc with the Lots I wanted to be considered for. We passed this stage. Then there were the references… with relief, we passed this part, too.
And then I was invited to interview… and, horror of horrors, I had to do a 30 minute presentation on a subject of my choice from the lots we had bid for!
It’s been a long time since I had to do a beauty parade like this, but I girded my loins and fetched up on Friday afternoon (at 4.15pm, and just opposite the pub, too) with my prepared flipchart and pens.
Given that I’ve been doing this sort of thing for more than 10 years I couldn’t quite understand why my throat was so dry and my palms sweating so much… but then I realised what it was (apart from the stress, of course.)
I’m so experienced at what I do, I can run any of our courses, without notes and flex what I do to fit particular circumstances, needs, etc. In other words, I can read the group and deliver to their needs.
I couldn’t do that on this occasion.
I had to do everything by the book. It was a makey uppy situation, so the delegates would be judging me by the quality of and proficiency of my training.
This had the effect of knocking me from Unconsciously Competent, being able to deliver courses without having to think too much about it, to Consciously Competent… having to think about everything!
It was good. Just what I needed and I found that I really enjoyed it… to a certain degree.
I’m glad it was opposite the pub, though!