So…this happened. I’m a Women In the Pet Industry (WIPIN Pet Industry Awards) FINALIST for Solopreneur of the Year. The other award categories are Entrepreneur, Corporate, Advocate and Rising Star.
DARE TO DREAM BIG
The pet industry is chock full of amazingly successful and dedicated visionary individuals and companies. I know so many of these folks personally, and cheered when some of them won accolades from WIPIN in past years. It never occurred to me to submit, until my friend and colleague (and the 2015 WOMAN OF THE YEAR winner) Yvonne Divita offered encouragement. She said simply filling out the questionnaire would be beneficial, and boy, was she right!
I must have said something that struck a chord, and am thrilled to be nominated. Bottom line–it’s all about the pets, not about me.
I’m going to give you a list of the questions here–because they’ll help ANYONE focus on your own goals, history, and future plans no matter what you do. And I’ll give you just a bit of how I answered with a recap in a 60-second video I was asked to prepare, that gives an overview of AMY SHOJAI CONSULTING and myself personally (with the fur-kids, of course). FWIW, it took me about five hours (!) to create the one-minute trailer: 90-seconds to record, and 4 hours, 58 minutes to edit. Yep, that proportion is about the same as writing books vs editing them. 😛
Here are the questions–how would YOU answer them?
- DESCRIBE YOUR BUSINESS IN 300 WORDS
- HOW DID YOU GET WHERE YOU ARE TODAY?
- WHAT OBSTACLES HAVE YOU MET, AND HOW HAVE YOU OVERCOME OBSTACLES IN YOUR BUSINESS?
- HOW WOULD YOUR BEST FRIEND DESCRIBE YOU?
- HAS YOUR WORK INFLUENCED THIS INDUSTRY?
- DO YOU FEEL BEING A “ONE-WOMAN SHOW” SETS YOU APART?
- WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO GO IT ALONE? HAS BUSINESS VISION SHIFTED?
- HOW DO YOU HANDLE THE STRESS OF HAVING EVERYTHING DEPEND ON YOU (PERSONAL & FINANCIAL RISK)?
AMY’S 60-SECOND VIDEO
See the video, below. Still, I wanted to give an honest taste of what I do. Maybe I’m too scattered, because I don’t focus on one thing. Asking me to choose would be the same as telling me I had to pick CATS over DOGS (or vice versa). There’s room in my life, in this world, for every furry flavor, and that’s reflected in my work.
So, I included pictures of my books, screenshots of this blog and TV appearances, and even a video clip of STRAYS, THE MUSICAL . . . and of my furry muses. Transcript below the video…
“Hi there, I’m Amy Shojai, and I’m thrilled to be a Solopreneur nominee. I’m a certified animal behavior consultant for cats and dogs, an author, speaker, and industry spokesperson. AMY SHOJAI CONSULTING empowers pet parents with expert information and advice, to allow them to make informed decisions.
These days, I try to think outside the litter-ary box to reach the widest possible audience. That’s how I got here—asking how can I help pets? And how can I help other writers help pets? That’s why I helped found the Cat Writers Association more than 20 years ago. Nothing beats hearing that something you wrote saved a pet’s life.
This is what I was put on earth to do. And the journey isn’t over yet! Magical-Dawg, Karma-Kat, and Seren-Kitty demonstrates daily that one-paw-step-at-a-time makes all the difference.”
PET INDUSTRY WOMEN OF THE YEAR AWARDS
“The Pet Industry Women of the Year Awards were designed to recognize the amazing females who dedicate their time and talents to improving the lives of all pets – dogs, cats, birds, fish, horses and exotics – and their parents/guardians,” said Shawna Schuh, president of WIPIN. “These awards are a celebration of women who have made highly successful careers in the pet industry: They shine in large part because they are so passionate about helping women as well as pets. Finalist Amy Shojai is a perfect example! It is exciting to honor her and other women with a genuine calling to make the pet industry stronger.”
The overall Pet Industry Woman of the Year will be chosen from the winners of these five categories. Winners will be announced Sept. 26th during an evening ceremony at the Women in the Pet Industry Conference and Awards Show in Portland, Oregon.
A panel of four independent judges reviewed and scored nominations for applicants in the five categories. This year’s judges included a director of a non profit organization, a founder of a successful pet organization, a COO of a design firm, and a director of a top women’s scholarship organization.
Finalists are invited to participate in a round table discussion during the WIPIN conference, which runs Sept. 24th through Sept. 26th at the Embassy Suites in Portland.
WHAT IS WOMEN IN THE PET INDUSTRY?
WIPIN is an international membership networking organization where more than 300 pet professionals gather to grow, give and connect. WIPIN is the only organization serving professionals in ALL segments of the pet industry, as well as ALL types of pets, including dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles, small animals, pocket pets, horses and exotics.
The Extend Your Expertise Conference and Awards Show in September will bring like-minded women together to connect, network–to collaborate—as they learn how to grow their pet-focused businesses with intent and joy. WIPIN members share three core philosophies: Give first, grow continuously and connect for reasons that matter. Learn more about the benefits of becoming a member at www.womeninthepetindustry.com/join/. For more information, please visit www.womeninthepetindustry.com, or contact Schuh at 503-970-5774; firstname.lastname@example.org.
I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!