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; email@example.com.
Congrats to All Nominees & Winners!
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 giveaways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!
Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!
Congratuations! Your nonfiction is chock full of needed information and your fiction is heartfelt and moving. I love your work!
Awww….thank you Terry!
Yayyy congrats! I read those questions and sat here with nothing. I think that’s my task for this evening 😉
Wahoo! Congrats on being a finalist! It’s a well deserved honor. The questions are really important for pet bloggers, writers, and business owners to consider and I’m glad you included them in your post.
I wish you luck and I hope you have a chance to attend the event!
Congratulations! Hopefully it will work out so you can attend the ceremony
Congratulations Amy! Well deserved, good luck in the finals. Thanks for sharing the nominations questions, they really do make you think about where you’ve come from and what your goals are.
Congratulations Amy! This achievement couldn’t be going to a more deserving individual!
Congratulations Amy. Very well-deserved. I love both your fictional and factual books, and your blog posts. You inspire me.
Congratulations on being selected as a finalist for the WIPIN Pet Industry Award. I know I love your books and value the writing advice you’ve given me. Good luck!
What an honor to be nominated for this prestigious award! Congratulations. I wish you the best of luck!!!! 🙂
Congratulations on your nomination! You are certainly the most prolific writer I know. I get tired just reading your Facebook page on some days!
Huge Congratulations on this MOST WELL DESERVED HONOR!!!!!!! Soooo happy for you!!!!! xoxo
Thanks so much Caren!
Congratulations, Amy, on your nomination and for all your successes as a solopreneur! Your passion for pets shines through in your story…and all you do. Best wishes to you on September 26 and in all your future endeavors!
Concatulations, Amy! This is so well deserved and I am so happy for you. I admire you so much as a writer and blogger for so many reasons, and my paws are crossed for you in September. Those questions are very thought provoking for sure.
Wow! I am in awe as a newbie dog blogger. Huge congratulations to you and all the success you have had. The recognition is well deserved. Best of luck!
Thank you, Stephanie!
Congratulations Amy! This is great news! What a blessing to be recognized for all your hard work.
Yes, it always means a lot to be recognized by your peers.
Congratulations on your nomination, Amy! It must feel so rewarding to see your work get recognized!
Thanks! Yep, so many of us work alone, from home, it’s sometimes hard to know if we’re actually reaching others and making a difference.
Congrats on your nomination! I don’t think we have anything like this in Europe – or I have never heard of it 🙂
Congrats on your nomination! If you make it to the conference and want Portland recommendations, let me know.
Thanks, I will indeed!
Congrats! I am a WPIN member but haven’t attended the conference. I hope to some day, but probably not this year. I’m rooting for you! Congrats again!
Still hoping to attend . . . but not looking promising. Will still be thrilled to watch long distance (I think they’re live streaming).
Congrats, that is so amazing!
Congrats on your nomination!! You must feel so honored. 🙂
Congratulations Amy! I love an organization that celebrates women and their business acumen in the pet world. It’s lovely to see your hard work be recognized!
Congratulations Amy! All the best and hoping that you win!
Congratulations, Amy! Well deserved!
Wonderful! Congratulations on your recognition. You have so many irons in the fire – it’s such an inspiration to those of us just dipping our toes in the waters of pet blogging.
Thank you, Lori! As I said, it’s one paw-step at a time. I tried to start a blog about four times–the fifth time was the charm. *s*
Congrats!!! I’m a WIPIN member, but unfortunately cant make the conference. Best of luck to you for the win!!!
I’m a new WIPIN member, and the conference looks amazing. If I’m able to go at all, it would only be one night, though.