OMG! I have been shortlisted for The Natwest Great British Entrepreneur Awards in the High Street Entrepreneur of the Year category!! Somehow out of the 1,000 plus businesses that entered these awards, I’m one of six in the London region! Wahhhhhhh!
Setting the scene, it was a quiet Friday afternoon in The Dodo (literally no-one in for the first 2 hours of trading) when I received the news. It had been one of those weeks and some incorrect print outs of my menus was almost pushing me to the edge (when tiredness affects your usual level of resilience).
Ping – “Congratulations are in order”. A few moments pass, I scan the email again and then standing alone in the pub, I repeatedly use the F word over and over again in shock (thank goodness we were dead so nobody could hear my foul but excitable language)!
This happened a couple of weeks ago now and since then I’ve been doing cartwheels of excitement! In 2014, The Natwest Great British Entrepreneur of the Year was James Watt, Mr bloody Brew Dog himself!! Even to be vaguely within the same circles as him is a complete honour!! It’s ridiculous!! Reality check – I’m obviously nowhere near the same circles *yet* but I did see him do a talk once and he gave me / everyone a free beer. Does that count?
It’s been a crazy but satisfying 7 and a bit months and this bit of news is most definitely THE highlight! Something I was not expecting at all!
Running your own business is a constant strive for success. With the smooth comes the rough. Sometimes my mind and body are hurting when I get to the end of the week. The adjust to a hospitality lifestyle has sometimes been a stretch. I once found myself on the floor behind the till needing a time out with the dog as it all got a bit much and on the rare occasions I may get some casual sexisim / racism in the pub (“you don’t look like you drink beer so it’s obviously your partner who selects them / “you don’t often see Asians in a pub” – two of my favourite examples) my heart sinks a little (it’s 2017 after all) and I have to dig deep to keep calm and respond politely. I’ve never had to deal with this dynamic before in an office environment!
However the lows are minimal and ALWAYS massively over shadowed by the highs! MASSIVELY! The number of brilliant people I get to meet on a regular basis is heart warming and I can’t really explain why serving beer is a million times better than working in marketing!
Seeing the community spirit alive and kicking down The Dodo brings me (and others) a lot of joy. From the little moments like Alan (70 ish) and baby Max (10 months ish) laughing with pure elation in each others faces while Yas (20 ish) and I (30 ish) looked at each other thinking ‘this is the best thing we’ve ever witnessed’ to people telling me that The Dodo has changed the way they feel about where they live, it’s all completely magical! Cheesy but true.
When I first got going I was worried that the creation of a little micropub community wouldn’t happen naturally in London but I was quickly proved wrong because of everyone who’s embraced the concept and thrown themselves into this odd little space in Hanwell where you actually talk to people you don’t know!
A genuine and heartfelt thousand thank yous to everyone who’s ever popped in and helped us spread the message about the new micropub in town. I still get excited when someone not particularly local comes in as they’ve heard good things and wanted to check us out! There would be no shortlist for The Great British Entrepreneur Awards and no success story without the wider “Team Dodo” – you lovely lot who have supported in some way shape or form and turned up for a drink or two.
If a miracle occurs and I win the award there will be the biggest party down The Dodo to show my appreciation!!