Jodene Shaer is a finalist in the Rising Star Awards for Entrepreneur
It is with much pride that I share this moment for my company, Lifeology and myself.
The Rising Star Awards are unique in South Africa and 2012 is the first year that recognition has been given to individuals, younger than 40, for the role we play in South Africa’s bright future.
The organisers describe the awards as follows: “The Rising Star Awards have been designed to unearth & recognise these inspirational & passionate individuals who have a capacity for achievement & success – young people who through their work are shaping the future of South Africa with tremendous dedication and energy”
I am honoured to have been selected as a finalist in the category of Entrepreneur at a gala dinner last night at Montecasino.
The journey began with a public nomination process and admittedly it’s an exciting feeling to realise that others see your value and hope you are recognised for it.
The second phase of the competition consisted of a panel of judges who narrowed down the finalists – and then the interesting began on my part.
I can’t remember when last I wrote a speech, but to sit before 3 judges and give reasons as to why I deserved to be a Rising Star in South Africa took some thought and preparation. Of all the moments that I’m grateful for in the steps that led me to last night, I’m most grateful for the speech I had to write. It’s a tall order to be asked to sell yourself as someone who deserves to be one of forty people in the entire country, who are shining enough to stand out from all the rest. It’s also something that I believe every person should do – stop and listen to themselves speak their strengths, passions and uniqueness.
I’m sure “you’re a winner, no matter what” sounds so cliche until a moment like last night becomes a reality. We all want to win. We want to go home with the title of the night. I did, of course I did. But then something incredible happened in the short hours that led up to the final moments of the award being announced. With one or two Tweets and a Facebook status from me, telling everyone that the moment had arrived, the messages began to flow.
“You are already a rising star” were the countless messages from friends, acquaintances and new faces in my timeline. The #FollowSA rashtag popped up in so many of those messages so that by the time my name wasn’t called out, I had already received the ultimate recognition … from the amazing people who had already turned me into a winner.
I am honoured to hold a title of such value, because if focuses on my passion for South Africa. I remember the day I sat with frustration and anger at the poor networks we have and the distance that we had to gain in the social media playing field. At that moment, my incredible business partner, Greg Arthur, told me that it was the perfect time to be in the game. If I faced the obstacles and turned them into challenges I could be a forerunner in the social media industry. On that day, I changed my attitude, set my compass and never looked back and for that, I share this award and recognition with Greg. I chose a partnership for a reason and was blessed enough to find that union with my best friend, who I could never had braved this journey without.
Together, we are only at the beginning of the road that we pave for all of South Africa to unite online and gather offline. Through our passion for people development and our focus on change management in every sphere from intimate relationships to brand’s social media campaigns, we weave the very ingredients that led one half of Lifeology to be called a Rising Star in South Africa.