When you are in a business of some sort, it's important to believe in your product and stand behind it.  It all comes down to honesty and conveying trust to your customers and clients and building relationships with those people.  It's what I like about having a business, I'm comfortable with that premise and I can get behind it easily.  

However, I am now in a somewhat awkward position where I'm feeling the need for shameless self-promotion.  You see, I stepped out of my traditional role as picture-taker and placed myself in front of the camera.  Egad!  And then, I created a video (first since high-school a number of unspecified years back...).  And then, I made a YouTube account, put that video up there for the world to see and for an entry in this contest (Just Watch Me).

For those who know me, this is way beyond the realm of norm and comfort.  Way way out there, approaching the stratosphere.  And then, I found out submitting my video was not even going to be the hardest part.  But I will get to that shortly.  

I love the principle behind the contest.  Encouraging people in rural places who have created niches for themselves in the business world.  

However, it's after the four finalists are selected, which I and my PipCreek Farm + Studio happen to be one of, that the voting began.  Yes, voting!  Everyday kind of voting until February 19th at noon!  Cringe!  As my sister puts it, "we as a family have been trained not to draw attention to ourselves".  This past week has been an "awkward learning curve".  I am not used to leaning into the limelight.  The fact this post is going up now, in the last days of the contest, speaks to my spotlight aversions.

But I felt I needed to write about the contest and the voting.  Firstly, I need to say thank you to my family, friends and community for rounding up votes and spreading the word.  For all the discomfort, the rewards abound.  Yes, I suppose, in the local promotion of what I do, but, even more, are the kind comments and encouragement from friends, family and neighbours.  To me, that is what stands out about this whole contest.  I feel humbled by the Facebook shares, the interest in articles ran by the local papers, the emails from strangers.  This is what rural community supporting a local person and business looks like.  The connections made and strengthened are sweet, unexpected and abiding rewards.  It makes me think, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else but here.