FROM COMPETING IN A BEAUTY PAGEANT
I delved into the pageantry world late in life. We’ve all seen those tabloid-esque “reality” shows displaying catty pageant moms vicariously living through their daughters and mean and diabolical tweens, teens, and high schoolers scheming their way to crowns.
What’s funny about those shows is that they didn’t last. They never had the reality TV show following like The Bachelor/Bachelorette or any of the Survivor variants.
Perhaps because…..gasp!……..they weren’t accurate??
Now I know some may quibble over the accuracy of The Bachelor/Bachelorette or Survivor, but at least those were somewhat believable.
I can personally attest that those pageant reality TV shows display, at best, 1% of competitors.
You may encounter a pageant “Ice Queen” should you dip your toe into the pageant world, but the majority of women who compete in pageants, especially the Mrs. division, are top-notch career and in-home professionals who have a passion for their communities while improving themselves AND their fellow competitors in the process.
And considering a small population of any humankind sampling will be bad eggs, the 1% of Ice Queens in pageantry is just par for the course of life.
I stated I can personally attest to the quality of competitors a few sentences ago. But one thing I never expected to glean from pageantry was business lessons. But that’s EXACTLY what happened. What parallels could one possibly draw between pageantry and business/entrepreneurship?
Read on to find out!
Judges are equivalent to market segments: your product (in a pageant’s case, yourself) can’t please them all.
When you bring a product to market, extensive research is completed to determine your product’s ideal customer. Done wrong, and you spend precious marketing dollars trying to convince a certain market to love your product or service.
You don’t market prenatal vitamins to women over 60, for example. The same theory applies in pageantry: the product you are marketing is yourself, and since you shouldn’t know who the judges are prior to your interview, the only factor you can control is the quality of your product.
How do you determine what “quality” is? By being your best self. Do not change who you are. Use your guiding values to better yourself and bring your best self to the judges. You may not please them all, but you will finish the competition knowing you brought the best possible product to the pageant market.
The Only Competition You Need to Evaluate Against Yourself is YOU.
It’s true a thorough SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis should be conducted for any product. But sometimes there are features of the product you do not want to change, even if it means not grasping a large market share. And that’s ok.
Market to your niche. And that principle applies to pageantry. You are YOU. If you try to be anything other than the best version of YOU, the judges may buy it in a 4-minute 30-second interview and a brief display on stage, but only for a short time. The test of a true and deserving titleholder is how she conducts her reign (usually 1 year). And the same goes for a product or service. You can fool your market for a while, but true intent shows through in the long run.
If You Do Not Succeed, Try, Try Again
Not every product hitting the market in its first variant is a success. Even with market research and due diligence completed, people’s tastes change and as such, so does the market. I competed and won a title in my SECOND pageant. I re-evaluated my product, improved it, and tried again. And won. Never give up. Be open to critique. Change the features of you, your personal product, as improvements ONLY. Never change