Today I am celebrating my first year at AM Bid.

It is a day worth celebrating for me because I love what I do, how I do it and who I do it with. So today I will selfishly reflect on my achievements over the last 12 months:

  • Involved with 19 winning tenders
  • Achieved APMP Foundation Certificate
  • Presented ‘Top Bid Tips’ to the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations’ Commercial Associate Seminar
  • Supported clients in more than 15 sectors

I should also use this opportunity to pause and think about my development both professionally and personally. This self-indulgent process should not be a wholly positive or critical effort. Instead it must be an honest appraisal of what I aimed to do, what I achieved and what I failed at.

What comes out of this self-reflection is 6 pieces of advice that helped me most during my first year with AM Bid and will no doubt continue to support me throughout my life:

  1. Appreciate and embrace the importance of planning – in bidding, it is best practice to spend 40% of your time planning. Using a robust plan will act as the foundation to build a successful project on, without which, failure is almost certain
  2. Practice effective communication – effective communication underpins planning. It is the key to building relationships with those around you and ensuring important information is clear
  3. Accept that you can’t control everything and excel at what you can control – we cannot ever guarantee a win for our clients, but we can focus our energy on what we can control to help influence the evaluation process
  4. Be honest – it is in the interest of those around you to understand exactly what is present and what is required. This honestly will lead to an effective plan to achieve the necessary goal
  5. Pay attention to every detail – the smallest piece of information can suddenly open up an aspect of whatever you’re working on in a way that you maybe hadn’t considered before. It is these golden nuggets that can have the most impact
  6. Test yourself – this may seem contradictory to point number 3, but only if you consider them in isolation of the others. The first 5 points, when embraced wholeheartedly, will underpin your willingness to test yourself. It is this process that allows us to develop, learn and improve

Something that I have committed to from day 1 and what I think has contributed to my realising the above is this. Put yourself in the mindset to learn, I was not perfect when I started and I am not perfect now. But, putting yourself in environments where you are learning and striving for perfection will inevitably push you further than the closest competition.

Looking ahead for my second year, I am excited thinking about where I will be both professionally and personally.

When that time comes, I hope to have added to the achievements listed at the beginning of the article.

I also intend to read more and improve my understanding of bidding and more generally the human mind.

Most of all, I aim to have followed the 6 above lessons and reaped the inevitable rewards of doing so for another year.