A Better Bid
The first time I wrote for funding, I was given the job – seemingly randomly – on top of my existing workload. I had no clue where to start, was unfamiliar with the content, was unsure what was expected, and had a really tight turnaround.
Most of us don’t start writing tender responses or grant proposals as a planned career path. Like me, we’re handed a job that nobody else wants to do, by someone higher up the food chain to whom we can’t say no.
That day the first thing I did was freeze. I was out of my depth, frustrated, and angry. And when I am furious, I cry, which makes the whole situation seem a lot worse.
Once I’d recovered my breath and command of spoken English (that is, more words than swear words!) I phoned a friend. Asked if I could come and see him, hoping he could help me make sense of the seemingly Herculean task in front of me.
My friend helped me step back and look at the task objectively. We identified the document’s audience and purpose – an important step that’s easy to forget when you’re stressed and in a hurry. Then we broke the task down into smaller pieces and prioritised them. The little projects were put on a timeline and voila! An ad hoc project plan was made.
This is my WHY. I will never forget the feeling of relief when we turned chaos into order. Knowing I had the intelligence and skills to do a good job boosted my confidence. Identifying the input I needed from colleagues made the job seem even more manageable than it did when broken into its components.
I found that I was good at writing for grants and tenders and that I enjoyed it. Well, I mostly enjoyed it. Let’s be honest; we all have moments of not 100% loving our jobs. My next roles had a larger writing component.
The writing part of business development is my area of expertise. I’m good at it because I love it – and vice versa. Unfortunately for me, I never landed a role where all I did was research and write. Even less fortunately, I am horrible at many of the tasks required of an effective Business Development Manager. Cold calling? No thanks, I’d rather stab myself with a rusty fork.
In January 2018, after more than ten years working for other organisations, I decided to do writing for tenders and grants as my full-time career. I opened A Better Bid and ventured cautiously into the world of self-employment.
I help my clients untangle the paperwork associated with tenders and grants. With my help, they use the words they already have to prove their worth – just in a different way.