"It’s been my best year ever..." Award winner Becky Barnes

Becky Barnes header image


If I had known then, what I know now, I would have started entering awards years ago!

Last autumn, the financial crisis was well and truly kicking in and my diary was feeling lighter than it had done for ages. The lack of clients really impacted my confidence and I became afraid to show up on social media. At one point, I even started browsing for a “proper job “ on LinkedIn as there were bills to pay but my income had reduced.

I saw the IPSE awards, spotted the sustainability category and felt an instant connection. But, with imposter syndrome at an all-time high, I didn’t consider myself worthy.

But I kept thinking about the awards and asked my friends if I should go for it. Every single one of them encouraged me to enter and so I did!

The next thing I know is that I’m through to the interview stage with the other finalists. This was a big lift for me just to get to this stage, so I attended the interview and gave it my best shot. (You’ll be pleased to know there are no interviews this year…!).

As a finalist, I was invited to the awards ceremony in London. I had no idea who the winners would be and I didn’t dare dream that one of them might be me. As finances were tight, I took the decision to travel to the ceremony alone and I nearly didn’t make it.

There was chaos on the train lines and my train was cancelled. I eventually managed to get a later train and spent the entire journey from Bristol to London standing up, squished in the corridor! I arrived at the ceremony with minutes to spare and was then blown away when I actually ended up being a winner.

Shortly afterwards, I announced my win and honestly, it was like some kind of super turbo boost to my business. Not only did it give me a huge personal lift and reignited my belief in myself but it also changed the dynamic of my business. 

The weekend I announced the win I went on to secure an entire month's worth of business in just 48 hours. Now, six months later, I’m still either at 95% capacity or fully booked. It’s been my best year ever and I still have to pinch myself that it’s real.

So if you’re thinking about entering but just need a little boost to get you over the line, take this as a sign to enter! 

Genuinely, it has been transformative for myself and my business, and I am eternally grateful to the IPSE team for making it all happen. It was the start of something truly amazing! 

The deadline for the IPSE Freelancer Awards 2023 is Monday 15th May 2023. Transform your business and apply today!

Apply now!

Meet the author

Becky Barnes

IPSE Sustainable Freelancer of the Year 2022