I proudly write this blog as Managing Director of Spider, wanting to share my story following our recent achievement that is winning the titles of East Anglian Daily Times Small Business of the Year and SME Director of the Year at the IOD Awards in the East of England. For those of you who witnessed my (slightly emotional) award acceptance on Thursday evening at the EADT Awards, you will know just how much this means to me and how that five years ago, I didn’t ever think I would be able to bounce back.

I strongly believe that you can’t bake a successful cake without at least an ounce of failure, a spoonful of resilience and a sprinkle of optimism. Five years ago I sat at my kitchen table, having had to liquidate my first business.

Your first business is like your first child, something you have dreamed about for so long and wish every success for, you literally burst at the seams with pride as it grows. The business was a traditional recruitment agency I set up in the middle of the recession; we were known as the ‘new kid on the block’ and one to watch, named as the Recruitment Company of the Year as well as Start Up Business of the Year. The truth is, as a first-time business owner I was gullible, naïve and too trusting of the wrong people. I now accept that I should have known better and I take responsibility for that. But, at the time it felt like I had experienced a very public fall from grace and I didn’t think I could ever have an awesome business again. I felt completely crushed.

However, the idea of Spider crawled into my daily thoughts and wouldn’t go away. So I started again. I sat at my kitchen table with a £5k credit card, heart in my mouth, planning the emergence of the region’s first online job advertiser. It was difficult approaching suppliers, clients and colleagues on behalf of my new venture after falling so hard after the failure of the last one. I was moving back into the public arena thinking, “I can and will do this.” Instead of choosing the easy option of another recruitment agency, I decided instead I wanted to be disruptive, innovative and a leader in our region – something I am so proud of.

I believe that our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall. I feel I am now a much more humble business owner; I am less arrogant, I know my numbers inside out and back to front and I always listen when someone has something to say. Recruiting great people within my team is now a main priority for me and retaining them is even more important. I value every single supplier, client and colleague. I never imagined that I would again be at a stage where I am able to grow, to have another chance to show the local business community that I am a good business owner, but here I am.

So there’s part of my story and my reason why.

I want to really genuinely thank those who have always had my back and supported me – you know who you are. And to everyone else, please don’t let failure define you and your business. Having emerged as a more well-rounded business owner (and now multi-award winner), I can say that if you learn from your defeat, then you have never really lost.

Michelle Pollard – MD Spider. Fixed Fee Web Recruitment