Spotlight on Pippa Birch

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Spotlight on Pippa Birch

Greatest achievement in bidding?

Pipster Solutions, naturally! In nine years, I have built up a healthy client base, helped many businesses win some cracking contracts, and enabled companies to reach further than they thought was possible. I love that. I also found the APMP, which has provided me with a wonderful bidding community (which now reaches even wider than the APMP). It is a community that has supported me and enables me to support others.

Best advice you’ve been given that’s helped you in your work?

Way back before I came into bidding, and when all documents were provided as hard copy (I am that old!), a Commercial Manager told me to “Turn every page”. It’s that simple. Clauses and instructions can be hidden, nuggets of information can be picked up to be used to tip the balance in your favour. One page not read could be the difference between winning or losing, or at worst, could be contractual suicide.

Guilty pleasure?

No one bothering me while I drink coffee and eat toast and marmalade while curled up on the sofa in front of “First Dates”!

Describe yourself in three words.

Positive. Friendly. Resilient.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

I was off to India with a backpack at 18 after not getting the A Level results I wanted. Best thing I ever did – I was already quite good at adapting to circumstances. However, I should have told myself that not everyone will like me and that is OK. You can’t please everyone. You can only control how YOU react to situations – you cannot control others’ reactions. Have confidence in your abilities but push yourself a bit further than is comfortable to ensure you achieve more. Most important, be yourself and be kind to others.

What was your dream job growing up?

I wanted to be an actress in musicals on the West End stage. I would still love to do that but apart from being able to hold a tune, I don’t have the singing voice! However, I’m sure Banana the Office Hamster will tell you that my rendition of the songs from Miss Saigon is bloody beautiful… *snort*

What questions are you asking yourself?

Could I be better at what I do? Am I really giving my clients the best service? Will my teenage daughter ever take her hoodie off and get some sunlight? Why can’t I eat what I want and remain healthily thin?

One thing you’d like to do better?

Office ‘stuff’ and other things that I should keep on top of, like updating my CV and finishing my website. I love my work, I love my life, but the administration, filing and tidying of my office is always a chore. I need to make it more fun, I think. Kind of Mary Poppins-esque, with a cheery song and a sprinkle of magic!

If you won the lottery, what would be your first indulgence?

My first indulgence would be tickets for a trip around the world because I never travelled as much as I wanted. After my teenage backpacking in India, I always thought I would spend my life exploring whenever possible, but circumstances change, adulthood happened, and it never quite panned out that way. When I get back from my trip of a lifetime, I’d buy a glass fronted house on a Cornish beach and paint. I have no regrets, but a lottery win would enable the dreams!

(I feel I should probably say there would be plenty for my family and the charities I support, but I was doing what we, as bidding people, should do – ATFQ!)

Favourite pastimes?

One word – MUD! I love Obstacle Course Racing (OCR). Not that I race. I tend to bimble round for a couple of hours trying to scale ridiculously high walls and making mud angels in between. Plus sticking my hands in some compromising places while helping fit men scale said walls. Joyous! Seriously though, the OCR community is such a joy to be part of and I am missing it hugely this year. It’s a sport that is focussed on teamwork – supporting and being supported no matter what your daily life entails. I miss that interaction and escape from family and work. It is basically keeping fit while channelling your inner child and shirking adult pressures for a while – what’s not to like?

Most important lesson for life in general?

A strong handshake, direct eye contact and warm smile goes a long way. (Obviously no handshakes during these times of social distancing!)

What’s precious to you?

Simple. My daughter. No contest.

What advice do you have for newbies in the bid profession?

Be confident in your abilities but be humble. Keep learning – you will
never know it all. Do not be a diva – get stuck into teamwork and do
what needs to be done.

This article was written by Bid Solutions.

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