Talkin' Forbes/Focus June 27, 2011, Leila Janah, slim, well-dressed 28 year-old daughter of immigrants from India, only gets one page. Her assignment from Forbes Magazine is Philanthropy, and she has learned to generate income, for herself and many others, to the tune of $1 million in wages so far.
Leila managed to go to Harvard, which is a nice back-up plan, and in '08 she entered a competition which she won. It granted her $35,000, which is just re-inf0rcement to the idea that entering a contest can gain you a lot.
There are many alternatives to entering a contest:
you can plug away at what you think is best,
you can seek profitable employment from - or at least encounters with - higher-ups,
you can try to patent your invention,
you can write letters to the editor, and your congress person,
you can invest in the stock market, you google 'round the clock, you can apply for a grant, OR
you can enter a contest, with all that "creative potential".