Archive for September, 2011

Linda ‘Goes Back to School’ Day One


I blame Sarah Arrow mainly. Then Warren Cass…
Through them I ended up attending Grow Your Business – a 2-and-a-half day retreat to learn, network and focus on my business, in particular my sales and marketing!

The event came about because of a generous donation made by INTEL to a Swindon based charity Inner Flame who work with young people to inspire, motivate and grow confidence.

Please use the link to visit the site and, if you get fired up by what you see there, please make contact with them.

I don’t know the ins and outs but INTEL had booked rooms, meals and conference facilities of a 4* Luxury hotel for 3 days yet at only 9 days notice had to pull out. Cue about-to-be beneficiary Inner Flame’s David Wreathall, who realised his group couldn’t use all of the space, so contacted Warren to see what he could do.

The really great thing about Business Scene, that I hadn’t realised, is that its policy is to collaborate with all pukka business networking groups rather than compete with them. So as Regional Director of Business Scene, UK, Warren would have access to business people who are used to making quick decisions and happy to throw their (not inconsiderable) weight behind a project at short notice.

The result? Several good speakers, especially round the subjects of marketing, presenting, social media and networking, including Master class break out trainers, and about 50 delegates. All managed from scratch within 9 days!

Arriving late is not ideal

The vagaries of the British Rail timetable on a Sunday meant that I arrived later than planned and the afternoon workshop was already underway by the time I got to the hotel. I have to admit to having been very tempted to skip off for the afternoon and avail myself of the hotel’s spa facilities but no, I was here to work…

Business Simulation – Business Value Challenge

The room was already assembled into several teams of people working on the first part of the challenge. I quietly joined one where I was introduced to Kim and Andrew and recognised Julian who, by chance, I’d met before. I asked a few questions to get clearer on what it was all about and added some suggestions to the pot.

The second part of the challenge in our group was practically hijacked by one member despite each of the rest of us having valuable contributions to make. Hey, it was day one, it was a simulated exercise (that was in my opinion more suited to a corporate team, each of whom would have a role in implementing the actions decided on rather four disparate business people) and it wasn’t worth falling out over. Though I did have a rather nasty smugness when I totted up the score I’d have achieved left to my own devices – perhaps the other two did the same.

A bit of socialising

We had a couple of hours to do our own thing – freshen up, meet up with friends at the bar – and then it was dinner. Mine was a last minute decision to attend and I’d not informed the hotel of any dietary needs although I don’t eat meat or chicken. They’d prepared a vegetarian alternative dish of which I ate some. I don’t know whether it was that or the rose wine that my stomach objected to in the early hours… but I was knackered the following morning at 6.45am to join the Inner Flame lot at 6.55 and whatever conference attendee nutters who were going for a run/ trot/ walk…

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Back to the dinner and the speaker who accompanied the latter part of it. Had I actually looked at the agenda on the website I’d have seen that it was billed as:

Dinner Presentation – Inside Business Reality TV with Ex Apprentice Contestant Kimberly Davis

That wouldn’t have meant anything to me as I don’t watch The Apprentice but blow me down – Kimberley was none other than Kim from my group earlier – small world. And she filled us in on some of the, let’s say less salubrious goings on behind the scenes on that programme!

A gentle wind down for yours truly and off to bed by midnight in preparation for Monday’s full day…

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"I was very impressed by Linda's determination to help and the constructive, but persistent, manner in which she identified issues and then tried to resolve them. After recent progress I was again reaching a stage where I seemed to be spinning my wheels, and she has given me fresh impetus to start moving forward again."