When No is the wrong answer

20 November 2016

Work is busy. Life is busy. And I am the world’s worst at the two letter response instead of three to a closed question. No. It’s not a word I regularly use. Sometimes No is the right answer. In fact, I really should use it more than I do. A few weeks ago, I was asked a question and at the time, the answer was No. However, I soon realised that I needed to turn that No into a Yes.

Since September, FWL has been even more high pressure for me than usual. New office. BT issues with the phone and broadband. Team challenges. More client work. Signing more cases than ever. I could go on…. “Are you going to The Business Show at Olympia?” No. We have deadlines hitting us left, right and centre. Cases need to be finalised and/or progressed. Battles need to be fought. Research needs to be completed.

You know what? No. That was the wrong answer. So, I turned No into Yes. 4Networking friends told me that The Business Show was one not to miss. I moved heaven and earth to be there. I changed team rotas to cover me not being in the office. I worked the weekend before to make sure the crucial tasks were completed. I caught the train to London carrying the most awkward display board for delivery to Hounslow before I was able to arrive at Olympia, late. Why did I do this? Because No was the wrong answer.

I snuck in, hoping to go unnoticed, late to the evening’s event. Pah! That failed. I was greeted by a few people and hoped to keep a low profile, sitting in the place a dear friend had saved me. And then, so many people noticed my arrival, I spent the next nigh-on-an-hour circulating the table, reacquainting myself with those I had previously met and being introduced to others who were (at that point) unknown. During this circulation of the table, I was introduced to someone who was a Will Writer (great connection for me) and also, on a personal level, may well need our services. Who knows where that conversation will lead….

Late night wander back to my (interesting) hotel and what could be referred to as a lie in – well, half 7 awakening by doors crashing, conversations etc…. ah well! Up and at ’em and off to The Business Show itself. I can honestly say that I rarely moved from the 4Networking stand. Was I booked onto the team to help out? No. Will people join as a result of some of the conversations I had? I would imagine so. Many people have done Facebook Live Videos since the show and this blog will echo some sentiments they have voiced. Being an MD of a company can often be very lonely. It’s a tough gig. But since joining 4Networking, I have a massive family of supportive friends. Some, I have only met once or twice. Others, on more occasions. However, I know that they are some of the best business people and best mates that anyone could wish for.

For me, I know I have found home. Some ‘idiot’, almost 11 years ago, decided to set up a new business network. £25,000 in debt and everyone said it wouldn’t work. Holy crap, Brad Burton …. you are a bloody genius. You created something 11 years ago, you could not have even dreamed could be this good…. We find people at FWL. That’s not a ‘normal job’. We don’t fit in other networks who have ‘categories’ – we are ‘Other’. I don’t fit in other networks because I don’t do the whole corporate thing. Suit, dress…. erm, no. [That no, ain’t ever gonna be a yes!]

It’s about more than categories. It’s about more than what you wear. It’s about being you.

For all those times when No is the right answer, I am very glad I turned this No into a Yes.

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