Why being your authentic self builds real business relationships
I made it!
Being from Australia rather than the UK, I had taken on face value that Havent was in London as I had been told, so set up two days of training in Havent to coincide with the evening I was presenting a 10-minute talk to the Scottish Business Network in London. They are close, in Australian terms, but not necessarily in British terms.
I digress, so you may be wondering what is an Australian doing presenting at the Scottish Business Network. My business is registered and based out of Scotland. Simple in those terms and I was able to meet the criteria to be invited to join their events. I had already attended two events previously and meet so many amazing business people from small business to corporate, they were all connected to Scotland in some way. They were also extremely open and very helpful, I had already been recommended forward to a couple of connections just from general chats with people.
Back to this night nearly three weeks ago when the Scottish London Business Network was going to make yet another change to my business and help it go forward.
As I entered the room, knowing I was the first speaker and we were about to start the more formal part of the evening I was a little nervous. I did what I often do these days, sat and rubbed the disc on the bracelet I wear whenever I am going to deliver a talk of this type. You see it wasn’t giving the talk that was making me nervous, but rather the content.
This was going to be the first time I spoke about what I am trying to do with my business but more importantly, the first time I was going to talk to a live audience of mostly total strangers about being bipolar.
That was scary.It is a big thing to stand up and declare to many people what many businesses and even medical professionals counsel you to keep to yourself. Societies twist on it all is all about hiding it, not talking about it, more to the point pretending it doesn’t exist. On this November evening in London, in the offices of Aberdeen Asset Management, I went against all of that and said it out aloud.
The talk went well. Actually it went really well.
I was complimented by many afterward and had so many people come up to me afterward to speak about what they could do to help me. I was there not only to talk about mental health and leadership but to ask for help in getting in front of more audiences to speak so I could start to connect to the right businesses. Those connections have come and the help as well. Within minutes of the business part of the evening.
The best part is the full support from the other members of the Scottish Business Network to keep doing what I am doing and move it forward.
At the end of the evening it was awesome to share a stage with David Sime from Oncor, Kirsten Coburn from the Scottish Ballet and Russell Dalgliesh co-founder of the Scottish Business Network who made the announcement the network was going international.
I have so many opportunities to chase up and so much I can still learn from this network. It was once again an effort well made to get to London to speak, to make the connections and continue to build on the relationships with the great members of this network