Welcome to the Story Mill podcast series – Thriving Beyond Stress & Burnout. In this episode, Claire Taylor talks with Entrepreneur and Motivational Business Speaker – Brad Burton.
Brad was born in Salford, Manchester and was brought up by his mum Brenda after his father left the family home when he was very young.
During his school life Brad was the class clown and, in his own words, achieved nothing, getting Es, Fs and Us in his GCSEs. Brad had one main interest at this time – computer games.
After school Brad joined a YTS (Youth Training Scheme) working on a computer support desk for a company in Salford and then he secured what was, at that time, his dream job working in a computer games shop in The Arndale Centre in Manchester.
Later he was offered an opportunity to work with Jason Dutton, then editor of Computing Magazine in Macclesfield. In spite of the fact that Brad wasn’t a good writer he got the job and built his reputation as a games writer and reviewer and even took part in a television series.
Brad mixed with the wrong crowd, upset some unsavoury people and this culminated in someone attempting to shoot him in 1995. Terrified, Brad fled to Somerset where he got a job and went on to meet a local girl whom he later married.
In our conversation, Brad shares how he walked away from his job, to set up his own business, despite having a baby on the way. In building his business Brad went down the business networking route. To his horror he found himself being ejected from the very first networking event he attended.
Why? Because he offered similar services to another networker.
That day changed everything for Brad. He had been running for 11 years and decided that he’d had enough and was going to plant his feet.
The action he took changed Brad’s life and that of many other small business owners too. Brad created 4Networking – a huge UK wide networking group disrupting the model that existed at the time. Aimed at small business owners. Brad describes it as the New Labour of networking. Since it’s inception just over ten years ago 4Networking has transformed business networking in the UK.
Building a massive business network eventually took a toll on Brad’s health and his personal life and let to burnout.
The photo on the left of Brad with his friend and colleague Terry captures a pivotal conversation that inspired Brad to hang in there despite the immense pressure he was under.
After plenty of soul searching Brad began to re-evaluate what was most important to him and re-prioritise things in his life.
Brad’s current mission is disrupting the world of personal development and being the UK’s No1 Motivational Business speaker. You can find out more about Brad’s mission and story in our podcast conversation below!
To follow Brad’s work check-out www.nowwhat.biz.
Meanwhile, you can find out more about business storytelling on www.thestorymill.co.uk
Co-founder – The Story Mill