A Silly Little Story of the History of My Speed Business Network In 2003 I ran a pilot of a radical new approach to sales training which I'd developed, based on a combination of process mapping, QA, and high-level NLP communication skills. The average increase in sales in 90 days was 598%, so I was pretty happy about that. But what I wasn't happy about was the fact that there was absolutely nowhere in Australia for my graduates to network the way I'd taught them, which was a philosophy and methodology based on seeking out business soulmates with shared core values and principles. So I started running little groups for them to practice, and I called these groups Speed Business Networking because they provided a highly-structured environment to maximise contact opportunities, and also to learn and grow by sharing knowledge and expertise. At the same time I was acutely aware of the disgraceful failure rate of small business and I saw very clearly that this failure was definitely NOT due to lack of capital (the most frequent recipient of blame) but due to plain old-fashioned lack of knowledge and expertise in business management, and strategic planning and execution. I wanted to use regular networking meetings to bring a high level of proven expertise to small and medium-sized businesses, and also show business owners and professionals how to unlock and use the vast reservoir of experience and expertise that is contained within their own community. What I never planned to do, but found myself doing, was acting as some kind of entertainment director for people who didn't want to develop their business or even learn! And these were mostly people who didn't know what networking really was, and wanted to keep on with the same old-fashioned and ineffective networking habits they'd always used! Am I mistaken in my summing up? Not according to the anonymous survey I delivered to members. Overwhelmingly, they indicated that they were specifically not interested in learning, or developing their businesses, but looked on networking time as entertainment. How this could possibly happen when I was so repetitively vocal about the whole purpose, philosophy and methodology of the group? I have no idea. It was profoundly embarrassing, and disappointing, to get such a mismatch in terms of who was attracted to it, but there you go, that's how it was. So I decided to pull everything back, to stop being an entertainment director, and work only with people who shared my passion for small business. I decided to offer high-value but free material on-line so that the dinosaurs could ignore it without my taking it personally, and the people who really did want to develop their businesses could pick it up and run with it, getting personalised help from me and from the other members of their on-line business community, including gaining access to markets that would otherwise have been out of reach. So that's how My Speed Business Network was born. A Vast Array of Resources Quite apart from the free business consulting that's available with the no-charge membership, members can form their own mastermind groups, either open to other members, or locked and for the private use of their own elite group, get help with marketing strategies, solve problems, seek out mentors, alliances or advocates, build customer clubs, place advertisements for their company, and download or upload business training audios or videos. And a whole lot more. The forum alone has 64 separate business discussion topics. Use it Or Lose it But of course all of this goes to complete waste if it's not utilised, and as you know, if an activity isn't diarised it doesn't happen. Lots of business people intend to work "on the business", rather than in it, but don't make time available, and don't quite understand what "on the business" means, in any case. By putting aside just a single hour a week, and spending that talking with other business people, asking for help with challenges and offering their own contribution in turn, huge advances can be gained. It really is that simple. So hop along to www.speedbusinessnetworking.com today and click on "Take Me to My Speed Business Network" to join as a free member. It'll be one of the very best business decisions you've ever made.