This month, I thought I would give an overview of some of the projects that I feel BNI members could benefit from, whether needing more skills in their own business, or wanting to be part of the digital skills shortage solution!
Networking is a key part of my life, I join up dots and see opportunities whilst joining up the gaps. Over the past 3 years I have assisted with ‘funded skills programs’, placing young people into work and providing ‘free’ training to small businesses, specialising in digital skills.
The past 16 years have been a test of my tenacity and passion (sound familiar?) and I sense now that the need for digital skills is reaching a point whereby those that don’t have the skills are very worried, and those that have them and want to share this knowledge are being well paid and reaching a saturation point in their own capacity. Is this a demand outstrips supply scenario? It soon will be I believe. [click to continue…]
I guess we all have something to celebrate on the back of me being awarded an OBE for ‘Services to Entrepreneurship in Social and Digital Development’ in the New Year Honours 2014!
Why you? Well, I assume you are an entrepreneur. These are the great people that BNI attract, and I assume you ‘get’ digital as you are logging on and reading a blog. The part missing from the Queen’s Citation to me was ‘networking’. Everything I have done and continue to do is about helping business people understand how to network online. I know 100% that as a BNI member you are aware of business networking. So, here you are – please celebrate with me that our world has been recognised at quite a high level. [click to continue…]
There are many online social networks around that can help you to become more visible to a potential audience, no matter who they are. Customers, potential customers, suppliers, stakeholders, collaborators and supporters can all be added to the social media mix.
However, it would be fair to say that not all social networks are created equal, and that some are better than others at supporting specific tasks. In my opinion, LinkedIn has to be one of the best at supporting entrepreneurs and there are a number of reasons why I think it’s such a great tool to use. There are many delights to being an entrepreneur, not least that of being your own boss. You get to call the shots, decide what you are going to do and when you are going to do it. If you wish, you can change your business at the drop of a hat; it’s all YOUR choice. And that of course, leads us to the biggest issue with being an entrepreneur … you are the buck, it stops with you. You have to take responsibility for the decisions you make and if they go wrong you are the one picking up the pieces. As a result it can be quite a lonely existence, being the person at the top of the tree. [click to continue…]
I always take great delight in writing a blog for BNI as I know it lands on people that understand and live by a philosophy of ‘Givers Gain’. In this month’s blog I thought I would examine this belief system against the backdrop of how we all use the online world.
I remember when blogging was first introduced on our community site Ecademy, an online and offline Business Network that Thomas and I founded in 1998. We introduced blogging in 2002. Teaching people the technology of uploading a blog was one thing; the next step was to ensure they weren’t loading an advert in the form of an editorial. The term ‘advertorial’ started to be shouted out at members when they stepped over this delicate line.
Learning to ‘give your knowledge freely but sell your expertise’ was a balance and we encouraged members to become more open with one another, random in the way they connected and supportive in their intent. Many people came to the online world with a Closed, Selective and Controlling mindset, very true to the old ways of doing business. One thing for sure the ‘connected world’ has forced us all to re-examine our intentions for connecting and networking. [click to continue…]