I’m launching a new business networking group in Bedford (UK)

Update: The first meeting was a great success! Huge thanks to George Zitko of Zitko Consulting who told us about how he grew his business from his back bedroom to a highly respected specialist agency with six employees in just a few years. You can listen to a recording of his talk here.

Original article:

I’m launching a new business networking group in Bedford (UK) and I’d love to see you there. Let me tell you why I decided to become a networking group leader.

You know how working from home is supposed to be? Work whenever you want, in your pyjamas, any time of day or night? It sounds great – and the flexibility is amazing if you have family commitments – but there is a dark side. This summer it hit me that working from home wasn’t really working for me. True, it was great some of the time, but doing it all of the time was knocking my productivity, mood and my confidence. It was time to connect with more like-minded people local to me.

At about the same time Ann Hawkins began subtly suggesting I should start a Bedford group of Drive The Network. I first met Ann about five years ago at a women’s networking group in St Neots, Cambs which has now closed. We stayed in touch on social media and I really liked Ann’s style, which (as she says) is to network like a human being!  So no elevator pitches, no “you can’t come to our networking group because you’re a web designer and we’ve already got one of those”, no “here’s my business card, bye” drive-by networking, no forced referrals. Just good old fashioned getting to know, like and trust people. Both online and offline.

At that time I didn’t think it was for me because I didn’t feel I was a natural networker. Yes, whatever that means! Then I decided a) I really needed to connect with more people locally, b) I really liked Drive’s style, aims and members, and c) what the hell, you never know unless you try!

So here I am, the new group leader of Drive Bedford!

Our first event is at 44 Harpur Street, Bedford on 21 November, 10 am to 12pm.

I would love to see you there! If you have any family or friends local to me that might be interested it would be great if you could pass the message on, too.

Here’s the link with all the details:


Our speaker is George Zitko. George started his recruitment business in 2012. In 2013, working from his back bedroom, he was broke and almost decided to give up and get a job. George will share how he turned his business around to become one of the most respected and nationally recognised specialist recruitment consultancies in the UK.

You’ll also have a chance to decide what happens at Drive Bedford in the future.

See you there!

What’s on your business card?


Last week I joined I discussion in a Facebook group where everyone was sharing their business cards. As you probably know I spend most of my life online so I don’t use my business cards that often and when I do they are out of date! So I shared the picture above as a little joke.

But I don’t see that as a disaster because it’s far better to get out there and meet people with a less-than-perfect business card than it is to sit at home trying to perfect it. And anyway, other people’s business cards are a far more effective marketing tool than yours because you use them to follow up after the event. Most people still don’t follow up after a networking event, so you’re instantly ahead of the crowd if you do.

When I started out years ago as a freelance trainer I wasted far too much time on my business card, precious time I should have spent on getting in front of potential clients. I’m not sure if online printers like Moo and Vistaprint really existed back then, but now they do there’s absolutely no reason for being held back by not having a business card.

Once you’re a bit more sure of your brand then you’ll probably want to get your branding and card done by a pro (even that is no longer expensive). But whatever you do, don’t get hung up on a business card and don’t let it hold you back. 

People will want to get to know you as a person, rather than because you have a very cool piece of card with your name on it.

So while I don’t recommend the tatty bit of paper as a strategy, it’s better to be connecting with people with your tatty bit of paper than it is to not go anywhere because you don’t have a business card!