Things have been progressing steadily since I began to do my coaching venture full time; I have some more clients in and partnered with some great organisations such as Nationwide Building Society, Johnson and Daltrey, The UK College Of Personal Development and Future Foundations. I spoke about how important partnerships are in a previous blog and still maintain that they are well worth cultivating.

Last night I was invited to a networking opportunity outside of Swindon in London. It was a long way to go on a weeknight, but it was a worthwhile trip down the M4 into London with a fellow Swindon based coach.

A company called Future Foundations hosted the networking/coaching group and they exist to develop social leadership and academic potential of young people.  They hold training courses and summer programs such as the National Citizen Service (NCS) which see’s 16 – 17 year olds go away on a summer placement to learn about personal development and social action projects. I have been fortunate enough to be selected as a team leader for their forthcoming NCS program in Bath this summer working with a group of 10 – 12 young people, so I was really excited to meet some of the team.

Future Foundations are run by a young, highly educated, forward thinking team based in Clapham Junction and I have found them to be a hugely inspirational bunch of people who are passionate about developing young people. 

The networking group has a coaching emphasis and is a forum that enables you to discuss coaching styles and practices and a chance to chat with like-minded people – of which there were many! It was here that I really appreciated the importance of networking, not just networking in your own town, but casting your net wider into other towns and locations. 

The people I met in London were a mix of Future Foundation employees, professional coaches and others, that either work with young people, or who run their own businesses and there is something to be said about being around like-minded people of a similar age and situation. It really helped me think about how we are all on a journey and the troubles that we face are not necessarily unique to us.

There are people out there that will always care about the same things that you do and I recommend you find them. The bigger your network, the more resources you have and the more people that meet you in person, the more people are likely to do business with you. If nothing else, you potentially learn something new.

George Bernard Shaw wrote

“If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.“

So I think the point of this blog is that Swindon does have a thriving business scene with lots of networking groups such as Swindon Business Village, or Swindon Business Scene but limiting your network to our small town could be seriously limiting your potential.

What are the opportunities out there for you if you were to try Bath, or Oxford? Maybe even London? You will never know if you don’t go looking!