TBN 2020 – A Time for Heroes?

The Boardroom Network’s 2020 Vision through the eyes of its members

Network and Net Worth

You may have heard it said that your, “Network is Your Net Worth,” and that your, “Net Worth is Your Network.”  I’ve always valued my ever expanding network at TBN and EBW, but I am utterly convinced I have not valued it nearly highly enough.  A bit like an insurance valuation, the jury says the valuation is hopelessly too low.

Not so in 2020.  At least that’s my personal commitment.

Before I go on, you may have noticed those ridiculous notifications at the beginning of movies about the ‘interview’ not being anything to do with the movie studio that funded, produced, released, and profited from the movie… yeah, right.  I get the point though.  Thus, let me say in advance that this blog is my responsibility.  It is written for TBN but may not be taken to represent the official TBN position.  It’s just me, OK?  But maybe it will resonate with you too!

Australia Affects England

This said, the importance of Sarah Phillips’ presentation and the gravity of my own came home to me this morning when I felt the difference between dissociation and association.  What do I mean?  You and I can watch the tragic events unfolding in that nation of our closest cousins, the Australians, and think, “How terribly sad, I wonder if there is anything I can do?”  We have empathy.

Today, I learned that a personal friend has escaped with her life, but has lost her home, her business, and her livelihood.  Suddenly it’s personal.  It’s gone from ‘real’ to ‘REAL’ and I’m REALLY upset… for her.  That’s sympathy.  As Sam Dyer will teach us via NLP, this is called being ‘associated’ – as if it’s happening to you or at least affects you personally.

Let me share some of Sarah’s presentation, and then my own, and then call us to an opportunity to define or redefine what TBN may well stand for in 2020 if enough of us agree…

Sarah Phillips moves us with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Repurposed

Friends, Romans, Countryfolk…

Lend Me Fifty S.Q.U.I.D!

Sarah Phillips (from Octima) exhorted us to, “Forget USPs.”

To the uninitiated, USPs are, “Unique Selling Points,” or, “Unique Selling Propositions.”  What sets TBN apart as ‘unique’?  Three USPs at least:

  • The hours of planning that go into the table arrangements – yes, you are sitting with people purposefully chosen for your benefit – that takes art and science and a deep knowledge of those who belong to our network (Jacqui Frampton takes the time to get to know you, your business, and your likely requirements – it’s staged.)
  • Fresh Blood! (Well, it’s a full moon when I write this) Jacqui spends days making sure we have a high ratio of visitors to members at each meeting – think that’s easy?  Only try it for yourself!  LinkedIn is like a chamber full of secrets but there is new business in there!
  • Full-time resource – I know it’s tough to run a professional network without the investment of a full-time team.  Jacqui is looking out for your benefit 24/7.  TBN and EBW are full-time vocations for Jacqui.

Sarah wasn’t suggesting we give up on being Unique.  Instead, we can keep our strengths AND shift our focus.  The focus shifts to the customer (cf. LexisClick’s emphasis on ‘Customer Obsession’).  The initial reframe is from USPs to ARBs – which are, “Actual Reasons (to) Buy,” or, if you’re willing to up the stakes, “Actual Reasons (to) Believe.”

Once you’ve developed deep understanding of your customers’ actual reasons to buy and believe, you’re ready for a SQUID-Shift!  It’s like a paradigm shift but squidlier.


S.Q.U.I.D: Satisfying (each customer’s individual woes and wants), being Quick about this, delivering messages that are Understandable (based upon understanding who our customers are), Interesting in an often-tasteless world of bland, and Distinctive.

I have a slight issue with that last one because I have trouble standing out from the crowd…

TBN has always done this – after all, how often have you seen Jacqui hogging the limelight?  However, the messaging can still shift more subtly to being even more about you… or, as Alan Bassil suggests, “All About You!”

Sarah quotes Seth Godin, “People don’t buy goods and services.  They buy relations, stories and magic.”

Let me not pull any punches, Sarah and Tesh from Octima can help you tell your story in a way that will build stronger relations with your ideal customers, creating magical results.

Call Sarah or Tesh today on 01202 022 108

Next up… six pencils

Why Be Two-Faced When You Can Be Four-Faced?

Modelling my personal 2020 vision for TBN around a tetrahedral exercise, I’ll summarise the headings on the above Mind Map:

Base Foundation = Connection

We can all get more from TBN by upping the Time frequency of our attendance, the number of Territories we expand into and explore (ie. Dorset AND Wiltshire AND Hampshire), and the Traction we get from each meeting by engaging afterwards in follow-up and one-to-ones.


Upper Facing-Side One = Currency

TBN is valuable but it’s not just about Cash Flow into your business through new customers.  Other currencies you can benefit from include increased Confidence and Competence.  When you present around the tables and from the front, with the right support, you will shine.  Your Confidence will grow.  I know Jacqui is also committed to making certain the presentations are not merely entertaining – they are also Competence-building.

Side Two = Upper Side-Facing Two = Collaboration

Tribe – in the Seth Godin sense – is about “Together”.  Jacqui at TBN wants you to find new suppliers and new team-members to work with – to collaborate with.  Jacqui at TBN also wants you to benefit from “Bridging”.  Chris Wilkinson is particularly brilliant at this – being the bridge between members, visitors and the resources they might benefit from… perhaps he’s into Human Resources?

TBN has table-ambassadors, but I believe every member is an ambassador from TBN into their own worlds of influence.  Yes, we aren’t the Rotary Club, but we ought to have an impact.  I hope that we will soon have a badge to mark us out as proud to be representing the tribe.  Give me a thumbs up if you’d like and would wear a badge.

Upper Side-Facing Three = Contribution

I wanted you to experience the Tetrahedron because the solution is in going higher.

The only way is up, baby!

If I succeed in my own mission, I will turn on some of you onto B1G1.com and thereby make “Contribution” an up-front-and-central theme of your customers’ stories.  Have a peak – then chat to me.  If we do this, we will be in alignment with the United Nations!  Again, ask me more…

Coming back to being a lot more local, let me just say that to be truly engaged with TBN you must get maximum satisfaction from the meetings AND you must find a niche to make your own maximum contribution.  That takes thought and trial and error but I’m here for you (as a fellow member).

Check out this amazing video on “Engagement”.  It’s takes a tiny amount of imagination to repurpse this for networking.

I want you to feel happy!

From Tribe to Community

You can belong to a tribe* and be in conflict with fellow tribe-members!  Anyone with a dysfunctional family knows this to be true!  However, my personal vision for TBN is for us to move from a tribe (an overused and devalued term) to a community within that tribe.  This means BIGGING up one another and collaborating… with our competitors.

For example, my top programme over the years continues to be about thinking quickly on-the-spot.  It’s a Presentations Skills programme.  Who do I recommend at TBN?  Andy Taylor-Whyte.  We are both competing for the same audience yet I choose to promote Andy.  Why?  Because Andy put the ‘Why’ in ‘Whyte’!  (Couldn’t resist that!)  It’s true though.  Andy has a powerful ‘Why’ with his charitable work.  I value this and if I lose some income by strengthening his brand, I have ABSOLUTE confidence that others will do the same for me.  Someone has to start the positive process of putting others first.  Let’s DO proactively for others what we’d love others to do for us.

[*Tribe is a term popularised by the author Sarah quoted, Seth Godin.  Check out his seminal work, “Tribes“.]

Sam Dyer teaches NLP, but so do I.  I’m going to point you to train with Sam.  Why?  Because he’s FIREWALKING amazing.  You cannot get from me what you can get from Sam.  Is he better than me?  No, he isn’t.  He’s different – he’s distinctive (and rather distinguished!)  And that’s a key word I’m going to take from Sarah’s S.Q.U.I.D. – “Distinctive”.

Distinctive is a flavoursome word for me.  I’ve recently tasted all four Silver Award-Winning Wines from The English Oak Vineyard.  They were very distinctive even though sometimes it was simply down to a 6% shift in the blend of grapes.

Just imagine what amazingly distinctive results you could achieve with just a 6% shift in the ingredients you already have

I have a favourite – the most expensive at £75 a bottle!  That, to me, is the perfect metaphor for TBN.  Some of you, like Alan Bassil (of Totally About You – modelling Sarah’s message), are fortunate enough to be Unique (we have only one etcher amongst us, and I suggest you accept his invitation to see his etching!).  For the rest of us who have ‘competitors’ at TBN, let’s follow Sarah’s focus and shift our attention onto being distinctive, not unique.

I know I’m Marmite, which is why I am grateful for all the other trainers and coaches at TBN.  I will be MORE Marmite this year.

I tried being someone else but discovered they were already taken! (Oscar Wilde???)

Please Be More You!

The difference that will make a difference is that this jar of Marmite is going to recommend the Peanut Butter and the Raspberry Jam!  (You can guess which is which, and don’t forget the Gentleman’s Relish that is Simon Rigby!)

We have an abundance of coaches at TBN… Insurance Providers… Solicitors… Financial Advisors… Skin Care Experts… Web Designers, Hosters, and Developers… Cyber Security Experts… it’s a challenge to be Unique, but far easier to be Distinctive.  At the end of the day you have the Super Power of Choice.

A Call to Opportunity

At TBN, we have an additional strength: NO Multi-Level Marketing ‘opportunities’ and NO Charities.
Thank God!

Anyone cornered at an event by an over-zealous fund-raiser will know what I mean!  It’s not that we are against charities, far from it, but it’s an individual member’s choice not a Party Whip.

However, I believe my net worth is boosted and amplified by my network.  Thus, I’ll be explicit about what I’m going to do – I’m going to send some money to my friend who’s lost her home, business, and livelihood.  What I’d like to do is double what I send her with your help. There’s zero pressure to give… I’m looking for someone who is gagging to give!  If I’m learning anything at the moment, it is that

the only thing that counts is how you make people feel.

For this reason, I am only talking to a tiny number of people reading this who’ll go.  “Oh yeah!  I WANT to do that!” and who will get excited about giving.  If there is any sense of compunction, it’s not for you!

If you’d like to match my gift… ping me a message. I am not handling any of the funds, but I can show you how to make a monitored difference. Contribution is just one of the faces of the new way I want to approach my involvement with TBN!

Well, if I don’t get Lexcommunicated, I’ll see you – you hero you – at the next event!