Backgrounder on Brad Burton - The short version.
Brad Burton is 44 (Feb 2017) professional speaker, entrepreneur, and small business expert.
It wasn't always like this, he was born in Salford, Manchester and was brought up by his single mum Brenda after his father left when he was just 6 months old.
During his school life, Brad was the class clown, leaving with no qualifications.
After school, Brad joined a YTS (Youth Training Scheme) working on a computer support desk for a company in Salford and then he secured what was, at the time, his dream job working in a computer games shop in The Arndale Centre in Manchester.
As luck would have it, through the shop he met people connected with the games industry, and talked himself into getting a job as a games reviewer on a magazine, appearing over 50 times on TV in the early 90's on gaming shows on Channel 4 and Sky One.
In 1995, things took a turn for the worst, and 2 bullets shot through his bedroom window meant that his Salford home could no longer be home. The next day Brad fled to Somerset. Depressed, he ended up spending years on benefits and dabbled with drugs.
Before getting a job and going on to meet a local girl whom he later married.
After a career in marketing, Brad made the decision to do something different and set up his own business.
£25,000 in personal debt, he worked weekends delivering pizza to keep his business afloat.
He came up with a different and more disruptive concept of business networking, 4Networking.
His vision was to provide a fresh way for small businesses to do business which involved community, support, fun, accountability and which was modern, colourful, outspoken, forward-thinking and internet ready. Based in part on the New Labour 1997 landslide, he created a culture and ethos of business networking that was 50% social, 50% business and it works! Nobody gave him a chance.
That was twelve years ago and 4N now has groups across the UK, with more than 5,000 events taking place annually. Brad stepped away from the daily running of 4N ten years to the day bringing in a high-level management team. Brad now carries the title of founder.
Brad is also the author of four books: Get Off Your Arse; Get Off Your Arse Too; Life, Business Just Got Easier and Now What? He has also built a reputation as the UK’s Number One Motivational Speaker, speaking to business people throughout the UK and to teams in companies including Bentley, JCB and a keynote speaker at the national annual business show in London. He trains others to become masters of their own stories at his Bradcamp, runs a personal development programme Now What? and has launched a new SpeakerSeeker agency to showcase the best business speakers in the UK.
He’s a regular outspoken contributor in the written media, radio and television and is also an Ambassador for Somerset.
"Beneath the bluff exterior of the self-styled 'bloke from Manchester' in a shrewd business brain"
"Brad has this sometimes brutal ability to refocus your head on what's important in life and in business"
GARY TURNER - MANAGING DIRECTOR OF XERO
"Brad's a spectacularly direct, honest and inspirational author for today's rapidly changing business world. A true national treasure"
SCOTT MARTIN - FOUNDER OF COSTA