Backgrounder on professional speaker, entrepreneur and small business expert Brad Burton.
Overview: Brad Burton reinvented UK business networking in 2005. Today his 4N operation has 100k members and runs 5k meets a year. Now an in-demand public speaker and business consultant, Burton is stepping forward to promote the interests of his members to government and business groups
Brad Burton is 44 (Feb 2017) and was born in Salford, Manchester and was brought up by his mum Brenda after his father left the family home when he was very young.
During his school life Brad was the class clown and, in his own words, achieved nothing getting Es, Fs and Us in his GCSEs. Brad had one main interest at this time – computer games.
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 that time, his dream job working in a computer games shop in The Arndale Centre in Manchester.
Later he was offered an opportunity to work with Jason Dutton, then editor of Computing Magazine in Macclesfield. In spite of the fact Brad wasn’t a good writer he got the job and built his reputation as a games writer and reviewer and even took part in a television series.
Brad mixed with the wrong crowd, upset some unsavoury people and this culminated in someone attempting to shoot him in 1995. Terrified Brad fled to Somerset where he got a job and went 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 networking organisation. He came up with a different and more disruptive concept of 4Networking – often referred to as 4N.
His vision was to provide a better way for small businesses to do business which involved community, support, fun, accountability and which was modern, colourful, outspoken, forward-thinking and internet ready.
That was ten 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 after ten years and is now the founder. His former boss, Jason Dutton, is now the managing director.
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 service 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.
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