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42 Under 42 25th Anniversary Dinner

I am lucky enough to be part of the North West 42 under 42 alumni

It's been a number of years since I became a North West Insider 42 under 42 member, which celebrates the regions best entrepreneurs, based on the fact that the average age of the power list was 52, we are the ones to look out for.

Nowadays I do not do as much networking in Liverpool, as when I started, as I know most people, or I know people that I can contact to get to those business contacts that I want to access.

And I rarely if ever network in Manchester, something to do with the M62 car park, even more so know with the constant road works, but I always make an exception when it comes to the North West 42 under 42 dinners, as they are well worth going out of my way and battling the traffic.

Last night was the 25th Anniversary, and so I knew it was going to be something special.

With 3 great speakers:

  • Mark Mills Senior Partner Mark Mills Partnership
  • Kirsty Henshaw MD Kirsty's, and
  • Steve Morgan Founder & Chairman of Redrow,

I didn't have any real expectations, but I knew it was going to be an inspirational evening full of positive energy.

When I was initiated into the 42 under 42 the dinners was held in the Midland hotel, which was always a pain for parking, but over the last few years its moved to the Lowry Hotel, and the atmosphere as I entered was electric.

There is always a buzz and an air of excitement, positivity and creativity, of course with all networking events, you get those who do not get the idea of what networking is about, and want to sell you the latest thing their company offers, without really bothering to listen to whether you need or want it, but hey that just goes with the territory.

It's fascinating listening to peoples business journeys, and how they got to where they are know, from family owned business, where the father tells the son, to go and work somewhere else and gain some experience before joining the family firm and doubling turnover, a company still distilling their gin in the Living room, to someone who is an CEO for a professional company who does not think he's entrepreneurial because he would not bet his house on a business venture.

As with these things always, there are so many business people, approx 120, and so little time to meet and talk, and then you are seated for dinner.

This year I was seated on a really good table with an interesting and diverse mix of businesses, but of course in real terms you can only really speak to the 4 closest to you, but at least 2 could turn out to be really good contacts and prospects.

As to the speeches, with an attention span of a 4 year old, I found them insightful and inspirational, honest and gritty, we all hear about the success, but never what goes on behind closed doors, and the ups and downs, what keeps them up at night, and what would you say to your younger self.

So here's some sage business advice:

Overcome your barriers to entry
- Mark Mills

Learn from successful people
Listen more than you talk

- Kirsty Henshaw

Learn from your mistakes
 - Steve Morgan

So all in all a very good night


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