GTeX Members Hailed as “Points of Light” by PM

GTeX Members Hailed as “Points of Light” by PM

GTeX members from Northampton who run a community project with an education and rejuvenation centre have received Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s daily Points of Light award.

They have now been described as ‘outstanding individuals’ by those working in Parliament.

“Sol Haven”, run by Sammuel Yisrael and Natasha Caton in Moulton, hosts wellbeing projects, particularly for people who have experienced hardship and has delivered wellbeing events to over 500 people, including many vulnerable and homeless individuals.

Natasha experienced various addictions and homelessness at a young age, and partnered with Samuel, a long-time community volunteer who has extensive experience of working with people who are disabled, have learning disabilities or are living homeless.

Together they created a project that could help people grow and recover from adversity by connecting meaningfully with natural surroundings. On their farm, the pair provide sessions in rural skills, growing food, eco-therapy, meditation, nature-based arts and crafts, and cooking, led by Natasha, who is a Michelin-trained vegan chef. 

Congratulating Sammuel and Natasha on their award, Chris Heaton-Harris, MP for Daventry, said:

“It is wonderful news that Sammuel and Natasha are being recognised by the Prime Minister for their outstanding contribution and support to homeless and vulnerable people in the community. ‘Sol Haven’ really is changing people’s lives through education and rejuvenation, and I hope their actions will inspire others to provide a helping hand to those in need. A very big well done indeed.”

Sammuel and Natasha said:

“This is an incredibly humbling experience to be honoured in this way.

“Points of Light is an important initiative and we are honoured to be considered as ‘outstanding individuals’ by those working in Parliament.

“We are beyond delighted to be able to offer vulnerable and homeless individuals a safe working environment to learn, grow, and reach their full potential. Bringing all our passions and expertise together to offer an opportunity we truly believe, and hope will help many people.”

Sammuel and Natasha are recipients of the Prime Minister’s UK daily Points of Light award, which was first launched in April 2014 to recognise outstanding individuals making a difference where they live. Each day, someone, somewhere in the

Chris Heaton-Harris, Sammuel and Natasha’s local MP for Daventry, said:

“It is wonderful news that Sammuel and Natasha are being recognised by the Prime Minister for their outstanding contribution and support to homeless and vulnerable people in the community. ‘Sol Haven’ really is changing people’s lives through education and rejuvenation, and I hope their actions will inspire others to provide a helping hand to those in need. A very big well done indeed.”

This award comes at the time of them launching their new wellbeing course “‘Ploughing The Mind’ which has been supported by the National Lottery Community Fund.

The ‘Ploughing The Mind’ 12-week course has been carefully designed to help people struggling with their mental health to reconnect with the community, themselves and make new friends.

Activities within the course include nature and horticultural therapy, mental health education, movement meditation, drumming and cooking. A mixture of activities combined to provide support, outlets for expression and the ability to learn new skills.


Following the completion of the programme Sol Haven will look to continue to support people in a wider programme. One that will continue to help them to overcome the barriers to both engaging socially with others and finding work.


Link to the website


There are a variety of sessions available each supporting a maximum of 6 people. 


The programme is structured to use evidence-based tools designed to support positive change and greater wellbeing with two reviews of the attendee’s progress, one midterm and one on completion.


All attendees will be given a certificate to show the completion of the programme.


There are additional health and wellbeing sessions also available to further your development. We will look to continue to support our participants to work towards training and employment as appropriate.


Available sessions


  • Am 10:30 – 12:30 

  • Pm 14:00 – 16:00 


  • Am 10:30 – 12:30 

  • Pm 14:00 – 16:00 

For more information or to request a place on the programme, please visit the website;

Alternatively contact Natasha and Sammuel at


Black History Month Special: Voices from the GTeX Community

Black History Month Special: Voices from the GTeX Community


Black History Month is an annual observance originating in the United States, where it is also known as African-American History Month. It has received official recognition from governments in the United States and Canada, and more recently has been observed in Ireland, and the United Kingdom. It began as a way of remembering important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. 


Because GTeX is multicultural, I wanted to open a topic of discussion within the community to get different points of views on the matter. (If you were wondering, it is celebrated in February in the United States and Canada, while in Ireland, and the United Kingdom it is observed in October.)


As a white man, I don’t feel qualified to talk about Black History Month. I am actually here to learn, listen and broaden my horizons.


What I can say though is that it’s everyone’s responsibility to create a world where voices are heard and cultures are respected. So we can create a future where we can celebrate our differences instead of using them against each other.


One of the best resources I found during this month is They are a production company that creates plays featuring black leaders that have shaped the world unknown to most people. 


It was suggested by one of our members, Adrian Betton (featured below), who was also performing in the play.


Check them out and show them your support.


Now it’s time to hear from our GTeX members on what Black History Month means to them.


Feel free to join the conversation and add your thoughts or experiences in the comments.



Jasmine Mbye from The Like Me CIC 




What do you think about racial equality in this day and age?

It’s come along way, with racial discrimination being illegal. However, there’s still some way to go for equality as that requires a different lense altogether. We have to look at things from a historical standpoint, not just what’s happening now. I love that my young daughter grows up seeing a black superhero, Brits like her on TV and in adverts at normal times of the day. She can see role models in politics, business, the medical field and more. These are vast improvements from when I was young. 


Have you or someone you know ever experienced racism? Can you share your story?

Yes, I was introduced to racism at the tender age of 6 years old! I got called a black b**** by a girl I was arguing with at school! My mum was so upset. Although it’s horrific to endure racism at such a young age, I think being so young meant it did not go on to negatively impact me. Years later my mum would experience racial discrimination at work and it would seriously affect her mental health. 

Before marrying it was impossible to tell my ethnicity on paper and I had always found it fairly easy to get jobs. After marrying and taking my husband’s African surname, looking for work was incredibly hard and I did wonder if it was due to my surname alluding to non-European heritage. I don’t know but I did question it. Being unable to find a job was part of what led me to start my business. 


How, in your opinion; can business owners bridge the gap of racial inequality?

Business owners can go some way towards bridging the gap. However, I don’t think Business owners alone can do so. It takes the government and education etc. I do believe we can have a significant impact though, especially social enterprises. I mean each year my business hosts conferences for women and girls and I am deliberate about ensuring there is diverse representation of ethnicities, including my own as part of the African diaspora. I also ensure that we look for where it’s possible to challenge stereotypes in the roles represented and information shared.

Our Girls conference celebrates the International Day of the Girl which falls in October and that is of course also Black History Month. Therefore we seize the opportunity to integrate Black history into what we’re doing, educating those who attend. We work to empower our clients so they know that they have value irrespective of their heritage and despite what society may say, (sometimes silently). Along with supporting them to find and use their voice for what matters to them. We business owners can be the change we want to see, which will go a long way to promote greater equality. As Marianne Williamson says “When we shine our light, others are unconsciously given permission to do the same.” So let’s shine our light for racial equality and nothing less. Then governments, education etc will get on board. 


Adrian Betton 



What do you think about racial equality in this day and age?

Racial equality does not exist,  there are differences in the way many races are treated in comparison to others. In the 1st instance race is a man made new social structure and concept. Historically people were not defined by race they were defined by nationality which was more representative of a mix of peoples. Even though there is an accepted racial description of people   The fact that race as a concept exists reinforces outdated and unrealistic theories. There is only one race, the human one, within this race there are variances in nationality, physiology, history and experience etc etc but essentially we all come from a shared ancestor.  In this day and age there’s lots of information out there about people groups and lots of history to be discovered and understood in context. We should take it upon ourselves to investigate and learn the rich tapestry that created this world. Ignorance is an outdated concept that we have to leave behind.


Have you or someone you know ever experienced racism? Can you share your story?

Yes many times, subtlety and overtly, as an example from work life I once had to have 9 interviews for a role. Once I secured the post  the finance director told me very honestly that the reason I had 9 whilst my other counterparts had 2 was because I was the 1st Black buyer they had employed, mind you they had been in existence for 20 years at that time. It’s real life for many people just as sexism is for women even if males don’t see it, it still exists.


How, in your opinion; can business owners bridge the gap of racial inequality?

By fostering an environment of Education honesty, patience, forgiveness and hope. It has to be a deliberate act done on purpose.



Genevieve Shaw 



What do you think about racial equality in this day and age?

Racial equality: we have a long way to go, but we have come far. Growing up I had no interest in history but as I have come to a mature age, I understand why history is so important and how it shapes who we are, there is no denying we are still experiencing the effects of slavery, even in terms of the division of power at the very least.


 Have you or someone you know ever experienced racism? Can you share your story?

I think my first memory of racism, was when I was about 5 years old, when I was called a ‘black b******’ in the playground. I share my first experience because since then the incidents are too many to count. From being called racially abusive names in the street to being spat on, as well as all the covert racial mindsets that exist in many institutions that judge you based on the colour of your skin….or the size of your afro.


How, in your opinion; can business owners bridge the gap of racial inequality?

Business owners can help by providing opportunities, not just for black and ethnic minorities , but for the underprivileged, by really understanding and acknowledging the problems that these communities face.



Veronica King 




What do you think about racial equality in this day and age?

When Black-American History month began it delved into the history of the people from the African continent, who were the cargo of the Atlantic Slave Trade highlighting their treatment when slavery was abolished, the contribution Black people made then, as well as at the present time.


In Britain we are portraying Black History Month via education, telling our stories about our lived experiences, and researching the history of Black people’s achievements and contributions since before the slave trade, and what we are contributing now.


Black History Month may be calling out racial equality these days, but it is not the main focus. Having ignored and conveniently forgotten the legislations, the Race Relations Acts of 1965, the first Race Relations Act to tackle racial discrimination in Britain, was repealed by the Race Relations Act of 1976. The Act was established to prevent discrimination on the basis of race, colour, nationality, ethnic and national origin in the fields of education, employment, provision of goods and services, and public functions. This Act was repealed by the Equality Act of 2010. Everyone in Britain is protected by this Act. There are nine ‘protected characteristics’ of which Race is one. In 2021 we have Diversity and Inclusion, whereby the Equality Act of 2010 makes it unlawful to discriminate againsr people with one or more ‘protected characteristics’ – age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, race, religion and belief, sex, sexual orientation. I think that this Act tackles ‘individual rights’ rather thank racial equality.


Whilst society is being asked to respect people’s freedoms, this is nothing new – see the Human Rights Act 1998. However, there is nothing in the Equality Act 2010 about ‘racial equality’.  Race is one of nine protected characteristics. It’s status is that of equal rights with the other eight. Racial equality is not longer seen as ‘a right’ in this day and age.



Final thoughts 

It is very interesting to see people’s point of view on the matter. It deeply saddens me to hear that people have been put down just because of the colour of their skin…But with that sadness comes action, I am determined to find a way to try and bridge this gap. I obviously will not do this single handedly, but I believe it is a group effort. It is something we all have to do as human-kind. Like Adrian said, there is only one race: the human race. The sooner we can all get on board with that, the sooner we can live in harmony…


Feel free to join the conversation and add your thoughts or experiences in the comments.


Mental health and business – The GTeX Community opens up

Mental health and business – The GTeX Community opens up

Every month I choose a topic that I feel our community has been struggling with. Over the last few weeks, I have noticed a lot of my clients (myself included) struggling with this issue and wanted to bring it up as a topic of discussion within the GTeX community to see the different ways people deal with it. 

Mental health has been somewhat of a taboo subject over the years and we are just now starting to see and hear people be open about it. 

So we asked a few questions within the GTeX community to see their experience with it and these are the responses we got. 

Here is also the video that started the conversation when I opened up about my struggles with anxiety and depression.

Bernadette Bruckner Mag.a (FH)

When did you realise you were struggling with your mental health? 

  • 1999 in France, when I was close to killing myself.

How has mental health impacted you and your business?

  • Out of my struggle back then, I created my own coaching/therapy style as well my own nutrition work …writing books about resilience and how to become mentally strong ( so that I can now I can support others.

What do you do to combat it as it is an ongoing issue?

  • I use my own created resilience methods 🙂 – and they work 100%.

Sian Young

When did you realise you were struggling with your mental health?

  • When I had food and shelter!! Also, I did not know I was suffering from PTSD until a few years in when it got really intense and I got regular flashbacks.

How has mental health impacted you and your business?

  • I had to build a business that had my self-care at the core, as self-care is key to improving mental health issues.

What do you do to combat it as it is an ongoing issue?

  • I implement excellent self-care on all levels as I use my 7/11 breath to calm my mind in high-stress environments and I keep educating myself on coaching techniques to make sure I see any trigger signs so that I can have time to choose which tool or technique to use to pull myself back. I then look at and question where I am and what am I missing or processing that has triggered me.

Juan Carlos Gouveia MSc, RTT, ClHyp, NCP, CNHC

When did you realise you were struggling with your mental health?

  • From a very young age, I had a problem connecting, felt lonely, misunderstood, and created beliefs about sorting it out for myself, only counting on me type of beliefs.

How has mental health impacted you and your business?

  • Stopped me from being authentic because of the fear of being judged, To avoid being rejected I projected to the world what the world wanted from me, Suppressing my true self to emerge, Hard work not being who we are.

What do you do to combat it as it is an ongoing issue?

  • Consistently working on my self-development. The journey to self-discovery and mastery is not an easy ride but the full realization of oneself is power. It can be very difficult at times to find and understand our own uniqueness because of the subconscious programming acquired at vulnerable times in our childhood. For example when someone compared us with someone else. At that precise moment you experience the discomfort and pain you diminished your true uniqueness. I use effective pioneering therapy based on neuroscience, meditation, exercise, self-care, take time out to recharge to reconnect with my true self, and continue walking and advance on my lane. I have retrained to become a  Licensed Clinical Hypnotherapist and I’m registered with the NCP National Council of Psychotherapists, the CNHC Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council,  the IACT International Association of Counselors and Therapists to help clients be free from whatever’s is holding them back and be their true selves.

When did you realise you were struggling with your mental health?

  • In 2013 I had been running my business as a PT for one year and decided to train like a bodybuilder and start my first diet to compete in my first competition.  Within 4 months I experienced insomnia, anxiety, and burnout. 

How has mental health impacted you and your business?

  • I had to give up my business as I wasn’t coping.  I had a lot of self-doubt and feelings of failure.  I suffered for 5 years and now that I have overcome and am running a totally different business being authentically me, it no longer impacts me as I have many tools that enable me to accept and allow my emotions to be heard, felt, and seen. 

What do you do to combat it as it is an ongoing issue?

  • I focus on my self-care as a daily and evening ritual.  Meditation, Prayer, Journaling, and Poetry help me feel more at peace and into a place of Selflove.  I speak up when I need support and disconnect from the external world and connect through nature, self-expression, and stillness.  Selflove is key.

Angie Simmons,
the Growth Development Foundation

Facebook: www.facebook/growthdevelopmentfoundation

When did you realise you were struggling with your mental health?

  • I struggled with mental health for over twenty years but didn’t know, what I did notice was my short temper, tiredness, and worthlessness. I was finally signed off work in 2003, with work-related stress, and prescribed tablets to help me combat depression and anxiety. I then lost my brother in 2007 in a horrific motorbike accident, which escalated my feelings of worthlessness and a feeling of hopelessness. This is when I smashed the self-destruct button and added alcohol to the mix of tablets, anything to numb the mind because I didnt know any better. Thankfully, I came across personal development, just over seven years ago. That is when I realised that we all have the tools within, to help us, but not shown. I finally saw the true power of inner work in 2018, when I suddenly lost my mentor, my mother.

How has mental health impacted you and your business?

  • When lockdown first started it did affect me initially, I was panicking about my other dog grooming business, because the doors were shut straight away, meaning I would struggle to pay my bills. This is when I realised that my mental mess can actually help inspire others because the skills that I’ve learned on my path of self-discovery and recovery, have helped me move forward in my business and my life so that I can help others. I have noticed that I need to have plenty of time for myself, to fill my inner battery so I can combat daily life and what it throws at me.

What do you do to combat it as it is an ongoing issue?

  • Over the past 7 years, I have devised my own daily mind management methodology, that keeps me actively working on my own mental health and helps bridge the gap for others. I once heard, that how you start your day will dictate how your day goes. My first daily step is to get up when I wake up. Sleep inertia hinders our self-belief and productivity, I would rather wake up celebrating rather than beating myself up. I prioritise my personal inner work before I let in the outer world, to make sure I have the inner strength and the right energies to maximize my day. Most people focus on the outer world, but true change starts when you work from within. The inner work consists of journaling, meditation, visualization, planning my daily step, gratitude, reading, and listening to positive mindset material and at the end of the day, I celebrate my daily wins.

When did you realise you were struggling with your mental health?

  • Probably many many years ago. As a teenager, or even pre-teen. 

How has mental health impacted you and your business?

  • I avoid doing the things I should be doing, moving things forward, or shut myself off from things and people. 

What do you do to combat it as it is an ongoing issue?

  • I eat well, sleep well, exercise. Often I journal, I meditate, and I realise that all emotions, thoughts, and feelings are transient and remind myself that “This too, shall pass.” I also talk with trusted friends about things that might be bothering me. 

Final Thoughts

First of all, I’d like to thank everyone for contributing and sharing their personal journeys with this matter as it isn’t always easy. Secondly, I have to mention the recurring theme with all the responses: Self-Care. 

Everyone mentioned how you have to take care of yourself first before putting anything out there because if you are not taken care of yourself, you cannot take care of anything else sustainably.

I truly believe we go through hardship to come out the other side stronger knowing what needs to change in order to be better and the responses just prove that further.

Take care of yourself first, it will make the biggest difference for you in the long run…trust me.

Now is your turn. 

Answer the following questions in the comments.

When did you realise you were struggling with your mental health?

How has mental health impacted you and your business?

What do you do to combat it as it is an ongoing issue?

To become a GTeX Member, Apply here:


To receive daily support in your coaching and speaking business, join our private Facebook Group EXPLODE YOUR EXPERT BIZ


Take a full business assessment for free to have absolute clarity on your business with the EXPERT BIZ CHECKLIST.

Lessons on Entrepreneurship from an Italian Businessman

Lessons on Entrepreneurship from an Italian Businessman

I have been asked countless times in interviews “what makes a business and entrepreneur successful”.

There are so many ways someone could give advice on what is the ‘right way’ to run your business.

There is such a huge variety of strategies out there that could work for anyone person but what I have learnt through my experience, is to focus on one.

For me, it was trial and error, and through my mistakes, I learnt some lessons that helped me shape my strategy for myself and my clients.

Factors that go into entrepreneurship

Being an entrepreneur is almost like being an artist; you cannot be good at just drawing a line, you need to be good at creating the entire picture.

I think that you have to excel at a variety of different things to be able to be a successful entrepreneur. To me, an entrepreneur is someone creative, they have ideas, they are someone who can see opportunities (sometimes even before they arise).

It also has to be someone who has a lot of stamina and grit, because you are going to get a lot of doors slammed in your face all the time and need to have that resilience and strength to be able to brush it off.

Last but not least, an entrepreneur is someone who is financially literate… because that is the difference between having a hobby and a business.

Perspective on Passion

Passion is key to move forward in my opinion, however, it is not necessary to be successful. You can be a businessman and have a good opportunity and work with it, but not be passionate about it and still be successful.

However, I personally cannot run that way.

I need to love and adore what I am doing because that’s what creates the drive for me.

My passion is what pushes me forward and helps me really get what I want.

If it doesn’t come from my heart, I find it hard to believe in and work with it.

Lessons Learnt

A very important lesson I learnt, was about being a risk-taker.

It can be a very good thing until you take too many risks… I personally am one, but what I learnt through my experience is that:

It is important to take risks, but it’s important to take calculated risks.

This is where I made a lot of mistakes in the past where I would jump into something with the belief of saying yes and then figure it out, which ended up with some very expensive lessons to learn…

Fortunately, I am surrounded by a great team of people who balance me out well when I have the impulse to take an uncalculated risk.

Another very important lesson I learnt was:

Don’t get attached to the results.

It is one of the best things you can be conscious and aware of.

When there is an opportunity for me, I will go in and do everything I can to make it work knowing that everything I do is a test.

Because the moment I get attached to the result of the outcome, that is the moment I lose sight of what other opportunities I might have or what else could work, which is how you can miss out on good business.

So I treat everything like a test, which is how I cope with things.

Some work and some don’t, but it doesn’t phase me anymore.

I am looking at what worked instead of focusing on what didn’t.

Perspective is everything. The way you look at it really matters.

As I mentioned at the beginning, there are many different strategies and approaches to business.

It really is a matter of trial and error.

Take your risks and follow your leads, just think about it thoroughly first.

Don’t be impulsive.

Just keep adjusting your perspective and do not be attached to the outcome. 

You never know what opportunities are waiting for you around the corner.

12 Entrepreneurs discuss why attendees want to pay less for online conferences in a post COVID world.

12 Entrepreneurs discuss why attendees want to pay less for online conferences in a post COVID world.

Why do you think people are more likely to pay for an in-person event, but many are less likely to pay for an online event or conference, even if it features the same content and speakers?

This is a really curious debate about our industry.

I have been running more than 1000 live events in 6 years, and that’s how I started and grow my different businesses.

Live events represented 70% of our entire business and we made a name for ourself in the business development space to the point where only a few people in our industry did not know about us and our name in London.

The game has changed though…

I was curious to hear what people think about this topic and I asked members of our groups what is their take on the topic.

Read what 12 entrepreneurs have to say, then I would love to hear your opinion in the comments.

No alt text provided for this image

Parbej Ali

1) Distractions at home (I’m not properly present online)

2) No networking/interaction with like-minded people – You can speak to the person next to you, in the coffee break, etc. This also re-inforces learning as you discuss what you’ve heard and synthesized the information. Synergies happen from different perspectives.

3) Atmosphere – the noise and reactions of others create a mood in the room. Online is often like watching a video, with the odd attempt at lame interaction.

I think the sales training Ben and you held has been the “best” event thus far in terms of having me engaged, and I found that was much more tiring than in person events. 

Long events don’t work for me. I feel so sleepy during them. Its very tough staring at a screen for that many hours. Plus the rest of the household is living their life and you can hear that in the background.

I pay for 2 things because I am busy and time-poor.

(1) Convenience

(2) Effective Learning Results and one added value item

(3) The unknown power of connecting with others

I want HIGH IMPACT in the SHORTEST amount of TIME.

And the potential of something unexpected

Online seminars/learning have failed to provide the 2 functional elements I want and it absolutely does nothing for #3.”

No alt text provided for this image

Caroline Emile

“It’s not the same sensory experience e.g. the vibe of being at Excel with 13,000 people at a Tony Robbins event cannot be fully replicated online. 

It’s sort of like watching online about how to learn to swim rather than getting in a pool to actually do it. 

There is huge value in being taken out of your ‘daily life’ to a completely different environment to learn new things, experience breakthroughs, etc.”

No alt text provided for this image

Michelle Raymond

“I can understand being on both sides of the fence.

As an audience member, I pay for a ticket not just for the speaker… I could really just listen to him or her on YouTube. 

But I am also paying for the networking, the vibe, the connection, to get my pics taken – all these matters.


As a speaker, I feel like I have to put just as much effort if not more for an online event presentation due to the many reasons that have been mentioned (including my own). 

I prepare just as much, I still dress up, put makeup on, get my hair done. 

I don’t ever short cut my virtual audience YET, I don’t charge as much for the virtual stage. 

In actual fact I’ve been paid way less if not at all. 

The effort is still there but just not valued as much.”

No alt text provided for this image

Gregory Giagnocavo

“The networking at events, the environment, the meeting new people, the way you can promote yourself at an event.

And, you can see that you are paying for the experience and ambiance. Like a hamburger in an ultra-fancy restaurant.

With so many webinars and online events, it is becoming common and doesn’t seem like there’s much expense attached to it, so it’s hard to justify the ticket price.

If I were to create an online event or summit, I’d have a lot of discounts attached to it so people get more discount coupons or discounts than what they paid.”

No alt text provided for this image

Caroline Stagg

“It’s the chance conversations, tips and stories that I hear from others, and the way they talk about their work that I like in face to face events and ad hoc Invitations to keep in touch.

Also, you can choose more whom you spend time with and how long. 

Online this tends to be dictated by the organiser”

No alt text provided for this image

Victor Dauda Tarfa

“Environment plays a significant role for me. 

As everyone has said too the networking. 

There is also an opportunity to connect with the speakers on a personal level. 

Most people l have met on my speaking journey I don’t think will be friends now if it was online.”

No alt text provided for this image

Katharine West

“As a nurse informaticist interested in patient choices, I published research on patient preferences looking specifically at in-person vs virtual visits. I identified the basic social process of Weighing Options that describes how one visit type is chosen depending on the strength of various “hassle factors”. When all things are equal, people prefer in-person because there is interpersonal energy that is difficult to convey online (difficult but not impossible). I suggest these are the same issues with online events and courses. Personal interactions can be incorporated into a virtual meeting when connections are made to be at the same priority level along with the content. In the words of one of my subjects, a 22-year old young man on the autism spectrum, when I asked why wouldn’t he prefer online visits, he looked at me like I was from Mars and asked, “How would I get my hug?!” He could have asked me, as is the theme of the answers posted here, “How would I get validated or confirmed in who I am, that my needs are legit, and that I am going to be OK?” This, after all, is what event-based networking, meeting other people, self-promotion with feedback, being exposed to lots of new ideas in a condensed period of time, and more is all about – and we get to read the body language which is difficult virtually. (Hmmm…this is giving me new ideas for research!)”

No alt text provided for this image

Adam Waldman

“I think because an in-person event feels like an “event.” 

There is something about the live interaction that makes it feel more important. It has a certain gravitas that is lost in translation online. It’s similar to watching a concert online vs being there. The shared experience makes it feel different…bigger.

There are a few more factors as well.

The first is having more skin in the game because it requires you to disrupt the norm and make an effort to attend an event live.

The other factor ties into the “skin in the game” idea. Being at home makes it easy to get distracted, whereas sitting in a room listening focuses your attention.

That being said, in the post Covid world, I personally have no desire to anything in-person right now. The only conference that I would attend (at least in America) is a virtual one.”

No alt text provided for this image

Les Oatka

“It is much easier to SEE value(and cost) in the in-person model. Also, we understand that when we attend in-person events we can make it what we want it to be by the way we interact. There is EMPOWERMENT! Never underestimate that emotion.

We are TOO familiar with virtual events and know predators can easily pose as enterprises of strength when they are not. Virtual events are able to control participation and make lateral interaction, if not PROHIBITED, very difficult.

Lastly, too many presenters are way too chatty, take too long to get to the chase, and in general disrespect the time of the attendee. When the time of others is not honoured, it IS disrespectful. Who wants to pay for that?

I wait patiently to pay 100’s of dollars to attend in-person shows and conventions. The on-line stuff, I feel I can come back later and view it FREE. If I can not, I do not believe I have missed anything because the VALUE is not apparent. AND, I believe, it is simply a NO COST option for the presenter that is attempting revenue augmentation. VERY much like ‘become wealthy in real estate and spend none of your own money!” Then when the pitch is to get rich selling stuff you neither create or make, the red flags should go up.

Done right, over-deliver on the 1st promise, the prospect has an expectation, will pay but will become vapour on the first betrayal.”

No alt text provided for this image

Justin Damian Furness

“For me it’s all about access – The more access and closer they come to you the higher the engagement – too many are automating and losing the depth and context I’m finding loads of clients want a done with you model especially with digital they love the personal engagement.”

No alt text provided for this image

Rebecca Larsen

“So much information is available for free online that some people think everything online should be free. Also, people know that in-person events cost money to hold; you have to pay for the venue, food, etc. However, they probably aren’t as aware of the costs of holding a live event.”

No alt text provided for this image

Heather Melcer

“The other reason in-person works is that someone has to actually take a break from their routine to go to it. this puts them in a different state-of-mind than when they are at home in their pyjamas watching a computer screen. For many people that can play a part in retention. In-person they are completely 100% focused on being there, at home they aren’t and they know it.”

These are the voices of 12 entrepreneurs.

Don’t get me wrong.

Online conferences are here to stay.

I think is the duty of every event organiser to create more interactive and entertaining experiences that would keep their audience engaged and connected as much as possible.

These insights are crucial for organisers like us to understand what people really want so we know what to priorities and what innovations we need to put in place.

Having said that, I am looking forward to the day where events can run like in the past and people will feel safe to travel and attend conferences once again.

Now it’s your turn… I would love to hear your voice on the topic.

How to get known (almost) overnight

How to get known (almost) overnight

How do you become known in a short space of time?

Let me tell you right now. 

But I need a disclaimer before I tell you the strategy. 

I believe one thing.

There is nothing such an overnight success.

You have to put the work in, in everything. 

But there are practices that you can follow that can accelerate that process. 

Some visibility strategies are long term and some other short term

I am going to give you a short term strategy that you can use right now, to get known in a much faster way. 

It is called news hacking. 

What is news hacking? 

You might have noticed that mainstream news channels, magazines, publications and blogs often talk about the same thing when a particular topic goes viral or becomes trending. 

At that point, millions of people suddenly are talking about that piece of news everywhere. 

But why does a topic become trending?

 Is that because that topic is more interesting than others? 

Or is that because everyone now is talking about it? 

When a piece of news goes viral, people want to talk about it even more because it makes them feel part of something bigger, and it makes them think they have something valuable to say.

If you find a piece of news and connect it to what you do, your story, your background or ideas that you have, you can get instant exposure overnight.

But getting exposure does not mean you will have a profitable business. 

Fame for the sake of fame will not bring you revenues.

You still have to be strategic, have a good business, the right products, the right services and the right offers. 

These are the foundation. 

But with a solid foundation and the right piece of news, when you get exposure to millions of people, you can gain hundreds or thousands of followers overnight without spending a dollar in adverts.

Let me give you an example of how I used news hacking.

When Brexit started here in the UK, many news channels were consistently talking about Brexit and how it could affect UK intrapreneurs. 

So I approached a few Italian news channels that were covering Brexit. 

I thought they might be looking for someone Italian who was running a business here in the UK. 

As a profile, I knew that I could fit the agenda that the news that particular channel had and I could add value giving my opinion and sharing my experience.

I’m not a Brexit expert. I’m not even an economist, but I have opinions…

Sometimes too many 🙂

So I decided to put myself forward. The news channel was interested in what I had to say, and I had a TV interview for 15 minutes during peak-time. 

I was then in front of millions of people in the number one news TV station in Italy. 

That interview led me to have five more interviews with other TV stations.

I wasn’t talking about something that I am an expert on. I don’t often talk about the economy or Brexit. 

I talk about sales and marketing strategies. 

That interview not only helped with my positioning, but it also opened up new opportunities in magazines, events and features that allowed me to get in front of my ideal clients and generate sales.

Take a look around: what are the trending topics right now? 

What part of your personal or business story you can use that is relevant to what journalists and media are talking about?

This how you can become known almost overnight. 

If you want to reach out to more journalist or TV stations, become known in your field and get paid really well for the work you do, then reach out as this is what we do here at GTeX. 

We turn experts into authorities. 

I would love to know: what current piece of news can you hack?