Brighton Summit 2015, Nikki's Keynote Talk: "Do what you love, love what you do."

The Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce is a lively, active, action oriented bunch of 550 members, including some of the biggest organisations in the area – our universities, Brighton Dome, & Festival – through to local charities, social enterprises and fast growing small businesses.

Members are equally made up of men and women and it’s a highly collaborative ecosystem. The Chamber been going since 1910 and the face of business has changed dramatically over that time, so when the Chamber Director, Sarah Springford, asked me to be keynote speaker for the Brighton Summit this year, I jumped at the chance.

Some business conventions can feel a bit stuffy and enforced networking is the opposite of fun.  Not the Chamber: big open spaces, plenty of lively debate, a whole load of inspiration, idea generation and general supercharging of growth. All hosted by our MC, actor Rachel Blackman – who, amongst many other roles, was a member of the Resistance in the film The Matrix Revolutions - perfect for hosting the Brighton Summit,  with all the renegades in the audience.

The day was a great space for inspiration and as foodie friends Cin Cin described it, an entrepreneurial hug.  It was a whirl of connecting, discussing, challenging and debating with inspiring people from as far and wide as Brighton Hove Albion Football Club, to The Martlets charity, the compelling start up visionary Jim Duffy, to those spirited entrepreneurs from Brighton Gin.

So many talks and so much to learn in one day, summed up from one perspective by Finn Scott Delany from the Argus with his Seven Lessons from the Brighton Summit

My talk - “Do what you love, love what you do” - kicked off the day. It took the audience on our journey from 15 people to 800 cities with a bucket of dreams, by connecting person growth to business success, to go global.  Here’s the 30 minute video: 

I used the talk as an opportunity to share our story, our vision, belief, dreams and success – with the summary that:

“I was billed as being the MD of a progressive Search Agency;  being one of the best places to work in the UK, with impressive year on year growth.

This is true. And I believe we have built so much more, with our focus being on growing each person both professionally and personally to have a bigger impact on the world.

When it comes to people and growing your business, I truly believe that policies, process and rules can fall on deaf ears. Whereas vision, inspiration and dreams, can move mountains.”

Design agency, Nexus, provided a vivid recollection of the day, with an inspiring summation of what they’d come away with; “Be kind, encourage freedom, and let your dreams soar.”

By Nikki Gatenby

03 December 2015