The team, led by Michael Hayman (image, right) and Nick Giles of Seven Hills set out to make the three day event the Olympics of entrepreneurship and as someone who sat, with a tingling spine and an immense sense of British business pride as the event kicked off, I can confirm they succeeded.
The event created connections, collaboration and a common sense of identity and purpose amongst everyone that knows what it is to be entrepreneurial - from an ambitious, innovative student, to the Royal family, Dragons Den stars and Olympic Gold Medallist. Our rejection of the ordinary and our pursuit for excellence makes us a family, a team, a squad and a breed - and MADE made us fly our flags with pride and honour.
And I wonder, from the Chairman Michael Hayman to me, his biggest fan, what happens post event and how do we get our next hit of MADE magic?
I know I have spent the last three days totally geared up. Inspired, energised and full of confidence and purpose. I am happy. I have the courage to tell the cynics to 'do one' and my dreams and ambitions seem to be just at the end of my finger tips. Yet a year for my next high seems too long to wait and as the post event hype starts to die down I wonder if I will feel my dream slip away again?
The thing I've realised, having been trapped in this cycle for a number of years, is that at any business event, I tend to learn very little about my business. I learn a lot about myself. It gives me the time to step out of what I am doing and think, reflect and spot opportunities I may have missed. My mind comes back on fire, knowing that I do in fact have what it takes. I relate and resonate with the speakers and the audience, knowing that mentally, we are all on the same journey. Yet I rarely find someone telling me what I can do to get more clients, better technology, a brilliant brand or more money in the bank. Each story is in some way unique and it is rare that someone elses journey will provide you with practical sign posts for your own,
As the MADE come down hits and the isolation, confusion and concern kicks back in, I am reminded why I feel so strongly about personalisation and practicality. When the post event blues kick in it is essential that you are armed with an action plan. A route and a road map designed for you that gives you clear direction and practical guidance.
Imagine what could be achieved if, as you leave an event like MADE, you have your business path mapped out for you. If you had a clear road and a destination in mind. Personalised practical strategies would do everything, metaphorically, from selecting your destination and planning your route through to topping up your oil and checking your windscreen washer. MADE, and events like it would then give you the confidence to put your foot down, take the roof off and enjoy the ride.
Without the planning, the practical advice and a clear destination, it is likely that you will end up broken down on the side of the road calling the AA. I've been there, both literally and metaphorically which is why I have used my experience, along with my business partner, Sarah Lockhart Martin to craft maps and routes for entrepreneurs all over the UK.
Our hope, it that you become addicted to finishing a great journey that simply starts with events like MADE. Too many car crashes, breakdowns or diversions are dangerous for anyone and if we really want to reach our full potential, achieve our Golds and truly show the 'great' in Great Britain, we can't keep going to the Start line.