Putting all the smartest people in the room in the same room
Why the Broadroom?
We have to be honest and say we’ve created the Broadroom for us. We crave a community of other smart people to talk to, challenge us, keep us accountable, share ideas and support us. We’re not desperate for company, but keen to be part of a community to raise our collective games. We don’t want to sit still and only go as far as our own ideas take us. We’d love encouragement and experience to help us (all) go further.
But we also know what it’s like: networking is often hit and miss (or needle in a haystack?) to find people who are on your wavelength or ‘get’ where you are in business and can contribute valuable ideas and conversation back and forth. You attend events, training or coaching groups to learn (and so do we), but you also hope to meet like minds which doesn’t always happen.
You may already be part of a networking group or mastermind, and that’s great because it means we’re talking to the right type of thinker who knows they can’t do it all on their own. But maybe you’d like to expand your network to meet new business owners you don’t already know. Try on things for size from different industries, markets and experiences.
And when it comes to commitment be honest: if you’re left to your own devices–even with the best intentions–it can be easy to postpone those catch-ups. We all get busy and we all change our priorities, yet there’s rarely a busy person we know who doesn’t berate themselves for not spending more time ‘on’ and not ‘in’ their business. So we’re here to help with that.
We’re not running a ‘we’re in charge’ group–much as we both do mentor and coach, this isn’t what the Broadroom is about. For a start, we’re looking for peers not pupils–we don’t pretend to know it all. Instead, we want to curate and facilitate useful groups and get-togethers that raise the game for all of us. We’re here to fill the room, not run the room.
A rising tide lifts all boats. That’s us. And we’re creating a safe harbour to anchor in while we all rise and to stretch the metaphor even further…giving you somewhere to moor up regularly to check your coordinates so you don’t go adrift.
Why ‘Broad’room? What’s the 'Broad' bit about?
Both of us love to champion Women in Business and, while the Broadroom isn’t officially a women-only network, we do want to create an environment that encourages women to join in and grow their businesses. We’re expecting a lot of our members to be women in business, alongside men who are happy to have wider conversations about diversity, too. Sometimes we do need to talk about how we might do business differently as women, and that the playing field isn’t quite as level as we’d like at times (don’t get us started on the stats). But while we love the play on word of ‘Broads’, we’re also clear that by not including men in any conversation it doesn’t help anything.
So The Broadroom is ‘run by Broads’, is very encouraging of ‘Broads in business’, but absolutely stands for a Broad perspective and outlook in business encouraging as diverse a membership as possible.
A Broad room of people in business
The Broadroom is a peer-to-peer group, problem-solving each other’s challenges, and providing accountability to each other and offering support. We value a network when it multiplies everyone’s experience to create something bigger than we can create by ourselves.
And you may already be part of this type of mastermind or networking group in your industry or market, and we’re not trying to steal you away from it. Instead, we’re here to add another option to your support network, with a Broad base of business experience to be inspired by.
What The Broadroom is
- A valuable peer-to-peer network and experience with a balanced exchange of ideas, experience and energy. We’re expecting you to be brilliant at what you do, but aren’t expecting you to share your expertise without getting the same value in return.
- The Broadroom will be as broad as we can make it. We want ideas to cross industries, ages, points of view and genders. We’re aiming for diversity in its truest sense, as new thinking doesn’t come from an echo chamber of similar thinking.
- We’re bringing the room together and don’t pretend to have all the answers. Of course we’d like to include ourselves as two of the ‘smart people’ in the room, but we’re expecting you to bring, share and receive answers. Our job is just to create the Broadroom, yours is to make it valuable.
What The Broadroom isn’t
- The Broadroom is not a classroom, it’s not a course, it’s not a curriculum. Yes, we might ‘guide’ conversations through important topics to make sure things don’t get missed, but this isn’t somewhere to learn a set piece.
- The Broadroom is also not a one-way flow of ideas and energy. If you ask you’ll get answers, and when others ask you’ll answer them. It’s a community built for business success.
- The Broadroom isn’t a marketplace, although by the very nature of a trusted network you may well meet new suppliers or customers. But please don’t join if your intention is to sell–that’s not what we’re about.
- The Broadroom isn’t for polite nodding and pointless conversations. This is where you can get the support you want to grow your business if you ask for it. Of course we’ll congratulate you on your successes, but we’re also keen to make sure conversations are focused on your plans so you get real value from the time you spend in the room.
The Broadroom Founders
Lucy’s a marketer by trade, but likes to get stuck into sales and business strategy, too. With more than 25 years of experience (15 of those running her own consultancy), her experience spans start-ups to plcs. Her MBA and business book habit means she’s never just thinking about marketing on its own.
With a background in both software and small business, Lucy loves getting stuck into Marketing strategy with a wider approach of how this is going to help a business work better and grow.
She can’t code but has spent a lot of her working life surrounded by people who can, and her experience in software marketing includes being part of the original Xero launch team as 2nd hire in the UK. She remembers when Google was in beta and also when software came in boxes (as she had to write the words that went on the outside of them!). More recently, she’s been co-founder of two tech start-ups, and has worked on feasibility studies and marketing audits for other tech businesses.
Lucy is the author of 2 business books, including ‘Find Your Thing’ – a guide to working out what you do best, owning it and getting known for it (Capstone Wiley). And if we’re doing PR namechecks, she’s been featured on/in The Guardian, BBC, VirginRadio, The Sun, Red magazine, SkyNews and spoken at many high profile business events.
She is married to Andy, and mum to 2 humans and 2 cats. Lucy lives on the south coast of England and gets nervous when she’s away from the seaside for too long. When she’s not walking or bootcamp-ing on the beach, she’s a big bookworm, loves to hide at the cinema and spends a considerable amount of time planning holidays (and not always her own!). And if you want to get her attention, bring dark chocolate.
Rachel’s a lawyer by trade with more than 20 years of commercial experience under her belt, and an awful lot of knowledge on how business works as a result.
Rachel’s worked with plcs to SMEs, tech start-ups, micro businesses and solopreneurs, and also served on UK government panels for business, too. She loves getting stuck into commercial growth strategy and is also very vocal about equality and diversity, supporting women to expand their leadership skills and speak out on issues they care about.
Rachel’s legal career started at international law firm Addleshaw Goddard then DLA Piper LLC, specializing in IP, commercial contracts and procurement. She then moved ‘in-house’ as Commercial Director within BT Global Services, managing major contracts over £50m with a seat on the Board. Rachel became that rare breed of lawyer who has experience making risk-based commercial decisions across sales, finance, HR, service delivery & IT, supply chain and business acquisition.
Full-time employment as a lawyer didn’t fit in with Rachel’s ideals of balancing work with family life, however, and so just a month before baby no.1 arrived she founded Serenwood, a niche commercial consultancy for small businesses. Serenwood offered an alternative to traditional law firms with its more open approach, and created flexible working opportunities for other legal professionals who wanted work/life balance, too. In the last few years, Rachel has turned her attention to business coaching and mentoring, running training and events for business owners who want to grow whilst retaining core values (plus sanity and wellbeing).
She is married to Richard, and mum to 2 girls. Welsh by birth, but a Yorkshirewoman by choice, Rachel will argue BOTH places are God’s own country – this also explains her ‘lilting’ northern accent. Swapping her planned stage career for law means Rachel’s spare time is often spent at the theatre or singing barbershop with the formidable (and hugely award-winning) White Rosettes.