Thursday, August 27, 2009

Shy Bairns Get Nowt

I had a great day in Newcastle yesterday, giving a presentation on referral generation to a small group of start up businesses, before speaking to an audience of over 100 local businesses at the Service Network Summer Party.

On my journey between the two presentations, my taxi driver nearly had me getting him to turn around and take me straight to the station. After all, it seemed my presence might not be necessary.

We were talking about travelling on business and being in hotels on your own. "It's never a problem for us Geordies", he told me, "We'll talk to anyone, anytime."

As I was giving a presentation on overcoming the fear of networking, I wasn't sure there would be much for the audience to learn!

"We have a saying up here", he carried on. "Shy bairns get nowt!" (Literal translation, "shy babies get nothing.) "I used to tell my kids to ask me if they wanted something. After all, if they thought I was going to say no anyway, they might be pleasantly surprised."

I have been to Newcastle on many occasions but had never heard this phrase before. It's clearly very popular though, I only had to start repeating the story to the audience before they completed the phrase for me.

It's not a bad mantra to live your life by. Next time you go to a networking event remember the Geordie advice. Move out of your comfort zone, approach someone you don't know and make a new friend. You never know what might happen.

And remember, shy bairns get nowt

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