Brad Burton is a self-effacing “business guru” who is as down-to-earth and straight to the point as they come. One of those people who relishes telling anyone within earshot how cufflinks and fancy ties do not a good businessman make. He is, to many people, instantly likeable, and there are doubtless many people who will instantly dislike him – the latter perhaps being business people with degrees, accreditation, fancy company cars and corporate credit cards.
In this book, the story of Brad’s business life from quitting job to managing a successful business network, Brad explains with absolute honesty what any self-employed entrepreneur needs to hear. The “get off your arse” (or GOYA) philosophy comes from Brad’s realisation that work doesn’t just come to you, you have to go out and find it; that the more you mess about with the trimmings and trappings of business the more time you are taking away from the actual doing.
A constant presence on Twitter, Brad believes strongly in being visible (he talks about this in his book), and he mirrors this in the real world – attending business networking breakfasts up and down the UK that are run by the many 4Networking groups, of which he was the instigator. Brad has no shame in admitting that his style and personality isn’t to everyone’s liking, but he successfully demonstrates (in real life, and in this book) how that is but a small bump in the road of life that you can’t avoid.
Brad jokes in this book that he loves the sound of his own voice, but it’s more likely that he says that because he’s just accepting it as a criticism he’s heard from others – or he fears that is what people say about him. True, there are people in business who love the sound of their own voice, and whose chatter is noise over substance – Brad, though, is one of those people who is substance over noise. Rather than loving his own voice, he is simply unable to control his boundless enthusiasm. He sees opportunity all around him – for himself, for others. He sees ideas, he constantly learns from others around him.
GOYA is an inspirational book, laced with Bradisms and witticisms and a down-to-earth read that will make any employed person wonder why they still commute to work. The only criticism, if anything, is that, like all other “self-made-success” stories, it doesn’t go into detail about dealing with adversity. Alan Sugar’s famous story about starting an empire out of a £100 van inspires people to believe they can do the same. Brad Burton’s story of leaving a job with £25,000 of debt and no money coming in is also inspirational, but the book doesn’t tell you how you deal with the day to day when you have no money coming in and that much debt. Businesses take time – 4Networking took more than three years to get to the point of the book being written. What does the self-employed and broke wannabe success story do to cope while they are trying to slowly build that empire? Maybe one day Brad will write a book on that, because there’s a gap in the market for one, and that is one subject that could do with being Bradded.