Sometimes things just happen. Opportunities can come out of the blue and take us pleasantly by surprise. That's exactly what happened a week ago when I received a phone call from BBC Radio Manchester as a result of organising the Warrington Business Expo and being a business owner in Warrington.
Warrington had been positively recognised in a national report by Centre For Cities, looking at the performance of cities and their crucial role in the performance of the UK economy. The Cities Outlook report put Warrington, a town, in a great light, out-performing Manchester in some areas, and I was asked to talk to Allan Beswick on the subject from a Warrington business owners perspective.
Having never been to the BBC in Manchester before (shame on me!) and with the prospect of being on the radio, live to many commuters and local people, I felt the nerves kicking in, but was full of pure excitement and feeling lucky that out of all the business owners in Warrington I had been asked to take part - no pressure then! Not only did I have to do myself and my business proud, but I needed to think about making sure that I was representing Warrington well!!
So the Sat Nav didn't work, the rain was pouring, the traffic was horrific, I ended up in the wrong building, but I finally reached my destination on time and not too wet! I was immediately ushered through the impressive building with famous faces on the walls, modern furniture and people beavering away making sure that the broadcasts and latest news was reaching the audience (how lucky are we to have this on our doorstep!). I could see Allan live on air in the studio through a glass pane. I dropped my bags and was thrown straight in at the deep end, and before I knew it I was on air!
Warrington is a great place to be in business, it has the transportation links, the support of two amazing cities in Manchester and Liverpool, the high level of private sector companies that has helped insulate the town throughout the public sector cuts, the right people and the backing of a council that recognise the benefit of supporting private sector businesses and the business community in general. The report will surely help to give the town the recognition it deserves and hopefully encourage more inward investment.
So, would I do it again? Yes, definitely.
Do I wish I'd had longer? Of course.
Did my childhood dream of being on the radio live up to my expectations? Sort of. If I'd been able to select and introduce the next song, then absolutely! But as they say, you can't have everything!!