Virgins, idolatry, and big ones

Yes, sir

  • Richard Branson’s name has come up a lot recently in discussions with clients and friends
  • Most people know Sir Richard as the founder of the British company Virgin (Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Mobile, Virgin Trains, etc)
  • He is one of the few people I idolize; Ok, well idolatry may be pushing it a bit, but he’s definitely a person I respect for his business acumen, creativity, and especially his zest for life

Thinking grandly

  • A number of clients come to me to help them enact a career change, but then ultimately end up exploring and pursuing ideas for a business (A reason why career and business coaching are a good fit with each other)
  • In exploring potential business ideas, clients however often get stuck (at first at least) in thinking and brainstorming of the wide-open and unlimited variety
  • This is partly a result of the fact that we’re not often afforded opportunities in school or our jobs to think without limits, without restrictions, and without boundaries (In addition to not often having much opportunity to think like this, it is even more rarely encouraged of us; Many companies and people unfortunately like ideas and processes to be manageable, and based on precedence and existing models, not often on free thinking)
  • Once we overcome the initial obstacles associated with truly free thinking and dreaming, it is very liberating to dream at our maximum ability and then create opportunities for new experiences, new careers, and new lives
  • Many people (clients and others) tell me that they’d really like to start their own business and work for themselves, but then get stuck at that point because they often feel that they’re not creative or smart enough to come up with a great new idea that the world is in need of

Fly boys

  • The Wright brothers were pretty creative with their airplane idea and it ultimately revolutionized travel as well as global trade
  • But without inventing anything new or even particularly revolutionary, Richard Branson has experienced huge successes with his numerous Virgin-branded companies
    • In each of the industries he enters, Branson has simply offered customers more value than the established incumbents (His often brash and flamboyant antics do certainly help draw media attention to the company hes promoting)
      • With Virgin Atlantic Airways, Branson simply put himself in an airline passenger’s shoes to see how their air travel experience could be made more comfortable and enjoyable
      • British Airways had a virtual monopoly on British air travel until the early 90s and their service to customers was mediocre and very much monopoly-like (more focused on their bottom line than offering any decent value to their customers)
    • Virgin is well known as a customer-centric organization focused on innovation that offers more to their customers (Virgin Atlantic: Superior seating and transfer options (Motorcycle transportation to and from the airport making navigation through London’s dense traffic); Virgin Mobile: Simpler pricing structures, etc)
    • The company takes the time to understand experiences and challenges of its customers and then often brilliantly translates those challenges into services, products, and enhancements; Something still lacking in many industries today (Business opportunity, anyone?!)

Practically speaking

  • Allow yourself to dream, truly dream (forget about your current responsibilities, limitations, etc)
  • Reflect on what you love doing, what you’re passionate about, and what really lights you up
  • And then look at ways to use your skills/abilities/passions to enhance your life and career as well as make something better for others
  • And if you’ve got a great business idea, don’t worry if you’re not an expert in certain areas
    • Remember that experts (accountants, sales people, strategists, etc) can always be hired
      • Although Richard Branson navigated a hot air balloon across the Pacific Ocean in 1991 breaking all existing records at the time, he leaves the flying of Virgin Atlantic jets to his pilots
  • Even if you’re not interested in starting your own business or creating the next Virgin Group, make it a habit to think different, to think broader, and to think grander; Its good for all of us
    • You first might just surprise yourself in what your little brain can come up with, but you might just also have fun; Which isnt such a bad idea

  • This blog is dedicated to an awesome friend of mine who has taught me a great deal about thinking grandly and dreaming; She has an fantastic love for God, life, and everything in it; Being truly authentic comes naturally to her, as does seeing the good in all things, which is especially refreshing

One thought on “Virgins, idolatry, and big ones

  1. Adelina says:

    interesting and informative post thanks a lot for posting it.