I am not usually a “fanboy” of anyone or anything. Yes, I use Apple products and enjoy them for their reliability and quality; but I am not out there evangelizing for them. But, if I were a “fanboy,” my target would undoubtedly be someone well known in the travel industry — Richard Branson and his wonderful success story that is still evolving.
Richard Branson clearly knows a thing or two about success. At 20, he started a mail order shop, and opened a recording studio a short while later. Record stores, airlines, and galactical travel. At times, it seems the man can do no wrong and his net worth is ..oh hell, my calculator doesn’t have that many zeros.
I had the chance to meet Sir Richard Branson a few years back at the Virgin Mobile FreeFest, a free music festival he throws at a venue near my home each year. The man was just like the legend. Funny, smart, thoughtful, arrogant, ever-smiling, and a real person—not some body guarded recluse isolated from the minions. (Although I am confident there was security trailing his every move)
OK, so I admire the guy, and would like to emulate a fraction of his successes and I was reading some of the tenets that guide his life and thought they were particularly apropos to my business, your business, and our collective businesses.
“I enjoy every single minute of my life.”
I have found this to be so true. If you are not enjoying what you do, you might as well give up. Find what you love, and do it. I know I could make a heck of a lot more money and find some more widespread success in other ventures; but as cliché as it is, I love travel—and I am good at it.
“You can’t be a good leader unless you generally like people. That is how you bring out the best in them.”
Branson practices this daily and it is a great tenet to follow. It is the rare individual that succeeds in a vacuum. Somewhere along the way, you will need help. When you genuinely like people, you can indeed bring out the best of the best. And a team assembled of the best is surely a winner!
“I can honestly say that I have never gone into any business purely to make money. If that is the sole motive, then I believe you are better off doing nothing.”
OK, so we know that we never came into the travel industry to make gobs of money. The old joke in the airline industry (as Branson likely knows) says that to make a million in the airline industry, start with two million dollars. Again, as cliché as it is, money cannot buy the things that matter most for people – wisdom, serenity, leadership, happiness.
“I made and learned from lots of mistakes.“
Like everyone, this is how we learn. Oh, wait, there is a Panama City Florida? You mean Paris is not in France? Don’t fear mistakes – be proud of them! Wear them as a badge of honor.
“If you can indulge in your passion, life will be far more interesting than if you’re just working.”
If you enjoy your job, you’ll never have to work another day—someone else said it, not me; but it is the truth. While you might not be able to jump into your passion right away, find the good in your job—it’s there, just look for it. You may find your passion, or your passion might find you.
“Right now I’m just delighted to be alive and to have had a nice long bath.”
Isn’t that the truth? Considering the alternatives, being alive and thriving is at the top of the list. But a nice long refreshing bath is not too bad either!
OK, so these quotes from Branson are not any had and fast tips for success in your travel business, but keeping them in mind should go a long way towards framing your outlook on business and life in general.
If you want to become a “fanboy” or a “fangirl” of Sir Richard Branson, give him a follow on Twitter at @richardbranson