I’ll be taking a bit of a diversion today to discussing someone who very directly inspires me. I’m talking about Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin and all-around entrepreneurial lynchpin.
I recently went to a talk he gave in East London about his new book, Finding My Virginity. It was obviously shaped by PR, and there were a lot of pre-loaded questions, but he did also provide a lot of value in his talk.
I wanted to share with you a few important lessons I learned from the talk and his life.
The most important nugget of wisdom Branson shared was about patience. He was asked a question along the lines of “It is said you have the patience of a saint, did you have any advice?”
Richard’s response was simple: “When I was younger, my mother was lovely. Every time we got angry, she made us stare at ourselves in the mirror so that we could see how ridiculous it all seemed and how strange we looked.” So he stopped wanting to be angry anymore because it looked silly.
It’s quite a simple conceit. But in mastering the mind, you need to know how to be calm for assessing situations. Condition yourself to be chilled, whatever it takes. Keep a clear head. And avoid looking silly in the process.
There are three main lessons I took away from his talk:
The “Let’s Do It” Approach
This is not to say that Branson takes a bull-in-a-china-shop approach to life. But his ability to take risks eventually outmatched itself in the level of reward he got from taking them.
The whole idea of “Screw it. Let’s do it.” is reflected across his multi-faceted and hugely successful business, but it can apply to any aspect of your life.
Think about it. If you’re at a stage where you’re in a new place and are looking to make friends and connections, “Screw it” could be the difference between going out with a group of new people or staying at home and Googling tourist attractions in the area to do alone.
Likewise, in my field of dating coaching, I will often see guys giving themselves that all-important first burst of confidence by saying “Screw it” and just heading over to have a conversation.
This is the only way to shape and take control of your future. It’s a very important lesson that Mr. Branson has imparted to us here.
It is important to want to be the best at what you do.
According to Richard Branson, second place is last place.
You have to be certain that you want to dominate whatever field it is you’re in. He only got to be a world leader in commerce through having this belief – it’s part of the “go big or go home” mentality that has made him a billionaire.
Success starts with truly believing that you can be more successful than anyone else at what you do.
This belief is not the only important part of success. You also have to get used to sacrifice and compromise to get to that goal – the belief that’s it’s all for a purpose and that you will get there someday is simply what underpins that sacrifice and makes it achievable.
Don’t accept second place. Branson didn’t.
Success can happen out of nowhere
Branson didn’t get his big break until everything had gone to shit. If you’re part of what seems like an endless struggle to get your big idea or project off the ground, even if that project is self-improvement, you have to keep your head held high in the face of temporary setbacks (and even crushing defeats – you can always recover.)
His point is that you cannot lose heart, even in the worst moments, because your finest achievement may be just around the corner.
There was a whole heap of inspiring material in the book as well as the talk, and it really gives you an idea of how people come into billions of dollars. It doesn’t just happen as the result of any old mentality – it takes stratospheric self-belief and resolve.
If you feel that you could gain value from external confidence training, get in touch today at www.johnnycassell.com/pua-training, and let’s see if we can’t make you into the next Branson.