Sunday, July 17, 2011

Richard Branson and around the world

In 1991 Richard Branson, along with Per Lindstrand, made the trip across the Pacific Ocean from Japan to northern Canada in a hot air balloon. They had made several attempts prior to this to circumnavigate the world. This was something that has never been done before. Something that was massively risky and not entirely safe. Richard Branson also happens to be a completely self-made billionaire who set the world on fire with his innovative adaptability and creative entrepreneurship. He refuses to see defeat as defeat.

I bring Branson up, not only because I’ve had a slight obsession with him since the age of ten, but more so because in the age of the business that we’re at, his refusal to fail is incredibly inspiring. And since I’m on only my second “round the world” trip ever (and no, sadly not in a hot air balloon), I thought of him once again. He was found to be dyslexic at a young age, proving not to be book smart, but incredibly street smart. He has an intuition that has brought his businesses to incredible heights of success, but more so than not, it was his perseverance and determination that has set him apart. He said in his book, endearingly titled “Screw it, Let’s do it” (so very Branson-esque), “People have to decide on priorities if they want to get anywhere. The best lesson I learned was to just do it. Whatever it is, however hard and daunting it might seem, as that ancient Greek, Plato, said, “The beginning is the most important part of any work,’ while the Chinese say, ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” (Branson, xiii). 

And yes, Richard Branson with his crazy reputation took his first steps and never looked back. The most important lesson of success today—don’t look down when you’re in that hot air balloon. There’s only one moment, one misstep, one wind gust that can set you in the wrong direction. But if you don’t think it will happen, chances are it won’t. Just keep looking forward.

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