What a fella! Sir Richard Branson is a classic, self-made, charismatic soul who overcame huge obstacles on the way to building his multi-billion dollar empire. Now, he uses his super-powers to help combat global warming, build health and educational charities, and lead a group of dedicated reformers called ‘The Elders’ whose purpose is to solve complex cross-continental conflicts.
For those of you who may not know, Richard Branson is the founder and chairman of the Virgin Group empire (which now includes Virgin Galactic, in case you want to take a joy ride through outer space.) As one of the richest individuals on the planet, Branson has pledged to give away over half his wealth to charity through the Giving Pledge.
Clearly, Branson’s wealth extends far beyond his bank account; Sir Richard Branson is rich with style, heart, wit, passion, and philanthropy.
Which is why I’ve chosen to share with you his wisdom on criticism today.
Before launching his first successful company at 16, Richard dropped out of high school and overcame adversaries such as dyslexia, severe shyness, and a skeptical father who wanted him to stop playing around with entrepreneurship and become a lawyer. None of these set-backs stopped Branson from forging onward with his business plans, nor was he hindered by the critiques from naysayers who told him his dreams were impossible to attain.
“Whenever you have an idea,” Branson says, “99 percent of people are going to tell you it won’t work.”
And what does Sir Richard say to that?
“Screw it - just do it.”
And if you fail, pick yourself up and try again. So history was made.
Leaders and sages across the ages understand the importance of thinking BIG. Huge dreams lead to huge motivation, which leads to huge leaps, which leads to huge success. Leaders intuitively know this and are urged forward from within towards a grander vision of the future than many people around them are able to see.
Unfortunately, this often leads others to challenge these ‘big dreamers’ with skepticism, criticism, and doubt.
In one area of life or another, we will all confront criticism. Sometimes it will be constructive and well-meaning; other times it will originate from people who simply do not have the vision with which you’ve been blessed. The thing to remember is not to be distracted by criticism and not to take it to heart. Keep Sir Richard Branson’s words of wisdom in mind, “Screw it - just do it.” Or, recall the words of motivational speaker Zig Ziglar:
“Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember, the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you.”
Or, the words of Einstein himself:
“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”
Or Eleanor Roosevelt:
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
Or Mark Twain:
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too, can become great.”
Or Mr. Paul Buchheit (entrepreneur and lead developer of Gmail):
“If someone says: ‘That’s impossible.’ You should understand it as: ‘According to my very limited experience and narrow understanding of reality, that’s very unlikely.'”
Get the picture? Good!
We’ll end this message by taking a look at some of Richard Branson’s most admirable habits. (interpreted from various interviews, books, and articles.) Imagine what your own life will amount to if you adopt these habits as your own.
Why Richard Branson SOARS
-Faces Problems Head-on
When an obstacle arises, Richard Branson tackles it immediately and aggressively. He makes sure that small challenges don’t grow into big stressors.
-Realizes Every Second Counts
Richard Branson is aware that every moment is an opportunity to do things better, improve a process or project, or take the next leap towards a bigger objective. He fills his moments accordingly, and is constantly seeking out new & exciting endeavors, adventures, and experiences.
Because Branson mixes his work with things that bring him pleasure, his spirit is lifted & strengthened every day.
-Surrounds Himself with Great People
Richard Branson surrounds himself with coaches and mentors who act as sounding-boards, helping to guide his decisions. These coaches and mentors provide Richard with support because they believe in him, his mission, and his vision. Richard also surrounds himself with reliable colleagues and co-workers who have similar ambitions, values and interests.
-Asks Solution-Focused Questions
-Takes Calculated Risks
-Is Open to Change
Richard Branson is always open to changing his perspectives if he feels it will help him attain his goals in a more effective and efficient way.
-Meets New People
Richard enjoys meeting with new people, discussing new opportunities, and building mutually-rewarding relationships.
-Carries a Notebook
Branson carries a small notebook in his pocket to jot down ideas for new projects & gather feedback from customers and employees.
-Takes Time to Read and Learn
-Takes Time to Daydream
And here is a list of some of the BELIEFS that have shaped Sir Richard Branson’s personality:
Believes that anything is possible.
Believes that everything is negotiable.
Believes that rules are made to be broken.
Believes that business is a fun and creative way of life.
Believes in developing people and building teams.
Believes in leading from the front.
Believes in action over hope.
Believes in being polite and honest.
Believes in doing no harm.
Believes in integrity, respect, and trust.
Believes in controlling one’s own personal destiny.
* Want to be more like Branson? I can help you align your dreams & goals with the necessary habits & mindset that will pull you beyond your expectations of what your life can be. Contact me today to set up a complimentary introduction. Until then, I wish you the very best!