I was intrigued by an article in the November 2008 issue of Entrepreneur magazine about Richard Branson and his views on business – and life. Certainly, no one could say that he isn’t a risk taker. In talking about cheating death in some of his personal stunts, he says “…just like in business, I have to stay completely focused. I haven’t got the time or the energy to spend getting scared.” His commitment to take on challenges, live life to its fullest, push himself to the limits, take action rather than merely talk about it, and not waste precious resources are all driven by his passion and vision to make a difference in this world.
Isn’t this a great testament to effective leadership that we can apply to our lives and our business? To not let anything stop us? I’m reminded of self-help author Susan Jeffers’ book entitled, Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway. It’s not that we don’t experience fear. It’s not that Branson isn’t scared at times. It’s what we do with that fear that matters. Do we push through it or allow it to hold us back? A certain amount of fear is what keeps us focused on our vision. That focus, commitment and determination is what has allowed Branson a “net worth valued at $5 billion.” That’s not so bad, eh?
Branson’s newest book, Business Stripped Bare, was just released in September.