Richard Branson - Business Stripped Bare

There is no reverse gear

Richard Bransons ‘Business Stripped Bare’

Richard Branson - Business Stripped BareRecently I have been reading Richard Branson’s book “Business Stripped Bare”.

While it is very engaging to learn about his exploits in growing multiple billion dollar businesses, certain comments he made, make me consider his approach to business and life.

One of them really stood out:

“there is no reverse gear”

To paraphrase his comments. Basically in business, once you are in, you are in.  There is no backing out, no reversing, no un-weasling promises you made.  You made a commitment to yourself and colleagues to go this path, to your potential customers, so keep moving forward, even when things get tough.

This really resonates as it is an attitude that there is no other option, it is final and resolute.  Push on.

The Water Ski Jump

ski jumpIn earlier days, I tried my hand at water ski jumping.  You know, the ones that you see at the Moomba Masters on Melbournes Yarra River, that are six feet high and professional water skiers hurl themselves at these ramps at over 100 km/hour.

To me, it seems like a good idea at the time, until you are out on the water and a massive immovable structure comes rushing towards you.

It is easy to resist the oncoming ramp as it looks like a flat brick wall.  You feel like you’re about to get crushed or beaten up, and wish that you could avoid it.  Basically turn back, opt out or give up or worst of all… let go of the rope.  But the one of the keys to successful jumping is to attack the jump ramp.

Don’t let the boat drag you over the ski ramp kicking and screaming, this increases your chances of losing position, crashing and hurting yourself. It is actually safer to genuinely attack and jump off the ramp.

How does this analogy and a quote from Richard Bransons book make sense?

It is all about moving forward, attacking todays task, venture or campaign.  By going 100% full throttle.  By doing so you will do a better job and reduce the risks of your business, task or campaign not working.

Jumbo Jets

virgin planeA pilot does not go half hearted taking off from a runway.  Imagine if a pilot was uncertain that his Jumbo would get off the ground, and only went at half throttle because he wasn’t sure.  He would certainly fail in getting off the ground, increase his risk of taking off, most likely crash and potentially losing lives.  100% commitment is the key.

Richard Branson has achieved many things in his life.  Understanding, that in his world, ‘there is no reverse gear’ provides greater insight into how he has achieved great success throughout his career.

I like it.  Do you have similar experiences?  Discuss below

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Digital Mentor | Strategic Advisor at Wes Ward
B2B Marketing Strategy & Advisor - my mission is to transform B2B consultants into trusted advisors.
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