Recently I had the opportunity to attend a leadership convention that involved many notable speakers from various areas of business and motivation. The information that was shared freely by all of the speakers provided insight on how each one became successful and what their individual business philosophies were.
It was simply eye-opening.
What became apparent from each of these 6 and 7 figure income earners was that there is no silver bullet to becoming successful. Success takes effort, but there are some simple philosophies out there that can help you.
So let me relate some of the philosophies that Billionaire Sir Richard Branson explained when he was interviewed on stage.
We all know Sir Richard, and most of his Virgin Group companies including Virgin Records, Virgin Airways, Virgin Galactic and many more. He is also one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world today, if not the most successful. So when he speaks, people listen.
What amazed me so much was his down to earth personality. For such a successful individual, he spoke sincerely from the heart, like an old friend.
So what did Sir Richard have to offer in the room full of 20,000 excited entrepreneurs? Here are some of his gems and what I took from what he said:
1. Leaders must listen well.
This is critical, whether it is listening to your customers or your employees. Feedback is so important to making your business a success. Only through feedback will you know what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong. Pay serious attention to this feedback. Write it down.
2. Address the tiny little things to make your business exceptional.
You want your company to stand out – then do the little things. Little things do matter to customers and clients. And if you do those little things that other companies do not, then you will definitely stand out. It may be regular follow up that shows your company cares or it may be rewards for good customers. Whatever it is, it will help retain your clientele generate new ones, and in the end, make everyone happy.
3. Reputation is important. Once your reputation is lost it is very hard to recover it. It is the only thing you really have in your life, so don’t abuse. Be ethical at all times. If you say you or your business is going to do something, make absolutely sure that you do.
“All you have in business is your reputation. So it is very important that you keep your word.” – Sir Richard Branson
4. Giving back gives your business a social purpose.
We are social animals and one of our basic needs is to give back. So your business should be no different. Sir Richard stated that every business should adopt a social problem and by doing so, most of the world’s problems will be addressed. Government can’t do it, but enterprise can. Many companies have already done so and more are following this philosophy.
5. Product has to be the best.
Your product has to stand out, whatever it may be. Don’t do something unless it is dramatically better than your competitors. People have to believe in your product and so do your customers. This may mean constant refinement and improvement to make it the best.
6. Surround yourself with better people than you.
To be successful in business you can’t do everything yourself and you won’t have the expertise or the time to learn it anyway. So get the right people who have the capabilities to do what is required. Did Sir Richard know how to set up an airline? Of course not, but he got the right people on board to do it.
7. Be a people person.
One of things that came out loud and clear from Sir Richard, is that he is definitely a people person. He is genuine. He cares about people, he cares about family and he cares out his employees. He gives people a second chance, when they deserve a second chance. He even interviewed and employed former prisoners. He gives those who are in need, an opportunity. Show that you care and people will do more for you and with you. Be encouraging rather than critical. Understand that people who are trying will make mistakes. Empower them and delegate appropriately.
“The art of delegation is one of the key skills an entrepreneur must master. “ – Sir Richard Branson
8. Companies should be a family.
It was obvious during his interview that Sir Richard is a family man. He talked about the importance of having a family aspect to your business – a sense of belonging. He indicated that spending time with your children was so important. Therefore allowing flexibility for your employees, to address their family issues, was key – work from home, flex hours, etc. He stated that people will work hard for you if you show you care and give them flexibility. People do not take advantage of you if they are treated well.
As Sir Richard says “Screw it, let’s do it”. Have fun and take the risk. Fail and get back up. Being an entrepreneur is definitely that most rewarding thing in life you can do. So make your business the best and go for it!