As my mentor sent me today:
In his article, Successful People Start Before They Feel Ready, entrepreneur James Clear tells the story of Sir Richard Branson, English businessman and investor, best known as the founder of Virgin Group. Dyslectic and a high school dropout, at 16 he started a small magazine, went on to selling mail order records and then opened a recording studio at age 22. His record label grew, and 50 years later he had more than 400 companies. Today he is a billionaire. Clear shares his insights on Branson’s success. He tells Branson’s story of how he started Virgin Airlines which Clear says captures “his entire approach to business and life.”
I was in my late twenties, so I had a business, but nobody knew who I was at the time. I was headed to the Virgin Islands and I had a very pretty girl waiting for me, so I was, umm, determined to get there on time. At the airport, my final flight to the Virgin Islands was canceled because of maintenance or something. It was the last flight out that night. I thought this was ridiculous, so I went and chartered a private airplane to take me to the Virgin Islands which I did not have the money to do.
Then, I picked up a small blackboard, wrote “Virgin Airlines. $29.” on it, and went over to the group of people who had been on the flight that was canceled. I sold tickets for the rest of the seats on the plane, used their money to pay for the chartered plane, and we all went to the Virgin Islands that night.
Branson captured his own leadership style saying: “Screw it, just get on and do it.” Clear writes that Branson’s life is a self-portrait of his words: “He actually lives his life that way. He drops out of school and starts a business. He signs the Sex Pistols to his record label when everyone else says they are too controversial. He charters a plane when he doesn’t have the money.” It is about starting now, just doing it. In a beautiful summary Clear writes:
“You’re bound to feel uncertain, unprepared, and unqualified. But let me assure you of this: what you have right now is enough. You can plan, delay, and revise all you want, but trust me, what you have now is enough to start. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to start a business, lose weight, write a book, or achieve any number of goals… who you are, what you have, and what you know right now is good enough to get going. We all start in the same place: no money, no resources, no contacts, no experience. The difference is that some people — the winners — choose to start anyway.”
You are that winner. Remember and internalize Clear’s words: “What you have now is enough to start.” Start before you are ready! Be more than you ever dreamed you could be. And have fun doing it. Life is so very good.