5 Things I Learned from Richard Branson

Richard Branson has been touted as being a visionary, business genius, and undeniably the coolest boss on the planet. He is all of those things. Plus, he’s pretty inspirational. After recently digging into (but not yet finishing) his book, here are 5 things I learned from Richard Branson.

1. Listening Is Important

Listening should be a top priority for dozens of reasons. Honestly, I could write an entire blog post about why listening rocks (and I probably will). But, for the sake of your attention span and my sanity, we’ll boil it down to a few simple reasons.

• When your employees, clients, or customers come to the realization that you listen to them, they’ll ultimately respect you more.

• Genuine listening skills never go unnoticed.

• You often absorb more by truly listening to understand, versus listening to respond.

Bottom line? LISTEN.

2. Run Your Business from the Outside In

Now, “from the outside looking in” has always had a bit of a negative connotation. However, what I mean by “run your business from the outside in” is that as an entrepreneur, you should always take into account the things that you may not be able to see as an insider in the organization.

Approach things from an unbiased, customer point of view and build your strategies from an outside perspective rather than a dollar amount perspective.

3. Simplicity Is Key

This is true for just about everything. In this day and age, simplicity and transparency are paramount. You remember the old acronym, K.I.S.S.? Yea, well….you should still keep it simple, stupid.

Keeping things simple and understandable for everyone that has contact with your organization helps foster a healthy relationship and results in less trouble and more brand advocates.

4. The Customer is Always Relevant

You’ve probably heard that the “customer is always right,” which is almost never true anymore. However, the customer is always, and will always be RELEVANT.

This means that their wants, needs, and perspective should be taken into account and should be treated with care. They should always be at the top of your to-do list because they’re the ones that will make or break your business.
Don’t let your customer fall by the wayside, and treat them as a relevant and important facet of your organization.

5. One Size Does Not Fit All

Honestly, this should be a no-brainer. You are not your mentor, your friend, or your boss. You are 100% unique in every way, and therefore, should never approach a situation the same way that someone else does.

In the same vein, what works for another business may not work for yours. So, take your time in approaching and assessing situations before acting on them. Don’t do it because it works for someone else, do it because it works for you.

Well, there you go. Some pretty legit insights from Cool Boss Mastermind, Richard Branson. I’m looking forward to finishing his book, The Virgin Way: If It’s Not Fun, It’s Not Worth Doing and when I do you can expect a full Book Report!

Book Report: Crush It! Why Now Is The Time To Cash In On Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk

Learn How to Harness Your Unique DNA for a Pure Branding Experience

Are you a budding entrepreneur or even a long-term business owner that is in need of a little direction in your business? Well, there are plenty of books and blogs out there to turn to. But, of all the business and entrepreneur related books out there these days, the first book in your hands should always be Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk. As soon as you crack the spine, this book just screams Gary Vee. If you’ve ever been introduced to Gary’s work, you’re already aware that the man simply exudes nothing but passion. Bursting at the seams passion. In fact, his passion is damn near infectious. But, he never steps out of character and stays true to himself in all of his ventures. That being said, the overarching theme in this book is a fluid combination of being true to your DNA in all things and being reactionary within that mindset. This is how we Crush It! What Does Being True to your DNA Really Mean?

Honestly? That is 100% up to you and who you are as a person. I don’t mean who you are as a businessman(woman), but who you are behind the scenes. This part of your personality defines how to portray yourself to your customers. That means harnessing your passion and pursuing the right medium for that particular passion. This tends to be a fine line depending on who you are, but don’t ever compromise your given gifts for something that you think might be more profitable. For example, if you are a reputed social butterfly with a charismatic attitude and great stage presence don’t limit yourself to the written word. You belong on film, and you know it. So, explore possible video channels to make your voice heard (or seen in this case). Or, if you’re a bit of a shut-in and tend to make yourself heard best through writing or photography, then go that route. There are plenty of awesomely creative ways to be yourself and produce great branded content. Crush It! Photos of the book.

Just Remember This: Don’t ever try to become someone that you’re not just to turn a profit. It will bite you in the ass. Promise.

Hold fast to those unique gifts that make you special, whether that is a quick wit, goofy demeanor or in some cases, excessive cussing. You’re what make your brand special, shake what you’ve been given! While Gary Vee is a true believer in being yourself, another name to look up is Marie Forleo. She takes being herself to a whole new level. Seriously, watch her outtakes, she’s a nut. She not only supports being true to your DNA, she practically shouts if from the rooftops on a daily basis. Need a little inspiration? Check out the below video links, and if you’re not sufficiently enlightened let me know.

Stay tuned for our next Book Report: ReWork by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson.