A Burning Question for Richard Branson

Last year, My wife Beth and I posted a question on Facebook in search of the most creative and interesting answer.  The question was: “If you had an opportunity to ask Sir Richard Branson one question, what would it be?”

In this video, I reveal the best, most interesting question that someone responded with:

“What venture or company do you wish you had started instead of someone else, or what business did you have a chance to invest in but didn’t and now regret not investing in it?”

I go on to reveal the equally interesting (if not more interesting) answer to this question which I got lucky enough to receive directly from Sir Richard Branson himself during a visit to Necker Island.

Watch the video now for Branson’s answer . . . and, hey, you never know–perhaps this will be the answer to a question you get during a game of Trivial Pursuit somewhere down the road, in which case you’ll be darn glad you watched this video! 😉

I’m curious– what would YOU ask Richard if you could ask him anything?  As long as it’s not something like, “Richard, will you adopt me (even though I’m 57) and make me independently wealthy so I don’t have to work for the rest of my life?” (Ha, ha . . . :-)), then I’d love to hear what questions you come up with!  Please leave your feedback in the comment forum below.  Thanks!

The Butterfly Effect of Networking Explained

The Butterfly Effect is part of chaos theory, which is a part of mathematics.  It basically proposes that the flapping of the wings of a butterfly alter something extremely minute but which starts a domino effect of altering one thing after another until something finally gets altered which actually changes the weather.   So what does the Butterfly Effect have to do with networking?  Take 5 minutes to watch this video and find out!  I tell a pretty powerful story about how the Butterfly Effect caused some very unexpected things to happen in my life, resulting in an amazing experience.

As I’ve mentioned in a couple of my recent video blog posts, Jack Canfield, Gautam Ganglani, and I are currently working together on a book about networking.  Today’s video is one of several short videos I’ll be posting which cover networking topics we will be focusing on in the book.  These videos are the result of brainstorming sessions for the book and, ultimately, we want to gather stories from networkers like you who have experience with the different topics I discuss in these videos.

If you have a story relating to the ‘Butterfly Effect of Networking’ which demonstrates the power of this concept in a significant or remarkable way, please visit www.SubmitYourNetworkingStory.com to submit your story for a chance to be published in the upcoming book on networking that Jack Canfield, Gautam Ganglani, and I will be publishing.  Also, I’d love for you to briefly summarize your story in the comment forum below as well.  Thanks in advance for your participation!

Richard Branson’s ‘Plan B’ Initiative for a Better World–How You Can Make a Difference

[Note – unfortunately, there was a lot of wind during this recording.  We did our best to edit it out.  Thanks for understanding.]

I mentioned in a previous blog, “Virgin Territory,” that I recently visited Necker Island and had the opportunity to spend some time with Richard Branson.  During that visit, Richard was kind enough to take a few minutes to record this video with me and share what his ‘Plan B’ initiative is all about.

The ‘Plan B’ concept aims to bring businesses together in a united effort to achieve greater social responsibility and a better, more sustainable planet.   Watch the video now to find out how you can be a part of the ‘B Team’ and play a part in making the world a better place for us all to live in.

What are your thoughts on this concept?  Do you share Richard’s ideas about the importance of businesses placing higher importance on social responsibility and bettering the environment?  What might you be able to do in your business within the coming weeks to bring it more in line with the ‘Plan B’ concept?  Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comment forum below.  Thanks!

Virgin Territory

I recently spent a week on Necker Island with Richard Branson and it was an amazing experience, just as it was when I was there a few years ago right about the time I first started writing this blog.  During that initial visit to Necker, I wrote about the Butterfly Effect of Networking for the first time ever.

Branson and Misner Walking CroppedDuring this visit, Richard told me a very interesting story about his early days with Virgin Records.  He was 20 years old and publishing a student magazine.  He wanted to give students a better deal on records and decided to start a new business.  “Slipped Disc” was initially one of his favorite ideas for a business name but when one of the people working with him suggested that they were all “complete virgins in business,” Richard decided on the spot to call the new business Virgin Records.

Once he had the name in place, he moved forward with the process of getting a trademark on it.  He put in a trademark application through the UK trademark office for the name “Virgin Records.”  However, he immediately encountered a problem; the trademark office denied the filing stating that the term “Virgin” was, according to them, “rude!”  Richard shared with me that he continually tried for nearly four years to get them to approve a trademark on his company because, the fact was, without it the brand was in danger of being copied.   Finally, out of frustration, he looked in the dictionary for all possible definitions of the word “virgin” and discovered a definition that might assist him in his plight to gain a trademark.   Armed with his newly discovered definition, he contacted the trademark office yet again and explained to them that according to the English dictionary, the term “virgin” was not rude.  In fact, when he cited the dictionary definition of “virgin” as “pure,” the frustrated bureaucrats had no choice but to relent.  That’s the story of how Richard Branson finally received the trademark on his iconic company – The Virgin Group.

After sharing this story with me, Branson said, “Brands are very important.  You either need to be very creative or you need to spend a lot of money to build the brand name.”   He explained that Virgin was one of the brand names that was really creative and that’s why it worked from the start.

There are now hundreds of companies within the “Virgin” brand.   I’ve personally used Virgin Atlantic, Virgin America, Virgin Blue, and Virgin Hotels (to name a few) and as a customer of each of these companies, my experiences have been either good or great.  If you’ve been a patron/customer of any of the Virgin companies, I’d love for you to leave a comment in the forum below offering your feedback on which of the Virgin companies you’ve used and what your experiences were like–do you think the global image/reputation of the Virgin brand factored into your decision to give your business to a Virgin company as opposed to their competitors?  Why or why not?  I would love to hear your thoughts–thanks!

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