Business is an Adventure hit Seattle this week as Virgin Atlantic launched its new route between London and the Emerald City. No Mas Coach! founders Jon Nickel-D'Andrea and Ben Nickel-D'Andrea were at the event and share their six key takeaways from the panel...
It’s all about learning
Jonathan Sposato, angel investor and PicMonkey CEO, says it’s all about learning something new at every turn and applying it forward. You have to think of how much your business life consumes you, it better be fulfilling, you better be enriched by learning something new or getting the chance to work with awesome people. There are always trials and tribulations, but the key is to always look for the fun in it too.
Failure isn’t the opposite of success; it is an integral part of it
Richard Branson expressed that the best education is on your pursuit of success, but that there is a very fine line between success and failure. Nadia Shouraboura, founder and CEO of Hointer, shared that before she achieved success there were many nights spent crying and crying, taking down pizza boxes, dreaming of a glamorous life. Instead, she was stuck folding jeans behind a counter and servicing men in their underwear, as she did in her retail business.
Find out what drives you and use it
Nadia spoke of her anger being her biggest motivator. After opening her own store, she took every negative comment from people who would not think she would ever succeed and turned it into fuel. She said: “When I left Amazon, I opened my own store. Every asshole from Amazon would come into my store and they’d make fun of me. After a year of that, I decided ‘this is it, I’m going to step up’. And that’s what kept me going; the assholes.”
“Being values driven can sometimes be an incredible competitive advantage”, asserted Jonathan. People seek fulfillment, and they will join your mission and believe in you. The exchange is that they’re doing something that they truly believe in, that they believe in the values and what the company stands for, and what they do for the customer.
For Chase Jarvis, founder and CEO of Creative Live, values are the north star that guides the mission of any company, and according to Richard Branson, if you’re not driving with values, you don’t deserve to survive as a business.
Challenge the status quo
Chase talked of the challenge of breaking away from traditional choices, since they might nowadays be the riskier route to go, and instead go the road less traveled so to speak. It won’t be easy, but it might end up paying off in the end. It was when he decided not to pursue a medical degree and went into photography instead that he found his calling.
Make people fall in love with what you do
Perhaps no one is more passionate about their brand than Richard Branson. The founder of the Virgin Group has a lot to share on not only falling in love with your brand, but making others do the same. He notes that you’ve got to get every single little detail right, and get people to go “wow.”
Make sure that you train your people and genuinely 100 per cent believe in what you’re doing. As a manager, you’ve got to talk to the staff and the employees and make sure everyone is bought in. The employee experience is a crucial indicator of the customer experience. This is one of the key reasons that people go to restaurants where the owner is there worrying about every little detail. “Just look at the airline CEO’s for example,” Richard said. “Most of them fly private and not on their own airlines so they don’t get the feedback they need very much.”
Chase perhaps summed it up in the most succinct way possible. “People, Products, Profit, in that order.”