Virgin Atlantic’s next stop on the Business is an Adventure tour takes place on March 28th in Seattle, with Richard Branson being joined by a selection of the city’s top entrepreneurs. But what have we learnt from those who have already shared the stage with the Virgin Group founder?
Here are six vital lessons in business, adventure and life that we’ve picked up along the way.
For more information on the next event, head over to our livestream page.
1. Cassey Ho: Listen to your community.
"I’ve always listened to my fans, which I call popsters, for guidance as to what’s next. They were the ones who first told me they really liked what I was doing. The immediate feedback of social media is so useful, you can test things in real time. If you put something out there and it doesn’t work then just retract it and try again. Trust your community and make sure you’re there to serve them."
2. Kevin Plank: Trust is built in drops and lost in buckets.
"Trust in business is something that’s so important to me, it’s built in drops and lost in buckets. It can be with a person we’re interviewing or the brand itself, everyone has to contributing towards the drops that go towards the value of the business and the trust we have with the consumer."
3. Miguel McKelvey: Never stop fighting for what you believe in.
"If you were accused of murder and you didn’t do it then you would fight forever until you were exonerated, you’d never give up. So when you’re in an industry that you believe needs to be changed then you have to have that same attitude. If you’re never going to give up then it doesn’t matter what the competition does, you just need to keep fighting it non-stop until you win and make a positive change."
4. Sheila Johnson: Watch your double-bottom line.
"Real leaders will watch their company’s double-bottom line, which means giving back to your community and it will make your company much more successful. I feel really strongly about the fact it’s not just having a company, it’s being able to use it to reach out to people and set a positive example. Leaders need character and integrity, it can take years to build these up but they can be lost quickly."
5. Sean Rad: Diversity is key.
"What’s special about LA is the diversity you have here. When you walk out of the Tinder office and down the street you see people from different backgrounds, different professions – it makes you feel a lot closer to who you’re building these products for. For any consumer tech company, or any company for that matter, the better you understand your customers the better decisions you’re going to make. In LA the people in the businesses and the people you socialise with all help to give you a very diverse perspective."
6. Richard Branson: Never build a business with the aim of selling it.
Richard Branson has sold his fair share of businesses, however when asked if he thought it was better to set out with the intention of starting a business in order to grow it or sell it, he was very clear that there was only one right answer.
"You shouldn’t start a business simply so you can sell it and make a profit, that’s not the right way to approach it. The people who work for you will feel cheated, they won’t put their heart and soul into it. It’s not a clever way to do business."