One of the most rewarding parts of my life is when I get people come up to me and share the wonderful businesses they have started to make the world a better place. Quite often, they tell me they have read one of my books, and are kind enough to say I played a little part in them taking the plunge and becoming an entrepreneur. This just goes to show the power of storytelling and making connections.
I met Rob Ceravolo recently, who had served in the Armed Forces in the US. He told me he had read by books and decided to start his own business too. He now has a thriving seaplane business, Tropic Ocean Airways, and we were lucky enough to travel with him in the Bahamas.
I wish I had kept a list of all the people I’ve run into who have been inspired to say screw it, let’s do it and started a company. It really is so satisfying to see them make a positive difference. One of the delightful things about the unique nature of the Virgin brand is how it impacts upon so many different people, many of whom work with us before going on to start their own businesses.
We’re shining a spotlight on harnessing hyperconnectivity on virgin.com at the moment. I think it’s wonderful how technology is allowing us all to be more connected, but we shouldn’t forget the value of forging personal connections too. Whether that is sharing a story with somebody in person, joining groups of like-minded people to bounce ideas off each other, or mentoring someone to pass on your experience and opportunities.
As I’ve said before, I believe it is the responsibility of anyone who has had an interesting life to write a book about it (or if books aren’t your thing, record a video, a podcast – whatever medium works for you) and hopefully inspire people.