What businesses can learn from breaking records

I love challenging myself, I love doing things people think are impossible, and I love breaking records. But whether I am flying across the Pacific in a balloon or driving an Aquacar across the Channel, there is usually a business purpose behind my adventures. The truth is, businesses can get a lot out of breaking records, and learn a lot more along the way.

Guinness World Records have been going for over 60 years, almost as long as yours truly. Over the years I have been proud to break many world records, from ballooning to social media to getting four people up on one kite! Guinness World Records are tangible proof that humans can achieve incredible things if we work together and set out mind to it. Challenges give us the focus to push the boundaries, challenge the status quo and break new ground. 

I’m sure this will also be the case in our latest record breaking attempt – Virgin Media Business VOOM 2016’s Pitchathon. This 29-hour, live-streamed event will take place on June 1st and 2nd, with 160 entrepreneurs attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the longest ever pitching marathon. 160 entrepreneurs will take turns to pitch while a rotating panel of brilliant live judges will pick out 40 semi-finalists. The entrepreneurs will be pitching to the likes of Peter Williams (founder of Jack Wills), Jamal Edwards (founder of SBTV) and Julie Deane (founder of the Cambridge Satchel Company).  

To make successful pitches, and to break records, you need to be imaginative. Daring, resourcefulness and creativity are all characteristics that a smart entrepreneur needs. You also need to differentiate yourself from the competition, and do something unlike anybody else.

Nobody breaks records – or builds successful businesses – without being dedicated. Practice makes perfect, whether you are pitching your idea, growing your website or learning to juggle (another skill entrepreneurs need!) 

You also need to dot the I’s and cross the T’s when you are growing your company. For record breakers, that means the official validation of Guinness World Records. Finally, you need to share your story and amplify your message, something every good marketer knows about their business.

Breaking records is all about storytelling, connecting with people through the excitement of achievement. I’m sure there will be some wonderful stories being told, as well as some superhuman efforts from those staying awake the whole time, at the Pitchathon. I can’t wait to see how it unfolds – and of course break a world record by the end. You can watch all the action unfold over at VOOM – see you there!

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