I was in the USA recently and ordering a very British breakfast of kippers on toast with a side of tomatoes. It seemed the waiter didn’t quite hear me correctly and I was rather surprised when my toast and tomatoes came out with a side of capers.
It made us all laugh and I asked the waiter with a smile to take away the capers (I hate them!) and replace them with kippers. They didn’t have any but they could give me some sardines.
I wolfed it down and it got me thinking about how we don’t always get what we want – but it’s how we deal with it that matters.
Our latest Spotlight series on Virgin.com is delving into the topic of Discovering Original and how we can harness entrepreneurial thinking. For me, it’s all about how we approach problems. It doesn’t matter if it’s a wrong breakfast order, a business deal conundrum or an issue with a friend or employee – if you can meet the problem with a smile and resolve it in a friendly and non-confrontational way; you often get a lot further in life. People always respond better to a smile than a shouting match.
Of course, the essence of entrepreneurialism is problem-solving. If you’re frustrated by something, is there a way to fix it? Many of Virgin’s companies are borne out my personal frustrations with how things are currently done. I love seeing our companies push boundaries and shake up industries – it’s so exciting that we’re currently disrupting the cruise, hotel and space industries.
It’s important to go after the things you want with a smile – even if it is a side of kippers!