How does flight shape the actions of entrepreneurs?

Legend has it that Icarus made a pair of wings from feathers and wax, flying over the deep sea to escape the Labyrinth in Crete. Ecstatic with the ability to fly he reached too close to the burning sun, ignoring his father's warning. The great symbolism of the myth highlights man's imagination to invent genius ways to escape 'captivity', and the magnet of over-ambition that can easily trap us. Back then, in the era of myths and legends, only Gods could fly...

Carl Jung wrote in Psychological Reflections that: "The dream is a little hidden door in the innermost and most secret recesses of the soul". His idea was that flying in our dreams expresses our desire to break free of restrictions and limitations. In dreams and up high in the sky there are no limits.

The beginnings

"Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." This is how Leonardo Da Vinci described the addictive intensity and pure freedom of flying. His imagination captures the elaborate designs of flying-machines, but never got to the point of realistically test them. The famous 'Ornithopter' displays his inspiration by the study of winged animals and the mechanics of nature. Da Vinci's quest of inventing the means to conquer the air lasted his whole life.

Charismatic inventors and free-spirited aviators have devoted lifetime efforts to realize their ideas and have contributed immensely to the advancing of aeronautical engineering. Attempts to conquer the sky have started as early as over two thousand years ago. Kite flying in China is said to be the earliest example of man-made flight and goes as far back as 400 BC.

The art of business and flying

The present day sees us living in the age of drones, solar aircrafts and the physics of interstellar travel as envisioned by Michio Kaku.

Time is precious, so in those hours that we find ourselves travelers up in the sky, the dynamics of thinking and communicating take on various forms. Business deals are initiated, life stories are shared and opportunities of every shape are harnessed. For devoted strategists, planes can be a thinking space before the next big move. For thinkers, flying is an opportunity to chill, reflect and restart. The greatest of ideas come out of a silent mind.

For start-ups a flight can present the opportunity of a lifetime, to pitch investors and gain back-up for launching entrepreneurial dreams. After all, you never know who you might be sitting next to. For many, an airplane is simply the means of discovering every corner of our beautiful planet. But, for the privileged, flying becomes a private business, a symbol of power and an expression of luxurious lifestyle. 

Donald Trump travels the sky in his own Boeing 727 with his name stamped on the exterior in 23-carat gold. A 'guilty pleasure' is how Bill Gates describes his private Bombardier BD-700 Global Express that takes him in trips around the world. For these busy and fast-paced entrepreneurs, flexible flying becomes a necessary business tool.

No wonder that Warren Buffet named his private jet 'The Indispensable'!

The perfectionist Steve Jobs did not always innovate, he would also improvise to the maximum. Jobs' passion for elegance and attention to detail was legendary. Once he traveled in Larry Ellison's – the co-founder of Oracle - jet and decided that he desired one too,. but only the absolute best would do. So, Jobs as the grand-scale perfectionist that he has always been, got the same type of jet and went ahead to re-design everything to match his own high standards.

Private or shared.... at the end, as with most things in life, it is the 'journey' that really matters.

This is a guest blog and may not represent the views of Virgin.com. Please see virgin.com/terms for more details. Thumbnail from gettyimages.

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