Richard Branson - Screw It, Let's Do it

Screw It, Let's Do It: Lessons in Life and Business (Expanded)

If something is a good idea, consider it, then work out how to make it happen.
People don’t leave their jobs through lack of pay – they leave because they aren’t valued. Many companies leave people in boxes;
Encourage them to be adaptable and innovative.
Whatever you sell, 1st identify your market.
Tell the advertising manager at (Co. 1) that (co. 2) are taking the inside back page – did they want the prestigious back page itself before I offered to (co. 3)? Vie one against the other.
We all need someone to act as a counter balance to our weaknesses and work off our strengths.
It was no use producing goods or having the best ideas in the universe if they just stayed in your head or stacked up in a corner.

What are people doing when they buy?
What do they want to do to be sure they want to buy?

If something is what you really want to do, just do it. Whatever your goal is you will never succeed unless you let go of your fears.

Ch 2

It something stops being fun, I ask why? If I can’t fix it, I stop doing it.
Work should inspire and satisfy us.
First business enterprises were not a success, but I learned from them.
Life is too short to be unhappy.
Never just try to make money. Long term success, happiness and satisfaction will never come if profit is the only reason for your enterprise.
Detached from values, money may indeed be the root of all evil, but linked effectively to social purpose, it can be the root of opportunity.
Divide your private life from your work life.

…by not gambling on something he couldn’t control.
Employees think for themselves. They have good ideas to listen to. What is the point of hiring bright people if you don’t apply their talent?
It’s easy to give up when things are hard but we have to keep chasing dreams and our goals; once we decide to do something, we should never look back, never regret it.
I rely on my gut instinct more than thick reports.
To know if something is a good idea that will work, mostly, you need common sense and vision.

Having fun is important, even within a business context. It’s a prime criterion in any project I undertake.
Some you win and some you lose. Be glad when you win. Don’t have regrets when you lose. Never look back. Try to learn from it.
Whatever your dream is go for it. Always be aware if the risks are too random or too hard to predict. If you opt for a safe life, you will never know what it’s like to win.

Ch 4

Everyone needs something to aim for. You can call it a challenge, or you can call it a goal. It is what makes us human.

Ch 5

In the real world, people struggle and there are winners and losers and sometimes injustices we have to rise above.

Ch 6

The Spanish painter, Dali, had a unique way to savour THE MOMENT. When he was bored with life, he would walk in his garden above the sea. He would pick a perfect peach, warm from the sun, holding it in his hand to admire its golden skin. Closing his eyes, he would sniff it, breathing in deeply as its warm perfume filled his senses. Then he would take a single bite. His mouth would fill with luscious juice. He would savour it slowly. Then he would spit out the mouthful and throw the peach into the sear below. He said it was a perfect moment and he gained more from that single, unrequited bite than from gorging on a basket of peaches.

In a way, REGRETS are like wanting the peach you have thrown away. It’s gone, but you are filled with remorse. You wish you hadn’t thrown it away. You want it back. I believe the one thing that helps you capture the moment is to have no regrets. Regrets weigh you down and hold you back in the past when you should move on.

It’s hard to lose out on a business deal, but harder to suffer from guilt. We all do things we wish we hadn’t. Sometimes – usually in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep – they seem like big mistakes, but later, when you look back, they turn out to be small. Regrets, which lead to a sense of guilt, can give you sleepless nights. But I believe the past is the past. You can’t change it. So even if sometimes you get things wrong, regrets are wasted and you should move on.

If everyone would befriend their enemy the world would be a more pleasant and peaceful place.
Mend bridges with everyone you fall out with.
Money is just a means to an end, not an end in itself.

Ch 7

Face problems head on
Money is for making things happen

You can be best friends with someone and still not agree with them and, if you are close, you can get through it and remain friends.

By facing it head on, you stop it from getting worse.
It’s best to bring things out into the open. A dispute can be sorted in a friendly way before it escalates if you deal with it immediately.
…as long as you pay them in the end.
Even if someone is hired to do one thing, if they have good ideas, or can handle something else, just let them do it.
When you pick the right people, you can leave them to it. You know that things will run smoothly if you’re not there.

Ch 8

You never know who might hear or see you. People talk. Gossip has a habit of getting back to those you gossip about.
Respect is how to treat everyone, not just those you want to impress.
Don’t look for the quick buck. You want slow, solid capital growth.

Ch 9

The earth was 1 single enormous living organism and every single part of the ecosystem reacted with every other part, even though there was no obvious link between them. If any one part of the planetary system got stressed the earth would react automatically to remove the problem. In effect, it healed itself.

The same theory is almost universally accepted and forms much of the basis of our current understanding of global warming and the need to cut emissions into the atmosphere before the earth turns around and kills the problem – in this case, you and me: the human race.

Part of our resistance to change is due to evolution. Our brains are good at perceiving danger in the form of fangs and claws and spiders and fire. It’s more difficult to trigger the alarm parts of the brain – those connected to survival – with grave dangers that can only be perceived through abstract models and complex data – in other words, dangers that can’t be seen until too late.

We’re behaving like a group of people agreed that the building around us is on fire, but unwilling to reach for the alarm or fire extinguisher.

The Stone Age didn’t end because we ran out of stones.
The age of fossil fuels won’t end because we run out of fossil fuels.
Something else will take its place.
We have to ensure that something else won’t cause our extinction.

Oil prices are going up. Research showed us this was mostly due to a shortage of capacity. For whatever the reason, oil companies are not investing in oil refineries.

We human beings are capable of convincing ourselves of something that’s not true long after the accumulated evidence would convince any reasonable person that it’s wrong.

A $25 million prize to the person who can find the best way of dequestrating carbon out of the earth’s atmosphere.

Henry Ford’s first Model-T was built to run on fuel made from hemp, but the car itself was constructed from hemp.

Popular Mechanic magazine wrote in 1941 that the Model-T was grown from the soil and had hemp plastic panels whose impact strength was ten times stronger than steel. Diesel, the inventor of the diesel engine, designated it to run on vegetable and seed oils like hemp.

Hemp crop grows faster than a forest and produces up to four times more cellulose per acre than trees.

Bills proposing a National Energy program making use of America’s vast agricultural resources were killed by smear campaigns launched by the petroleum industry.
They used the ability to tax petrol by claiming that the US government’s plans ‘robbed taxpayers to make farmers rich.’

Ch 10

The time to go into a new business is when the genre is abysmally run by other people, and when I feel I can provide a significantly better customer experience.
Ask yourself: Is there room for me, and can I do better?

P166 Marketing
Don’t use celebrities to say “we think this is a really good product,” it always seems fake, and doesn’t reflect your image at all.
Do something different; use them in a little story where the schema almost comes through the celebrity no taking themselves too seriously.

Make people laugh.

Amusing without being meaningless.

A brand is only as good as your products, and often that means being very well looked after.

Experience your business through your customer’s eyes.
Meet your customers, and you’ll be told about any little details that are not right.

A good brand means that the customer falls in love with it, desires it, wants it – and buys into it.

Ch 11

I got it all down on tape, sent him a copy and heard no more. Never take defeat lying down.
Acting in the best interest of the customer & creating buzz – Virgin’s ad encouraging customers to fly on another airline (British Airways) the day they were giving away seats.
When a company couldn’t get the London Eye up, ran an airship above with sign “British Airways can’t get it up.” Put the fun into business.
Called a press conference. Stated selling company to everyone’s surprise. One journalist rushed off to file her copy while everyone stood shocked. “Only joking,” I said hastily, and in front of everyone tore up the check.

Ch 12

The man who started IKEA divides his day into 10 min. sections. “10 minutes, once gone, are gone for good. Divide your life into 10 minute units, and don’t waste even a minute.”

You don’t have to fill your time rushing about in order to use your time wisely; Bill Gates said his staff am Microsoft could spend 2 hours gazing into space, as long as their minds were working.
Albert Einstein came up with the theory of relativity in his head without paper or pen. He only wrote it down later.

If you have time to lean, you have time to clean.

Ch 13

Sometimes, a project might not have an obvious profit in it, but what can be developed from it is more important.

I have never really wanted to get involved with (_____) because I can’t quantify and control the risks.

Be fast and move fast when you have to. Sometimes it’s best to keep ideas on the back burner and wait for the developments to come around, and then pounce on them as quickly as you can. Keep things simple. People get lost when a systematic approach becomes over complex and they lose sight of the actual goal.

Ch 14

Children who attend lessons in personal finance and household budgeting could be up to 32,000 pounds richer by the time they reach their forties than their peers who didn’t receive the lessons. Financially educated children went on the save around 1/5% more of their income each year.

There is nothing wrong with a formal education as long as you don’t let it stunt you.

Whatever business you get into, have a passion for what you do, for the moment it becomes all about the money is the moment you will cease to go forward. Worry about survival rather than sorting out the world’s problems for the 1st few years.

If capitalism is to be given a good name, then essentially capitalists need to give back to society. ‘Don’t herd sheep, herd cats.’ It’s easy to heard sheep, but impossible to lead them from the front. Cats, on the other hand, are independent and intelligent and those are the kind of people we want to employ. A good lesson to take on board for anyone in business is to employ thinkers, not yes men. There’s a danger that people become concerned and fearful of taking risks. Perhaps they have a partner or a mortgage which prevents them. They must no let this constrict them in being bold and being brave.
…no ties, no strings and nothing to lose. But those with something to lose might consider that by aiming high, they might achieve a lot more.

People who have been sent to prison; when they come out, unless they get a job they might re-offend and society will be harmed in the mean time. If capitalism is to be given a good name it must give back to society.

Anything can be turned around if the people are empowered.

The break down in family live has played a big role in lack of social cohesion and skills.

The interaction between adults and children was very strong. They guided; we followed.

Today’s rootless children who learn only from their peers are lost to society. Parents need to share responsibility, not wait for government to come up with solutions. Young people have a huge amount of energy and potential to do well and none of them should be written off.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our greatest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be fabulous, brilliant, talented, gorgeous? Actually, who are you not to be, you are a child of god your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, like children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of god within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in every one of us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give people permission to do the same. As we are liberated by out fears, our presence automatically liberates others.”
- Mandela, 1994

Never be complacent.
Focus on your people and your customers, and by allowing your businesses to have autonomy. If you look for the best in your employees, they’ll flourish. If you criticize or look for the worst, they’ll shrivel up.

She made sure we were always surrounded by other family members and living an everyday life.

I encourage them but never pushed them.

Everyone needs to keep learning. Everyone needs goals.