3 Ways to channel your inner Branson
Following Thrive Global’s interview with Richard Branson, he felt inspired to share his daily routine on his blog. Branson- who by the way never has had a traditional office desk space but prefers to work from his hammock- has definitely shown over and over that he excels when he does things differently.
Whilst many people might think that his routine is insane or at least radically extreme, I believe that other entrepreneurs and solopreneurs can and even SHOULD steal some aspects of Branson’s routine.
Here are 3 ways to channel your inner Branson:
1. Get a head start in the day (in a way that is meaningful to you)
Regardless of where Richard Branson is, he tries to wake up around 5am. Why? Because he has learned that he achieves much more in a day — and in life — if he rises before the masses. Being on his feet at this early hour also gives him the opportunity to get on top of important tasks and steer his day in a meaningful way.
Branson- who dropped out of high school at age 16 and built Virgin Records shortly after- starts his day with exercise. In his case, this might be a tennis match, a jog, bike tour, or even kitesurfing. Afterwards, he fuels his body with breakfast,and his mind with quality family time. Only then does he commence his business day with reading news, writing for his blog and replying to emails.
2. Know what works best for you while keeping a positive mindset
Granted, Branson’s routine is not for everyone. Waking up every morning at 5 am, patrolling down the coast line of your own private virgin island in search of the perfect wind conditions for a kitesurfing session, before reading the news and feeling compelled to write about fierce topics like the mistreatment of refugees or prejudice against the LGBT community. Sounds exhausting right? However, Branson recognises that not everyone is a morning person,, and that our minds and bodies might need different things to function well depending on who you are as a person. The serial entrepreneur simply found what works best for him and maintains his habits. Bit of a night owl? Then make a routine that allows you to do your best work in the evenings.
‘Life is not a dress rehearsal’ — a motto the multi billionaire and philanthropist lives by.
Branson promotes the idea of living each day to its full capacity. Branson knows that reading, conversing, having a positive outlook and exercising all contribute to keeping his mind active. Branson strongly encourages serious entrepreneurs to do everything within their power to help their business succeed, even if that means rising at an hour that seems cruel to many others. ‘You might as well ‘enjoy the sunrise.’
In Branson’s view, another contributing factor to maintain the right mindset is to follow your passion. Passion fires power which, in turn, is critical to running a long term sustainable business and guiding you through the long hours and tough decisions that you will inevitably face as a business owner.
Following your passion however, might sometimes entail not exactly knowing how to do something. Thinking like a toddler is one of the many important habits Branson stresses for entrepreneurs to adopt (Branson is affectionately known as “Dr Yes” at Virgin). Ultimately, this will shift our focus into an ‘opportunity seeking’ rather than ‘obstacle seeing’ mindset.
Much like toddlers, he invites us to keep going and to not let our ego be affected by the ‘spills and tumbles’ while we are learning to run a business. In fact, that’s how ‘Virgin Records’ was named- None of them really knew what to do but just like a child, they pushed through.
3. Braindump your thoughts and always carry a notebook with you
The final concept I encourage entrepreneurs to adopt is Richard Branson’s secret life hack, “always carry a notebook and pen”. Branson is regularly quoted as saying, ‘I can’t tell you where I’d be if I hadn’t had a pen on hand to write down my ideas as soon as they came to me”. Not only does this method capture valuable ideas, it also helps to brain dump any thoughts to free your mind, you can think of this as ‘clearing your brains cache’.