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The Richard Branson Way to Turn Your Idea Into A Huge Business

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The Richard Branson Way to Turn Your Idea Into A Huge Business

If you’ve been dreaming of becoming an entrepreneur for quite sometime, you probably have numerous ideas that can be turned into a business by now. However, you might be struggling on how to put one or two of these ideas into fruition. Because you have never tried starting a business, you are at a loss without knowledge of exactly where to begin.

This is where Richard Branson comes in. He can help you have a head start and tell you precisely the steps you have to take, from the beginning to the final steps. Then you’ll be running your own business, for real. He believes and, in fact, suggests that after you have graduated, you continue your education by taking online courses, looking for mentors who will share their business wisdom, and, most importantly, exposing yourself to real world experiences. (Most business schools don’t teach you how to deal with real world scenarios you’ll surely encounter in the business world.)

Start your own business, or join a group of entrepreneurs working on a startup — be a volunteer. This second way, you’ll be immersed in the world of the entrepreneur without spending a dime, and you’ll see the nitty-gritty involved in the real deal.

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Let’s focus on you starting a business on your own. Once you have thought out an idea for a business, you don’t do anything practical yet. What you have to go through is much simpler.

1. Incubate.

Go to your favorite place; somewhere you can relax and dream and incubate your idea. It could be anywhere: the main principle here is to go to a place where you can feel at home with minimal distractions and start envisioning the company you’ll build based from your idea. This company should be something that you can bet your time, heart, soul, and hard earned cash on.

Branson is very definite about one thing. You must be enthusiastic about how your company will make a difference in people’s lives. He continues to explain that this is a crucial factor you must figure out because if you truly love your work, you’ll have a bigger chance of succeeding. If you’re in love with your idea and the way it will help other people, you’ll persevere and weather the storms of turning an idea into a huge business. It’s very important that you can persist despite the long hours, the trials, and the tribulations you have to go through to put up a company.

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2.The mum test.

The next thing he suggests is something that is unexpected. Indulge in the mum test. This involves talking to your mum, describing your idea and the empire you will create out of it. If she’s not excited and doesn’t have anything positive to say about your venture, you have to start all over. Go back to your creative space and start thinking of other ideas you can pursue. On the contrary, if she is elated, even pumped up, upon hearing your idea, go ahead with your plans. You might be birthing a real winner!

Frankly, I was a bit hesitant to follow this suggestion. Here’s the reason: my mother is not business savvy like Branson’s mum. However, all mums have instincts on what is best for their children. Your mum will have your best interest at heart when you discuss your entrepreneurial dreams with her. This being said, it’s undoubtedly safe to go through this step.

3. Put your idea out there.

The next step involves risk. Many entrepreneurs stall on this stage. They spend more time perfecting their plan than actually operating their business. The reason is simple: they are afraid to take the risk of putting out their business idea, scared of committing time, effort, and resources into the project. To this, Richard Branson says, “Successful entrepreneurs don’t wait for the perfect moment — they create it.”

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Develop some samples of the product or service you would like to sell. Upon reaching the point where you are happy with what you see, gather the least amount of funds to start the best and cheapest form of market research you can launch. You can do this with family members, relatives, your friends, neighbors, and your social media followers. Encourage them to try your product or service. In case you receive not-so-encouraging reactions, don’t fret. Consider tweaking the original idea to cater to the taste of your target market. Richard Branson encourages would-be entrepreneurs like you to not be discouraged at this stage. Making changes on your offering doesn’t mean your original idea isn’t good. This is just a natural occurrence in the process of improving your product or service. It’s just the initial adjustment, or a few of them, you need to make in your plan. Branson reminds all who want to dive into the sea of entrepreneurship — “Flexibility and the ability to solve problems creatively are great qualities in an entrepreneur.”

4. Time to sell.

After making those changes, it’s time to try selling your product (in small batches at first) or start offering primary introductions to your service wherever it’s possible —  door to door, online, at trade fairs, etc. Take feedback from early customers and keep in touch with them. At this point it’s critical to do your branding right.

According to Branson, ask these questions: “Does it stand out? Do your brand values attract eager customers? Will they also attract talented employees?

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5. Start talking to potential investors and distributors.

As you continue to encourage people to try your offerings, and they start to give you consistent positive feedback, you should begin thinking of producing more of your product or your service.

As you manufacture more of your products, practical issues will arise, issues like what’s the best way to manage cash flow or how to distribute your product efficiently. While this is happening, it could be a good idea to start scouting for potential investors and distributors to pitch them your idea. Also, at this phase, it would be wise to begin hiring and delegating responsibilities to employees.

To wrap up, Richard Branson puts it well. He says, “If you’ve followed the steps above, you may soon realize that I’ve pulled a tiny prank on you: You’ve now got a working startup, without ever having set a launch date. Great work!”

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Source: Richard Branson on Turning an Idea Into a Business by Richard Branson via Entrepreneur.

Featured photo credit: Photo Credit: Fran Monks via Compfight cc via compfight.com

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Anthony Dejolde

TV/Radio personality who educates his audience on entrepreneurship, productivity, and leadership.

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Last Updated on August 25, 2021

Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

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Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

As a recruiter, I have met and interviewed hundreds of candidates who have no idea who they are.

Without a personal brand, candidates struggle to answer the question: “tell me about yourself—who are you?” They have no idea about who they are, what their strengths are, and how they can add value to the company. They present their CV’s believing that their CV is the key to their career success. In some ways, your CV still has its use. However, in today’s job market, you need more than a CV to stand out in a crowd.

According to Celinne Da Costa:[1]

“Personal brand is essentially your golden ticket to networking with the right people, getting hired for a dream job, or building an influential business.” She believes that “a strong personal brand allows you to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace by exposing desired audiences to your vision, skillset, and personality in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals.”

A personal brand opens up your world to so many more career opportunities that you would never have been exposed to with just your CV.

What Is Your Personal Brand?

“Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.” —Bernard Kelvin Clive

Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy—you.

Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacy—it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.

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I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a “career meltdown,” all because they have no personal brand.

A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

Don’t get me wrong, having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile, and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you can avoid having a series of career meltdowns.

Your Personal Brand Is Essential for Your Career Success

In her article, Why Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever, Caroline Castrillon outlines key reasons why a personal brand is essential for career success.

According to Castrillon,[2]

“One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

The first thing I do as a recruiter when I want to check out a candidate or coaching client is to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your digital footprint is the window that highlights to the world who you are. When you have no control over how you want to be seen, you are making a big mistake because you are leaving it up to someone else to make a judgment for you as to who you are.

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As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about the importance of having a personal brand and her journey to defining her personal brand. She wrote that:

“if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

When you have a personal brand, you are in control. You know exactly what people will say about you when you leave the room.

The magic of a personal brand is that gives you control over how you want to be seen in the world. Your confidence and self-belief enable you to leverage opportunities and make informed decisions about your career and your future. You no longer experience the frustrations of a career meltdown or being at a crossroads not knowing what to do next with your career or your life. With a personal brand, you have focus, clarity, and a strategy to move forward toward future success.

Creating your personal brand does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once, but many times.

The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you can test the viability of and fine-tune your personal brand.

5 Key Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

These five steps will help you create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire with your career and in life.

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1. Set Your Personal Goals

What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next five to ten years? What is important to you? If you can answer these questions, then you are on the right path. If not, then you have to start thinking about them.

2. Create Your Unique Value Proposition

Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these four questions:

  1. What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
  2. Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
  3. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
  4. What makes you different from others like you?

The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

3. Write Your Professional Story

Knowing who you are, what you want, and the unique value you offer is essential to you creating your professional story. People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

4. Determine Which Platforms Will Support Your Personal Brand

Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity, having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

5. Become Recognized for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise

A great way for you to promote yourself is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking, etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract clients, the opportunities, or the jobs you desire.

The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact, it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand, someone will do it for you. If you let this happen, you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

Standing out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves, and this is where engaging a personal brand coach is a viable option to consider.

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As a personal brand coach, working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

Other People’s Stories

Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. In his article, 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding, Rafael Dos Santos presents the best Ted Talks where speakers share their stories about the “why,” “what,” and “how” of personal branding.((GuidedPR: 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding))

Take some time out to listen to these speakers sharing their stories and thoughts about personal branding. You will definitely learn so much about how you can start your journey of defining yourself and taking control of your professional and personal life.

Your personal brand, without a doubt, is your secret weapon to your career success. As Michelle Obama said,

“your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

So, go own your story. Go on the journey to create your personal brand that defines who you are, highlights your uniqueness, and the value you offer to the world.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

Reference

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