What You Better Learn from Richard Branson about Overcoming Fear, Resistance, and Procrastination
Richard Branson sure is a cool dude. And he’s done some incredible stuff in his life.
He’s also had some stupid, massive failures.
Have you ever heard of Virgin Cola? Their bottles were called “The Pammy” because they were shaped like Pamela Anderson.
Really, Richard? You are the same guy that started Virgin Airlines?
How about Virgin Brides? Yikes. (Yes, that’s him in the picture dressed up as a bride.)
It’s easy to laugh at when he swung and missed, though we all know he’s the man. And a big reason is that he doesn’t let a few whiffs stop him from going balls in the next time. And the next time. And the next time.
How can you have the same go-for-it attitude that he does? Simple. The next time you want to make a change in your life—want to start something new—you Experiment.
Simple: we procrastinate because we don’t want to mess up. We are afraid of not being perfect.
(Want to know the psychological reasons why you procrastinate? Watch the video here.)
See, the purpose of an experiment is to learn. The great thing about it is that the only way you fail in an Experiment is not to conduct it. Because I don’t know about you, but I learn best by doing. There is no substitute for experience.
When someone learns to fly, he reads. Then he Experiments in a flight simulator. Then he Experiments by flying with someone else. Then he is ready to go solo.
Our brain gets freaked out when we want to make a change or try something new—especially if it’s something big.
When you want to make a change, how can you break that change down into the smallest experiment you can?
If you decide you want to run your first marathon, you might then become paralyzed with fear: Do I have the right shoes? Do I run before or after work? Am I ready to commit to running five times a week for the next fifteen weeks?
You don’t have to answer any of these questions. All you have to do is perform an Experiment this next week. Try two Experiments: run once, for 15 minutes before work, and run again for 15 minutes after work. See which one fits best in your schedule. See if you need better shoes. Is it easier to commit to running almost every day for the next four months, or twice over the next week?
This concept works so well that I’ve written a whole book about it, which has become a #1 bestseller in both the Creativity and Business Leadership Training categories. It is a modern business fable, where a business owner—who wants to make changes in his personal and work life—meets a coach, who walks him through these changes through a variety of Experiments.
Take the next project you have. Is it a book? Starting a business? Getting healthy? What is the tiniest step you can take? Do that step. Then evaluate; what worked? What didn’t? What is your next step from there?
What do you think Richard Branson’s next Experiment will be? Virgin Butter? Virgin Flypaper?
Doesn’t really matter, because he’s still the coolest guy in the world. And he’s going to keep Experimenting until he dies. And his Experiments change the world.