Screw it, Just Do It

An Important Lesson From Richard Branson

                        Photo source:  http://sports.163.com/photoview/00QR0005/98119.html

                       Photo source: http://sports.163.com/photoview/00QR0005/98119.html

Having lived in Canada for most of my life, I haven’t been exposed to the Virgin group, or Richard Branson’s story, much growing up. I knew about Virgin, but that was about it.

I’m currently reading Finding My Virginity, the latest auto-biography from Richard Branson. Now I feel like a complete ignorant fool for not really knowing about him before. That guy has just done EVERYTHING!

His biography is obviously one side of a coin, but his story is one of the most inspiring stories I’ve ever read myself. I never want to finish it, and I’m looking forward to reading his other books.

  • Have you read his books?
  • What did you think?
  • Any particular one of his stories inspire you?

For me, it’s not any particular story that inspires me, it’s his attitude. I’ve rarely seen someone less afraid of failing or living out of his comfort zone all the time. He summed his attitude up in this short sentence:

“Screw it, let’s do it” — Richard Branson

That attitude has led him to start, or help start, over 100 companies. He crossed the Atlantic ocean on a hot hair balloon, made the craziest product announcements the world has ever seen (look it up!), met and befriended Nelson Mandala, Barack Obama and other world leaders, and more.

Another interesting thing I highlighted from the book was: “I do almost everything on emotion”.

Now that interested me a lot because we’re always told to contain our emotions and act rationally. Truth be told, I believe in acting rationally, but where has this led us really?

Rationality oftentimes leads us to inaction.

We analyze something for too long and find a detail we think we can’t overcome, and then voila! we don’t even try. Gone was that good idea we had. We don’t even give it the chance to become a great idea.

I started having this go-getter attitude about 7 months ago when I left Canada to be a nomad. Especially “business”-wise.

How I Personally Apply This

Everything, with the exception of my game company, is a manifestation of Screw it, let’s do it.

My writing? I gave close to zero thought about writing before I started. I just wanted to improve it, so I wrote on Medium.

My book? It was an idea I had in the shower, and I put it together, with help, in less than two weeks while working full-time on Soul Reaper and other projects. I did research on how to make this happen after the shower and acted on it right away.

My website? Someone asked me if I had one at the co-working space I was working from. I didn’t. He was right that I needed one though. So I put it together the next day and launched it the day after.

Viking Boutique? I saw a webinar on dropshipping and was intrigued. I put a Shopify store together that same night just to test it out. When I knew how things worked, after one or two more nights of playing around, I decided I would do something serious. That was the first version of Viking Boutique. I put it up in 4 hours.

My photography gigs? I volunteered to take photos for Sundara for a project of theirs in Uganda. I had no clue what I was doing. If you look at my Instagram’s older photos, you’ll see that I was grossly underprepared to take photos of a company’s operations and capturing moments. Now I’ll be taking photos of the opening of a new WeWork location in Bangalore next month.

This story? Just like 95% of the other stories I write, I have no clue what I’m going to write about when I wake up. Heck, I never even know until I start writing. And somehow, according to Medium, I’ve written more than 200 stories (includes replies).

You see my point?

I’ve left quite a few jobs in the past. Almost every time I thought about switching jobs, I did so at most two weeks after having the thought.

I remember some previous colleagues repeatedly mentioning they would quit; a thought that, at the time, had never occurred to me for myself. And he said it for at least a year. When I decided to quit, I quit. I was gone much before him, and I heard he left one or two years after me.

Conclusion

Whenever you catch yourself saying: “I will do <x>”, you should stop yourself and think: “why not now?”. Chances are, you’ll have a pitiful excuse (sorry).

If time is your excuse, I’d say that 95% of the time, it’s a case of bad time management. It’s not the point of this story to explain how to manage time, but reflect on that the next time not-having-time is your excuse. Elon Musk and Richard Branson are busier than you, yet they make things happen.

“If you don’t have time for small things, you won’t have time for big things.” — Richard Branson

So I give you this challenge:

Whatever idea you’ve been off-putting for a while, just put it in motion. Just dip your feet and see how it feels. Slowly, little by little, you’ll catch yourself being in the pool and acting on things you thought were impossible for you.

You can do this!

Thanks for reading and sharing! :)

First published here: https://medium.com/swlh/screw-it-just-do-it-1bf56162b61b