Back in December, my wife Shannon and I had the chance to spend a week with a group of fellow entrepreneurs on Necker Island, the private island owned by British businessman and investor Sir Richard Branson.
To say that spending a week on “Necker” – let alone meeting Richard Branson – is a dream come true is the mother of all understatements. I threw the idea out a few months ago in a brainstorming meeting with our PR agency as my “big hairy audacious goal,” and through a series of circumstances that will probably never happen again (although I hope they will!) a few weeks later Shannon and I were on a plane to Necker Island.
ATL >> SJU >> EIS >> Water Taxi
There were so many experiences and learnings we brought back, it will likely take me months to process them all and understand what they mean for our lives and our businesses. We got to spend a bunch of hours with Richard Branson all over the island (including his home on the island), hearing his perspectives and the experiences he’s had in starting more than 400 (yeah – 400!) businesses during his lifetime. Business school scholars scratch their heads with this guy. He is massively approachable, fun, and a delight to chat with. He answered our questions and asked us questions. He is inquisitive – his mind is always spinning. He loves the Earth and is a big steward of it. He loves the ladies and laughing. His wife Joan is personable and very cool too. His “brand” is truly lived out throughout the Virgin Group and on Necker as well. He is definitely a rebel … but nice guy along with it.
Richard said a lot of things, but the one statement he made that hit me hardest was this:
“If you’re not scared by your dreams, they’re not big enough.”
This from a guy who is trying to put everyday people (not astronauts) into space via Virgin Galactic. That statement really got to me and Shannon, because in all honesty we didn’t have a lot of dreams in 2014 that really scared us. Believe me, when we first started our business in 2010 I was scared pretty much all of the time. But I haven’t been that way lately, and that’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about.
As a person of faith, what does this mean for me? Am I getting too comfortable? I want to believe that God has big things for me to accomplish, and I want to try things that I know are too big for me to handle on my own so that God gets all the glory when things work out. And when things don’t work out, I want to learn from them and let God shape me through those times. In success or failure, are my dreams BIG enough to scare me?
What About You?
So that’s my charge to you all this week – dream about something that scares you. Then get started on it. And then buy a private Caribbean island, change the world, start something, or scare yourself silly with what God may be birthing deep down in you! Take a step – just one step – in that direction TODAY. Time is ticking.