Richard Branson supports the idea that vacation summer time can be a real inspiring break for meeting new people, exchange ideas and design new viable plans of innovative action:
This summer I spent a lot of my time on Necker Island, since there’s no better place for me to unwind. I had a great, inspiring break that is going to keep me charged in the months ahead. Now that readers in many parts of the globe are returning from their vacations, it’s a good time for us to take stock and consider how we actually spent our time, as opposed to how we promised ourselves to spend it. During your vacation, how often did you look at your smartphone? How many quick jobs did you do on your laptop? How many work emails did you respond to? Could they have waited until you returned to the office, or could someone else have answered them instead? When you’re on holiday, it’s nice to have a Wi-Fi connection, if only so you can see what’s happening on Twitter or share some snapshots. However, it’s important that you don’t allow your smartphone to tether you to the daily work at your office and interrupt your vacation. Maintaining focus on having fun isn’t just about rest and recuperation: When you go on vacation, your routine is interrupted; the places you go and the new people you meet can inspire you in unexpected ways. As an entrepreneur or business leader, if you didn’t come back from your vacation with some ideas about how to shake things up, it’s time to consider making some changes. I make sure that I disconnect by leaving my smartphone at home or in the hotel room for as long as possible — days, if I can — and bringing a notepad and pen with me instead. Freed from the daily stresses of my working life, I find that I am more likely to have new insights into old problems and other flashes of inspiration. When this happens, it’s important that I jot everything down on a piece of paper. Back in 1998, I was ballooning in Morocco over the High Atlas Mountains near Marrakech when I spotted an amazing property in some foothills. An idea crystallized as we floated past. I later returned to the area and we managed to purchase it. We built a lovely retreat there — Kasbah Tamadot, a hotel with all the amenities that is now in our Virgin Limited Edition collection of properties. Another question you should ask yourself is: Did my colleagues and employees return to work inspired as well? Did they have the time and space to turn off and recharge?
But, if your vacation time is not inspiring then, you have to change some things around you. It is a creative idea to leave your smartphone and instead to take a pen and notepad with you. Things are getting better with writing ideas and further planning if you use a pencil and a piece of paper:
“As an entrepreneur or business leader, if you didn’t come back from your vacation with some ideas about how to shake things up, it’s time to consider making some changes.” Branson says you need to refrain from answering emails or logging on when vacationing. Although these quick jobs won’t kill you, they might take your attention away from other things that could inspire you. Instead, you should consider leaving your smart devices at the hotel room. This isn’t just about relaxation and recuperation. Branson says it’s also about how the people you meet and the places you go can affect you if you allow your head to be free from the daily grind. ”I make sure that I disconnect by leaving my smartphone at home or in the hotel room for as long as possible — days, if I can — and bringing a notepad and pen with me instead. Freed from the daily stresses of my working life, I find that I am more likely to have new insights into old problems and other flashes of inspiration. When this happens, it’s important that I jot everything down on a piece of paper.”
The best proof of how inspiring a vacation can be is the idea of space tourism and Virgin Galactic:
Virgin Galactic‘s SpaceShipTwo completed its second powered flight on 5 September, flying faster and higher than any previous flights. It’s been nearly three years since SpaceShipTwo’s first glide flight, an indication of the challenges of developing a space vehicle that is safe enough for passenger flight, something that has been one of the main concerns since the sub-orbital space tourism idea kicked off a decade ago. The flight flew under rocket power four seconds longer than the first powered flight back in April, with the total burn time lasting 20 seconds after being dropped from 46,000 feet (14 kilometres). After igniting the rocket, Scaled Composite test pilots Mark Stucky and Clint Nichols accelerated to Mach 1.43 and reached an altitude of 69,000 feet (21 kilometres). It was the 29th flight for the future spaceliner, part of the extensive flight testing program Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites is completing before flying the first group of more than 600 people who have signed up for the sub-orbital ride. The flight also marked the first time SpaceShipTwo’s “feather” re-entry system has been tested after a powered flight.
Additionally there is always good and valuable advice that Richard Branson offers for helping starts ups in business:
No one could ever accuse Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, of lacking in boldness or innovation. Yet, while he has expanded his business from publishing to retail to travel to the edges of space, he still carries around the same five core beliefs about business formulated at an early age. In a recent post at Entrepreneur, he shared the five principles he follows, unchanged since his youthful startup days in the late 1960s:
1. “If you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it. You must love what you do.”We know he does.
2. “Be innovative: Create something different that will stand out.” Branson started as a magazine publisher, then branched out into a record store chain, then expanded into airlines, rail lines, and is now in the spaceflight business. How many companies and business leaders have that kind of audacity?
3. “Your employees are your best asset. Happy employees make for happy customers.”Advice all too often overlooked by many organizations. How many times have you walked into a store or called a customer-service line and have known instinctively that the employees hate their jobs?
4. “Lead by listening: Get feedback from your staff and customers on a regular basis.”Another piece of advice to which many companies only pay lip service.
5. “Be visible: Market the company and its offers by putting yourself or a senior person in front of the cameras.” Branson is the human face in front of everything Virgin, which makes one feel he stands 100% behind every product or service he sells. Frank Perdue captured this spirit selling chicken, Lee Iococca put his face in front of Chrysler, and Steve Jobs became synonymous with sleek computers.
Finally, effective time management is everything. You can use vacation time for relaxation and inspiration focused on your personal life and business. You can be armed with a pencil and a paper notepad for hunting new business ideas and designing new plans of action. Richard Branson is here…