Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mom, the Entrepreneur

Sir Richard Branson
Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group and a space pioneer, recently posted his first blog post on LinkedIn. The article lists his five top tips for starting a successful business. While I read them I thought of my Mom and many of the lessons she tried to teach her four boys.
Many people I know don't belong to LinkedIn. I do. I have a profile there instead of on Facebook. I used to think of LinkedIn as a professional Facebook, but it has changed over the years and become more social. I don't know when they started the blog posts, but if anyone has something interesting to say, it is Sir Richard Branson.
Here are his tips:
1. Listen more than you talk. Okay, my Mom used to tell us that one and it still applies. More than that, though, you have to learn from listening. Oh, that's the tidbit I might have missed!
2. Keep it simple. Wow, Mom used to tell us that also, usually when we were trying to find a good excuse for not doing our chores. (There was never a good excuse.) Sir Richard says to focus on the innovation, but keep it simple and positive.
3. Take pride in your work. Okay, Mom is three for three on this so far.
4. Have fun, success will follow. Mom missed this one, I think. Maybe she meant to tell us to have fun, but it got lost in translation or something. We heard "Work hard and succeed" and I don't think it is the same thing at all. I've noticed over my many decades that the people with the biggest success really seem to enjoy what they do.
5. Rip it up and start again. In other words, if it doesn't work, learn the lesson and move on to something else. Mom nailed that one, too, I think. At least I heard the "Pick yourself up" speech quite a few times growing up. Perhaps that's simply because I fell down so often.
Mom not only raised a family, she did start her own business and ran it successfully in the 1990s. It wasn't easy, it didn't make her rich, but it kept food on her table and a roof over her head in some tough years.
Thanks, Mom for all the lessons. I'm sorry I didn't listen better.

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