Monday, October 8, 2012

What They Said: My Richard Branson Mention

Embrace the new and different
By JccKeith

“…in whatever world you make for yourself, you can keep embracing the new and different over and over again.  That’s what I have always wanted for Virgin and, whether it’s achieved by judgment or luck, I wouldn’t have it any other way.” – Richard Branson 

That’s what I like about Richard Branson, always willing to embrace the future and good or bad, he is ready for something different.  His life is one long tale of adventure: failures and successes from good judgments and bad, risks and losses, talent and luck.  But enough about the man, the myth and the legend and on to people most of us know.

I’m talking about that face in the mirror, the one that looks back at you every day as you brush your teeth, comb your hair and prepare for the day – or night if you work third shift.  How many of us are biding our time, waiting for that break that will change it all? 

We spend our days working at that job we hate or putting up with those people we’d rather not associate with at all.  We fake smiles, make small talk and in general slough through the days half aware.  We write but we don't make any effort to do something different.  We take no real steps toward embracing chance or change.  We're not putting anything on the line.  There is no real risk involved.

How many of us wonder what if that big break never happens?

What if we never get published?  

What if we try; put it all on the line and fail?  

I realize the quote was not about trying and more about embracing challenges but many of us haven’t reached the point to where we are smoothly sailing along in our dream jobs.  Our challenges, our new and different things are more about finding a way to even get on the boat.

The truth is there is no true success without a little failure.  Everyone fails.  It is a part of life.  Even some of the most successful people have failed.  We all know the stories about Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, Einstein and many more.  I would tell you their stories but I don’t need to.  We all know they failed and went on to great things. 

So why are the rest of us so willing to sit idly by and accept things as they are?  It is not because we lack the talent.  It is not because we lack the dreams.  What we lack is the will to try and the guts to fail.  Try and fail, try and fail and then try and fail again.  Do it as many times as you need until something changes.  There is no true failure until you cease to try.  I’m pretty sure somebody really famous and inspirational said that but I don’t have time to look it up. 

I have not been gifted as Richard Branson was with highly lucrative ideas and great luck. I’m just your everyday, average person and slightly extraordinary writer.  Although, as fortunate as Mr. Branson was, I feel it important to note that he also experienced terrible losses, at one point he was on the verge of bankruptcy, losing everything and yet he clawed his way back.  He was willing to put it all on the line to get it all back and he did it.  His success illustrated a couple of key points to me:

  • Never give up. 

  • Never let someone else talk you into giving up your dreams.

  • Take that side track, take the road less traveled.  Take whatever paths you must if they get you where you want to be.  

As a writer, I must be prepared to embrace the new and different.  I seek out opportunities to write wherever and whenever I can find them.  Any chance to have someone read my words is a golden opportunity.  Every word I post is another opportunity for someone to read my work.  I can't be afraid to try something new or different as I can't possibly know where it may or may not lead.  I have to be willing to be adventurous.

Just writing and having the occasional words read is not enough.  Writers have to, at some point, take a giant risk.  There comes a time when you have to stop researching for that book, stop editing, stop passing it around to friends to read and have it published.  It's not enough to just write a book, you have to be willing to put it out there.  Send it to agents and publishers and be ready to accept rejection.  Recognize that many famous writers were rejected by numerous publishers before finally getting published.

In today's world though, you have a choice, you don't have to wait on a publisher to accept your work. You can take a chance and publish it yourself.  It is a risk.  It will cost money and you risk it not being successful.

Publishing your own book is time consuming and requires a lot of effort.  You will have to put yourself out there over and over again to get your book noticed.  Once your book is out there, you risk criticism and financial losses if it doesn't sell.  Despite these risks and possible losses, you will have always have one thing that will make it worth it.  Once you do it, you can't undo it. You will forever after, be a published author.

Becoming a published author is one of my dreams.  You may not be a writer but whatever your dream, don’t let it pass you by.  You don't have to wait on a big break.  You don't have to wait on everything to be perfect.  You just have to embrace the challenge.  Try something new and different.

Jonathan Winters once said that when his ship never came in, he swam out to it.  I suggest you go one step further.  
If your ship never comes in, build your own. 

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