The Art Of Becoming A killer Negotiator in Nine Steps

(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Sat, 22 Sept 2018) London, Uk – –

Negotiating is something we do on a daily basis, be it at work or at home, and is key to ensuring that you always get the best outcome.

According to the late soul singer Marvin Gaye, “Negotiation means getting the best of your opponent”. But negotiation is an art form that is hard to learn and even harder to master.

We've cherry-picked the most powerful tips for becoming a killer negotiator from Quora, the global question and answer network, to find the secret to getting what you want, every time.

1. Always be prepared
“You need to know as much as you can about the other party/topic/project”, explains Sebastian Amieva, a Quora poster who studied negotiation at Harvard Law School.

Fellow Quora poster Margaret Weiss agrees: “Negotiation is about the other party. It's not about you. You can be the best orator in the world – concise, convincing, eloquent – but if the other party cannot relate to you, regardless of your skills, all of those efforts will be in vain.

“The first thing that negotiators do is research their target audience – and based on the information gathered they adjust their pitch to the exact expectations of the other party. This research is what makes a person a good negotiator: the ability to connect to the needs of the other party, and the ability to speak on the same level.”

2. Remain objective
“A mediator must remain objective in discussing issues, even if they dislike some or all of the parties to the negotiation,” says Shane Dempsey, a professional mediator.

Even if you don't like the other parties involved, they should still receive professionalism and courtesy, Ms Dempsey added.

3. Use open-ended questions

According to behavioural science expert Craig Dos Santos, asking open-ended questions is key to negotiating, as it gets the other party talking, “so you can learn more, listen more, and figure out what is driving their thought process”.

“Don't ask questions that start with verbs. “Is that okay?” or “Is the budget proposal correct?” Instead try, “How can we improve this?” or “What changes are needed in the budget proposal?”

4. Don't talk too much
By listening more and talking less, negotiators are able to develop a detailed understanding of the needs of the other person.

“The best negotiator that I've known really didn't talk much,” says Yishan Wong, a former chief executive of Reddit whose Quora post on this topic received almost 2,000 upvotes (or “likes”). “He would just ask you questions about what you wanted and listen really carefully.

“People like to talk about what they want and how they feel about it, so they will tend to go on about things if you let them, and he would just let them do that, all the while listening really carefully.

“He would then go away and figure out how to structure the right deal given the resources/abilities at his (or his company's) disposal, and then present them with a deal,” adds Mr Wong. “He didn't need to talk them into it very much, the key seemed to be all about getting into their heads to find out what kind of deal would be most appealing to them.”

5. Force a ‘no' out of your opponent
Mr Dos Santos has a contrarian approach to negotiation. “When you get a ‘no' you have a real answer,” he says. “Being open to (or even inviting) ‘no' is respecting the other side's ability to make a choice. Often yes answers are actually maybes, and they also don't give you information about the boundaries.

“A simple example: someone offers you £95,000, and you ask for £100,000. They say yes. What did you learn? Could you have asked for more? Should you have asked for something else instead?”

Mr Dos Santos claims that the key to asking the harder questions is being able to bring the person back after ‘no'. “Hard questions introduce tension, and your ability to ask them is gated by your ability to reduce that tension by making the other party feel okay/better,” he says. “Notice the focus on emotion.”

6. Give them options
“Humans have a basic need for autonomy. If our ability to choose is restricted, we rebel,” claims Quora poster Brandon Villano.

“Come up with a few options that are favorable to you, and give them the opportunity to select which one they want. This is very powerful because it makes them feel much more in control (while still satisfying your requirements).

“All in all remember it's a win/win situation you are looking to achieve. You want the other party to feel good about the decision they made and happy that they got what they wanted. If you always come out on top with others feeling cheated, you build a bad reputation and this will make others wary of attempting a transaction with you.”

7. Fake empathy
“The other day a friend pinged me because he wanted a discount on an Airbnb rental,” writes Mr Dos Santos. “It was £2,700 and he wanted it for £2,000. Instead of just offering £2,000, which would mean the owner would have to fight an internal battle over what the place was actually worth, I helped him over-empathise with her.”

The friend drafted an email that read: “The place is gorgeous. I loved the photos and I would love to stay there. It's probably worth more than £2,700 and your price is a steal. However, I'm on a company budget, and I can only pay £2,000.”

This is a counter-intuitive approach: this individual has admitted that the asking price is fair and even said that it might be worth more. However, by using emotional manipulation, he got his deal. “He didn't fight her on valuation, and he made her feel good about the place,” says Mr Dos Santos. “He got the discount. £700 in 10 minutes with one email.”

8. Fix a deadline for negotiations to end

Rather than allowing negotiations to go on interminably, fix a reasonable deadline to get the deal done.

“It is very helpful to have some deadline/expiration date to create a forcing function for the negotiators,” says entrepreneur Kacy Qua. “If you are negotiating on behalf of an organisation and you come out of the negotiation too quickly, your side will think you didn't put up a strong enough fight.

“Having a deadline also provides a point from which you can work backward, so that you can time the flow of agreements/proposal rejections.”

9. Volunteer for The Samaritans
“The FBI often trains hostage negotiators by sending them to crisis/suicide hotlines for a year,” says Mr Dos Santos. “This is a process I'm currently going through myself. Why? Because it's the ultimate training ground for focusing on someone's emotions, and moving them from A to B. And it's hugely rewarding work.”

By Sophie Christie

 

 

This exceptional make-up artist’s surreal work made her an Instagram hit

 

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Sat, 15th Sept 2018) London, Uk – –
Make-up artist Romanie-Jade Tulloch has amassed nearly 160,000 Instagram followers on her account with her surreal designs.

The 19-year-old, from Nottingham, said the artworks can take up to five hours to create.

Ms Tulloch, now an “Instagram influencer”, was awarded a Prince's Trust loan to get her career as a make-up artist off the ground.

At the same time her social media page “blew up”, she said, and now hopes to turn her hobby into a full-time job.

 

The Savvy Millennials making millions from home

 

Youtube/Meet Edgar

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Sat, 1 Sept 2018) London, Uk – –

“I went on safari with Richard Branson – I can’t believe I’ve achieved this lifestyle”

To paraphrase the TV quiz show title (and old Sinatra song – ask your gran): who wouldn't want to be a millionaire?

Of course, money isn't everything in life, but that doesn't stop many of us from fantasising about hitting on that million pound idea that rescues us from the 9-5 routine and a life of overdraft dodging.

Much as we may dream about it, becoming a millionaire certainly doesn’t come easy, especially for young people – but for some it has proved possible. From blogging to Bitcoin trading, here’s how these four millennials achieved it – all from starting out in their bedrooms.

The cryptocurrency boss
Erica Stanford, 30, from Berkshire

“I’ve not always been good with money. In fact, I've found myself in debt in the past – but I’ve always loved learning new things. I think that’s where my interest in cryptocurrencies comes from. I first heard about Bitcoin – a digital encrypted currency, which means anyone in the world with an internet connection and a smart phone can send it anywhere in the world for free – on the radio in 2009, but only ever chatted about it with mates or my dad.

“But last year, I was getting bored of my sales and marketing job and looked into blockchain (which is like a worldwide database that crypto is built on) after my friend, John, started investing in Bitcoin. Once I read that you can use it to track the ethical background of diamonds, trace stolen antiques, and find out the history of second-hand cars, I was hooked. I found it fascinating that it had all these ‘real-world’ uses.

“I bought £200 worth of Bitcoin and some other new cryptocurrencies. I started playing around and buying the cheapest ones, investing about £2,000, which I stuck on credit cards. But within a few months I’d made £30,000, which I put into savings and used to pay off my debts. I remember thinking, ‘Wow this is actually proper money – I could quit my job and do this!’

“Which is exactly what I did. In September 2017, I handed in my notice to trade full time. A few people at work told me I was stupid, and I felt a bit scared on my last day, wondering if I’d actually be able to make a living out of crypto, which, let’s face it, is still pretty new. My boss kept my job open for when it ‘inevitably’ failed. That annoyed me a little, but also spurred me on be as successful as possible.

“I think Bitcoin had a bad reputation as being something people used to buy drugs and arms on the dark web, but, in my opinion, that’s like saying there’s something dodgy about using cash because people use that to buy illegal things, too.

 

>
On the day I made my first million, I just felt panic

“That said, all my friends were concerned, and my dad gave me the, ‘You’re going to end up homeless’ lecture – especially as I had a mortgage to pay and credit card debts to pay off. And yes, I made mistakes early on. The most expensive one was when I’d been trading a small currency for a day and made £5,000, but then the currency put my wallet into ‘maintenance mode’, so it went offline and I couldn’t cash out. I lost the lot – it was awful, and I could hear the ‘I told you so’ words from my boss in my head.

“It’s very easy to lose money in crypto, and I didn’t realise that if a currency goes up very fast, it’s probably also going to rapidly go down a lot, too. I threw myself into more research to try and understand the market, find patterns, and work out the next big project to invest in.

“I’ll never forget when I first saw the numbers in my crypto wallet really start to climb. On the day I realised I’d made my first million, just a few months after quitting my job, I just felt panic. I didn’t know what to do – as in, whether to take the money and run, or invest it again. I decided to hold on to most of it, but it was like Monopoly money; it didn’t feel real. I’d seen how volatile the market could be, so I didn’t go out on a massive spending spree or tell many friends.

“I was determined to stay grounded and treat it like any other job. It might sound hard to believe, but so far my life hasn’t really changed, other than having a few more holidays. Don’t get me wrong, it does feel satisfying to pay for things like a Thailand holiday in Bitcoin.

“It can get lonely working from home. Most days, it’s just me and my cat. But I love that I’m my own boss, and, one year on since leaving my job, John and I have pooled our resources. Together we’ve made £20million. I’ve been asked to invest other people’s money – from friends to hedge funds – but I wouldn’t want that kind of stress or pressure. I’m happy to give advice though, and I’ve been asked to speak about crypto at events around the world. I love being known as ‘the crypto lady’.”

The online furniture kings
Monty George and Dan Beckles, both 21, from Wiltshire

Monty: “I’ve always been an entrepreneur. At 12 years old, I was buying cheap sushi-makers and laptop lights with my pocket money – and then selling them on eBay. At 15, I bought a load of dirt bikes from China to sell online, but then realised I didn’t actually know anything about mini motorbikes if they broke. Thinking about what else I could sell, I heard that furniture was one of the biggest growing markets online, so I ordered in a couple of shipping containers worth of tables and chairs – and they sold out straight away.

“I couldn’t believe my luck, so I reinvested the money into getting more stock. Towards the end of sixth form, I asked my mate Dan to come on board. Three years ago, the night before my A-level results, sales ticked over £1million. Fortunately, my parents have always supported my buying and selling ventures – and I think I’ve inherited their strong working ethic. But I have made errors along the way. In 2014, I got a huge tax bill because I hadn’t realised I had to pay VAT, so I had to sell some of my belongings to raise the cash. I felt foolish, but didn’t let it stop me.

“Launching the company when I was still living at home meant that I had no overheads, and my parents let me use their shed as a storage warehouse. Today, I’ve mainly put the profits back into the business and I live quite frugally. Dan and I have just moved into a houseshare in Bristol, but we’re too busy working to spend much money.

“Most days I’m up at 6am emailing suppliers in China, and the rest of the day varies from printing labels to talking to customers. Last year I treated myself to an expensive car, but I sold it after a year. It might sound weird, but I’d honestly rather have a simple one that gets me from A to B.

“I don’t have to play my wealth down to my friends because I don’t feel rich; I’m just working all the time. I’m proud of myself for making so much money at such a young age, though – it’s something you see in films. I like to think I’m proving wrong all those people who say millennials are lazy.”

Turning down uni was a big sacrifice, and we also work 365 days a year

Dan: “Sometimes I can’t believe that I’ve gone from barely any experience in the furniture market, to co-running a company that turned over £1.6million last year. Monty and I have been friends since we were 13. After sixth form, I planned to study economics management at university, but when he asked me if I wanted to take a year out and help him start Furniture Box, I couldn’t say no. I deferred my university place, but we ended up being so successful that I decided not to go to uni after all.

“We’ve picked up helpful advice from friends and family over the years, like not to just sit back and relax when things go well. We’ve taken on four employees, but we still have a hand in every aspect of the business. I think dealing with customers is the part we like best. Monty once went to help an elderly gentleman with Parkinson’s who was struggling to put one of our desk chairs together.

“We might be young millionaires, but we have made sacrifices. Turning down uni was a big one for me, but we also work 365 days a year. I only see my girlfriend once a month because we work every weekend. I remember on one New Year’s Eve, all our mates were out having fun, while we were in a warehouse taking down industrial storage racking in the freezing cold. We’ve worked so hard that our social lives have suffered, but we’re passionate about what we do. It’s an amazing feeling to be running a successful business with one of your best mates – I feel really lucky.”

The social media magnate
Laura Roeder, 34, from Brighton

“If someone told me one day I’d be a millionaire from social media, I’d think they were joking. I taught myself to code at 12 so I could build my own website. I was one of the first users of Facebook when it launched at my university, but I never imagined making a lot of money from it.

“In 2007, when I was 22, I quit my job as a graphic designer to go freelance. It was around the time Twitter and Facebook were taking off, and when I made websites for small businesses, I would also advise them on things like what their clients would want to see or show them to get more people to visit their websites. I just thought everyone building websites was doing this type of thing – but they weren’t, and more people started saying, ‘You could get paid for teaching this’.

“I’ve always loved public speaking, so I started making videos about social media marketing from my bedroom, and holding live webinars about using Facebook and Twitter to promote small businesses. I’d package them up as online courses and charged between £35 and £175. It was so exciting when I realised the idea meant that I could work less but make more money – and I was I earning six figures in my first year. It was mentally rewarding, too – like I’d hit on exactly what I should be doing with my life.

“But my parents and their friends didn’t really understand what I did. My mum would tell people I was an author after I also published an e-book about Twitter marketing. I laughed it off as I knew that the social media world was a relatively new industry.

“In 2013, I put the money I’d made from the courses – around £150,000 – into building the software for my company, Meet Edgar, which helps freelancers and small businesses automatically update their social media feeds. I started with a team of three, and now have 25 employees who all work remotely from their homes too, or from coffee shops. Although I hit £1million in revenue within a year of launching, it all went back into the business – it wasn’t like someone handed me a cheque for that amount. Last year we made £3.8million, and it was such an overwhelming feeling of pride.

“Starting a business from your bedroom does have downsides. I have to remember to leave the house and force myself to hang out with people. I’ve faced misogyny, too. Even recently, I’ve had people assume I don’t own the business because I’m a woman, or ask me if my husband or father is involved. Some people have been skeptical and said things like, ‘I don’t see why anyone would buy this software'. But seeing our success has been really confidence-boosting for me because I knew that I was onto a good thing.

“Sometimes when I’m on a safari holiday with Richard Branson, or enjoying the luxury of taking a long maternity leave with my baby daughter, I can’t believe I’ve achieved this lifestyle through social media. Best of all, I can’t believe that I’ve escaped the rat race – and am doing something I’m passionate about. Isn’t that the true definition of success?”

By Kate Wills

 

 

The travel boss who refused to do online sales and still beat the odds

 

Youtube/yasir bacha/bbc

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Sat, 19 Aug 2018) London, Uk – –

The BBC's weekly The Boss series profiles a different business leader from around the world. This week we speak to Jen Atkinson, chairwoman and co-owner of holiday group Inspiring Travel Company (ITC).

When Jen Atkinson saw the travel business she was working for in 2009 flounder in a “perfect storm”, she decided she would put herself forward to try to save the company.

Ms Atkinson was 34 at the time, leading the marketing team at UK firm ITC.

As a result of the global financial crisis there had been a big downturn in the number of people going on holiday, and how much they spent on them.

What made matters worse for ITC was that it was an old-fashioned travel agency, which didn't accept any online bookings. Customers had to to phone up and speak to a member of staff.

And with cash-strapped consumers either not going on holiday at all or increasingly buying their holidays online, hoping to get the lowest possible price, ITC was haemorrhaging losses.

 

 

The company's founder and boss Drew Foster had successfully grown the business since 1974, but in 2009 he was seriously ill, and ITC's future was in doubt.

“It was a perfect storm of disasters for the company,” says Ms Atkinson, now 43. “I was thinking, ‘What is going to happen to us? Are we going to close? Are we going to be sold?'

“I remember vividly that I had a plan, I had a vision for saving the firm, so I scribbled it down on two sheets of A4 paper and went to see Drew.

“He went, ‘Great, crack on,' and that is how I came to run ITC.”

Based in Chester, in the north of England, ITC had always attracted a certain number of wealthy customers. Ms Atkinson's plan was to go after more of them, by offering customers holidays that are not just luxurious, but as bespoke as possible.

“I thought that if we give our top customers something that they couldn't order themselves, our business would have a fighting chance of being successful,” she says.

“It is about providing the best possible insight. So when discussing a holiday destination, our staff can say things like, ‘Why don't you stay in this room?' or ‘This room is great, because it is on the ground floor and goes straight onto the beach.'

“You cannot get that service or insight on the internet, where there is so much contradictory advice.”

After making the difficult decision to reduce ITC's workforce from 130 to 80 people, Ms Atkinson's turnaround plan slowly started to work. Sadly Mr Foster did not get to see her efforts come to fruition as he died in October 2009.

Today ITC enjoys an annual turnover of £95m. More importantly, Ms Atkinson has returned the business to profitability, and the number of employees is now 210.

The company's customers include popstars, TV presenters, footballers, business leaders, and other holidaymakers with more than a few quid.

Born and brought up in Leeds, Ms Atkinson's childhood holidays were a world away from those enjoyed by ITC's customers – her family would rent a caravan.

After attending her local comprehensive school, she went to Lancaster University where she graduated in law and marketing.

An early career in marketing then followed, and she first joined ITC in 2002. After becoming chief executive in 2009, she and a business partner bought the company in 2013. Then last year she sold a chunk to a private equity group.

 

 

Married with two young children, Ms Atkinson says she has never faced any problems in business because she was a woman, but admits that juggling leading a company while being a new mum can be difficult.

“I have honestly never faced any glass ceilings, but if I had, I would have smashed them,” she says. “What is hard to manage, though, is your innate maternal feelings when you have children. Trying to manage the mum guilt is the hardest thing… but I have a great husband.”

Among ITC's workforce, 80% are female, and until recently all the board members were also women.

To make sure that employees know as much as possible about the holiday destinations and hotels that the company offers, each gets to go on two or three luxury long-haul trips a year. As a result, the company doesn't struggle to find would-be recruits.

Travel industry expert Mike Bugsgang, of Bugsgang & Associates, says there will always be a place for traditional travel agents that don't sell online, such as ITC, Scott Dunn, and Cox & Kings.

“There are still huge numbers of consumers in every section of the market who, when spending a large proportion of their annual budget, prefer to have in-depth guidance from an expert on their holiday options,” he says.

“The Inspiring Travel Company is a prime example of this type of company, which can provide a really personalised and tailored approach to holiday booking.”

After nine years as chief executive, earlier this year Ms Atkinson moved across into the chairman role. She says this is so that she can concentrate on more strategic, long-term matters, while the new chief executive looks after the day-to-day running of the business.

“People said that the internet would make travel companies like ITC extinct, but we are still here,” she says.

“We don't do online sales, and never will, because by actually speaking to our customers we can offer them a better service.”

By Will Smale

 

 

The three predominant paths rich people pursue to accumulate wealth

 

BILGIN YACHTS NERISSA

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.businessinsider.com – – Sat, 19 Aug 2018) London, Uk – –

To become wealthy, there are a few things you have to do with your money.
Thomas C. Corley studied and interviewed 233 wealthy individuals over the course of four years and found three common ways they build their fortunes.
“Saver-investors” focused on having no debt, lived well below their means, and invested and saved for many years.
“Virtuosos” were the best of the best in their careers, and worked for companies that gave stock options or owned their own highly-profitable businesses.
“Dreamers” were the wealthiest group: They pursued a big dream and made it a reality, which led to some massive gain or income.
Over a nearly four-year period, I interviewed 233 wealthy individuals. During these interviews I asked each rich person 144 questions. It took me another 18 months to summarize and analyze their responses. In an effort to share my research I've written several books sharing their habits, thinking, psychology, decision-making, risk tolerance, careers and many other things, which I learned thanks to my Rich Habits Study.

One of the many things I learned was how they actually created their wealth.

What I found is that there were three predominant paths rich people pursued in order to accumulate their wealth.

1. The ‘saver-investors'
Just less than 22% of the rich people in my Rich Habits Study fell into this category. The “saver-investors” all had zero debt, and the passive income generated by their invested savings was enough to meet or exceed their standard of living.

They all had five things in common:

They had a low standard of living and
They typically made a modest income and
Their modest income exceeded their low standard of living and
They saved 20% or more of their modest income for many years and
They consistently and prudently invested their savings for many years.
It took the Savers about 32 years to accumulate an average wealth of $3.4 million.

2. The ‘virtuosos'
Approximately 27% of the rich people in my study were “virtuosos.” These rich people were virtuosos in their career, industry, or profession. They were among the best at what they did.

These individuals either worked for large, publicly-held corporations, in which a significant portion of their compensation was stock-based compensation or they were entrepreneurs/small business owners with enterprises that were highly profitable.

It took the virtuosos about 20 years to accumulate an average wealth of $4 million.

3. The ‘dreamers'
The “dreamers” were by far the wealthiest group in my study. Approximately 51% of them were individuals who pursued some big dream and were able to turn that dream into a reality. Their dream eventually provided them with an enormous amount of income, profit, or gain, and they accumulated an average of $7.4 million in about twelve years.

The point to all of this is: There is more than one way to skin a cat. If you're risk averse, it does not disqualify you from becoming rich. If you have no dream or you're not interested in saving your way to wealth, becoming a virtuoso in what you do for a living can make you rich. If you are not a saver or a virtuoso, pursuing some dream that makes your heart sing can also make you wealthy.

If you want to be rich, the only important thing is to pick one path that works for you and stick with it for many years. The one common denominator all levels of wealth shared was time — it took many years to accumulate their wealth.

 

How door knocking changed this young man’s life from east London to the City

 

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Sat, 11 Aug 2018) London, Uk – –

Reggie Nelson was fed up with the world around him after his dad died. An inspirational chat led to Reggie deciding to take a risk knocking on the doors of the wealthy to find out how they amassed their wealth. One day a door opened.

This is his story.

Produced and Filmed by Cebo Luthuli

 

How Ben Francis Started The UK’s Fastest Growing Company Gymshark

 

Youtube/Gymshark

Gymshark has been my entire life since I started it as a teenager. After being awarded the UK's fastest growing company by the Fastrack 100 in the Times newspaper, I've decided to document my journey.

My first video is a brief explanation of how Gymshark started, and the work we had to put in to get it to where it is today.

 

 

PepsiCo Chief Executive Officer Indra Nooyi discusses the concept of “having it all”

 

Youtube/Bloomberg

PepsiCo Chief Executive Officer Indra Nooyi discusses the concept of “having it all” with David Rubenstein on the sixth episode of “The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations.”

 

 

Questions Entrepreneurs Should Ask to Learn From Their Mistakes and Wins

 

Carrie Green/Youtube

If you’re an entrepreneur, chances are you’ve failed a few times. Whether it be at a launch, a social media growth strategy, an email campaign or creating a course. Thankfully, failing is not necessarily a bad thing.

 

 

Oprah Winfrey’s Legacy Celebrated at Smithsonian’s Museum Exhibit

 

The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture is opening a new exhibit this week called “Watching Oprah.” It's a celebration of Oprah Winfrey's legacy. Gayle King previewed the exhibit with Oprah on Wednesday where the media mogul saw it for the first time.

 

Dalai Lama’s Top 10 Rules For Success

 

He's a monk of the Gelug or “Yellow Hat” school of Tibetan Buddhism, the newest of the schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The 14th and current Dalai Lama is Tenzin Gyatso. The 14th Dalai Lama received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. He's Dalai Lama and here are his Top 10 Rules for Success.

 

New Orleans all-female motorcycle club empowering women everywhere

 

They’re bold, chic, and they can shred the streets of New Orleans in a pair of stilettos. Meet the Caramel Curves, an all-female motorcycle club focused on empowering and uplifting women. After feeling removed from the culture of all-male bike clubs, co-founders Tru and Coco got together to start their own movement. Now, every time they ride, the Caramel Curves demand respect, standing as a role model for girls everywhere.

 

Billionaire: Richard Branson work life balance in a day on Necker Island

 

People often ask how I spend my time on Necker Island – here's a film that gives you a glimpse into a day on Necker. From playing tennis to working from home, seeing the lemurs to kitesurfing , join us for a taste of island life.

I've never had a desk in an office since I was a teenager. I prefer to work in a hammock, on a sofa or even in a bath. Now that's flexible working!

It's critical to get the balance between work and play right. Find time for yourself; work hard but also play hard. I think people work more effectively when they are given the freedom to make their own decisions — that is definitely something we practice on Necker.

I've embraced the social media revolution, and do a lot of posting from Necker Island (including this video!) You can be instantly connected to fascinating people everywhere — even if you're in a remote corner of the world.

From The Elders to The Carbon War Room, Virgin Galactic to The B Team, Necker is a great place to think and a great place to conceive ideas. Take a look at where we get our inspiration. Where do you find yours?

 

Nelson Mandela’s Top 10 Rules For Success

 

He was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist.

He served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.

He is held in deep respect within South Africa, and he's often described as the “Father of the Nation”.

He's Nelson Mandela and here are his Top 10 Rules for Success.

 

 

The senior letting older entrepreneurs know It’s never too late to reinvent yourself

 

It's never too late to reinvent yourself. Take it from Paul Tasner — after working continuously for other people for 40 years, he founded his own start-up at age 66, pairing his idea for a business with his experience and passion. And he's not alone. As he shares in this short, funny and inspirational talk, seniors are increasingly indulging their entrepreneurial instincts — and seeing great success.

 

 

 

The business startup making wine that’s naturally blue

 

Spanish startup Gik Live! make wine that's naturally neon blue. They extract a pigment from the skin of the red grape (called anthocyanin) which gives the neon blue hue. Some winemakers have called Gik “blasphemous,” but the founders say the wine is safe to drink. “This is not something that’s done in a lab at all,” said founder Taig Mac Carthy. “This is all pigments, they come from nature, and so do the grapes. The making of this is 100% natural.” Grapes are sourced from vineyards in Spain and France. It took two years of testing to get the recipe right. The founders are all in their twenties. They raised £26,000 between them to start their business with help from The University of the Basque Country. The wine has a very sweet taste and it’s similar to white wine. It's sold in over 25 countries at a shelf price of £12. They have sold around 400,000 bottles so far.

 

How Greg Cox sports injury led to a successful business career

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Sat, 17 Feb 2018) London, Uk – –

When a serious injury ended Greg Cox's hopes of making it as a professional rugby player, little did he know that it would set him on the path to making a fortune in business.

On the books of top English club Wasps back in 1999, the then 18-year-old was playing regularly for the second team, and had been called up by the England Under 19s squad.

Then one rainy evening training session Mr Cox says he twisted his knee ligaments “and that was that”.

“I had a full knee operation, and I did return to Wasps the next year,” he says. “But still recovering from the injury I couldn't apply myself as much when I came back. And you have to be 100% committed [to be successful at rugby].”

So realising that his contract was not going to be renewed he left the club, swapping rugby for working on building sites.

“I was earning £300 a week cash in hand, which when you are living at home isn't bad, but I was looking for something else to do, and thinking ‘how can I earn more money?'.”

Soon Mr Cox swapped being a bricklayer for the life of a serial entrepreneur, moving from importing cars, to property investments, and then into the world of finance.

Since 2009 he has been the founder and chief executive of Quint Group, which owns a number of financial technology or “fintech” businesses, and today has an annual turnover of £42m.

“I think I have always been entrepreneurial, I was always selling things to other pupils at school… and I've always had a real drive,” says Mr Cox, now 36.

Educated at a private school in the south west of England, he had gained good enough A-levels to go to university, but instead chose to try a career in rugby.

When things didn't work out at Wasps, he didn't think of making a late arrival at college. Instead while working on those building sites he came up with his first big moneymaking idea – importing cars.

“There was an article in the Sunday Times all about how to import a car from Europe and save money,” he says. “At the time there was a big hoo-ha in the press about cars in Europe being 20% cheaper than in the UK.

“So I thought that this was a really good idea for a business, so I created a company to help people import cars from Europe.”

Remembering how to program computers from his school days Mr Cox quickly built a website and started to import up to 400 cars a month, even handling work for much larger firms such as Virgin Cars.

“What many people didn't realise is that you could simply go to a car dealer in Germany or Belgium and they'd be quite happy to sell you a right hand drive car. It wasn't as if people would have to put up with a left hand drive vehicle.”

For the next two to three years business boomed for Mr Cox and his company Coszt Imports “despite the terrible name”.

But then a combination of the dotcom bubble bursting in 2001, and the pound going up in value meant that the business went bust.

“I felt dented pride and a bit stupid, I guess,” he says. “I had dived into it, and I didn't know how to run a business at that age.

“Obviously you think you are invincible at 21, but I learned a lot from it. I had racked up quite a bit of debt as a result of it all, so I just had to go straight back to work.”

So licking his wounds, Mr Cox moved to South Africa, and thanks to the weakness of that country's currency, he started to once again export cars to the UK. He then expanded into property investments.

By 2008 Mr Cox was back in the UK and investing in the fintech sector when together with a friend and business partner called Paul Naden they launched Quint Group in January of the following year.

Both investing £12,500, Mr Cox says that he saw a big opportunity to set up a number of consumer finance websites. Brands owned by Quint include Monevo, an online marketplace that connects lenders with consumers that wish to borrow money, and price comparison website Moneyguru.

Based in Macclesfield, in Cheshire in the north of England, Quint makes most of its money by charging lenders a commission, and it also has a data business called Infinian.

Mr Cox today owns 90% of Quint after buying out his co-founder last year. The company now has 100 employees, and overseas offices in Poland, China, South Africa, and the US, as it continues with its international expansion plans.

Richard Bell, north west editor of business news publisher Bdaily, says that “given the level of growth that Quint has achieved over the past couple of years… I'm keen to see where they are headed. Exciting business with switched-on leadership.”

Mr Cox is, however, happy to admit that it hasn't all been plain sailing at Quint, with an unsuccessful insurance business being closed down.

“When something doesn't work we stop it and do something else,” he says.

“My advice to anyone wanting to start a business is: Focus on what you are good at, work relentlessly at it, make considered decisions, don't be too emotive, and with a bit of luck you'll have some success.”

By Will Smale