Cracking day yesterday, kicking off with getting up at the crack of dawn to join Richard Branson's very own Entrepreneur Express - a Virgin train - and whizz up to Liverpool to take part in the Global Entrepreneur Congress, the first time this 'Davos for Entrepreneurs' has visited the UK.
It was a full on day, here are my highlights & takeaways:-
- Article on the importance on entrepreneurship in Further Education, in the FT in the Gazelle Group initiative, which I'm part of.
- Introducing Stu (Wingman) Jolley to Sir Richard Branson, yep - we were rolling with him in his carriage, surrounded by media. Stu didn't flap one bit, and explained "I want Wingman to be the next Virgin superbrand, Sir Richard - and I - want to be as successful as you!" He gave him a 2-pack of Wingman JetWipes (the equivalent of Student Magazine, Branson's launch product pre-Virgin) and his card. Later in the day, Sir Richard was heard extolling Wingman's virtues (and the fact he had a mentor - Wingman - in me - King of Shaves Co. is backing Wingman all the way. Her's a link to the article that came out today in the Daily Telegraph, where Wingman (and I) get a mention from Mr. B. Thanks! Let's get them on Virgin Atlantic, please!
- Doing interviews with Channel 4, Radio 4 (You and Yours), the FT on the importance of bigging up our small businesses - financially - mentorially - cleverly - you name it, it can be done. My interview with You & Yours is on the iPlayer, about 6 minutes in - click here.
- Doing the rounds on the Smarta Mentoring Wheel - that was a great end to the day, and you can see how it went down here (even Stu got in on the act...)
- Meeting Michael Heseltine, the founder of Haymarket Publishing (my first job was selling display ad space over the telephone for Marketing Magazine (Maurice Saatchi cut his teeth doing same on Campaign).
- Meeting LOADS of great people, who are all out there doing their best to be successful, be a wealth creator - an innovator - a mover and shaker, a walker - as well as a talker.
- Meeting LOADS of King of Shaves fans including the Liverpool born comedian John Bishop, now a huge hit across the UK.
And finally, being on a panel with Martha Lane Fox and Lara Morgan on 'The Power of We' chaired by Michael Hayman
Me x We. I know I can't do it all myself. It's not all about the 'i'. Well, it is if you're Apple, but I digress... However, "Me to the Power of We" is how Richard Branson has scaled Virgin into a multi-sector, trusted and loved Superbrand by giving inspiration and dream to an Idea, and then surrounding himself with the 'We' (the TEAM - no I in team remember) to do it. Virgin Records. Virgin Atlantic. Virgin Trains. Virgin Mobile. Virgin Unite. Virgin Galactic. Virgin Bank. You can work it out can't you, he just gets on with originating 'The NEXT Big V Thing' and finds top talent - way better than he is in their sector expertise to delegate it - NO - "DeleGreat" it to. You'll probably wonder why I'm so into getting behind Stu Jolley the Founder & CEO of Wingman - first product - a man size wetwipe - the JetWipe. Well, I'm Wingman's Wingman, keeping him the 'Next'. I'm sure you can join the dots for the potential - so watch this space. In your business, you've got to surround yourself with Greatness, and tell them "It's all about the power of me times we".
There are two ways of spelling No. Know. Or No. And both are mission critical in attaining business success. Firstly, learn to deal with No. It doesn't mean you're wrong. It doesn't mean you've failed. It doesn't mean it won't happen. It's simply code for a delayed "YES". If you don't understand what sucking up Noes feels like, you won't experience the ecstasy of feeling what "YESSSSSS" is like. No is a necessary part of Yes. So, don't fear the failure, rejection and disappointment of No. Work out what it is you need to KNOW to get a yes.
Know (and being 'in the know') is equally as mission critical for success. Knowledge is King - that's it. If you know someone who knows something and you can apply that to your business, well - you have Know working for you. Knowledge Acquisition is CRITICAL in business success. I'm known as a 'Knowledge Dyson - I hoover up (sorry) stuff around me, from all areas, people - fashion - art - architecture - products - comedy - jokes - snippets - insight and then see if I can leverage it's application into what I'm up to personally or professionally. Yes, Cash is King (and cashflow even more so) but Knowledge is right up there - it has Edge in it - it gives you the edge over others.
Finally, a bit on SME's. I was delighted to be interviewed by Radio 4 You & Yours, Channel 4 News, the FT and more at yesterday's Global Entrepenenur Forum in Liverpool. Talking about seed capital for S.M.E's - help for S.M.E's - support/mentoring for S.M.E's. Now, last year - I heard a politician in the Houses of Parliament talking about 'support for Smeees...' Urrrgh I thought - sounds like some sort of killer Diseeeease to me - I wonder what the audience think of that. So, the idea to "Kill the Smee - we're S.M.E's" came about, which I chatted with Michael Hayman, the Seven Hills & MADE Festival founder about. So, we thought we'd try and get a little movement going - don't call us Smees on twitter. If you fancy joining in supporting S.M.E's (not smeering them) then use the twitter #DontCallUsSmees
I've got plenty going on right now - which is how I like it - keeping in the i of the hurricane, multiplying by we's and shaving the world. And on that note, do sign up to @KingofShavesSUB on twitter - more on this soon, think Dollar Shave Club, but 'Better'! (after all, we are King of Shaves)