What You See Can Really, Really Matter
By Ed Delph
September 18, 2017
Recently a friend of mine sent me an article written by James Clear that caught my attention. It’s about a principle that could change many people’s lives for the better. James gave me some word handles and illustrations that put into words what I have experienced in my life. Let me start with the opening of the article.
“In 1966, a dyslexic sixteen-year-old boy dropped out of school. With the help of a friend, he started a magazine for students and made money by selling advertisements to local businesses. With only a little bit of money to get started, he ran the operation out of the crypt inside a local church.
"Four years later, he was looking for ways to grow his small magazine and started selling mail order records to the students who bought the magazine. The records sold well enough that he built his first record store the next year. After two years of selling records, he decided to open his own record label and recording studio.
"He rented the recording studio out to local artists, including one named Mike Oldfield. In that small recording studio, Oldfield created his hit song, Tubular Bells, which became the record label’s first release. The song went on to sell over five million copies.
"Over the next decade, the young boy grew his record label by adding bands like the Sex Pistols, Culture Club, and the Rolling Stones. Along the way, he continued starting companies: an airline business, then trains, then mobile phones, and on and on. Almost fifty years later, there were over four hundred companies under his direction.
"Today, that young boy who dropped out of school and kept starting things despite his inexperience and lack of knowledge is a billionaire. His name is Sir Richard Branson.”
God made Branson one of those high capacity guys. However, when he started he was high capacity but low competency. So, what did he see and what did he do? He saw what others didn’t see. He had vision. He started. He took the first steps toward what he saw because he knew it really, really matters. Here’s a great quote. It’s not meant to heap guilt on people. It’s meant to motivate people. “Haves and have-nots are the second stage. The first stage is dids and did-nots.” That is a tough statement but true in many cases.
The article goes on to quote what Branson says about the beginning of Virgin Airlines. “I was in my late twenties, so I had a business, but nobody knew who I was at the time. I was headed to the Virgin Islands and I had a very pretty girl waiting for me, so I was, umm, determined to get there on time.
At the airport, my final flight to the Virgin Islands was cancelled because of maintenance or something. It was the last flight out that night. I thought this was ridiculous, so I went and chartered a private airplane to take me to the Virgin Islands, which I did not have the money to do.
Then, I picked up a small blackboard, wrote 'Virgin Airlines. $29.00' on it, and went over to the group of people who had been on the flight that was cancelled. I sold tickets for the rest of the seats on the plane, used their money to pay for the chartered plane, and we all went to the Virgin Islands that night.”
Branson saw something that no one else saw that night. When God wants to start something, He speaks then shows us the first step in starting. Vision is a compelling picture of a preferable future that motivates us to perform.
Do you know why Branson named his company Virgin Airlines? Branson says it was because “when my partners and I started we were all ‘virgins’ when it came to business.” Hmm…many times, chosen ones, choose themselves. Branson had never flown a plane, but he started an airline company anyway.
What’s the takeaway here? James Clear makes it clear. “If you want to summarize the habits of successful people into one phrase it’s this: Successful people start before they feel ready.” That is true in many, many cases.
Maybe, just maybe, it might be time to start something that just may change your world, maybe even the world. Why? Because it can really, really matter.
Ed Delph September 11, 2017 CCC
Ed Delph is a leader in church-community connections.
Visit Ed Delph's website at www.nationstrategy.com