The Power of Circles: Life Lessons from Necker Island with Richard Branson

by Jeremy Tang

Branson/Necker Island Insights (Part 2) > Spending 6 days on Necker Island afforded me the opportunity to interact on a daily basis with Sir Richard Branson. He was generous with his time and his perspectives on life and business.

Branson has an interesting approach to life revolving around circles which he covers in his book “Finding My Virginity” in relation to prioritising and managing various aspects of one’s life and business. The central idea is before you try to solve the problems of the world, draw a circle around yourself and make sure you look after yourself from a physical, emotional and spiritual point of view as it’s difficult to effectively help and have a positive impact on others when you yourself are not balanced and healthy. I’ve seen how Sir Richard lives this, exercising 3 hours a day, riding his bike, playing tennis, water sports as well as playing chess. People often asked him how he can run so many businesses and set aside 3 hours a day to keep himself physically and mentally healthy and he said “If I do 3 hours of exercise it actually gives me another 3 hours of life vs takes time away from me” which is a great perspective.

Another important aspect of circles is the importance of intentionally and thoughtfully growing your circles to achieve personal and professional growth. The greater the circle the greater the positive influence we can have in the world. It’s also important that while it’s important to think big it’s also critical to not to forget the basics and the opportunities at your doorstep, particularly in looking after yourself and those immediately around you which encourages depth vs breadth of relationships.

I witnessed firsthand the power of collaborative circles when addressing key environmental and societal issues in the British Virgin Islands with Virgin Unite. Spending just 30 minutes on each key issue, myself and a team of global entrepreneurs identified solutions and feasible action plans, leveraging our collective resources and networks. It was remarkable how swiftly we aligned, despite being recent acquaintances.

This experience underscored Sir Richard’s prowess in crafting environments that fuel collaboration. It offered insights into his entrepreneurial success and showcased Necker Island’s role as a nexus for impactful partnerships and ventures.

As I reflect on my time at Necker, I’m reminded that the strength of our circles, both personal and professional, directly influences our ability to create change. Branson has demonstrated that by prioritizing self-care, fostering meaningful relationships, and maintaining a laser focus on impact, we can create ripples of positive change, starting with ourselves and extending far beyond.

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