With Richard Branson on Necker Island

I share this story because it illustrates the very important power of DECISION in our lives. Years ago, I was watching a show on the Discovery Channel about Richard Branson’s private Caribbean island in the British Virgin Islands – Necker Island. I said to myself “If I ever have the chance to go… I have to go!” Less than a year later, the opportunity appeared through a business group I was a member of called the Maverick Business Adventures. But my excitement was soon met with disappointment when I learned the price to attend the 5-day trip was $45,000. My business was going well, and I could have put it together… But “reason and common sense” had the better of me and I let my self-talk and “rational” mind win the day, thinking “I can’t possibly justify spending this kind of money on a 5-day vacation.” So I didn’t go… And I regretted it all year… I saw pictures of my friends who did go, and how much fun it was… Then, about the same time next year, the opportunity to go to Necker opened up once more! But my initial excitement about having ‘another chance to go’ was quickly replaced with disappointment because the economic crisis was in full swing, our business was in trouble and we were already letting people go. And so I thought…

“How can I possibly justify spending $45,000 on this NOW??”

The money was for Mr. Branson’s charity Virgin Unite, but it was still a lot of money! And even worse… This time around I didn’t have it. But then… everything changed… I’ll never forget this moment, sitting outside by my pool in Florida… Feeling the deep disappointment of not being able to go to Necker Island to meet Richard Branson. But it all changed in an instant… And all because of a DECISION. I decided in that moment that I was going to ignore my current circumstances… And made the DECISION to go. It may have been simply a moment of stubbornness and defiance… But I made the decision right then and there, saying out loud “Damnit — I’m Going To Go!” That’s it, one small mindset shift. And then everything changed… I then started asking myself better questions, which led to much better answers It went a little bit like this… Q:  How much do I need to go? A:  Well, I need $45,000. Q:  How can I get $45,000? A:  Well, I could make 45 sales at $1,000? Q:  Ok, how can I do that?   A:  What if I bundle $7,000 worth of existing programs we  already have and have a special sale on all 3 programs for $1,000? Q:  Won’t it hurt future sales?   A:  No, because while we had previously established the value of these products and courses, they were not selling well anymore anyway, because everyone who had the interest and ability to buy them already had. Q:  How do I get the message out to our customers? A:  Well, what if I put on a suit and tie and recorded a video as the President of the company, tell our 75,000 email subscribers about an amazing special offer we’re having… That it was for a great charity (Virgin Unite), and we would only be selling 45 of these at the special discounted price of $1,000. To make a long story short… It worked!

And to show the power of Intentionality…

We made 47 sales in total!

2 people canceled.

But still I had created the $45,000 to go spend a week on Necker Island (with 19 other brilliant business minds including Dean Graziosi, Joe Polish, and Matt Mulliweg the founder of WordPress, and of course Sir Richard Branson).

All generated out of ‘thin-air’…

By starting with a DECISION, and then asking a series of ‘How’ questions.

Because when you ask your subconscious mind ‘How’…

You’ll very often come up with better answers you wouldn’t have otherwise thought of.

And it was a tax-free write-off too.

My favorite memories include: Eating sushi in the pool off of a canoe… An engaging conversation with Richard Branson over dinner the first night (While we were all dressed as pirates) about world health issues in Africa… Wild costume parties in the ‘big house, with great camaraderie, music and fun memories… Island hopping to nearby Mosquito Island to go cliff jumping… (Richard drove the boat!) Catching a ‘ride’ to shore with the boat captain of a very famous country singer at Jost Van Dyke… And even an impromptu wedding on the island, where Richard Branson was the ring-bearer! And the bsst highlight of all… After the wedding we all walked to a nearby tiki bar on the island with Richard Branson, and playing an English drinking game which of course he won… And we all had a great time. One of my core life principals is: “It never hurts to ask…” So I asked Richard if he would do a selfie-video together that I could send to my sister living in Paris. He was very nice and agreed… Mr. Branson said a charming hello to her from both of us, complimented her, and wished she were there. It was a priceless memory! (and she loved it of course). Such an amazing experience, that I almost missed out on… Had I not first DECIDED to do it… Here is the big lesson: I made the decision, regardless of present circumstances… And then focused on the HOW. So often in life, we talk ourselves out of things and think of all the reasons why we can’t… Whether it’s “I don’t have the time, freedom, or I don’t have money…” When in truth, we don’t need the time or money… Because we haven’t yet decided we’re going to do it. But once you make a decision you’re going to do something, then the ‘How’ becomes more apparent. When you stop focusing on the reason’s why you can’t… and start focusing on how you can. The solution is more likely to come to you. When you start asking the right questions, you start getting better answers. And in this case, I was grateful not only for the life lesson learned but also for a truly life-changing experience and memorable getaway, on which I formed some new amazing friends and got to meet one of my business heroes – Sir Richard Branson. Here are some highlights from this incredible week:

Boat Captain Sir Richard Branson

Brett Fogle and Dean Graziosi

Jost Van Dyke

Necker Island Pool Bar #2

Pool Sushi at Necker Island

Brett Fogle and Richard Branson

Island Hopping

Playing Cards

Necker Island Pool Bar #1

The Big House at Necker