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 amazing private Caribbean island in the British Virgin Islands called Necker Island.

I said to myself “If I ever had 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 discovered that the price to attend the 5-day event was $45,000.

My business was going well, and I probably 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 for them.

Then, about the same time next year, the opportunity to go to Necker opened up once more!

Yet, my initial excitement about having ‘another chance’, was quickly replaced with the realization that the economic crisis was in full swing, our business was down and we were having to let 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 out by my pool at my house in Florida…

Again 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 one word – DECISION!

I decided in that moment that I was going to ignore my circumstances…

And made the DECISION to go.

I decided right then and there, in a moment of stubbornness and defiance maybe…

But I made the decision right then and thre, sayhing out loud “Damnit — I’m Going To Go!”

That’s it, one small simple mindset shift.

And then everything changed…

I then asked myself a series of questions, which led to much better answers

And it went a little bit like this…

Q:  How much do I need to go?

A:  “Well, I need $45,000.”

Q:  How do I get $45,000?

A:  “Well, couldn’t I make 45 sales at $1,000?”

Q:  How could I do that?  

A:  “What if I bundle $7,000 worth of existing ‘stale’ products, and have a special sale for $1,000?”

Q:  Won’t that hurt future sales?  

A:  “No, because while we had already established the value of these products and courses, they were not selling well anymore anyway, because everyone who had the chance and ability to buy them already had.

Q:  Ok, this could work. What else could I do?

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 charity (Virgin Unite), and we were only 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 total.

2 canceled, but I still had manufactured $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 created out of ‘thin-air’…

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 (While we were all dressed as pirates) about world health issues in Africa.

Wild costume parties in the ‘big house, great camaraderie and fun, island hopping to nearby Mosquito Island to go cliff jumping, catching a ‘ride’ to shore with the boat captain of a very famous country singer at Jost Van Dyke.

And even an impromptu wedding for one of our friends on the island, where Richard Branson was the ring-bearer.

And the biggest 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.

Since one of my core life principals is “It never hurts to ask…”

I then asked Richard if he would do a video together, that I could send to my sister who was living in Paris.

He was very gracious and agreed…

Richard Branson said hi to her, complimented her, told her I loved 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…

And I would have 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.

Once you make a decision you’re going to do something, then the ‘How’ becomes apparent.

You stop focusing on the reason’s why you can’t… and start focusing on how you can.

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 video and pictures 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