How does the man who started a record company, space travel company, limousine company, wine company, bridal company, and an airline (amongst many other companies) keep his thoughts together? One notebook at a time. For most of us, some days one business can feel like one too many. If a single notebook was an integral tool in founding an international enterprise, it can surely work for every single one of us reading this.
In his own words, as excerpted from Losing My Virginity: “As anyone in my office knows when I’ve lost it, my most essential possession is a standard-sized school notebook, which can be bought at any stationery shop on any high street across the country. I carry this everywhere and write down comments made to me by Virgin staff and anyone else I meet. I make notes of all telephone conversations and all meetings, and I draft out letters to send and lists of telephone calls to make. Over the years I have worked my way through a bookcase of them, and the discipline of writing everything down ensures that I have to listen to people carefully.”
In an inc.com article, he elaborates: "I keep a notebook in my pocket all the time," he says, "and I really do listen to what people say, even when we're out in a club at 3 a.m. and someone's passing on an idea in a drunken slur. Good ideas come from people everywhere, not in the boardroom.”
It doesn’t cost a billion, or even ten dollars. Stick a notebook in your bag to capture all thoughts on the go, a la Branson. I think the guy’s onto something, so maybe we should be paying attention. It could just be the first step to owning your own private island and game reserve.