Have you heard the joke about… the guy who wanted to sell water (the stuff we were used to getting for free!) for more money than sodas or even beer? Or how about the one who wanted to start a new airline, the bloodbath of competition, during the dot-com crash? Then there is the one who launched a new cola company up against Coke and Pepsi. Oh, I know, how about the one about the guy who bought 160 acres of orange groves to build what he wanted to call “the happiest place on earth.” Nut ball, right?!
Are you laughing? Most were when the Evian, Jet Blue, Virgin Cola and the Disneyland business plans were discussed. Evian gets $18.6 billion chuckles a year in revenue. Launched in 1999, Jet Blue was one of only a few airlines after 9/11 to be profitable. David Neeleman has $2 billion reasons to guffaw. People are always laughing at Richard Branson and for Virgin Cola it proved justified. But don’t laugh to hard, because Sir Richard has 360 other companies and giggles $3 billion times with his personal banker. Walt Disney has snickered 515 million times as each person has entered his happy place.
Historic revolutionaries, extraordinary achievers, and icons often were laughed at and ridiculed at first. If you believe in your dream or your vision, or a plan, don’t let the snickering and finger-pointing going on behind your back deter you.
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