Business is an Adventure?  That time WE met Richard Branson.

Business is an Adventure? 

You can say that again, BUSINESS  IS  AN ADVENTURE! 

Caribbean Wellness & Education teamed up with Christine Clinton of Cancer Care and attended the recent seminar in Barbados hosted by Virgin Atlantic and Richard Branson himself, “Business is an Adventure”.  An adventure, for sure and not one to be missed!

  1. ad·ven·ture
[adˈven(t)SHər, ədˈven(t)SHər]
NOUN
adventures (plural noun)
  1. an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity:
“Her recent business adventures in the Caribbean, keep her on her toes and experiencing all of the amazing people and natural beauty of the region”

For as long as I’ve been an entrepreneur, for the better part of 12 years, I have visualized the moment I would meet Sir Richard Branson and precisely what I would say and how I would say it.  The message was articulate, poignant, and bold!

Therefore, when Christine asked me to join her for this seminar (a week before it started) and the Keynote Speaker was THE Sir Richard Branson, I knew it was a self-fulfilling prophecy because literally in my top rotation of pitches of BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals, shout-out to Jim Collins) is a strategic partnership with Virgin aka Sir Richard Branson {SRB}.

The Virgin Atlantic conference was fantastic with notable Caribbean speakers from the business community; please visit the key takeaways here.  The entire panel was a prime example of what is “right” about leadership and business in the Caribbean.

However, my story begins after the conference, with Sir Richard Branson.  Post conference was the perfect opportunity for my BHAG moment which I had been visualizing for all my entrepreneurial career.  The moment was not arranged, the conference over, people networking about, but BHAG (SRB) had been whisked away in a flash, long before the session was over.   But I tapped into my spidey-sixth-groupie-sense and the fact that I was not leaving Barbados without saying what I had been preparing for 12 years to say to my BHAG, {SRB}.  

I found him easily (spidey-sixth-groupie-sense) standing by a thinly vailed sheered window on a phone call, about to walk into a meeting. SRB acknowledged me like any proper groupie, with a nod and a finger in the air, signifying 'hold please’.  This meant all systems were a go for me; so, with an ecstatic wave, smile and “Yes, I’ll just get some coffee” (and 'Yes, wait until the end of time, no problem…') I made sure he saw me; wait did he see me?!  Better just smile again, wink, nod, jazz hands, wait; be cool... Oh yes, I’m cool!  

He eventually walked over. explaining he was going into a board meeting.  Knowing I had limited time, I lit into my pitch like fireworks in Texas on the 4th of July.  SRB listened for a bit, then offered a photo.  (Which, I’m sure he instantly regretted.  As you know, if we’ve taken a photo, 24 takes and a half-hour later, we are still in a full-on photo-shoot.)  But he had offered humbly, as I’m never brazen enough to ask, so....  Eventually and patiently, he called uncle saying, “Alright listen, I really have this board meeting, but wait and I will send out my right-hand”.  

At that moment, I began to wonder if he was putting me on, as I recounted my soliloquy of devotion and undying admiration, adornment and allegiance for all things Virgin, that then rambled into the details of my similar passions and how we were cosmically aligned that then transitioned to our ½ hour photo shoot.  Could it have been a tad too much?  Was I pushing my luck? Hoping that the overzealous and not overly fanatic version of this scenario had won out… I scanned the crowd for his bodyguards and security, when his right-hand materialized (who is lovely), I knew that he heard me, this was real!   

Throughout the afternoon, Christine and I continued to connect with the entire executive Virgin Atlantic team and it got very real.  The most resounding commonality being a belief in the Caribbean and the future our children play in it. 

Believe it or not the BHAG happened throughout all the moments in Barbados, not only with Sir Richard Branson, but also with Christine’s cousin Pauline. Pauline whose roots are in Ireland but is now Bajan, Bajan by choice. Making the time for WE (Christine & me), in a wee time.  Allowing us to sink into the simplistic colonial Caribbean ebbs and flows where energy can be found wherever the sun should gleam. Affirming why people from all over the world choose to raise their children in the Caribbean.  A place where shoes are literally no problem, but things like education, family, religion and community are esteemed.  

To further establishing a connection with PBHC and Patricia Berry, an internationally recognized Spa Therapist, Instructor and School Owner.  Who has the only ITEC accredited spa therapists’ programs available in the region.  The school that is the solution for training, accrediting and creating the Caribbean therapists of the future. 

To the serendipitous connections, Christine and I made for Global Wellness Institute’s Wellness for Children Initiative. 

To meeting Tracy Archer, who has the exact same Forbes trainer preparing them for greatness at Sandy Lane that I had recently, and who will undoubtedly lead them to 5 stars.  In a short amount of time WE (Tracy, Christine & I) found so many shared spa & wellness goals that WE need a separate article.

To the sweetest roundabout kismet of a good-bye ride to the airport, which included passage with a bus of special needs children to their Equine Therapy session hosted by the lovely Lisa, who does this everyday with care and precision.

Fully sealing the deal on this unplanned, beautiful adventure to Barbados.  Moments WE cannot plan, that only exist by design, because life is too busy redirecting WE in this journey.  Thank you, Barbados, WE met you, WE saw you and now WE know there is more to see and be done.  

 

In closing:

Walking away from an adventure, whether in business or life, when done properly, especially in the Caribbean, you have more questions than answers.  For moments like this with seemingly boundless opportunities and collaboration WE found a new way and ask ourselves one question ‘WWSRBD’ {what would Sir Richard Branson do}?

 

He would decidedly say, “Screw it, let’s do it”!

rb2

 

 

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