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30 Days of Genius

Lesson 9 of 30

Richard Branson

Chase Jarvis

30 Days of Genius

Chase Jarvis

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Lesson Info

9. Richard Branson

Lesson Info

Richard Branson

Hello, everyone, I'm Chase Jarvis, welcome to another episode of Chase Jarvis Live here on Creative Live, you're tuned into the 30 Days of Genius series, that's where I sit down with the world's top creatives, entrepreneurs and thought leaders and extract valuable insights that you can apply to your day to day to help you live your dreams in career, hobby and in life. If you're new to this series, you're just hearing about it for the first time, go to the number three zero days of genius, all you gotta do is press that blue button and then you'll get one of these badass interviews in your inbox everyday for 30 days, it's 100 per cent free. My guest today is the most recognizable, maybe the most famous entrepreneur in the history of the world, he has disrupted so many industries. He's disrupted the airline industry, the music industry, the train industry. Now he's turned his sights to space travel. Among other things, he just dropped his first film here a...

t the Tribeca Film Festival in New York last night. My guest is the one and only Sir Richard Branson. Nice to see you. Thank you, Sir. (rock music) (applause) They love you! So, over the course of this conversation, my goal is to inspire the people on the other side of the camera with not just your life story but actionable insights and I read some press about the film dropping last night and one of the things that was so impressive to me was the decision to go, to actually do something instead of nothing. And I think there's some connections, clear connections, between your entrepreneurship and flying a balloon across the Atlantic when you had experience, but little experience, and there was a willingness to sort of just go. Can you talk to me about that, it seems like an innate part of you, but it probably it was learned, I don't know, maybe you can tell us a bit more. Well I've always had the philosophy that's, you know, screw it, just do it is a lot more fun than not screwing it and not doing it. And sometime it's gotten me into a lot of trouble and sometimes, more often than not, it's been fantastic and so, you know, I suppose one of my greatest fear in life, is saying no to something and then regretting it so, I have said yes a lot and in the case of, you know, the ballooning adventures, yeah, nearly cost us my life but it helped put Virgin on the map on a global basis and you know, helped get the brand established. And it was actually great fun when it was going well and it absolutely terrifying when it wasn't. That sounds like so many things in life. Yeah. Entrepreneurship and actually being in a balloon. For a little bit of context, can you, it was the first balloon. It was the first time that, well five people had actually tried to cross the Atlantic, five people had died. So it was the attempt to try to do it differently than the others had done it and that was to fly in the jet stream at 35,000 feet where you've got very strong winds, to be above the bad weather. And, you know, we were the first and then foolishly we decided to do the Pacific. Ha ha ha ha. And a lot of exciting things went wrong on the way but we missed Los Angeles I think by two and a half thousand miles which is what we were aiming for and ended up in the Arctic but they were great adventures. And there's a lot of parallels between the risks there and entrepreneurship, clearly, maybe not risking your life per se. Was the decision to take on that risk, was it for your business or it was for yourself, to give you sort of personal energy. A lot of people, they work 24 hours a day, seven days a week and you've already mentioned in this interview twice fun, how important that is for you. So how do those things sort of relate to one another in your mind, are they connected, was the adventure connected to entrepreneurship? Yeah so, we had a successful record company but we had one airline seven four, one, one 747 for Virgin Atlantic and we were just trying to think of unique ways of putting this tiny little airline on the map. And you know, this balloonist said he thought he could build a balloon to do the job and so, initially, it was, you know, it was something that we embarked on to see if we could get Virgin on the map. It obviously then became much more important than that and a great personal adventure. I think the parallels one can draw in business is that the most important thing when you start a business is thinking about protecting the downside, you know, what, how can you avoid the business going bust, you know, what will you do if it does go bust? Are you gonna lose your home or not lose your home? As an adventurer, you know obviously the downside is losing your life and you've got to do everything you can to avoid that and, and then if you do lose your life, you know you've avoided, you've done everything you can not to have died. For sure. And of course you kick yourself. My, I have a strong recollection, you're an investor in Creative Live and one of the first times we met in San Francisco, you gave me that same advice, said you know, if you're gonna give a guy like me a piece of advice, you know in the startup world we're trying to build a game changing, paradigm changing company for education, what would it be? And you told me to take great chances and yet protect the downside, is that sort of a mantra across all of your businesses or how do you think about that? Yeah, I mean it is a mantra. I haven't always abided by it. Don't take your own advice. Occasionally in the early days I would ask my wife to sign a bit of paperwork without here knowing that that was the house on the line for about the tenth time an we could have ended up on the streets so, you know. But obviously that was a foolish thing to do and I wouldn't recommend it to other people, and I think, you know, to be able to sleep well at night and know you've got a roof overhead is important. So you know, take bold steps and bold risks but don't necessarily put everything on the line. So you have something like 400 companies under the Virgin umbrella now. It started from your kitchen counter, didn't it? It started from the phone box at my school when I was 15, we didn't have mobile phones and I wanted to start a magazine to campaign against the Vietnamese War and you know so I had to try to sell advertising for the magazine in order to get it going and so I literally when there wasn't a queue outside the school phone box I went in there and rang up Coca Cola and rang up Pepsi and you know, say well Pepsi's agreed to take an ad then Coke would jump in and then I'd ring up Pepsi. There's some lessons in there. And so you know so we kept and then we tried the same with banks. They're taking an ad, and anyway, so I learned to art of bullshit quite early on when it came to selling advertising. And that was at your school, as you mentioned. How, let's talk about what role school played for you, obviously, I've gone to Virgin Disrupt with you and spoken there about the future of education, how it's changing, can you talk a little bit about, you know, your sort of, I've read and we've spoken a little bit about it, a little bit of a disconnect between you and traditional education. What do you think about education today? Where is it going and how do, what's the best way for the people at home who are listening to prepare for their future? I'm dyslexic and, and therefore formal education didn't interest me and therefore I wasn't any good at it. Once something interests me then, you know, then I lap it up and learn quite quickly. And I think education, generally, just should be a lot more interesting, a lot more relevant. And you know, for instance, if you showed people our ballooning film across the Atlantic, they would learn, you know, they could learn whole masses of lessons from it, you know like hot air rises, there's a jet stream traveling at 200 miles an hour at 30,000 feet, there's you know, and so on and so on, there's just so much you can, so many techniques you can use to bring education alive. But instead, people for instance in Britain are taught French and nobody ever learns French, it's a completely useless language and you know, Spanish would be much more useful and people still talk Latin, and you know, algebra. I mean all these bizarre subjects where it's not that relevant to life. And how, as people, it sounds like you're encouraging people to lean into their passions, is it with, is it because you have greater energy around things that you care about? Is it because that's where your aptitudes lie? What's your philosophy on? I think, you know, it's sort of foolish to spend your life not becoming expert at your passions. If you're passionate about something you're gonna give it, you're gonna give it your all and you're going to enjoy learning about it whereas if you have no interest in it, you're not gonna lap it up. Well would you, now with 400 companies under the Virgin group, is it fair to say you have 400 interests? Or, I know those are, I understand the structure of Virgin. I'm interested in life generally, and I love learning about new things and if something frustrates me, I'll dive in there and try to improve it. And quite a lot of things must have frustrated me in my life. Well I think that's, I've often in the little experience I have relative to you, but I've always found that scratching my own itch, if there's a problem that I have personally or if some people that are close to me, the vigor that I will sort of go into a challenge like that is always much greater and I believe you started Virgin Atlantic because you missed a flight or you had a bad flight experience, can you recall that for us? Like that's literally scratching your own itch. I was trying to get from Puerto Rico to the British Virgin Islands and American Airlines only had a half full flight and so they told us all to come back the next morning. I had a beautiful lady waiting for me in the BVI. I was not gonna wait til the next morning and so I went to the back of the airport, I was 28 years old, I hired a plane, borrowed a black board and then just wrote as a joke Virgin Airlines, $39 one way to Puerto Rico. And I went all the people who'd been bumped and filled up my first plane and then the next day I rang up Boeing and said do have any second hand 747s for sale? You went from a plane that's island hopping to a 747? They, and anyways, so, you know, that was literally out of frustration, you know, I was getting to that lady. But also, just the frustration of the way that airlines did sort of treat you. The And by the way, the best businesses come from people's bad personal experiences, I mean you know, like who are listening to this program and you know, if you just keep your eyes open you're gonna find something that frustrates you and then you think well, you know, I could maybe do it better than it's being done and there you have a business. I mean if you can improve people's lives, you have a business. I'm a proud investor in your company and I love what you do and I think you know, you're fulfilling a real service to people out there and therefore you know that the business is gonna be successful and there is still you know people think well everything's been thought of but actually, all the time, that's the great thing about capitalism, there's gaps in the market here, gaps in the market there, ways of improving things here, ways of improving things there. And people should just give it a go. Do you feel like the, there's a certain sense of play with you personally, with your brand and to a certain extent in solving problems, for example there's a story you told about walking around with the blackboard and tickets to the BVI for $39 dollars. How important is play to you personally, and then to sort of the entrepreneurial spirit? I think play is really important, I think we only live once and we ought to try to live with a smile as best we can and have a good time. One of my favorite days in the year is April Fool's Day. I love what you guys did this year. And I love pulling people's legs and you know sometimes it backfires. I once ended up in prison all day on April Fool's Day when they managed to turn it on me. Sometimes it's successful like with our glass-bottomed planes of last year worked. It went viral, the whole world thought that Virgin Atlantic was building glass bottomed planes and people loved the idea so I suspect we will one day. Ha ha ha, of course. Well let's talk about space, I feel space, obviously the next frontier, but it also sounds so undoable when you're standing here on Earth and you're looking out there yet you're running headlong into it. Is there, do you have the same sort of fears as starting any business, is this, is it de-risked because there's so many players in the game now, or how do you think about space? It's incredible that you're going after it. It's enormously challenging, it is rocket science and it is tough, and we've been going now for ten years, so it's been, you know it's cost us a penny or two as well. Or a dollar or two. It's resulted in tears, but we think that we're almost there and the space, new spaceship is finished, it's starting its test program and we just hope to be up and away in the not too distant future. So it's not, you know putting people just into space I think it's very important cause I think, you know that overview effect of looking back on earth transforms people and we'd love to have many people become astronauts and experience that. But equally, we'll be putting hundreds and hundreds of satellites into space which will connect people. I mean there are like four billion people who can't get your programming in the world because they don't have internet or wifi access. If we can actually help connect those four billion people then education, health, you know, just people being able to start businesses, a whole mass of things follow from it, so lots of exciting things from space travel. And was that inspired, was it like a childhood vision that you had? Was it inspired from the view that you got from those balloons at 30,000 feet? It was inspired out of frustration again, I mean I couldn't understand, I wanted to go to space. But NASA, the Chinese, Russians, they just weren't interested in you or me going to space so in the end I thought screw it, let's do it, I'll register the name Virgin Galactic Airways, which I did. That was the first thing I did and then I'll travel around the world trying to find engineers. With your chalkboard? Engineers who could knock a spaceship together and build rockets and the rest, hopefully, will be history. All that's very inspiring and I think there's so many folks, we mentioned before the camera started rolling, talked about there's sort of two groups behind the cameras here. There's a group that is stuck in something they don't want to be in and taking that first step seems like something, some gigantic risk for them or for their family. And there's the other group of folks that have started something and are looking to take it to the next level. So let's, two questions here, one for each group. The first group, advice that you would give to the folks who are trying to go from zero to one, they're maybe bound by fear or what's keeping them down. I think it's particularly difficult to take a risk and start your own business if you've got a comfortable job, you're paying off a mortgage, you've got maybe children, you've got a partner and you know and I completely understand why people are fearful of then going out and trying to start a business. Having said that I think that if you feel that you've got a great idea and you've got something really special, if you can find other people who also believe in your idea. Obviously if it's financed as well, so much the better. And then if you can surround yourself with great people I think you'll get enormous satisfaction from trying it. But obviously I fully understand that you know, if you're having to look after kids at home and education you have to be quite brave veering on foolish to give it a go. But the upside of pulling it off is pretty damn good. So, yeah it's all about the, if you're talking about protecting the downside, but then the sort of the reward part of what I understand is a struggle for folks that are in that camp is sort of the fear of failure, obviously, but I think for the folks at home to hear some of your struggles would help them cause I think they sort of look at you as sort of unflappable and you've had all this success but. We've come, you know, there's a very thin dividing line between success and failure and we've come very close on a number of occasions to crossing that dividing line. Even to the extent on a Friday night having the bank manager at my home telling me that on the Monday morning he was going to put the whole, the Virgin group out of business. And I told him he wasn't welcome in the house, I pushed him out of the house which is quite a risky thing to do with your bank manager. And I sat down just shaking with anger and then we spent the weekend making calls and managed to rustle enough money up to sort him out on the Monday but, so if we had, if we'd failed and we were lucky enough not to, if we had failed I think I'm the kind of person would have picked myself up, brushed myself down, learned from everything I'd achieved and started again. And a lot of very successful entrepreneurs have had failures and have brushed themselves down and started again and learned from, learned from their struggles. So one of the things that aside from the entrepreneurship adventures, and we've talked about everything from space to school newspapers or school magazines, let's talk about you personally for a second. Because I think the psychology is sort of apparent when you talk about all of the way you think and how you look at risk, all that stuff but what about you personally, are there some things that have kept you especially grounded, whether it's community or family, are there some things that you do everyday that if you sort of don't have that you feel remiss? If you can get a little bit personal, what does Richard think about in the morning? I think the best decision I made in my life was finding a very down to earth, Glaswegian beautiful lass about 40 years ago. Falling in love and she's been my rock over those years and been a wonderful mother and from there, I've been able to have the freedom to get out and create things and I've always worked from home which she's had to put up with, put up with quite a lot. I think working from home means that I've had to learn to delegate and I've found very good people to delegate to. Is working from home something that, is it, does if feel more comfortable for you or what is the? I love the fact that the children were literally at my feet. I've seen pictures of you on the phone with papers spread all over the kitchen table. So it's been great to be able to, I think I've spent more time with my children than most people I know. And we're therefore, we are a very, very close family. Also working, and I work, my home is an island, and so that's a wonderful place, too. It's actually right behind us on the wall there. A wonderful place to sit and think about the bigger picture. The other advantage of working from home and especially living on an island is keeping fit is very important and every morning I get up and I play tennis, I make sure it's singles so, and play with somebody than me at pro. Do the same in the evening and we have, you know, real battles. If the wind's up I'll kite surf in the day as well. And then between all that, you know, work hard. So but because I'm keeping healthy and fit I actually get I think more hours work in a day than most people. And then how about, is there any, how do you get your information? Do you try and sort of reduce the volume of information so you can sort of be in a quiet place or are you looking for as many inputs as possible? Clearly if you live on an island there's a bit of you that wants to remain very private. But how important is sort of information and connection to the outside world? Information and connection is really important and I'm a good listener. I think a good leader needs to be a good listener. I know what I think so I don't need to listen to my own voice and learning all the time from listening, from taking notes, if I'm having a conversation with somebody I'll always have a notebook in my lap. Making the lists of things that I need to get done. I sometimes just can't understand people, you'll have a business meeting, nobody takes notes, you know that nothing's gonna get done. I mean, maybe somebody might remember one thing, two maximum, but if there's a list of sort of 15 or 20 decisions that need to be made from it, then critical I think to make a note and get these things done. And I think that often differentiates a good leader from a bad leader and some leaders think it's beneath me to be taking notes, that's something our secretary should be doing, but just write, forget that. Write these things down. There's something that's very, present with you, with the companies you've started, with the people that I know that work for you. There's this sense of sort of creativity and you know that's my personal mission in life, is to make the world a more creative place. Creative Live's mission. Can you talk to me about your view of creativity? Do you think about it in a painting, photography, drawing, design way? Do you think about creativity with a capital C and how important is that in establishing your businesses and in your personal life? Like what role does creativity play for you? Do you know, it sounds a strange thing to say, but I think there is not a lot of difference between a business person and an artist. An artist has a blank sheet of paper, and they've got to paint the paper. And if it's gonna be a good painting, every single little detail on that canvas will be beautiful. If you're, I mean like 10 years ago, we decided let's set up an airline that people will actually want to fly in America. They didn't have good airlines then. And so we set up Virgin America. A blank sheet of canvas and we had to get every single thing right, all the little details right in setting up that business. We had to be very creative. And because every single little detail was got right, we created an exceptional airline. Amazing experience. And you know the rest is history. So details, detail is, you know it's all that little detail that make up for the perfect picture at the end of the day. Yeah there's a quote from the designers Eames, Eames brothers, the details aren't the details, the details are the thing. And I have also been on record saying that in the future all CEOs will be considered artists and if there are people who are specifically not inclined to that, they can have roles in the company, but the sort of the vision is a creative experience and I love the connection that you just made between the details in a piece of art and the details in building a business. Since you mentioned Virgin America, I'm gonna go there for a second. One of the ways that Virgin America got on the map for me was a the Virgin brand, of course, like so welcome in the US and the world. I've flown millions of air miles, hundreds of thousands every year, so it was a welcome, different experience than what we've got here. But specifically, as soon as you sit down on the plane the light's different, the seat's different, the staff is different, even the site was so much different in buying your first ticket. And yet when you sit down and the safety video comes on, this is years ago, in an area where no one thought innovation was possible, the TSA is literally the most oppressive organization in probably the US government and yet you found a way to sort of usurp that paradigm and make a beautiful, playful video that delighted folks in an area where non one thought innovation was possible. I use that as an example all the time with my company and with my peers. How important is sort of finding an area that hasn't yet been sort of, exploited is the wrong word, but sort of viewed from that different angle that only you or some other entrepreneur, like can you go right in the front door and try and compete with some of the, you know the American Airlines that you said earlier, or is your philosophy about sort of entering from the side door or the back door and exploiting the cracks? Like how do you think about things? Yeah I think that if something is run in a very stuffy way, and safety videos were run in a stuffy way forever. The stuffiest, the worst. Then you know, one shouldn't be frightened of unstuffyfying it. Oh wow, that's a good one. And a lot of big airlines would be frightened, they'd worry that the Civil Aviation Authority is gonna come down on them for taking, not treating safety with a proper decorum. But of course the fact of life is that if you actually make a safety video enjoyable to watch, people are gonna watch it and they're gonna get the messages and if there was an incident, they're more likely to remember the messages. If you have a safety video that's the boring same thing every time, nobody watches it so. Can we say, is it fair to say that that's creativity at work? Yeah, of course it's creativity at work. I'm just thinking there was some years ago at Virgin Atlantic that the chief accountant rang me up and said everyone's stealing our salt and pepper pots. We're gonna have to put something more boring on the plane because they just love them. It's little windmills and it's costing us x amount of dollars a year. And I thought about it and rang him back a couple of hours later and saying no you keep them on but I was going to do something. So underneath all the salt and pepper pots, we then printed 'pinched from Virgin Atlantic'. And they became the greatest promotion as people were having their dinner parties, somebody was saying how impressed they were their salt and pepper pots and then they turned up and then gotcha. Oh that's certainly leaning into an opportunity. Go back to your personal if we can just for a second. Is there anything, you talked about sort of space, being in your own island and I think for the folks at home you don't have to have an island. I mean like I used to live on a houseboat so and Virgin started from literally, my children lived in a houseboat and it had two rooms. You know my wife was there and I was running, building the Virgin company on a houseboat. And it was place that people liked to come and visit because it was a houseboat but it was a beaten up old houseboat and it had the smallest kitchen and the smallest loo anywhere in London. So, but we were as happy on that houseboat as I suspect we are today on an island. So try it, you know if you can, try to find a place to work that's got a pleasant environment, that's not always affordable but if you can, that yeah I think that helps. And I mean I love, for instance, these organizations that are sharing office space and where you can feed off other people when you're starting a business. I think that's a great way for people to go and find a bit of space and then you can learn from each other and help each other. How important is that energy? The energy of others? I think it is important. When I started, you know, when I left school, having this group of people together feeding off each other was essential and learning from each other, helping each other through the bad times, enjoying the good times together. So you talked about your space, whether it's a houseboat or an island. You talked about physical fitness and health, I think there's a sad story at least in the US, I believe globally that creativity is sort of, needs to pull everything out of you and we have so many sad stories of the Kurt Cobains, the Janis Joplins sort of taking their own lives but I think it's gonna bare out that sort of having a long, creative arc to your life is so much more valued, but not just to you but to the world and contribution wise. Anything else, if you talked about your space, you talked about health and wellness, how important is, what do you do to, for inspiration for example? I think the world who doesn't think of themselves as hype creative is out there like oh my gosh, where does Sir Richard get his ideas and how does my, even the startups and even the corner store, like where do they get their ideas and inspiration? So where does someone like you? I think traveling, traveling a lot I think is important. I mean like some people listening to this they may be out of a job. Go to somewhere like Bali which costs almost nothing when you get there, in fact, you know just get out there, travel, keep your eyes open, and I suspect in that three months, six months process, you'll come up with some exciting ideas. But you've got to be open to ideas and out there listening. I mean a lot of, not many people, actually make an effort and try to find out what's going on in Germany? What's going on in France? What's going on in Britain? What's going on in America? What's going on in Canada? Who's come up with new breakthrough ideas recently? I mean for instance we've invested in a company called Doctors on Demand which you ring them up and there's a doctor and they'll give you 15 minutes at any time of the day, from anywhere in the world. Great idea. And mainly American based but if somebody in Europe heard that idea, they should get in and compete. You know I mean, it's, and so. The global sort of player. If you can't come up with your own unique ideas, there's other people who will have already come up with ideas in some country or other which you can, if they've managed to make it work in Holland it's quite likely you'll be able to make it work in which ever country you live in. And if travel is inspiration, and that's very external to you, is there anything, any internal sort of sense of inspiration that you get? Like, you know, your mum or your childhood? Or I'd like to come back to your dyslexia. Well my mother, my mother always taught us to, like we weren't allowed to watch television, we had to be out there doing things, creating things. And you know, she would like push me out of the car aged six, told me to make my own way to granny's house and or sent me on a bike ride in the pouring rain 400 miles as you do when you're a 10 year old. And you know so she was trying to bring us up tough, you're taking a slight risk, like if we'd had an accident she obviously would have regretted it but we didn't. We survived and I think we came out the stronger for it at the far end. And then to go back to your life with dyslexia, how important has that been in shaping you and how have you taken what was once considered maybe a challenge and made it, clearly made it, something that works well for you? I think the most important thing about my dyslexia was that it helped me learn the importance of delegation. And if you're gonna build a business, don't try to do it all yourself. Find people who are better than yourself, and to run things on a day to day basis and that then leaves you up to think about the bigger picture. So I think dyslexia, you know it is strange, I mean I sometimes think back to my days at school where I would look at. There's no name, there's no name for it then. Yeah no, there was no, they didn't, they'd never heard of dyslexia in those days but they just thought I was as thick as anything. So I'd look at a blank sheet of paper, I just couldn't understand the answers at all. And yet now, I'm looking at rocket science facts. Literally. Because I'm interested and I can actually understand it enough to have a reasonable conversation. I've heard from a little bird that there's a moment in the film, to bring it back full circle now, the film that just, congratulations by the way, just yesterday I heard the premiere went great, that you were going to abort the mission. Something about you jumped out of a plane in preparation, you had some experience of pulling your parachute or not pulling your parachute and that there's some parallels there. Was the dyslexia at work in that moment, was that? Yeah I think that there are different ways that dyslexia plays on people and on this occasion. No spoilers here, you have to go see the film. Anyway but on this occasion I pulled the cord that got rid of the parachute not the cord that opened the parachute and anyway somehow I'm still here today but you'll have to see the film to see how we survived that one anyway. Incredible. Not a good idea. In just the few minutes that we've got left, is there something that if you revealed it, in this interview that people would not likely know about you, what would that thing be? Something that not, you haven't talked about rather publicly but something that would be a surprise to some people to know about you. Ah let me think. I'm a pretty open book. Okay the one story I didn't tell in my book, was I was driving when I was a 21 year old down to Oxford one day and the police siren went behind me I was driving at 100 miles an hour, and I thought fuck, I do not want to be put off the road for six months. So I lent over to my friend who was sitting next to me, I punched him in the stomach, took the car window down, he was buckled up in agony and I said my friend, he's got an attack of appendicitis, and so the policeman looked at him, looked at me and then he said, right, follow us and siren blaring, off we go to the local hospital. And when we got to the hospital, John was trying to think how we could get out of this now. They're gonna start sticking tubes and needles in him. And so he said to the doctor, look I haven't been to the loo for a week, this could be the problem. So anyways the next moment I see this doctor with a rubber glove going into the cubicle and he's still somehow a friend but anyway. That was called true sacrifice for him. And we somehow got off it. Yeah you beat my next question, are you still friends with John, it sounds like you are, he's forgiven you. He's forgiven me. Brilliant. Well I'm super grateful for your time. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Thank you, good luck. Good luck everybody out there. Yes! Cheers. Best of luck to all of you out there and again, tune in tomorrow where you get another one of these videos. Thanks again for tuning into Creative Live. I'm Chase Jarvis, Sir Richard Branson.

Class Description

There's a common misconception that artists have a monopoly on creativity. But the very act of making something - shooting a photograph, designing a product, thinking critically, or building a business - is a creative one. These small actions come from our unique inner impulse to create.

This is what Richard Branson, Jared Leto and Arianna Huffington have in common. This is what makes Brené Brown, Tim Ferriss and Mark Cuban successful. They're all world-class achievers, but more than anything, they've used their creative impulse as both fuel and compass. It has allowed them to push on when others haven't, overcome obstacles thought impossible, and build a life of habits that sustain their mindset. And they'll be the first to tell you that their accomplishments are built on learned skills available to anyone.

In this free video series, you'll learn about the big thinking and breakthroughs that allowed these geniuses to break the mold. They'll share their successes and failures, and turn them into actionable insights for you. Join renowed photographer and CreativeLive Founder Chase Jarvis as he interviews 30 of the brightest minds of our time: 

Richard BransonArianna Huffington     Mark Cuban
Sir Mix-A-LotSeth GodinJared Leto
Marie ForleoGary VaynerchukLeVar Burton
Tim FerrissDaymond JohnRamit Sethi
Gabrielle Bernstein     James AltucherKelly Starrett
Lewis HowesKevin KellyBrian Solis
Austin KleonBrandon StantonSophia Amoruso
Brené BrownNeil StraussTina Roth Eisenberg
Gretchen RubinElle LunaAdrian Grenier
Kevin RoseStefan SagmeisterCaterina Fake

The goal of this interview series is not to turn everyone into a super-achiever. 30 Days of Genius is lightweight and helpful, designed to help you recognize your passions and achieve your goals. Watch in the morning or during a break at work, when you're in need of motivation or thinking of your next move.

Here’s how to sign up

  1. Click the blue button above, sign in. It’s free.
  2. Watch your inbox for an interview with a new genius every day for the next 30 days. You'll get the first video the day after you sign up.
  3. Watch the videos daily, or at your own pace - whenever you want insights or inspiration.
  4. Repeat. (And share this series with anyone you’d like)



Ratings and Reviews

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I have watched all 30 days so far and the first thing that blows me away is how Chase interviews all these different people, totally relaxed and he listens to everything they say and finds a question that relates so clearly to the subject being talked about. He also brings in quotes and snippets for other people, how he remembers all this stuff is just amazing. This is what I have taken away from the first 5 interviews. Mark Cuban started the series theme with the concept: you can start from nothing and become something by way of the HUSTLE. Although it sounded like whatever he touched turned to gold immediately, there was a huge amount of hustle that went with it to get it all going. Seth Godin was down to earth and lead with "happiness is a point of view", so do something today that will make tomorrow worthwhile being there. Be prepared to fail to succeed. Marie Forleo the Jersey girl made good. Her dad told her to do what you love. So she set out to do just that. It didn't happen over night, loads of job frogs kissed, until the life coaching vibrated through her life with the help of intuition and she was set on her path to success. Navigate passed those that will drag you back or down was another insight from Forleo. Using the concept from her Mom, ‘everything is figureoutable’, stood her in good stead all her life. Having a close community to help you is essential. Stop whining and just do it. Read Cameron Herold's double double, lean into your future. Tim Ferriss, the whirlwind learning man, using the simplistic steps to learn anything is the Ferriss way to go. you want to be a Tango champion, go to Argentina and learn from the best. Hard work has its place but control it. Another Ferriss phrase is 'what would this look like if it were simple', following this concept takes the complexity out of what you are doing and leads to you accomplishing the task you are undertaking. Celebrate the small wins and you accomplish the large ones. Meditation makes one more effective. Play at creativity to keep creative. Don't retreat into the story of the voices. Arianna Huffington, what Greece as a country could do with to get itself out of the slump. Remember you are not your job, don’t stifle your creativity. You don’t have to burn yourself out to succeed in life. The obnoxious roommate the keeps you awake and hurts your creativity. Sleep is not only life affirming but also imperative for the brain to reboot and spam filter.


I just paused this course to take a breather, overwhelmed with how people are willing to share advise, stories and insight....such powerful ones to help each other!!! I think the world is an amazing place and these times are the best that we could be in...yes sometimes life is tough but we have so many great people and so many people doing such great work....i love and admire Chase Jarvis and what he has done with creative life!!! Thankyou Chase, this is just wowwww!!!!

Alicia Amundson

Loving this course! Amazing insights from such a great range of people. Much gratitude to Chase, the Creative Live team and all of the guest speakers for the opportunity to learn in a way that's fun, interesting and inspiring. Thank you!