When I started Virgin from a basement in west London, there was no great plan or strategy. I didn't set out to build a business empire... For me, building a business is all about doing something to be proud of, bringing talented people together and creating something that's going to make a real difference to other people's lives.
If you want to be more productive, then start at the start: get there on time. Whether it is a meeting, a flight, an appointment or a date, it's important to ensure you are there when you say you will be there. This may feel like an old-fashioned tip to give, but it has served me well for five decades in business.
Be willing to use yourself to get out there and put the company on the market. If you have to make a fool of yourself, make a fool of yourself, but make sure that you end up on the front pages, not the back pages. In time, it's possible that your company will stand out from the crowd, and you'll be successful.
I suppose Virgin is an unusual brand in that I suspect we're the only 'way of life' brand in the world. We're one of maybe the top 30 best known brands in the world, yet if you look at the other 29, they all specialize in one area. Whether it's Google, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, etc., they all generally specialize in one area.
An exceptional company is the one that gets all the little details right. And the people out on the front line, they know when things are not going right, and they know when things need to be improved. And if you listen to them, you can soon improve all those niggly things which turns an average company into an exceptional company.
I'm not the sort of person who gives up on things. The first time we crossed the Atlantic in the balloon, it crashed, and we went on and did the Pacific. First time we crossed the Atlantic in a boat, it sank, and we went on and got the record. So, generally speaking, we will pick ourselves up, brush ourselves down, and carry on.