Life Coaching Branson

I was just about to post a blog entry when I decided to write this first. I didn’t want anyone to read it and jump irrationally into doing something they might later regret. So before you read the following blog post here, please make sure you read this one.

Let me start first by sharing a story with you. I read it in Richard Branson’s book Screw it Let’s Do it. I quote from the book.

In 2004 I [Richard Branson] made a TV series, the rebel Billionaire. The final episode had a twist at the end. I offered a prize winner, Shawn Nelson, a cheque for one million dollars – but there was a catch. He could take the cheque or toss a coin for an even bigger mystery prize. If he lost the toss, he would lose it all. I held out the cheque. He took it and saw the long line of zeros. Then I took it back and put it in my hip pocket. I held out a silver coin.

‘Which one will it be?’ I said. ‘The coin or the cheque?’”

BEFORE you continue reading… put yourself in Shawn’s shoes and think what would you have chosen? Please let us know what and why in the comment box below.

Ever since I did my NLP training and became interested in life coaching, development and achievement I learnt  a great deal about people like Richard Branson. And here’s one of the many lessons I learnt.

First, I learnt they take risks.

Then I learnt they take calculated risks.

Then I learnt they take calculated risks, not gambles.

You must be wondering what’s the difference?

The main difference between risk taking and gambling is in the emotions. I’m a firm believer that ALL decisions are influenced; if not totally based, on emotions. But gamblers are not aware of this. They impulsively jump into actions often risking more than they could afford to lose. And when loosing occurs, and it will occur, they take increasingly bigger gambles in the hope of covering up their losses.

Risk takers on the other hand are aware of their emotions and acknowledge them. They carefully analyse the situation knowing their own abilities and limitations. They know they’re taking a risk and work hard to open new doors and eliminate limitations keeping in mind long term goals. If it happens that they lose they don’t weep over what might have been. They learn from their mistakes and move onwards and upwards.

Life is full of hard choices. Which one would he [Shawn] go for?

Shawn looked shaken. It was a huge gamble. All or nothing. He asked me, ‘what would you do, Richard?’

‘It’s up to you’, I said. I could have told him, ‘I take risks, but they are calculated risks. I weigh up the odds in everything I do. Instead I said nothing. He had to make up his own mind.

Shawn walked back and forth, trying to decide. It was tempting to gamble. It would make him look cool. Also, the unknown prize might be amazing. At last, he said he couldn’t risk losing that much money on the toss of a coin…

… ‘I’ll take the cheque’, he said.

I was pleased. ‘If you had gone for the coin toss, I would have lost all respect for you’ I said.

He made the right choice and didn’t gamble on something that he couldn’t control. He got the million dollars and the mystery prize.

This is something you don’t learn in life coaching courses or NLP training. You learn this by reading biographies of greats such as Branson and living your life how you want it, regardless of how society is trying to program you to live. But you do this, by taking calculated risks, not by gambling.

Now you can read my next post here!

Until next time,


Copyright (c) 2010 – Life coach, life coaching, RESULTS Coach, Performance Consultant, Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), NLP training

Facebook comments:

  1. Daniel

    I would like to use the ability of tinhkang you for your professional direction I have always enjoyed checking out your site. We are looking forward to the particular commencement of my school research and the entire preparation would never have been complete without visiting your web site. If I may be of any help to others, I’d be happy to help through what I have learned from here.

Leave a Reply