In 1984 Richard Branson started Virgin Atlantic with just ONE Plane!
Since Branson lacked the money to compete with British Airways for advertising, he thought “outside the box.” He built a boat called the Virgin Atlantic Challenger in an attempt to break the record for the fastest speed ever across the Atlantic Ocean and build a brand name for his new airline.
Well after three and half days at sea and only 200 miles from the coast of England, the boat broke in two! In an attempt to break a world record and advertise a new airline, the company instead snapped a speed boat in two in the middle of the ocean! Press helicopters were on hand for the record attempt and captured the whole catastrophe while snapping pictures of the sinking boat. In response, Branson released a full page ad with a picture of the sinking boat, which conveniently showed the entire Virgin logo on the side, with the line, “It’s Virgin. Take the plane.” The press generated from the story and the popularity of the ad helped establish Virgin Atlantic as a household name which has help Branson become worth more than $4 billion today and the 4th richest citizen of the UK.
“Trying things-even if you fall flat on you face-is more important than not trying at all,” remarked Branson in Newsweek when asked about the event.
Sometimes the most important thing you can do…is to Do Something! My first internship in college was with the Comptroller of the State of Maryland. This internship granted me incredible access to a very high ranking state official, opportunities to meet many Maryland politicians, and invitations to meetings with the Governor. You know how I got the internship? I walked in the door and said HI! My college has an office called PACE, the Institute for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement. I had no idea what they did so I walked in the office and said, “Hi, my name is Bobby, what do you guys do?” An hour later I walked out of the office with a new exciting role on campus and 6 months later I walked into the State Treasury building with an employee badge.
What internship are you missing out on because you are afraid of rejection? What opportunity are you passing up because you are afraid of failing? Could you get your Dream Job just by walking in the door and saying Hi?