Richard Branson is popular for his role in starting the Virgin group of companies. He is a leading entrepreneur in the world and as such it was an honor to get to meet him. The meeting was set to occur on the third Wednesday of October. I was a business entrepreneur and my business of selling artifacts online had caught the great entrepreneur’s attention. I was 23 years at the time the meeting was to take place; seven years older than Branson when he started his first company. He had successfully established 400 companies by now; I believed that under the guidance of Branson I would have a similar group of companies if not more.
My business was called Keek’ Artifacts, I had gotten the name from the Kenyan tribe, Maasai, it meant treasure. The business involved collection of artifacts such as carvings, paintings, precious stones, and African utensils. The idea behind the business was relatively common but what had caught the attention of Branson was that I had managed to sell artifacts located in Africa while still in America. I did this by hiring remote collectors in Africa who sent me pictures of artifacts they had, I then posted them on the businesses’ website for interested clients. On purchase of the artifact, it was shipped to the client’s location once there was an accumulated level of artifacts to the specific country. The beauty of this was that I had managed to cut costs of first shipping the artifacts to my location and then to the customer. This is what had inspired the meeting with Branson.
The meeting was to be held in a leading hotel in New York and as expected I arrived there before time; I could not afford to keep such an important person waiting. At exactly 10 o’ Clock, the time set for the meeting, Branson arrived. I had taken a full a hour before leaving the house to cool my nerves and to convince myself that I had to look confident but the moment he walked in, I felt significantly small. Branson came directly to where I was seated and introduced him self to me; although he did not have to- who would not know such an enterprising person? After exchanging a few pleasantries, he went straight to the agenda for the meeting; there was no time for small talk. At first I felt like he was treating me like a minor partner; but after giving it some thought I realized that for a man with over 400 companies to attend to, every minute counted.
Branson asked me whether I had brought along Keek’s business plan and since I had it with me I passed it to him. He skimmed through it making a stop to confirm something with me now and then. He asked me what my mission was, my vision was, and what I considered my competitive advantage. I had all this information ready as he had instructed me that it was required. After a fifteen minute talk, of which I was only a passive participant, he concluded that he was willing to become my quasi- partner. I knew my business idea was unique but I did not expect it to get the approval of Richard Branson, the man in-charge of the prestigious Virgin group of companies.
Branson left a few minutes later; the meeting had lasted exactly 32 minutes but I felt like it had taken a couple of hours. I did not know what to do between celebrating the fact that Branson was now my partner and that I had met the great entrepreneur- either way I was happy and I had achieved a feat many people at my age only did so in their dreams.