All posts by Ian Usher

The Rule of Surf’s Up!

Turning your passion in life into a job is the dream scenario for many, but what about those of us who aren’t lucky enough to do so. How much should we allow work to dictate our lives?

This Australian plumber has a refreshing approach to employee wellbeing.

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I had been living in Australia for less than a year, having made the decision to emigrate from England after another chilly and depressing winter. Things had gone well for us in the land down under, and my wife and I were having a beautiful home built for us in one of Perth’s southern suburbs.

We had bought a block of land and contracted a company to build a house for us, following one of their off-the-shelf plans, with a few minor modifications we had requested. One change we wanted involved the pipework and fixtures in the main bathroom and on the Wednesday morning I was scheduled to meet the plumber to give him ………..

Find out what happened next by reading the full article here on Virgin.com “Disruptors”:

http://www.virgin.com/disruptors/employee-wellbeing-the-rule-of-surfs-up

How I became a couchsurfer

In 2004, a group of friends invented a concept called couch-surfing. When I embarked on this new form of travel – it changed my world.

Everybody has a goal when it comes to travel – a special place in particular they absolutely have to see. For me, my goal was to see the incredible migration of the Christmas Island Red Crabs.

Each year millions of these large crustaceans migrate in a mass spectacle of heaving red shells, carpeting the beaches on a mission to release their eggs into the sea.

Remotely positioned off the coast of Indonesia and way out in the Indian Ocean, getting to Christmas Island is a challenge in itself. My first two hour flight from Singapore to this isolated volcanic landmass was aborted on final approach due to weather conditions. It was another six hours before I finally arrived on the island that was to be “home” for the next two weeks.

Finding somewhere to stay had been equally problematic.

Accommodation choices on Christmas Island are few and my limited budget didn’t exactly cater for a selection of luxurious hotels.

Fortunately, I remembered a website I had heard mentioned by fellow travellers. “Couchsurfing” was about to change forever the way I would travel and experience the world as I pursued my “100 goals” challenge.

The couchsurfing organization was created in 2004 by a group of friends in Iceland. They came up with the idea ………..

Read the full article on Virgin.com Travel here:

http://www.virgin.com/travel/how-i-became-a-couch-surfer

Five ways for entrepreneurs to encourage creative thinking

You probably don’t need me to point this out to you, but as entrepreneurs we generally tend to think a little differently to most other people. That’s what makes us entrepreneurs after all, isn’t it?

We think creatively, produce unusual out-of-the-box ideas, see problems as opportunities and come up with unique ideas or solutions. Entrepreneurs push boundaries. They create new ways to solve old problems, develop innovative new products and challenge old ways of thinking about, and doing business.

So why are we now entertaining a suggestion that our entrepreneurs may have lost the will or the ability to innovate?

Perhaps one of the reasons can be found by recognizing that many entrepreneurs will inevitably need to move their focus away from innovation as their business takes shape. Let’s face it. You started out in business because you had a brilliant idea, a creative brainwave. Your entrepreneurial mindset could see the potential ………..

Read the full article on Virgin Entrepreneur here:

http://www.virgin.com/entrepreneur/five-ways-for-entrepreneurs-to-encourage-creative-thinking

 

 

Working off-grid: Is there such a thing as too remote?

Remote working opens up a world of exciting opportunities – and I really do mean world. With the latest technological advances in the realm of communication, borders are no longer barriers.  In some situations it is now possible to work remotely from absolutely anywhere…

For many people the term remote working suggests a small office space at home, or a co-working space that provides an alternative working environment. It is a workspace that allows them to apply focus away from the traditional company office. But today’s modern inter-connected world allows the true entrepreneur to dream and achieve on a much bigger scale. Let me tell you about my remote workspace, to give an example of what is really possible when you start to live and work on your own terms.

I live with my partner on a small two acre island off the Caribbean coast of Panama. Our home is completely ‘off-grid’. We have no connection to mains electricity or water. Solar cells and a bank of batteries provide our power and rainwater collection …….

Read the full article on Virgin Entrepreneur here:

http://www.virgin.com/entrepreneur/working-off-grid-is-there-such-a-thing-as-too-remote

Three extraordinary marketing ideas

Why entrepreneurs need  to walk the road less travelled.
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When you’re trying to get your brand or product out there you needinspire people. Here are three examples of marketing strategies that underline the importance of thinking outside of the box…

Read the full article on Virgin Entrepreneur here:

http://www.virgin.com/entrepreneur/why-entrepreneurs-need-to-walk-the-road-less-travelled-three-extraordinary-marketing