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I’ve found that one of the best ways to get to know someone is to play with them… to compete with them. I just spent four days playing tennis with Richard Branson, this is what I learned about him (and from him)…


Entrepreneurs and business owners rarely think twice about putting in the “overtime” to grow their businesses. But if you're going to continue to perform at a peak level over the long haul, you need to take care of yourself. In my opinion, if you're going to work hard, you need to play hard, too. Here's a quick 5-step approach to fun and play:

1. Make personal health your #1 priority. Without it, you can't build a business.

2. Schedule time for physical activity as part of your daily routine.

3. Choose an activity you enjoy… so you actually look forward to doing it. Positive addictions are good for you.

4. Always look for things to physically train for… events, big adventures, races, etc.

5. When you consider your business goals, consider the impact on the rest of your life. Don't give up your health, lifestyle, or relationships to advance your business.

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63 Replies to “Playing Hard With Richard Branson”

  1. I love this. Look at you, Jeff — as a boy, having so much fun. Biggest life lesson. Big thanks !!

    • yes agree, a huge life lesson. My husband & I made the decision to focus our life around our business with his goal to be a millionaire by the age of 40! my husband was diagnosed with Malignant Melanoma and passed away at the age of 40! Your health and wellbeing is so important to everything you do – a lesson I still struggle with.

  2. I believe so.Thank you for inspiration. I tend to skip exercise when I am busy, but I know mental health is belong to body health. So enjoy Richard Branson, he is one of my best.

  3. Great video Jeff…I also have adapted a new ‘health first’ attitude in my life this year, after seeing my Dad go thru a big health scare. I’m finishing up a cleanse/detox this week, I’ve added yoga classes and after seeing your video, I’m inspired to get back to horseback riding …my passion. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. This is great advice here Jeff. I have been preaching for years that our Health is our number one priority.

    WEALTH without HEALTH is MISERy

  5. So true! Jejj, I envy you a little bit 😉 What would I have given to get to know and learn from Sir Richard 🙂

  6. Mary McLean


    Exactly…While being a much smaller overall thinker than you and your “hang out friends”, I had to make that choice about 8 or so years ago…Why give up my almost perfect life of world travel, fun, backpacking the parts of the globe I wanted to experience and all that comes with that lifestyle, for being trapped again in a new business that demands your all until it can be successfully managed…for results you already were experiencing?
    It seemed counter intuitive to me…so as I can only do one thing properly at a time, unfortunately, not being able to chase 2 rabbits at once, I chose to do all the things I wanted to do, in the now, while I was young enough to do it…approaching 3 score years and 10 when I chose this path 8 years ago. My awesome life was amazing, jogging 6 days a week in so many countries, looking for fresh foods all over and all the things you do to remain fit and healthy. Of course it came with it’s free days…(lazy days, doing zilch, just hanging out with people, chatting over a beer or champers), rest days with no 3klm jog on Saturdays ans breakfast in bed, no phone, no TV and so on for those 8 years, until I ran out of puff…and desire to continue that way.
    So now my diminishing intent has diminished to a degree that I’m beginning to want to get back into it all again! Business online, that is…but not for the cash to do those things as I proved for all those years you could be a great world traveler for under $300 AUSD…about 225 USD, a week, so the cash to travel is not a motivator for me.
    I increasingly found I wanted a real mission, now my own senses had been satiated.
    Hahaha, full circle, but am happy to have been true to my greater intent…even though I tried a few online courses or had a dabble at business and so on in that time.
    I did keep my computer as my travel companion as I wrote a daily or weekly pictorial blog report for my family who loved seeing the world through their grandma or their mother’s eyes.
    Exciting times ahead for sure…I’ll still travel, ski and so on, but now it’s for recreational slots in the week or monthly calendar as I seek to become enveloped in a mission I know will be revealed very shortly. Indeed, my cup runneth over…now it’s time to contribute back and share from that bubbling well of good stuff in there.

    • > I proved for all those years you could be a great world traveler for under $300 AUSD…about 225 USD, a week, so the cash to travel is not a motivator for me.

      Do tell! (double-take)

      Sounds like a product right there… sign me up as customer! 🙂

  7. Great advice, Jeff! All the points you bring are powerful but the last one most of all. Thank you.

  8. I am an avid tennis player and mountain bike guy as well Jeff. (Have been to London for Wimbledon 3 times) This video resonates with me! Synchronicity. Thank you.

  9. Robert Koah


    Shaving off kilos,destressing,eating right & a simple lifestyle are keys needed to unlock all the energy needed, we know, but do we forget? Tks.

  10. Wow this is so me too Jeff thank you so much. I hired a trainer to work out last year for a couple months but in the end went back to my MTB and snowboard’s my workout and my meditation all in one. Good luck with your race Jeff ..I have one coming up too 24 Hours of Summer Solstice ?

  11. Totally agree my business suffers when I don’t exercise or am not enjoying my life. I am pushing myself outside everyday with my little kids to promote my business at a different playground everyday. I have more energy and ideas and clients. (My target market is mothers with small children who need to take a stand for there health:)

  12. Thank you for reminding us all of quality of life. There’s so much more than working and we can get caught up as entrepreneurs there is always “more” that needs doing.

    I am usually pretty good about balance however for bout 6 months not so. Regrouping:)))

  13. I appreciate the reminder. I was playing competitive Table Tennis 5 or 6 hours a week but stopped a few months ago due to time constraints. Have to get back to it right away.

  14. Luiza Prigenzi


    True!! Hey Jeff, I loved your t-shirt. All the best from Brazil. We are going through a tough and weird time but we will survive.

  15. I loved being physically active so much that becoming a group instructor – Zumba, TR X, Essentrics – became my 2nd business. Fitness is my reason for becoming part of PLF – so I can market/monetize the joy of exercise through webinars, videos & related products under Next step is to create and brand my own Boomer functional fitness program product.

  16. I have doubled my income every year and thankful for that. The big take away in this video is that my life wasn’t getting better. I had a light bulb moment a year ago; ‘if i double my income this year that will mean doubling my workload and I just can’t do that, I’m burning out’. thank you for this video…it was a whammy ‘my life is not any better because I make more money, so my focus is on creating a better life and that will create a better business’.

  17. Hello Jeff from Frank in sunny Phoenix, Arizona.
    I noticed you scheduled your play on a Friday and not on Saturday or Sunday. This means its part of your 5-day week routine.
    I assume the weekends are used for other duties or activities
    2-As a passive solar home designer I need free time for creative thinking to assist my clients better. So taking off and being
    in nature is the best. I get design ideas from the natural world from the great creation we live in.
    3-I also design backyard landscape retreats for clients. The more I do this the more I realize people want to have a place
    to unwind, and to rewind in relaxing, rejuvenating settings. Trees, flowers, birds, sky, clouds are the a few of the natural elements
    to compose a place to repose outdoors.
    Thanks for the great provocative advice. Thanks to Richard as well,

    The self-sustaining Eden

  18. Luis Rodbard


    Two legends!

    Great insights about business and life style. Thanks Jeff!

  19. Good luck on your upcoming race, Jeff!

    Great message.
    It gets very easy to sit behind your computer ALL DAY and work.
    I can attest, things like lower back pain start showing up and then you don’t feel like working out or exercising because of the pain.
    It can become a vicious cycle.

  20. Jeff,
    Thank you for sharing two such a great thoughts. Trying to fit exercise into my day has always been difficult but your thought points to the reason why. I don’t make it my number one priority ahead of all the other responsibilities. I want to enjoy being fruitful into my 80s, even 90s. Richard’s answer is so true yet we let our worldly pressures kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, our health and strength. So you have inspired me to daily schedule my health ahead of the rest of my day. Thanks!
    Second, I appreciate the thought; “Is your life better for the success you have achieved?” That’s a question we seldom if ever ask ourselves.

  21. T from Boulder


    Hi Jeff! Great advice and so important to remember, not only if you’re building a business but just in general. When this video ended, another one started automatically after that in which you talk about blocking out your Fridays for skiing. I love that idea of blocking out chunks of time for various activities, business or personal, be they physical, mental, or spiritually oriented. I know you have a team, and I’m curious, do you encourage this for your team as well, whether they’re employees or contractors? I would think that that kind of a business culture and work/play ethic couldn’t help but have a positive impact on the success of a business, as well as fostering the idea that setting aside this kind of “play” time isn’t simply an elitist pursuit for the owner of a business but is an important mindset for everyone in the organization.

  22. What a fun experience, Jeff! Thanks for sharing the Branson wisdom.

    I’m currently launching a bike tour fundraiser that benefits afterschool programs across the US and just hit my first $10,000 using some PLF techniques. I’ve been laid up for the last month with an injury so I definitely am recognizing how important it is to take care of yourself first!!!

    Great video. 🙂

  23. Well said, Jeff! Need to schedule my sports time and focus my physical activity on something I enjoy doing. Nice shirt on the video, by the way. Cheers, Rogerio

  24. Thanks Jeff for the reminder. It is so easy to be caught up in all of the computer work, etc. and forget the physical needs..Great advice

  25. Great Jeff, I have been doing the same by hiking almost everyday.
    We are here to have fun, if we don’t give it to ourselves, who will?

  26. Mercedes Planas


    Here I was preoccupied by the money I spent this week taking care of my well being (medically). I do it for all of my children and others I help. If I don’t take care of me there will be no me, no mom, no daughter, no sister, no friend, no grandma. Still I worry. I deserve to be well and in good health (all the levels of health). So, this video came just in time, hehe. Thank you Jeff.

  27. Great post. I am an entrepreneur coach and avid tennis player- and I have been questioning my own habit of playing tennis regularly. I realize that as long as I love doing it and I do not over do it- it great helps me in all my other areas of life. Thank you Jeff for helping me see that more clearly.

  28. This is a hard area for me. Taking time away to take care of your health… going to the gym… is pretty hard!

    Thanks for the motivation.


  29. I play tennis several times a week and just love it. Walk or sprint on the beach a couple of times a week as well. I just do not understand people who go to gyms- indoors and they pay for it as well. (Maybe it makes sense for lifters; it’s just crazy to go to a gym for cardio.) Much prefer to get my activity outside in the fresh air and sunshine.

    Balance is a huge thing for a quality life. Nurture the whole person: mental, physical, social and spiritual. I’m sure we all know “successful” people who are personally a wreck.

  30. Gregory Jay


    When you’ve put some time into thinking about it that way, it makes sense that doing what you love makes you healthy.

  31. Yes, love it! Schedule your self-care, be proactive and take preventative action. We are more productive and creative when we serve ourselves by taking time to for self-care.

  32. Be your best so you can bring your best to others.

    It’s all about systematic renewal. Refuel at the fueling stations. For me, it’s SUP’n, Surfing, Sailing, Running & Mt. Bike riding.

    Making deposits into your health account pays huge dividends!

    Your tank looks full! Looking forward to being on the receiving end of your energy at PLF Live next week.

  33. Great, video Jeff. As always.

    Health is the no 1 priority!
    Exercise in the morning will set you up for the rest of the day and
    help you to perform your maximum in your projects.



    Thanks, Mr. Walker! Your advices help me very much for improving my labour as a teacher; and so for helping my pupils to get better results and better lives. God continues blessing you, your family and your excellent projects for everyone…!!

  35. Bryan Erickson


    Thank you, Jeff for this reminder! I’m a trainer and even I forget to stay in shape by having fun. I’m inspired to have a big goal that’s big enough to work out for.

  36. Thank you Jeff for this insightful video! You and Richard are successful due in major part to keeping life balanced! I am just getting started in this business and always promised myself to stay balanced. Yes the money is great but ‘if it doesn’t add value to my life’ it is wasted! Here’s to continued success in all areas of our life! I appreciate these little nuggets of wisdom! Thanks again!

  37. Really? That’s it? That’s all you learned from precious time with one of the world’s most respected entrepreneurs? Way to oversell the impact.

  38. It makes perfect sense… We are no good to anybody unless we are healthy, stable and balanced. The value system that I created and follow his what I call the 5 F’s. They are: faith, family, friends, fitness and finances in that order. As you can see, fitness/health comes before finances, but also your own personal faith and strong loving relationships with your family and friends support your health and well-being. I am always reminded that “life is a game and love is the prize.”

  39. Linda Christensen


    You bet!! Gotta have fun and get in shape at the same time! I play volleyball and tennis every week, and dancing. I make these a priority and schedule my work around them. Keeping myself happy and healthy is number one!!

  40. Great advice. Commit to your goal. Surround yourself with great advisors and other successful people like RB.
    Your books talks about finding your WHY. Being on private islands must be a part of that. Not being salezy Jeff, but if you need investment properties to get addicted to something, let me know. Haha.

  41. I probably work out 3-4 days per week and am a HUGE believer in the necessity for energy, potential, endorphins and health for success, but I have a really hard time prioritizing it over my business or my family. Scheduling a competition means getting on other people’s calendars, accounting for drive time, and deciding what I am not going to do while I am exercising.
    I have committed to 1 month of “next level” exercise to lean into the discomfort and hopefully let the physical inspire the mind and spirit, but already I struggle with putting this first. I just don’t think it is as easy as all of you make it sound. I love this idea, but I don’t see this being realistic until my kids are out of the house.

  42. Thanks for sharing Jeff. Health really does play a big role in the other important things and areas of success in our lives. It’s one of those things that sometimes gets neglected until we get a slap in the face when the other areas start to decline. Then we have that uphill battle to get back on track. By just taking your advice and making our careers and businesses “life centered” from the start, we can really avoid many of these pitfalls and be more successful and happier in the long run. Thanks again for putting this in perspective.

  43. Thumbs up for the reminder on prioritizing me. And you finished great. Really asking myself: Is it worth it? What for? Will my life improve? THX, Chris

  44. Great advice Jeff. Recovering from an ACL replacement right now, but can’t wait to get back to playing in the mountains, whitewater, and surf.

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