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Don’t like it? Do it better. A lesson from Richard Branson

Virgin Group Founder Richard BransonWhether you’re a current CTU student or alumni, you strive for change. You may work full-time and raise a family while going back to school to advance your career or pursue an entirely different line of work—maybe start your own business. You understand how to balance it all.

If you’re like many of our students, you want to make a difference. In a recent Fast Company article, billionaire tycoon and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson talked about the motivation behind his many business ventures, in particular his new hotel in Chicago.

In his latest quest, Branson wanted to create an experience similar to posh membership-only hotels but without the hefty price tag—and do it better. He also expressed frustration about being ripped off by $12 bottles of water in the rooms (even a billionaire wants to save a buck or two). This same logic is behind many of his business ideas. From air travel and cell phones to banking and hotels to his world-record breaking attempts and desire to travel into space, Branson has never been the kind of person to say no to a challenge.

Branson also talked about an experience with a banker that left him feeling in the dark and taken advantage of. Instead of complaining about it, he took it as an opportunity to compete with a better product, with better service. Have you ever encountered situations like this at work? Maybe you’ve felt like you could run things better if you were the boss, or owned your own company.

While you may not be able to start a business tomorrow to compete with the one that frustrated you, the lesson is really that when you’re thinking about your dream job, you don’t have to come up with a new idea, you just have to improve upon it. It starts with having a vision and taking steps to put that vision into action, even if the payoff isn’t immediate.

Just like Branson, you can dream big but start small. Maybe the first step is signing up for your first online course or going after your MBA. Maybe it’s finishing your bachelor’s degree or getting a second bachelor’s degree in an area you’re really passionate about. If you’re here, you’re already saying yes to the challenge. So the next time you find yourself facing a negative experience in your everyday life, consider how you can make it an opportunity.

Image credit: Fast Company