You may have read Anya Crowe’s post about key takeaways from five days on Necker Island with Sir Richard Branson and 53 EO members. Did it make you wonder how EO members gained exclusive access to the iconic entrepreneur? Simply put: Because of MyEO.
MyEO is a unique EO programme that enables each EO member to curate their own tailor-made curriculum of groups and events that match their interests and passions, while connecting with other members who share them. This empowers members to get the exact experience they want and value. It’s a great way for EOers to be intentional about their entrepreneurial and personal journey.
So whether your passion is scuba diving, collecting watches, brewing beer, deep-sea fishing, making ceramics – or learning directly from Sir Richard Branson — there’s a MyEO Group or a MyEO Event for that.
MyEO is a popular EO programme, with 8,500 EO members participating in one of more than 530 MyEO Groups and 830 MyEO Events last fiscal year.
Have you thought of becoming a MyEO champion to curate a unique experience for members? Eric Lowenstein and Lisa Andrews of EO Sydney did. Let’s explore how the 2023 MyEO Event that landed 53 EOers on Necker Island with Sir Richard came to be.
How did the MyEO Event on Necker Island originate?
Here’s what event co-champion Eric Lowenstein shared:
“It all started in August 2022 during an EO event where Jack Daly discussed his new book, Life By Design. He urged us to curate our personal bucket lists and actively chase dreams and goals.
When I lightheartedly expressed my dream of hosting an EO trip to Necker Island to my Forum, someone mentioned that Lisa Andrews had recently visited the island. Taking it as a sign, I reached out to Lisa the next day: “How about we take a group of EOers to Necker Island?” Without hesitation, Lisa echoed my enthusiasm with a resounding “I’m in!”
We approached Necker Island and Sir Richard Branson’s charity, Virgin Unite, to identify a suitable date and took the ambitious step of renting out the entire island. The EO community’s response was overwhelming. Ultimately, we could accommodate 53 attendees.
The event’s central theme — Impact —goes beyond mere influence; it’s about making tangible and positive changes to our community and environment. Our exceptional group included passionate entrepreneurs from the UK, Australia, India, UAE, USA, Canada, Costa Rica, Greece, Singapore and Malaysia. Each brought not just their entrepreneurial spirit, but also a shared passion for creating meaningful impact to address some of the world’s critical issues.”
How was your time on Necker Island structured?
Eric continued: “Our days blended structured learning and recreational activities. Each day, we enjoyed organized formal learning events including a day one fireside chat with Sir Richard around three core values intertwined in his visionary journey.
The next day, several EO members shared their entrepreneurial journeys and impactful projects. On day three, we collaborated with representatives from Virgin Unite, brainstorming solutions to challenging issues. Each member pledged to play an active role in addressing these challenges; we now hold weekly meetings with various stakeholders to ensure consistent progress.
Outside the structured learning, the week was packed with enriching experiences from yoga, meditation, and ice baths, to sustainability tours, beach Olympics and kite surfing. A personal highlight was the thrilling sailing race around the island led by none other than Richard himself — unsurprisingly, he emerged victorious.
Throughout our stay, Richard’s generosity knew no bounds. He joined us for every meal, played tennis and chess daily, and even participated in our WhatsApp group, sharing stories and enjoying the camaraderie. When a tropical storm hit on our last day, Richard graciously invited all of us for an additional night.
The event concluded on such a triumphant note that Richard expressed his eagerness to hear about our progress and warmly invited us back. Before we could fully grasp the magic of the event, we set the date for our next visit: 12-16 December 2024.”
Attendees share powerful takeaways
When EO members gather to quench their thirst for learning and make an impact, amazing experiences happen. Here’s what a few attendees shared about their time on Necker Island:
“Richard had 10 extra bikes and suggested a climb up the peak of an adjacent island, Virgin Gorda. As we started, Richard advised, “Look at the road in front of you, and not at the hill. Your brain will want to stop, but your body is stronger than your brain, just ignore your brain.” In the end, all 10 of us dismounted several times on the ride to the top of the mountain. Only one person never stopped riding: Richard, of course. One of his staff shared, “Richard never, ever, ever gives up.” That’s how he lives his life: Never give up!” – John W.R. Paul, EO Dubai
“Some of my top takeaways from Richard include:
- Always launch companies that can be infinitely better than your competition, and let go of the ones that are just another cola.
- If you say something bad about someone, look yourself in the mirror and ask how that reflects upon yourself.
- The top person in a company spends 50-60% of their day being polite. The best thing you can do as an owner is to eliminate yourself from that position so you can work on big problems and big ideas.
- If life brings you a change of direction, embrace it and enjoy it!
- It’s selfish to be shy. Richard said that in passing to another member. It hit home with me, because I face the internal battle as an entrepreneur and woman to be successful, yet humble. I have found myself, even in EO, holding back my experience and success at times over fear of being perceived as conceited. Now, I realize I’m robbing others of the experience of sharing my expertise.”
– Jessica Fialkovich, EO Dallas
“Sir Richard Branson is now my hero. I admire his courage, humanity, authenticity — and his inspiring devotion to global impact projects. He generously gives his time and resources to solve global issues while also making time to spend five days with us over meals, tennis, chess, sailing, hanging out, and signing memorabilia. Much appreciation goes to Eric and Lisa for their hard work in making this event happen. My wife and I have already signed up for 2024. This event is a fountain of optimism, leaving me with the mindset that I can accomplish anything while still being authentic and kind.”
– Andrew Luan, EO New York
Intrigued by the idea of learning directly from such an iconic entrepreneur? The 2024 MyEO Necker Island Trip with Richard Branson is set for 12-16 December 2024. Explore additional MyEO Events on the MyEO page and through ConnectEO.