The eccentric billionaire is well recognized for both his financial accomplishments and for daring decisions like enabling his staff to take as many vacation days as they choose.
It is indisputable that he created his own riches; he was not born into a wealthy family, did not inherit anything, did not complete high school, and yet his Virgin company is today valued at an estimated $5.5 billion.
He lived his whole life in fifth gear and tried to have as much fun and enjoy himself as possible.
Although he is dyslexic – which made it very difficult for him to study, he managed to build a billion-dollar empire and create companies in over 8 sectors.
In the autobiographical book “How I lost my virginity” Richard Branson described his adventurous life, both private and business, and it is definitely worth reading.
“Fun is key to the way I like to run a business and it’s been key to everything I’ve done from the start”. Fun is the secret to Virgin’s success, more than anything else.
I’m aware that the idea of business as something fun and creative goes against its conventional understanding and that it certainly deviates from the way it is taught in some of the business schools…” Branson said.
The title of Branson’s earlier book, “Oh, Screw It, Let’s Do It,” describes his audacious and unyielding approach to the business that has led him on hundreds of adventures, including those involving music (Virgin Records), aviation (Virgin Atlantic Airways), and retail (Virgin Megastores), as well as radio (Virgin Radio), rail transportation (Virgin Rail), fitness clubs (Virgin Active), and a mobile operator company (Virgin Mobile).
His coworkers referred to him as “Dr. Yes” because he was always open to new, often wacky ideas and expanded the company’s offerings to the most unlikely markets, including financial services, wedding supplies, and online wine shopping.
According to Branson, who describes himself as a dynamic, tireless, and successful entrepreneur who lives life to the fullest and for whom family, friends, fun, and adventure are just as important as work, Virgin’s expansion into so many different areas is the result of his “insatiable desire to enjoy new experiences and challenges.”
“Billionaire rebel” is Branson’s nickname. He is clearly a man who is not afraid to take chances, as seen by both his daring business ventures and his heart-pounding hobbies.
His headmaster told him these words when he left high school at the age of 16:
“Congratulations, Branson. You will either become a billionaire or go to jail, in my opinion.”
In both instances, Branson’s teacher was correct, since at the end of the first year of his music business endeavor, Branson found himself behind bars.
Branson upended the airline business by emphasizing the enjoyment of flying. By building megastores that were so big that customers frequently got lost amid the shelves, he put the music business to the test.
By calling attention to his public appearances, many of which entailed nudity, masquerading as women, and feats not covered by his own insurance plans, he altered the way corporate executives should behave.
Virgin Megastores, Virgin Records, Virgin Airlines, Virgin Holidays, Fuel, Money, Digital, Cosmetics, Trains, Healthcare, and Virgin Galactic are just a few of the several businesses that Branson has launched that have been a success using this model.
Always a different sector, always the same Virgin model, always something that deviates from the norm.
Branson has repeatedly put this concept to the test. Virgin Cola, Virgin Brides, Virgin Clothing, and Virgin Vodka are among the stunning disasters that resulted from pushing the “hoop” to its absolute limit.
But despite everything, he maintained his rebelliousness by avoiding debt and legal issues.
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Richard Branson undoubtedly has the right to offer advice on how to be successful and make money, and in his book “The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership”, he did just that. Here are a few examples:
1. Embrace your aspirations!
Richard Branson suggests not giving up on an idea simply though it has many detractors and acknowledges that you should respect individuals who persist and take chances.
Yet, he cautions against doing anything if the failure will absolutely ruin you.
He uses himself as an example, saying that his father only permitted him to leave high school to establish a magazine provided he sold enough advertisements to pay the costs of printing.
2. Do good!
One of the most pleasant and rewarding activities one can engage in is doing good. We not only help someone else but also help ourselves when we have a beneficial effect on their lives.
There are many different methods to do good, and it is not always necessary to make a big financial commitment.
Virgin owner Richard Branson is a prominent example of a person who has embraced the idea of doing good.
Branson, who firmly believes in social involvement, has joined Bill Gates’ The Giving Pledge project, which calls on the richest people to contribute at least half of their income to charity organizations.
By doing this, Branson not only improves the lives of individuals who are in need, but he also sets a great example for others to imitate.
3. Believe in yourself!
Self-confidence is a manner of living, not merely a state of mind. It entails having the guts to take chances, believe in your intuition, and follow your passions.
Without confidence in oneself, it may be difficult to get beyond the unavoidable roadblocks. Success may depend on how strongly you believe in your work and your objectives.
If you are not proud of what you do, how will others support you?!, says Branson.
4. Have fun
Fun is one of the most important – and often underestimated – success factors. If you’re not having fun, you should probably give up and do something else, Richard writes in his book.
5. Don’t give up
His Virgin Cola failed to overtake Coca Cola, as he had planned. Digital sharing and music sales forced him to close his record label’s Virgin Megastore.
However, he did not feel sorry for himself and cry over losses, but always looked for new challenges.
6. Talk less, listen more
Richard Branson has dyslexia, so he got into the habit of writing everything down in a notebook.
He later realized that the fact that he listens and writes down what people say helps him in his business, and he calls it the secret of his success.
Even today, he always has a notebook and a pen with him.
7. Schedule some time for you
According to Branson, the most important thing in the world is the time you spend with your loved ones.
He also says that we should learn that we cannot and should not do everything. Instead, the true art is in hiring the right person for each task.
8. Meet new people
Many people have the idea that successful company owners and entrepreneurs are lone individuals who can handle everything on their own.
In actuality, nobody can be an expert in every field, therefore long-term success necessitates teamwork.
This is why surrounding yourself with capable individuals who can assist and aid in the expansion of your company ranks among the most important business success advice.
Every company seeking to see sustained success must invest in building a team of talented and committed employees.
A team may assist to share the burden and make sure that all facets of the business are being taken care of in addition to bringing a variety of viewpoints and ideas to the table.
Having a team of specialists in each area may make all the difference, whether you need assistance with marketing, finances, operations, or other areas.
9. Be accessible
Being accessible is essential to good communication and leadership.
People feel respected and heard when leaders are personable and available because they foster a more inclusive and collaborative work environment.
A good example of a leader that recognizes the value of being accessible and communicative with his employees is Richard Branson.
10. Be happy
Everyone strives for happiness, yet it can be difficult to obtain.
But, as Richard Branson, one of the most successful businessmen of our time, points out, happiness is not dependent on your financial situation or the things you own.
Instead, it is about engaging in what you love while surrounded by those you cherish.
Branson’s success is proof of the value of following your passions and enjoying what you do.
His love of exploration, invention, and business served as the foundation for his empire, and his success and fortune are a result of this enthusiasm.
He understands, nevertheless, that his money would mean nothing without happiness.
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