Sir Richard Branson is an English business superstar, investor, philanthropist and one of the richest men in England. He founded Virgin Group, which now handles more than 400 companies. He made his first successful business venture at the age of 16 with a magazine called “Student”. That was in 1966. By the time he was 20 yrs old he had started a mail-order record business. And from that, in just two years when Branson was 22, he founded Virgin Records, which later became Virgin Megastores. His net worth, as of today, is 5.1 billion dollars
Needless to say, from the start, it seems that Branson was bound for success. Over the years, Branson has shared words of wisdom to what has made him so successful. Here are 10 quotes from Richard Branson.
“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.”
Branson, like Tony Robbins, became a success because he never stopped moving or hesitated for very long. He never let doubt and/or failure do anything but propel him forward. Branson was determined from the start.
“My attitude has always been, if you fall flat on your face at least you’re moving forward. All you have to do is get back up and try again.”
In other words, if you fall off your horse, get up, dust off, and keep going. In Branson’s world, that almost means before the horse even lost a step. Branson’s way is fierce and determined.
“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it.”
If something inspires you that much, Branson believes you should go for it. The details should then come naturally along with the inspiration. Once you have a vision you must act on it or a dream is all it will ever be.
“I have to be good at helping people run the individual businesses, and I have to be willing to step back. The company must be set up so it can continue without me.”
Richard Branson does not simply rely on his own vision and/or work ethic for the success of his many endeavors. He seeks out the right people for the right vision and he sets them free to do their heart’s desire because he’ll know they’ll succeed. Imagine that the colleagues you work with, above you or beneath you are part of a unit or a team and as such are equally dedicated to the same vision. You know then, that when and if you leave for some other endeavor, they will continue working to manifest the vision that you all share.
“A passionate belief in your business and personal objectives can make all the difference between success and failure. If you aren’t proud of what you are doing, why should anyone else be?”
Reading about his rise to billionaire status, from the start, you can see that Richard Branson never once stopped believing in his vision. Never once has he settled with “enough”. And never once has he settled for work he could not be proud of. If you want success and you’re going to invest your time into something, do it right, or at least do it to the degree that you can be proud of the outcome.
“Fun is one of the most important – and underrated – ingredients in any successful venture. If you’re not having fun, then it’s probably time to call it quits and try something else.”
Richard Branson’s zest for life is at the very core of his business model. You need to be excited to get up each day knowing that you are going to be doing what makes you happy.
“A business has to be involving–it has to be fun. And, it has to exercise your creative instincts.”
Fun and inspiration are pervailing themes in Branson’s rhetoric. It’s clear that if you’re not having fun, and you’re not inspired and fueled by your imagination, then you’re probably in the wrong line of work.
“From my very first day as an entrepreneur, I’ve felt the only mission worth pursuing in business is to make people’s lives better.”
Human beings are social animals because there is strength in numbers. Richard Branson understands that the objective of any endeavor by social animals should be for the betterment of the group or even the species. Philanthropy allows one to give back and, by helping others to succeed, helps to keep a society strong which in turn keeps business strong.
“By putting the employee first, the customer effectively comes first by default and in the end, the shareholder comes first by default as well.”
Again, by putting people first, by making people’s lives better, the whole unit benefits. By taking success and using it to better mankind, everyone profits.
“When I started Virgin from a basement in west London, there was no great plan or strategy. I didn’t set out to build a business empire… For me, building a business is all about doing something to be proud of, bringing talented people together and creating something that’s going to make a real difference to other people’s lives.”
To wrap this up, the secret to success, as far as Branson is concerned, is almost an accidental result of having fun, doing what you love, being creative, moving forward in spite of failure, and making people’s lives better. Who can go wrong following such a simple yet rewarding game plan?