12 Lessons from Richard Branson
He is a celebrity worldwide, a very modest humanitarian who once tried to circumnavigate the world through a hot a balloon. Branson is known for his adventurous Business ideas and living life to the fullest. Below are certain lessons on life and business which this Maverick has learnt throughout his life.
(1) Age No Bar
He was mere 16 years when Richard Branson started his first business venture, a magazine called a Student. By the time he reached 22 he founded Virgin records.
Now at 61 Richard has yet again proved that age is just a state of mind.
Branson regularly Kite surfs and attempts to break the world records (like the 2008 attempt to break the world record for sailing across the Atlantic).
Branson wrote in his autobiography of the decision to start an airline:
“ My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them…from the perspective of wanting to live life to the full, I felt that I had to attempt it.”
Bransons magazines helped him to sell records. His record helped him to start a label which led him to buy a Night Club and a Record studio.
By starting ventures in complementry industries, Richard Branson was sucessful in creating a network of ventures that reinforces one another. It is much easier to promote a new musical artist when you have your own night club, magazine and record shop.
(3)Work for Free
How does a no name record shop sign its first artist?
Well, Virgin records did it by offering to let Multi instrumentalism Mike Oldfield use their recording studio for free.
The recording session brought into limelight Tubular Bells (1973), Vigin’s first release and Best seller.
So its absolutely true that sometimes the quickest way to make money is to do something for free.
(4)Diversify your business
After the grand success in record business, Richard Branson entered Transportation industry founding Virgin Atlantic Airways in 1984. Then never looked back and expanded his business ventures into mobile phones, cosmetics, movies, and even launched his own Cola.
Branson believes that diversifying across various industries not only keeps things interesting but also safeguards the business from upredictable ups and downs of any given industry.
(5)Love for your Business
Folks now this one’s really emotional.
When Branson sold Virgin record Label to EMI in 1992 for 510 million pounds, he was brought to tears.
A lot of people would probably be happy and ecstatic for the cash that they have just made, but Richard Branson was crying because he was emotionally invested into his record Label.
The lesson that one gets here is that, if you don’t want to put your heart and soul into a business then you should not start it in the first place.
(6)Searching for Opportunities
One of the very famous quotes by Richard Branson regarding opportunities arising in business says,” Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming”.
Don’t bow your head down in disappointment instead keep an eye on next the Business opportunity.
(7)Be a (Benvolent) Dictator
“I believe in benevolent dictatorship, provided I am the dictator.” says the 61 year old Brit.
If you are bound to be the leader in business then, you can’t afford to worry about what other people think. Exercise your creative instincts decisively.
(8)Success in School is different from success in Life
“I was Dyslexic.I had no understanding of schoolwork whatsoever.
I certainly would have failed the IQ tests. And it was one of the reasons i left the school when i was 15 years old. And if i’m not interested in something i don’t grasp it” says Richard .
Schools are for sure a great platform for testing one’s skills like memorizing information and following orders but that doesn’t necessarily achieve you success in real life.
In real life one needs to be on his toes ready to face challenges.
(9)Learning by Doing
“You don’t learn by following rules, you learn by doing and falling over”
Branson started his magazine venture at 16 without ever studying journalism and and he became one of the world’s most successful businessmen without ever taking up business class.
this gives us yet anothercrucial lesson that,” Don’t wait untill you’r qualified to start doing what you want with your life”.
Just do it. One might make Ton’s of mistakes, but what’s wrong in it if it is the fastest way to learn.
2004 was the year when Richard Branson founded Virgin Galactic -a space tourism company for people who are willing experience sub-orbital vacations.
Till now 430 brave people have signed to become virgin galactic astronauts.
Virgin Galactic exemplifies Branson’s willingness to explore new Business frontiers alonh with his other ventures.
Being a pioneer is risky but it has a distinct advantage.
When you pioneer an entirely new industry, beating the competition is just so easy.
Virgin galactic is one of the instances in which Branson has anticipated new markets.
Wen Branson saw jump in fuel prices, he decided to enter the fuel industry.The Virgin Green Funds has invested worldwide for the research and development of renewable fuel.
Due to global scarcity of gasoline, together with increased consumption, it’s quie sure that Richard can reap huge profits in a long run.
Branson’s businesses may make the world a better place, but that hasn’t stopped him from engaging in non-profit Humanitarian efforts.
He’s taken on AIDS (Virgin Healthcare Foundation), and even nuclear weapons (Global Zero).
These philanthropic activities doesn’t improve his bottom line. But that gives him emmense satisfaction that can’t be expressed in words.