Edited By Danielle McLimore 2013,2020
This is a book with Richard Branson’s quotes for many things including entrepreneurship and dyslexic>
“I think as much practical experience as people can have, the better… I’m dyslexic, so I know that I learn the most from practical experience. The more one can actually make a school act practically, the better.
As a small-business person, you must immerse yourself 100% in everything and learn about the ins and outs of every single department… And as the business gets bigger, you will have to decide if you’re a manager or an entrepreneur. If you’re a manager you can stay with that business and help it grow. If you’re an entrepreneur, you need to find a manager. Then you should move on, enjoy yourself and set up your next enterprise.
If a bank or other investor is looking at your business, they have almost certainly looked at your competitors as well. In your presentation, therefore, it’s imperative that you understand your competition and irreverently explain why your business will do better. Blow them away! Avoid being overly negative.
Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks. Sometimes they turn out to be less dangerous than the sure thing.
Regarding Virgin’s status as a set of more than 300 separate private businesses : I think we’ve proved that a branded group of separate businesses, each with limited liability for its own financial affairs, make sense. We’re never going to have a Barings Bank situation where a rogue trader is able to bring down the whole Virgin Group.
There have been times I was almost bankrupt, and I was very glad to see my name in the Sunday Times “Rich List” because I thought it would assuage the bank manager. (The figures were often wildly off the mark both ways -but I wasn’t complaining)
The key to success is unwavering commitment and focus. You will make mistakes as you launch your product or service – a ton of them. But keep your eye on the prize and never blink.
Strangely, I think my dyslexia has helped … for instance, when we’re launching a new company, I need to be be able to understand the advertising. If I understand the advertising, I believe that anybody out there can understand the advertising.
I can’t speak for other people, but dyslexia shaped my – and Virgin’s – communication style. From the beginning, Virgin used clear, ordinary language. If I could quickly understand a campaign concept, it was good to go. If something can’t be explained off the back of an envelope, it’s rubbish.
We soon found that [social media] channels were an amazing tool for reaching our customers and the public. One of the first things we learned was that our new social media accounts gave us a real-time view of how we could improve.
Regarding how he decides to launch a new business or product : There’s no point in us going into something unless we can really shake up an industry, make a major difference; unless it’s going to enhance the Virgin brand, if there’s any danger of damaging the brand in any way, even if it’s going to make us a lot of money – you know, cigarette companies or something like that – we just wouldn’t do it. And because life’s short, we want to enjoy the experience.
Some people might see Virgin’s 50,000 employees as a cost to be managed, but I see 50,000 potential passionate brand ambassadors.
If you don’t lead a healthy lifestyle, your productivity will be completely screwed.
Fear stops people from doing so many things. Don’t be afraid to talk to people you don’t know, or try a new skill. They are probably just as nervous inside, and if you make the effort, people will often surprise you with a warm welcome.
Innovation can occur when the most elementary questions are asked and employees are given the resources and power to achieve the answers.
Not everybody is cut out to be an entrepreneur. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still come up with new ideas working within an organization. This is where intrapreneurs come in : They unleash the power of innovation from inside companies.
When we lose touch of our intuition, we naturally become more risk-averse and conservative. At Virgin, we like to work fast, to try ideas, see if they stick and find new solutions and new innovations if they don’t.
We have one planet in our solar system that’s habitable and that’s the Earth, and space travel can transform things back here for the better. First of all by just having people go to space and look back on this fragile planet we live on. People have come back transformed and have done fantastic things. There’s a wonderful book called “The Overview Effect”
Frank Wright’s term, the “overview effect”, describes a cognitive shift resulting from seeing the Earth from space that increases some astronauts’ sense of connection to humanity, God, or other powerful forces.
For a relatively small amount of money, you can make a big difference to a lot of people’s lives.
Basic Income is going to be all the more important. If a lot more wealth is created by AI, the least that the county should be able to do is that a lot of wealth… goes back into making sure that everybody has a safety net.
I constantly meet a growing army of entrepreneurs around the world, and when they ask me if I have one single message which will help them, I tell them it’s this : Doing good can help improve your prospects, your profits and your business, and it can change the world.