Richard Branson Photo credit – wikipedia
Sir Richard Charles Nicolas Branson is one of the world’s most charismatic billionaires in the world. Not only does he have great business sense, but he’s an adventure seeker, looking for fun everywhere he can.
Famous Business Mogul, Investor & Philanthropist
The English business mogul, investor and philanthropist is the founder of the Virgin Group, which is the parent company for more than 400 different companies, including Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Galactic. Richard Branson isn’t at typical billionaire – despite being very accomplished and an inspiration to all – often marching to the beat of his own drum (a trait that probably adds to his success and billions).
His first foray into business was when he was 16 when he set up a mail-order business in 1970 with his magazine called “Student.”
By the time he was 20, he was a full-fledged entrepreneur with his record business “Virgin,” which was just the beginning of his empire.
But at the same time, Branson was a high school drop out as he suffered from dyslexia and didn’t do well academically. But Richard knew that his talents lied elsewhere. In 1972, he opened his recording studio in Oxfordshire, England.
Branson has never followed the norm, he would often sign controversial bands at the time, including the Sex Pistols.
Other notable acts that would sign under his label included Paula Abdul, Culture Club, the Rolling Stones, UB40, Genesis, and more. In 1984, he formed Virgin Atlantic Airways then Virgin Mobile in 1999, with Virgin Galactic in 2004.
Currently, Branson has focused the majority of his attention on space-tourism ventures, and is working on developing a spaceplane that would allow civilians to see space. There’s more than 500 people who have reserved tickets to ride on the Virgin Galactic Spaceship when the project is finally complete.
In 2015, Branson launched his Virgin Voyages, an all-new cruise line that will debut in 2020.
The self-made billionaire is worth about $5.1 billion, according to Forbes, and is not one to hold back on tips to emulate his success. In a farewell letter to his Virgin America brand, Branson wrote about three key lessons all leaders can learn by: “Know when to fold’em, love the journey and stay positive.”
Like any good leader, Richard Branson has had his fair share of challenges through out his career. Even his first magazine gig didn’t pan out as well as he hoped, with cash flow becoming a problem. But nevertheless, Branson persevered and went on to found a music company that forever changed the landscape of the music industry.
Virgin Atlantic Airlines was Branson’s way to change the customer experience while flying, but this almost crashed before it got off the ground… literally! For test flight, Richard rented a Boeing 747 and a flock of birds accidently flew into the engine, causing major damage and prohibiting the airline to get certified to carry passengers without a plane. Branson didn’t get discouraged and remained positive, pulling money from his other companies to get the necessary repairs done fast.
Branson’s personal ambitions are just as huge as his career ones and he’s all about pushing himself to new heights. He’s made it his mission to attempt several world records and ended up being the first person on record to pilot a hot air balloon across the Atlantic Ocean. This trip didn’t go as planned and he almost died as a result after losing the majority of fuel. His failures don’t stop there! He’s tried to enter the fashion world, but hasn’t had much success with his clothing company, underwear label or cosmetic brand, which just goes to show that failure doesn’t end up defining great leaders like Branson, it just helps mold their success in other ventures.
Sir Richard Branson is a great example of how to have fun in business and will go down as one of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs and business moguls.
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