Richard Branson is one of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time.  His main venture, “Virgin Group”, owns 400+ companies. You can see Virgin’s timeline of ventures here.   What’s more interesting to me isn’t his net worth or current operations, but rather HOW he got to where he is today.  The principles that led to his empire.  Naturally, I picked up Losing My Virginity and simply couldn’t put it down. I read it so you don’t have to.  Here are some of the key principles and quotes to inspire you to be more like Branson today:

Family Support

1). “I cannot remember a moment in my life when I have not felt the love of my family.”

Richard had family support from an early age on all of his ventures. His Aunt even re-mortgaged her house to help with some of the funding of Virgin Records when he was barely old enough to drink.

This is more than support. It’s that his family truly believed in him.

Having Fun

2). “A business has to be involving; it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.”

3). “People ask ‘why don’t you have some fun now?’ but they’re missing the point… Fun is the core of the way I like to do business and it has been key to everything I’ve done from the outset. More than any other element, fun is the secret to Virgin’s success.”

To Richard, business isn’t about making money. He makes building a business creative and fun. There’s truly nothing he enjoys more.

Be Bold

4). “Screw it, let’s do it”

5). “I knew that it is only by being bold that you get anywhere. If you are a risk-taker, then the art is to protect the downside.”

6). “Live for the present and the future will look after itself.”

Richard is known for being bold and often launches ideas well before he feels he is “ready”. That’s how he’s been able to be so innovative and continue to stay one step ahead of the competition. Make bold decisions.

Think Big

7). Had I been five or six years older, the sheer absurdity of trying to sell advertising to major companies, in a magazine that did not yet exist, edited by two fifteen-year-old schoolboys, would have prevented me from picking up the phone at all. But I was too young to contemplate failure.”

8). “Fantasizing about the future is one of my favorite pastimes.”

9). “I have always believed that the only way to cope with a cash crisis is not to contract but to expand out of it. However tight things are, you still need to have the big picture at the forefront of your mind.”

10). “My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable, challenges and trying to rise above them.”

Think big. Life is full of abundance.

Choose The Right People

11). “I normally make up my mind about whether I can trust somebody within sixty seconds of meeting them.”

12). “One of the things I am always trying to do with Virgin is making people reinvent themselves.”

He spends a lot of time crafting the right team to surround him to make his wildest dreams come true.

Create Lists

13). “I have always lived my life by making lists: lists of people to call, lists of ideas, lists of companies to set up, lists of people who can make things happen.”

14). “The discipline of writing everything down ensures that I have to listen to people carefully.”

Richard always carries a notebook with him to jot down notes of ideas and things that happen during the day. At night, he reviews and acts upon his best ideas.

I’ve started to do this as well and it’s a game-changer in order to capture all of the great nuggets I come across on a daily basis from others.

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