Decoding Richard Branson: The adventurous road to entrepreneurial success

Decoding Richard Branson: The adventurous road to entrepreneurial success


Vikram Gandhi

Vikram Gandhi

296 week ago — 6 min read

I don't know if this is a coincidence or not, but I am influenced by several ‘Richards’, be it cricketer Viv Richards, singer Richard Marx, writer Richard Bach, filmmaker Richard Attenborough and my most favourite – maverick entrepreneur Richard Branson. We all know about him being a dyslexic child, how he dropped out of school at 16 and how he built an empire almost out of nothing. His journey is one of the most inspiring for anybody from any walk of life. Here are a few business lessons every business owner can infer from his life.

1. Daring

The word ‘entrepreneur’ is synonymous with risk. No matter how new age startups have started hedging the risk with stock options to venture capitalists, risk-taking ability will remain a fundamental ingredient for a successful entrepreneur. ‘Calculated risk is a myth’, so follow the ‘daring’ mantra of Richard Branson and jump into the fight club. Branson says that a big reason for his success is his unshakeable—and sometimes mischievous—sense of adventure.

2. Never be a copycat

Enjoy being original; visualize yourself standing out in the crowd. Copying someone will always be easy, lucrative and safe. But the real thrill of entrepreneurship comes from breaking new ground. Richard Branson has launched more than a dozen billion-dollar businesses and he takes pride in being a pathbreaker.

An entrepreneur must always strive to create something new, original and fresh.

3. Dream big

Never question your capabilities. If you can't believe in yourself, then do not expect others to champion you. So always dream big and visualize yourself making that dream come true. Richard Branson has always been a big dreamer and a doer. In 2004 he launched Virgin Galactic with a vision to make space tourism a reality. Despite setbacks along the way, he is determined to make this a reality soon.

4. Respect time

We all have 24 hours in a day and how productive you make it, makes you stand out in the crowd. Respecting time equals to discipline and being on time creates a work culture which is bound to increase your productivity and lead to better results.

Richard Branson is known to be a stickler for punctuality and this is one of his secrets for success. “There’s very little that annoys me in life, but people turning up late really does irritate me,” Branson wrote in a blog post.

5. Listening is an art

In the words of Richard Branson, “Listening is one of the most important skills that anyone can have. Listening enables us to learn from each other, from the marketplace, and from the mistake that must be made in order to get anywhere that is original and disruptive. I learn so much from guests and employees that way.”

A good communicator is a good listener first. When you listen to someone with patience, not only do you get the correct view of what’s been told to you, the person talking also feels valued. The exchange of ideas, thoughts, inputs can be invaluable in your entrepreneurial journey.

6. Share your success

Now this is tough, but it differentiates the men from the boys. I remember in the T20 World Cup when India won, at the felicitation ceremony, the moment the trophy was handed over to captain MS Dhoni, he passed it on to the younger teammates and let them take centre stage.
Richard Branson believes that people are the greatest asset of an organisation and its imperative to create a sense of entrepreneurship among the team members. He has said, “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”

7. Sweat it out

Apart from his business achievements, Branson is well-known for his commitment to health and fitness. In one of his blogs, he wrote, I seriously doubt that I would have been as successful in my career (and happy in my personal life) if I hadn't always placed importance on my health and fitness.”

Indeed, good health is a prerequisite for being a successful entrepreneur.

8. Money matters

I once asked to a bunch of executives in a seminar, "How much is too much?", it’s too subjective, too infinite. Money as a motto makes you nothing but a machine, for a real entrepreneur money is never a primary objective.

In an interview, Branson declared, “I have never been motivated by making money. What I love doing is creating things I can be proud of, and if you create things that you can be proud of, the by-product of that can be that you become a millionaire, or you become a billionaire, because people like what you've created.”

9. Love your work

We all know from our heart, what makes us happy and what not. This may sound philosophical, but one needs to identify a fact whether one is ‘living to earn or earning to live’. Identify the things which excite you, and then channelize your energies towards it.

Richard Branson sums it up beautifully, “My number one rule in business, and in life, is to enjoy what you do. Running a business involves long hours and hard decisions; if you don’t have the passion to keep you going, your business will more than likely fail. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, then you shouldn’t be doing it.”

These are few aspects from Sir Richard Branson’s life that inspire me. He is truly an enigma, a fearless and inspirational entrepreneur.

I look forward to your views and any additional business lessons you can infer from his journey of creating a business legacy.


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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, official policy or position of GlobalLinker. 


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Vikram Gandhi

Founder an unique niche, we are pioneer and leading brand of Customised Uniform Sarees manufactures.