What an inspiration.. absolutely love this guy.. in 2009 I flew to Canada just to hear him speak. I even had a few tears of excitement at the time (a bit sad I know), but well worth the visit.Losing His Virginity: How Branson Achieved Success
From a dyslexic high school dropout to a thriving billionaire and adventure capitalist knighted by the Queen of England, Branson carved a unique path to success using his personality as his greatest leverage. His career has spanned over thirty years and his brand has become one of the most recognized globally. How did he do it?
Leadership: Branson once joked, “I believe in benevolent dictatorship provided I am the dictator.” Despite this, Branson’s success has come about in large part due to his leadership skills and the respect, care and autonomy he gives to his employees. He understood that without a solid team behind him, he would not be able to make his dreams come true.
Branding: "I want Virgin to be as well-known around the world as Coca-Cola,” Branson said. With over 250 companies bearing the Virgin name, Branson has come close to achieving his goal. With no university degree or formal education, Branson has managed to create a unique business strategy using unorthodox methods of licensing out his brand and promoting his products to no end. Despite claims of selling out, Branson has steadily grown his brand over the past thirty years and increased its presence worldwide.
Resilience: After a failed around-the-world balloon trip, Branson said of his experience, “It has been like hitting up against a solid brick wall. All day and all night long, we battled to get through it.” This battle is a familiar one to Branson, who has seen his share of failed business ventures. But, in typical Branson fashion, he rebounds from his failures with the same youthful energy he had the very first day he created Virgin Records. His passion to create cannot be quelled by any obstacle no matter how large.
Ambition: “We'd love to be involved with the creation of something very special, something quite large and something quite exciting,” says Branson. Never one to dream small, Branson always tried to be the best of the best. Whether it was breaking world speed records or providing impeccable airline service, Branson wanted his name to be at the top of whatever list he was dealing with. By dreaming big, Branson would leave his mark not only in the business world but also on the world as a whole.
Fun: “Fortunately we're not a public company - we're a private group of companies, and I can do what I want,” says Branson. He doesn’t care about accountants and doesn’t place much value in the advice of consultants. Instead, Branson flies by the seat of his pants and follows his instincts, often willing to take risks for the pure enjoyment of seeing if they will work out or not. He doesn’t partake in the formalities of the business world and as a result, has managed to take it by storm.
“Because I don’t see Virgin as a company but as a way of life and I fully enjoy it, I don’t think I’ll ever retire,” says Branson. As Chairman of the Virgin Group, he has revolutionized the business world and has had a blast doing it.