Richard Branson's top 20 Virgin inspirational insights
- Dec 30, 2010
Richard Branson has always had the reputation for doing things differently, which has reflected in Virgin companies the world over. He has also sprinkled his views on business and life into decades of interviews, books and launches. While most people are familiar with his rallying cry of "screw it, let's do it", there are plenty more helpful hints from the smiley man with the beard. Here are our top 20…
20. 'A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.'
19. 'I've had great fun turning quite a lot of different industries on their head and making sure those industries will never be the same again, because Virgin went in and took them on.'
18. 'Although my spelling is still sometimes poor, I have managed to overcome the worst of my difficulties through training myself to concentrate.'
17. 'If I was a businessman, or saw myself as a businessman, I would have never gone into the airline business.'
16. 'My mother was determined to make us independent. When I was four years old, she stopped the car a few miles from our house and made me find my own way home across the fields. I got hopelessly lost.'
15. 'I am prepared to try anything once.'
14. 'The balloons only have one life and the only way of finding out whether they work is to attempt to fly around the world.'
13. 'We believe that within five years, 96 per cent of British consumers will have access to the internet, whether it be through a personal computer, a set-top box or a mobile phone.'
12. 'You never know with these things when you're trying something new what can happen. This is all experimental.'
11. 'Having a personality of caring about people is important. You can’t be a good leader unless you generally like people. That is how you bring out the best in them.'
10. 'We'd love to be involved with the creation of something very special, something quite large and something quite exciting.'
9. 'Records are made to be broken. It is in man's nature to continue to strive to do just that.'
8. 'Ridiculous yachts and private planes and big limousines won’t make people enjoy life more, and it sends out terrible messages to the people who work for them. It would be so much better if that money was spent in Africa – and it’s about getting a balance.'
7. 'Above all, you want to create something you're proud of. This has always been my philosophy of business. I can honestly say that I have never gone into any business purely to make money. If that is the sole motive, then I believe you are better off not doing it.'
6. 'I don't think of work as work and play as play. It's all living.'
5. 'As much as you need a strong personality to build a business from scratch, you also must understand the art of delegation. I have to be good at helping people run the individual businesses, and I have to be willing to step back. The company must be set up so it can continue without me.'
4. 'Business opportunities are like buses, there's always another one coming.'
3. 'I never get the accountants in before I start up a business. It's done on gut feeling, especially if I can see that they are taking the mickey out of the consumer.'
2. 'My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them.'
1. 'Right now I'm just delighted to be alive and to have had a nice long bath.'
What is your favourite quote from Richard? Has he inspired you to follow through with your business ideas? Follow Richard Branson's blog for his latest news and views.
By Greg Rose