Introducing my class on MasterClass

Richard Branson launches his new series on MasterClass
Virgin Galactic
Richard Branson's signature
Published on 4 August 2022

I’ve often said that I see life as one long university education that I never had. As a dyslexic, I struggled a lot with the format of traditional education and ended up dropping out of school at 16 to pursue my first business, Student Magazine. With zero experience and no money, I just had to dive in headfirst and learn along the way. 50 years and hundreds of successful businesses later, I have learned many valuable lessons that I don’t believe any college or university could have offered me.

I am absolutely delighted to share some of these lessons in my class on Disruptive Entrepreneurship, which is officially streaming today on MasterClass. It’s an honour to be on the learning platform alongside so many fascinating people, including my friend Sara Blakely and everyone from Ringo Starr to Amanda Gorman. In my course, you will learn how to turn your impossible ideas into successful business ventures.

In the first few episodes, I share how I started Virgin Records and eventually pivoted into aviation by launching Virgin Atlantic. I reflect on some of the toughest decisions, the biggest risks, and the optimistic mindset that is required of all entrepreneurs.

One of the things that I’m most often asked about is how I was able to disrupt established industries like airlines and trains. In this class, i’ll take you step by step through how I did it with the power of differentiation, and how your lack of experience can be your hidden strength. I’ll also take you through some of our most infamous adventures, including the “BA Can’t Get it Up” campaign, and how to gain the public’s attention without any sort of fancy budget.

A blimp reading BA can't get it up flies above the London Eye
Virgin Atlantic

In the later episodes, I will teach you how businesses flourish under great leadership and how you can best step into this role. Most importantly, I will teach you the power - and responsibility - of doing business for good. With your focus in the right direction, you can change the world through your business ventures and adventures.

This course is designed to walk you through how I started a variety of my businesses, from Student Magazine all the way to Virgin Galactic. I look forward to sharing some of the most memorable stories with you, but also practical advice. I’ve handpicked these to include a bit of everything, from the highest highs to the greatest lessons learned, as well as my best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs (that they won’t teach you in university).

Richard Branson's quote from MasterClass: Find a dream big enough to scare you

I hope that this course will inspire generations to dream big, take risks, and have plenty of fun along the way. Head over to Masterclass to get started.