65 challenges for my 65th year

On my 65th birthday I announced that I would take on 65 challenges across the coming year. The #ChallengeRichard suggestions came in thick and fast, and I worked through the list to tick off my favourites.

I'm pleased (and relieved!) to say I completed all 65! And even threw in a extra one for good measure. Below is a log documenting the tasks I completed. It was a fun, but challenging year!


I challenge you to sit quietly and do nothing for 65 minutes but look out the window like you did as a child in school. 

– Submitted by Nigel McKenna ‏from New York City

Read blog post


I challenged Richard Branson to share 65 defining moments in his life - from child to adulthood.

– Submitted by Shamini Dhana of San Francisco

Read 65 defining life moments 


Why not showcase 65+ year olds still working & making a difference. 

– Submitted by Allison Monroe of Sydney 

Read You're never too old to make a difference. 


Family is the most important thing, take some time to write your wife, kids and grand kids a heartfelt letter.

– Submitted by Aaryn Schuster 

Read my Letter to my grandchildren 


Test your boundaries: Give more money to charity than you think you should. The amount should make you uncomfortable.

– Submitted by @exogenista

Read Give more


Tweet 65 lessons learned in maintaining and/or starting a business. 

– Submitted by Alana George

Read 65 lessons learned in business


Write a poem of 16 lines for entrepreneurs 

– Submitted by Vasanthan Philip of Bangalore

Read A poem for all entrepreneurs


What impact you can make with £5 – profit and purpose 

– Submitted by Virgin StartUp

Read Turning pounds into profit and purpose


Find one person younger than you were when you started and offer them non-monetary support to help them find success.

– Submited by @IncrementalLove

Read My advice for young people



Work at the welcome/reception desk unit at your company's HQ for a day 

– Submitted by Olawole Adeolu of Lagos

View instagram 


Create a bucket list: ideas for all grandfathers to select things to do/share with grandkids at each age

–  Submitted by Graham, from the South Coast UK

Read My grandparent bucket list


I challenge you to create and share a playlist of 65 songs you consider to be the 'soundtrack to your life'.

–  Submitted by Carla Johnson, from Atlanta

Listen to my Soundtrack to my life



Start playing golf like a young man 

–  Submitted by François PlayBac, from Paris

View Instagram 


#challengerichard no. 15 - Start playing golf like a young man

A photo posted by Richard Branson (@richardbranson) on

Richard Branson and Sam Branson at Virgin Stars 2015


Spend a day with 65 Virgin staff members from around the world

–  Submitted by Virgin Pulse 

Read Celebrating stars


“You're a creative person – have you ever created (and exhibited) your own piece of art? How about it? 

– Submitted by Project Art, London 

Read Art is for everyone


Fun doodling for @nytimes @tmagazine

A video posted by Richard Branson (@richardbranson) on


We challenge you to snap & tag your next 6 meals #mealforameal - no matter what they are...

– Submitted by Virgin Mobile Australia

Read Meal for a meal


Pay a visit to the Manchester office of Virgin Media Business to see the sales teams and meet us Grads #VOOM 

– Submitted by Rebecca Murray

Read Meeting the team in Manchester


Write a letter to the 10 year old you.

– Submitted by Andrew Johnston

Read my letter to 10-year-old me


How about writing 65 Thank You cards to people who helped you become who you are today? 

– Submitted by @danieltronic

Read A small thank you can go a long way


Richard Branson enjoying a drink


I challenge you to have a long cold drink in a warm sunny place, you deserve it. 

– Submitted by Nigel Robinson

Read Enjoy some downtime


Show the world in a simple video how you started everything.

– Submitted by @ajaysnair

Watch The history of Virgin in 114 seconds animation 


Write a letter to the 25 year old you.

– Submitted by Andrew Johnston

Read My letter to 25-year-old me


What advice would you give to someone whose dreams are bigger than imaginable, but feel so out of reach?

– Submitted by Lauracourtie hair, Scotland

Read Keep dreaming 


We #challengerichard to make the Battleship free of single-use plastic bottles, and use Virgin Pure bottles instead! 

– Submitted by Virgin Pure 

Read Creating a sustainable business

Richard Branson swims in fountain with Virgin Cola bottle


Relive three of your toughest start-up days. 

– Submitted by Rob Thijs, from Amsterdam

Read Lessons from my toughest start-up days


I challenge you to flip as many pancakes as you can in 65 seconds...

– Submitted by Heather Kennedy

View instagram 

Happy #pancakeday! #challengerichard

A photo posted by Richard Branson (@richardbranson) on


“Your very own definition of love and great relationship would be...?”

– Submitted by Rafal Spychalski

Read My definition of love


“I would love to know how you overcome an unsuccessful start…” 

– Submitted by Leah Phillips of Liverpool

Read How to overcome an unsuccessful start


"Hug and embrace 65 people for 65 seconds."

– Submitted by David Franklin

View Instagram 


#challengerichard: hug and embrace 65 people for 65 seconds. Challenge gladly accepted!

A photo posted by Richard Branson (@richardbranson) on


Take on the office with bat and ball, in a table tennis competition. 

– Submitted by Virgin Produced

View My Virgin Produced table tennis takedown


Make a list of your top 65 books to read in a lifetime.

– Submitted by Mike Gonzalez of New Jersey

View My top 65 books to read in a lifetime


Take 65 pictures of things that mean something to you - they can’t be family or work related.

– Submitted by Sher Davis

View 65 pictures of things that mean something to me


List 65 things that make you happy.

– Submitted by Kamal Sadarangani of Orange County, California

View 65 things that make me happy

Richard Branson at Holly's wedding


If you only had 65 minutes to live - what would you do in that time?

– Submitted by Roger Atkins

Read If I only had 65 minutes to live

Virgin Strive Challenge training weekend 2016 Richard Branson Holly Sam Noah


What else is still left on your bucket list?

– Submitted by @emmasot85

Read What's left on my bucket list 


Adventure is best way to explore true self. So I #ChallengeRichard to share his best 65 adventures experience in this 65 years.

–  Submitted by Chetan Yallapurkar

Read about My 65 most memorable adventures


Spend an hour in nature doing absolutely nothing, just enjoying the view!

–  Submitted by Bori Kiss of London 

View Instagram 


You talked about languages last week. I challenge you to learn British Sign Language.

–  Submitted by Robert Morgan of London

View Instagram 


Thank you for your #ChallengeRichard, Robert. This week I learned British Sign Language in support of #deafawarenessweek2016

A video posted by Richard Branson (@richardbranson) on

Richard Branson and Ben Ainslie America's Cup New York Land Rover BAR


It’s Super Sunday in #NY. A big day of racing ahead and a special British guest is stepping onboard @richardbranson #challengerichard #americascup #BringTheCupHome #LVACWSNY #NYC

–  Submitted by Ben Ainslie and Land Rover BAR

Read On board the America’s Cup

Richard Branson Sam Branson and Eva-Deia


Write a letter to the 65 year old you.

– Submitted by Andrew Johnston

Read My letter to 65-year-old me


Tell us where you thinks we can find the world's best martini #wcpgw

- Submitted by World's Best Martini 

View Instagram 


#ChallengeRichard “Tell us where we can find the world's best martini”. Well that’s easy: The Commons Club at @virginhotelschi

A photo posted by Richard Branson (@richardbranson) on


I challenge you to take a photo of either the sunrise or sunset, post time, date and location and what you appreciate about the simple things in life....#skypixchallenge

- Submitted by Laura Pacheco Michler

View Instagram 


Sunrise at Bronte Beach, Sydney, Australia #challengerichard

A photo posted by Richard Branson (@richardbranson) on


Whilst you’re in Australia @richardbranson we challenge you to play barista and make a coffee for one of our lounge guests #challengerichard

- Submitted by Virgin Australia

View Tweet 


Hi @richardbranson - we #challengerichard you to join our Managing Director Scott Hood for a cycle around Centennial Park!

- Submitted by Virgin Active Australia 

View Instagram 



#challengerichard complete @virginactiveaustralia! A couple of spins around Sydney's Centennial Park.

A video posted by Richard Branson (@richardbranson) on


 I challenge you to drink 65 glasses of beer.

- Submitted by @Barcafancy 

View Instagram 



Love to know what have you done lately to maintain the title of "troublemaker?"

- Submitted by Shamini Dhana of San Francisco

View Tweet




Can you tell us ideas you dropped because you thought they were not good enough? 

- Submitted by @RaccordMusique

View Missed opportunities to start businesses


I #challengerichard you to sketch a timeline of your most important moments. Personal and business! 

- Submitted by Cristhian Cobas of Santiago, Chile

View Instagram 


"I #challengerichard you to sketch a timeline of your most important moments." Challenge accepted!

A video posted by Richard Branson (@richardbranson) on


I would be interested to know your primary aim??

- Submitted by Love & Sparkle

View Tweet



You appear to be "everywhere". I would love to hear your take on time management 

-  Submitted by Robert Baird of Toronto, Ontario

View Tweet



If you could have one wish for the world come true, what would it be? Write it as a poem or letter.

- Submitted by @musingsbook 

Read my poem My biggest wish  


Is it worth learning foreign languages? Which ones? 

-  Submitted byRoman Bogach of Sao Paulo, Brazil

View Tweet


Help us help thousands of business families succeed at succession by sharing how you did it. 

Submitted by Business Families Foundation 

Read How to create a successful family business


#VOOM's #challengerichard is to show us your supermodel smile with Tyra Banks at the Live Finale!

- Submitted by Virgin Media Business

View Tweet  

richard branson telescope


List 65 innovations that have changed your life 

- Submitted by Andrew Breslin of Dubai 

Read 65 innovations that changed my life


We #ChallengeRichard to a team selfie in the @DSVirginRacing garage today at the @FIAformulaE #VisaLondonePrix 

Submitted by DS Virgin Racing

View Instagram 


#ChallengeRichard accepted @ds_virginracing! Garage selfie with the team in London

A photo posted by Richard Branson (@richardbranson) on

Richard Branson Virgin StartUp launch


Write an article about the things to do in your 20s to get where you are now.

- Submitted by Eston Nzuki of Narobi, Kenya

View My five top tips for young entrepreneurs


I challenge you to give me a challenge

- Submitted by @Spitfire6464

View Tweet


We want your 65 year old a*** to whoop your kids a*** on the tennis court”.

- Submitted by Tarra Bercegeay of Palm Springs, USA

View Instragram 

Richard Branson writing a letter


We've loved reading your letters to yourself at 10, 25, 50, and 65-years-old. How about looking forward and writing one to yourself at 85 years-old?

- Submitted by Holly and Sam Branson 

Read My letter to 85 year-old me


Hi! I would love to know for a book I am writing what top qualities you look for a potential employer?

- Submitted by @marketingkj

View Tweet



Your story has so many moments that we can draw inspiration from. Share a moment we don't know about you

- Submitted by Seranya of South Africa

Read An untold story 


We challenge you to film yourself trying to say your favourite tongue-twister.

- Submitted by Virgin

View Instagram 


@VirginGroup sent me a #challengerichard to try my favourite tongue-twister. Here goes!

A video posted by Richard Branson (@richardbranson) on

And one more for good measure... and because happiness is best shared...


Find 65 people were born on the same day as you and wish them a happy birthday via card or phone!

- Submitted by Sue Edwards of West Sussex UK


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