I never went to university. I look at life as one long university course that I've never had. I love new experiences, and I try to learn at least one thing every day.
My curiosity is one of my biggest assets – it’s certainly been the key to my success as a businessperson. I’ve never been one to adhere to the rules, instead I’ve favoured first-hand experiences. The best way of learning anything is by doing.
I’ve known this ever since I tried and failed to start a business selling Christmas trees, making mistakes and picking up learnings that helped me improve the next time, and time and time again. Having started hundreds of businesses since, and learned thousands of new skills, I’m still learning by doing every day.
Richard Branson Fast Track 100 2017
Another great way to learn is by listening and asking a lot of questions. The best piece of advice my father gave me was: listen more than you talk. Nobody learned anything by hearing themselves speak. Wherever I go, I try to spend as much time as possible listening to the people I meet.
I always carry a pen and notebook to write down my thoughts. You never know what you might learn from simply listening to the people around you. I am endlessly surprised by what new and useful information I can gather just by keeping my ears open.
richard branson notes book
And if you don’t agree, then voice your opinion. Debating is healthy, and another fantastic way to learn.