Richard Branson was at the mere age of 20 when he founded Virgin, which began as a chain of small record stores.
But he certainly didn’t limit himself to just the music industry. Branson soon branched out to create many other sub-ventures such as Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Media, Virgin Games and so on.
Now one of the wealthiest British men, Branson has built himself a huge empire with the Virgin name being spread across so many different niches.
Here are 10 Richard Branson success tips he has given to fellow entrepreneurs, in order to be successful in both business and life.
1) Don’t Do it if You Don’t Enjoy it
It’s no secret, running a business isn’t just a nice easy project you take up because you’d like a little bit more income on the side. It takes a lot of extra work than you’re used to, it requires late nights and early mornings, and most importantly it requires determination and patience.
Branson had the right attitude towards building a business, which is that he would rather think of the idea as something that could help change other people’s lives and achievements that he could be proud of.
Similarly to other very successful companies such as Google and Facebook, Branson didn’t set out to build an empire. He did it for the pure love of it, which really helps when it comes to the tough times of running one.
2) When People Say Bad things About You, Just Prove them Wrong
When your name starts to become even remotely recognized in the world, there will always be people who will have some sort of problem with you.
It could be because they’re jealous, they have nothing better to do, or they’re competitors that are scared you’ll soon be overtaking them.
In Branson’s words, “I think the best thing to do is just to prove them wrong in every single way”, and he’s done just that.
3) You Can’t Run a Business Without Taking Risks
The business world is filled with risks, and you can’t go through life not taking a single one, otherwise, you’ll get nowhere near where you want to be.
It’s incredibly difficult to be able to achieve success when you’re playing it safe all the time. Besides, even walking out of the house every day has its risks.
One of Branson’s favorite quotes is: “The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all!” It’s a very important quote, not just in business, but in life in general. Sure risks may not pay off, you may fail, but failure is the path to success.
4) Seek Both a Second and Third Opinion
The real truth is often clouded by your own judgment. Your eyes and ears may be perceiving what’s really there. With any new idea, the best thing is to always get more people to look at it and express how they feel about it.
Branson explains that you need to learn to be an excellent listener if you’re to succeed. After all, success in business doesn’t rely on just you being happy, it relies on others being happy. Searching for other’s opinions “can save you a lot of time and money.”
5) Don’t Give up
Kind of an obvious one I know, but far too many people quit because they’ve given it a go for a few months and haven’t seen any results.
If running a successful billion-dollar business was easy, then everybody would be doing it, right?
There are always going to be momentary struggles where you feel like you want to give up, but you have to push through these and keep on working.
“I think I’m reasonably good at dealing with failure and not letting it get me down for more than an hour or two as long as I put everything I can into avoiding it.”
6) Have a Sofa in the Kitchen
This piece of advice from Branson was quite an intriguing one. To be honest, I’m still not 100% sure I fully understand it, but here’s what he had to say on the subject.
“The truth is, so long as you’ve got a kitchen which has space for a sofa, and a bedroom, and a partner that you love, you don’t necessarily need the add-ons in life.”
7) Pick up the Phone
Phone calls may seem a little dated now, what with email and SMS technology has advanced so much in recent years, however it still remains as a critical method of communication.
It’s the only real way to talk to someone quickly and freely, no matter who it is you need to get in contact with.
Branson thinks that people have been avoiding phone calls in “some misguided quest for efficiency.” Problems can be solved a lot more easily with a quick phone call, than having loads of emails bouncing around at random times.
“There is nothing efficient about letting a small problem escalate.”
8) Be Visible
A British airline tycoon once gave Richard Branson a very good piece of advice when he was setting out on starting ‘Virgin Atlantic’, and that’s this: “You are going to have to get out there and sell yourself. Make a fool of yourself, whatever it takes. Otherwise, you won’t survive”.
This is excellent advice, how else do you expect to get your name heard? Branson took everything he heard on board and now strives to travel as much as he can, meet new people and discuss things face to face with as many people as he can.
9) Perfection is Unattainable
Richard Branson has the right attitude when it comes to perfection, and this point made is a truly genius one. Many people think that once they believe they’ve perfected something, they can sit back and relax.
Whilst you’re slacking, others are working very hard and they will soon surpass you if you just lay back and let them.
10) Believe in Your Ideas and Be the Best
What’s the point in putting so much effort into something you don’t believe in. How can you expect others to believe in your business if not even you can?
You need to be able to have a passion for what you do, believe in all your ideas and believe that you can become as successful as you could possibly imagine. Branson said there was no point in creating an airline unless it was able to beat all of its competitors.