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Richard Branson put together his first business plan at 15 years old and it's surprisingly solid


The multi-billionaire iconic entrepreneur Richard Branson , now 67 years old, began his career more than 50 years ago. He started his first venture, a student magazine, at 15 years old, and he just revealed his original business plan.

He was "disgruntled with the archaic school practices of the day," Branson writes in a blog post . His headmaster at the time suggested that Branson take his frustrations to the school magazine. But the young entrepreneur didn't want to be bound by that publication's rigid standards.

"We wanted to campaign against corporal punishment, compulsory chapel, games and Latin," Branson says.

"All these ideas were far too 'revolutionary' to be aired in the school magazine, The Stoic, a name which seemed only too apt to its long-suffering readers. We then thought about linking up with other schools that had similar rules. Gradually the idea of an inter-school publication, Student magazine, was hatched."

The entrepreneur met with students from other schools, talked about ideas and recorded everything in a notebook. Branson is a huge proponent of writing down your ideas when they come to you so you don't forget.

Then, Branson wrote down the names of 250 members of parliament he would like to be in touch with for the magazine, as well as a list of potential advertisers he found by flipping through the phone book. He contacted British retailer WHSmith to see if it would sell the finished product.

"Thus, with contributors, advertisers, distributors and costs all in place — at least on paper — I had written my first business plan," says Branson.

That was enough to get him going.

"It's amazing how your ideas can take flight, so long as your write them down and share them with others. And as you can see from my story, a business plan doesn't have to be a lengthy, well-thought-out proposal — it can be as simple as some notes in a notebook, or a scribble on the back of an envelope."

Branson's message is that you don't need to wait to have a formal, perfected business plan to get started. That idea has been championed by other billionaire entrepreneurs, like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman.

"If I had to understand everything about connecting people before I began, I never would have started Facebook," Zuckerberg said in his commencement speech to Harvard graduates this spring .

Zuckerberg was a teen hacker and he carried that mentality into launching Facebook.

According to Hoffman, that is why Zuckerberg is so successful.

"He has no qualms about rushing out an imperfect product. In fact, his famous mantra is 'move fast and break things,'" says Hoffman about Zuckerberg on his podcast, "Masters of Scale." "If you are Steve Jobs, you can wait for your product to be perfect, but there are almost no Steve Jobs in the world." Like this story? Like CNBC Make It on Facebook .

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Here's the best way to stay motivated at your job, according to Wharton's No. 1 professor

From Struggles to Success: Richard Branson’s Entrepreneurial Journey

  • August 27, 2023
  • Entrepreneurship & Startups

richard branson business plan

From humble beginnings to global success, Richard Branson’s entrepreneurial journey is a testament to the power of resilience and determination.

Overcoming early struggles and setbacks, Branson defied the odds to become one of the world’s wealthiest individuals.

Through his iconic Virgin brand, he has revolutionized industries and inspired countless aspiring entrepreneurs.

With a bold spirit and a commitment to making a difference, Branson’s story serves as a beacon of innovation and creativity in the business world.

Join us as we explore the extraordinary path of Richard Branson, from struggles to unparalleled success.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Richard Branson’s early struggles and failures did not define his success.
  • Branson’s success and achievements are evident in his net worth and the range of industries he has ventured into.
  • Branson emphasizes the importance of overcoming obstacles and challenges for personal and entrepreneurial growth.
  • Branson’s business strategy involves branding, empowering talent, and venturing into diverse industries.

Early Struggles and Setbacks

Richard Branson faced early struggles and setbacks. He was a high-school dropout with poor reading and math skills. He also had failed get-rich-quick schemes and two arrests on suspicion of tax evasion.

However, Branson did not let these obstacles define him. Instead, he used them as opportunities for personal growth and development. He overcame his lack of formal education by developing extraordinary people skills and learning to trust his instincts.

Branson’s failures taught him valuable lessons. They pushed him to think outside the box and fueled his creativity. Through bold spirit and perseverance, he transformed his setbacks into stepping stones towards success.

Branson’s ability to overcome these challenges not only shaped his entrepreneurial journey but also inspired others to embrace obstacles as opportunities for personal growth and innovation.

Achievements and Successes

Despite facing numerous challenges and setbacks, Branson’s accomplishments include being worth around $4.4 billion in 2008 and being ranked as the 236th richest person. He has made a significant impact on the hospitality industry through his ventures under the Virgin brand. Branson’s philanthropic efforts have also made a lasting impression.

Here are five key achievements and contributions:

Virgin Hotels: Branson established a chain of luxury hotels, providing unique experiences and exceptional customer service.

Necker Island: As a part of his hospitality ventures, Branson transformed a private island into an exclusive resort, showcasing his commitment to luxury and sustainability.

Virgin Voyages: Branson’s cruise line aims to revolutionize the industry by offering adults-only experiences and sustainability initiatives.

Giving Pledge: Branson joined this philanthropic initiative, pledging to donate at least half of his wealth to charitable causes.

Carbon War Room: Branson founded this organization to combat climate change by bringing together entrepreneurs and industry leaders.

Branson’s achievements in the hospitality industry and his dedication to making a positive impact have solidified his status as an innovative and influential entrepreneur.

Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Facing numerous obstacles and setbacks, aspiring entrepreneurs can benefit from Branson’s advice on embracing challenges, thinking creatively, and learning from mistakes.

Branson believes that obstacles and challenges are healthy for everyone, as they force thinking outside the box and encourage creativity. He emphasizes the importance of following through on a great idea and learning from past mistakes.

According to Branson, making a real difference in people’s lives is the key to success. He also stresses the significance of having a bold spirit and perseverance.

Branson’s own entrepreneurial journey has been filled with failures and calamities, such as cash-flow problems and legal battles, but he has overcome these challenges and achieved great success. His business strategy focuses on branded venture capitalism, empowering talent, and minimal financial risk.

For startups, Branson’s tips for overcoming challenges and achieving success are invaluable.

Lessons From Failure and Adversity

Overcoming challenges and setbacks is a key aspect of Branson’s journey as an entrepreneur. He has faced numerous obstacles throughout his career but has managed to turn these failures into opportunities. Here are five lessons we can learn from Branson’s ability to overcome obstacles and turn failures into opportunities:

Embrace failure as a learning experience: Branson sees failure as a stepping stone to success and encourages others to do the same.

Stay resilient and persevere: Branson’s ability to bounce back from setbacks is a testament to his resilience and determination.

Adapt and innovate: Branson is known for his ability to adapt to changing market conditions and constantly innovate.

Take calculated risks: Branson understands the importance of taking risks and believes that calculated risks can lead to great rewards.

Surround yourself with the right people: Branson believes in the power of teamwork and surrounds himself with talented individuals who can help him overcome challenges.

Business Strategy and Approach

Branson’s business strategy and approach involve branded venture capitalism, empowering talent, and fostering creativity across diverse companies.

With a focus on innovation, Branson believes in empowering talent to bring out their full potential and fostering creativity within his organizations. By providing shared resources and minimal financial risk, Branson encourages his teams to think outside the box and come up with groundbreaking ideas.

One of his most notable ventures is the expansion into space tourism with Virgin Galactic, which exemplifies his commitment to pushing boundaries and exploring new frontiers.

Branson’s branded venture capitalism allows him to have control over a wide range of businesses, while still maintaining a cohesive brand identity.

His approach not only leads to financial success but also creates an environment that inspires and motivates individuals to reach their full potential and make a lasting impact in their respective industries.

Frequently Asked Questions

How did richard branson’s dyslexia impact his early struggles and setbacks.

Richard Branson’s dyslexia impacted his early struggles and setbacks by making reading and understanding difficult. However, he developed extraordinary people skills and learned to trust his instincts, which ultimately helped him overcome these challenges and achieve success.

What Are Some Specific Examples of Richard Branson’s Humanitarian and Environmental Efforts?

Richard Branson’s humanitarian efforts include supporting various charitable organizations and initiatives, such as Virgin Unite, which focuses on social and environmental issues. His environmental efforts involve promoting sustainable practices and investing in renewable energy ventures through the Virgin Group.

How Did Richard Branson Overcome His Lack of Formal Education and Become Successful?

Richard Branson overcame his lack of formal education and dyslexia’s impact through perseverance and a bold spirit. He developed extraordinary people skills and learned to trust his instincts, which paved the way for his success.

Can You Provide More Details About Richard Branson’s Arrests and Night in Jail?

Richard Branson’s night in jail was a setback in his entrepreneurial journey. Dyslexia made reading and understanding difficult, but it didn’t stop him from becoming successful. His arrests taught him resilience and the importance of learning from mistakes.

What Are Some Specific Challenges Richard Branson Faced in Starting Virgin Atlantic Airways?

Starting Virgin Atlantic Airways, Richard Branson faced challenges such as intense competition in the airline industry. However, his bold spirit and perseverance allowed him to overcome obstacles and establish a successful airline brand.

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How Richard Branson went from high-school dropout to billionaire entrepreneur

Branson: I was seen as the dumbest person in school

As a teenager, Richard Branson never imagined he'd be where he is today.

"I was seen as the dumbest person at school," the founder and CEO of Virgin Group told CNNMoney. "The idea that I could be successful didn't dawn on me."

As a young student, Branson struggled with dyslexia. He had a hard time keeping up with his classes. But what was perceived as a weakness became a source of strength.

"What's interesting about people who are dyslexic is that they can often excel at things that they love and have a passion for," he said. "And I have a passion for quite a lot of things."

The billionaire has turned those passions into a far-reaching business empire. He had to take a lot of risks along the way.

A voice for young people

Branson's first business was a magazine for young people called Student. He was 15 when he started it, and dropped out of school to talk to people around the world and learn about what was happening.

"I felt that I could get out and start creating things that would make a difference in the world," he said.

To support the magazine, Branson started selling records by mail. Ultimately, the magazine failed. But the mail-order record business turned into something huge: Virgin Records.

After mailing records and opening a store, Branson started a label to help support an artist he believed in, Mike Oldfield.

"I went to seven record companies, and none of them would put [his Tubular Bells] out. So I formed a little record company on my own," Branson said.

The risks paid off. "It sold millions and millions of albums," Branson recalled.

After Oldfield, Branson kept signing "bands that nobody else would sign," including The Rolling Stones, Sex Pistols and Janet Jackson.

Once he'd established Virgin Records as a success, Branson switched gears.

Related: She was too short to play Goofy. Then she invented Spanx. Now she's a billionaire

Shooting for the stars

In 1984, after working in the music industry for more than a decade, Branson launched the airline Virgin Atlantic.

"Nobody thought we would survive," Branson said. But Virgin was good enough to win customers over.

"We created an airline that people loved to fly in a marketplace where other airlines were dreadful," he said. "People went out of their way to fly us."

Over the years, the Virgin travel family expanded globally to include Virgin America and Virgin Australia. And with Virgin Galactic, Branson is setting his sights on commercial space travel.

Branson doesn't want to fall too far behind his space travel rival, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

"Right now, there's about 700 engineers who are beavering away to make sure that Elon's little car in space does not stay lonely too long," he said, referring to the Tesla roadster that Musk sent into space as part of the maiden launch of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket . "I feel quite soon that little car might have another friend or two out there."

Related: Billionaire real estate developer: Getting fired was the best thing that happened to me

Failures along the way

Branson has had his fair share of public failures. In 1994, the Virgin Group introduced the public to Virgin Cola. "Declaring a soft drink war on Coke was madness," Branson said in a 2014 Virgin blog post . "I consider our cola venture to be one of the biggest mistakes we ever made."

"Virgin Cola just wasn't different enough," Branson continued in the post. "Virgin only enters an industry when we think we can offer consumers something strikingly different that will disrupt the market."

But he doesn't see failure as a bad thing.

"Failure is a wonderful way of learning," he said. As "an entrepreneur, if you're not taking risks, you're not going to achieve anything ... I've learned the hard way sometimes."

He'd rather give something a shot than not try at all. "If you give something a go and it doesn't work out, you certainly haven't failed," he said. "You just learned."

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Richard Branson's ABCs of Business Throughout the year, the Virgin co-founder shared what he thinks are the essential elements to success.

By Rose Leadem • Jan 16, 2018

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If there's one thing Richard Branson knows, it's how to run a successful business .

Throughout last year, the Virgin founder shared what he thinks are the keys ingredients to building a successful company with each letter of the alphabet, which he slowly revealed through the 365 days.

Related: Richard Branson on the Importance of Taking Meaningful Risks

From A for attitude to N for naivety to Z for ZZZ, check out Branson's ABCs of success.

A is for Attitude

A good attitude can set you apart from the crowd, Branson said . When you have a good attitude, people want to spend time with you and help you be successful.

Whether you're an aspiring entrepreneur or the CEO of an established company -- attitude will always play an important role.

B is for Bravery

"No business ever begins, yet alone becomes a success, without an entrepreneur being brave," Branson said .

From climbing mountains to standing up for what you believe in -- bravery takes many forms. For entrepreneurs, that could be risking everything to launch a business.

Whatever shape it takes for you, you will gain something in the end. "Without being brave, you are not going to achieve anything," Branson said.

C is for Confidence

Often, people refrain from pursuing their dreams because they are afraid of failing. Although if you never try, you'll never know. That's where confidence comes into play.

Confidence "is what sets change-makers apart from dreamers," Branson said.

In his blog post , Branson recalls a time when he called up companies such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi to ask if they would like to purchase advertising in his school's magazine. Although he was nervous before making the calls, he found that, "with each call I gained more confidence to make the next.

This experience led Branson to have the confidence to approach and recruit major artists for Virgin Records.

"Don't spend too long fretting about what you are going to do next, just get out there and start," he said. "Once you've had one or two breakthroughs your confidence will increase, and you will get bolder and bolder."

D is for Delegation

As an entrepreneur, you'll likely wear a lot of hats, from marketer to publicist to business developer. Although these tasks will help you develop a diverse skill set, you'll also need to learn to delegate , Branson said.

Related: What Richard Branson Learned From His 7 Biggest Failures

As Branson struggled with dyslexia as a child, he explains that by surrounding himself with people who complemented his weaknesses, he found he could be more successful.

"Surround yourself with people who complement you, aid your self-development and most importantly give you the freedom to look after yourself and your family and scale to move forward into new areas," Branson said .

E is for Excitement

Throughout his life as an entrepreneur, Branson has always held one core philosophy: "If a new project or business opportunity doesn't excite me, and get my entrepreneurial and innovative juices flowing, then I'd rather pass on it," he writes in a blog post .

Branson believes that there's no point in doing things in life if they don't excite you, or in his words, "light your fire." Without being excited about the work you're doing and who you're working with, you're holding yourself back from finding your true passions.

F is for Forgiveness

Richard Branson believes that second chances have helped his employees grow and develop. "It's amazing how much people lift their game when you put trust and hope in them," he said.

In a blog post , Branson shares stories from his life where forgiveness was the best solution. In his college days, when Branson was the publisher and editor of Student magazine, he discovered his business partner's plan to kick him out of his position. Years after parting ways, Branson reached out to his old friend and invited him to join the Virgin team. "Forgiveness brought us both peace and success," he said.

Early on at Virgin Records, after finding out an employee was stealing from the company, instead of firing the employee, Branson gave him another chance. That individual ended up signing major artists such as Phil Collins and Culture Club.

Branson pulled in other examples such as Nelson Mandela's story of forgiving the people who imprisoned him for 27 years. He also shared statistics about ex-convicts who struggle finding employment because companies aren't willing to give them second chances. Branson's company Virgin Trains seeks to employ ex-offenders -- currently employing more than 25 in different parts of the company, he shared.

The Virgin Group founder urges others to forgive and move forward. "Life's too short to hold grudges," he said. "Everyone deserves freedom to move forward -- and forgiveness is the fastest route to peace and happiness."

G is for Giving

To Richard Branson, giving is an integral part of living a meaningful life. "When you see first-hand the impact it can have, it becomes the best feeling in the world," he said in a blog post .

And to give back, Branson created Virgin Unite, a foundation that brings people together and uses its resources to help create positive change in the world.

Branson lives by the traditional Chinese saying, "The heart that gives, gathers," and encourages others to do the same.

From offering support to lending a helping hand, giving takes many forms.

H is for Holidays

Whether you're an entry-level employee or an established entrepreneur -- everyone is susceptible to burnout. To keep your stress levels low, taking holidays (British for vacation) is a great solution, Branson said.

"Having a busy career doesn't mean that you can't live your life to the fullest. It's important to prepare for the demands of the everyday, but it's equally as crucial to enjoy life," Branson explained .

Branson takes off from work to spend time with his friends and family -- which is a key component to keeping him healthy and happy, he said. For the purpose of your well-being, it's important to strike a balance between work and life.

I is for Innovation

Innovation often accompanies entrepreneurship. That's because in order to survive and be successful, entrepreneurs must come up with unique ideas and create products and services that help them stand out from the rest.

Related: Richard Branson: To Be Successful, Take the Stairs

To Richard Branson, "Innovation is a restless pursuit -- an endless quest," he shared . Entrepreneurs and businesses should constantly think of new ideas and creative ways to move their businesses forward. However, innovation isn't just for creative people or leaders -- it's for anyone who's willing to work hard and come up with effective solutions and improvements.

"Be curious, be willing, embrace risk, innovate," Branson said.

J is for Jokes

Even when it comes to business, it's important to have a good laugh. "Having fun can bring out the best in people and can be a great bonding tool too," Branson said .

Branson himself is known for playing pranks on colleagues and friends. "Play, joke, laugh," Branson said. "Some people may call it being childish, but in my opinion there's nothing wrong with being a kid at heart."

K is for Keepers

No one reaches success without a little -- or a lot -- of help from others. That's why it's incredibly important to surround yourself with positive, uplifting and helpful people, and keep these people close to you. Branson advises to find people whose strengths balance your weaknesses, people who will help lift you up when you're down and people who share your same vision. He calls these people "keepers."

"Every entrepreneur and business leader should surround themselves with keepers: people that share their vision and make collaboration easy and effective -- if you don't, you will never see the bigger picture," Branson wrote in a blog post .

L is for Learning

Life is all about learning. In fact, if you're like Richard Branson, you're constantly curious and trying to learn something new every day. There are a number of ways to do this too.

To Branson, one of the best ways to learn is by doing. And that means putting yourself out in the world, being willing to make mistakes and then learn from the experience. Another great way is by listening.

"The best piece of advice my father gave me was: listen more than you talk," Branson shared in a blog post . "Nobody learned anything by hearing themselves speak." A tip from Branson? Carry around a pen and notebook so you can jot down things you've learned and your thoughts and questions. "I am endlessly surprised by what new and useful information I can gather just by keeping my ears open."

M is for Motivation

To be a successful entrepreneur, motivation is one of the key components to help get you there. From long nights to early mornings, starting a company is not easy, especially when you're first starting out. "You have to be able to give the job everything you've got, or it will easily get the better of you," Branson wrote in a blog post .

And how exactly can you get and stay motivated during your entrepreneurial journey? Understanding what your goals are, having a routine and showing support for your team are a few ways that Branson does it. Another tip from Branson: "Picture yourself at 90 years old, sitting in a comfortable chair, asking yourself: "What have I done in my life?' We should all aim to look back at life with no what-ifs, and be proud of what we've achieved."

One thing you should never let be your motivator is money. According to the billionaire serial entrepreneur, if you're only in it for money, then you probably shouldn't launch a business at all.

N is for Naivety

While some people might think as naivety as being a bad quality to have in business, Richard Branson thinks the opposite. In fact, a bit of naivety is actually good for entrepreneurs because it makes them more curious, willing to take risks, make up their own roles and ultimately, pave their own paths. "It's those that go off the beaten track -- making discoveries unnoticed by those too busy following the rules -- that truly shake things up," Branson wrote in a post .

Related: Richard Branson Explains Why He's Different From Elon Musk, and What He Looks For When Investing in Startups

O is for Organization

Generally, organization means a group of people working towards a common goal. However, everyone has their own approach, and to Richard Branson, Virgin is a "disorganized organized organization."

"Being organized doesn't necessarily mean running to a strict set of mandated rules, where everything is pedantically in order and predictable," Branson explained in a blog post . "Virgin's success as an organization has come about as a result of balance."

From some creative minds to analytical minds, having a balance of different types of people have helped keep the Virgin functioning, fun and successful.

P is for Presentations

As an entrepreneur, preparation is incredibly important. What if you're stuck in an elevator ride with a prospective investor you've had your eye on? That could be your big break, but you'll only be successful if you're prepared. However, that doesn't mean memorizing some robotic elevator pitch. "Preparation prevents poor performance -- but I've also learned that nobody likes a stiff conversation or presentation," Branson wrote in a blog post .

So, how can you be prepared but not sound stuffy and robotic? Be yourself, show your passion and speak from the heart. That's what Branson does and look where it got him. Another success tip from Branson is to keep things short. "Audiences lose interest after 25 minutes or so, if not earlier."

Use humor and creativity, show you're passionate about what you're talking about and of course, be concise and show your expertise. It can even be helpful to pull in some numbers and stats -- just not too many or else people might lose interest, Branson wrote.

Q is for Questioning

A great way for entrepreneurs, and anyone, to find solutions, drive change and move forward is by asking questions and debating different sides. Because, as Richard Branson wrote , "No single person has all the answers."

Of course, it's never good to start a debate simply to cause a ruckus or play devil's advocate -- "It's not just about questioning simply to stir the pot. Negativity breeds negativity, so I always find a positive slant in every question I ask."

As an entrepreneur, be curious, ask questions and listen and learn from others.

R is for Risk-taking

When we hear the word "entrepreneur," one of the first words that comes to many of our minds is "risk." And it's no surprise, because, as Richard Branson puts it, "Entrepreneurship in its very essence is all about taking risks."

Whether you're just starting out or five years into your business, an entrepreneur's journey is full of challenges where you'll have to take calculated risks. "Business, after all, is like a giant game of chess: you have to make strategic moves, and learn quickly from your mistakes," Branson wrote in a blog post . Some of the most successful entrepreneurs were ones who took the biggest risks.

S is for Staff

The key to a successful business? People . And that starts with who you hire and how you treat them. Because if you have a great company culture and look after your staff, your customers and clients will be happy and feel treated well too.

A healthy and happy workforce not only affects the bottomline, but will help your business innovate and move forward. One of the best ways to cultivate a positive workforce is through relationships and tailoring to the individual needs of staff members -- rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach, Branson advises. "Success in business is all about people -- take care of them and they'll take care of business. It's that simple," Branson wrote in a blog post .

T is for Tenacity

From a very young age, Richard Branson was tenacious, which foreshadowed his success as an entrepreneur. According to Branson, "Tenacity is a prerequisite for entrepreneurial success." While things such as courage and motivation helped him during his journey, it was his tenacity that really picked him up during hard times, pushed him to work through late nights and remain positive and upbeat during challenges. Branson said he believes his tenacity also made him better at thinking creatively and solving problems. "So stay hungry, be tenacious, never give up and have fun doing it."

U is for Uniforms

When it comes to business uniforms, Richard Branson said he believes it's all about what will help employees be their most productive. The billionaire entrepreneur who's notorious for never wearing a tie does not enforce a dress code at the Virgin corporate offices. "We welcome our team members to wear clothing that they think will help them to get the most of their day," Branson shared in a post . However, every business is different, and when it comes to Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Trains, "uniforms are iconic and work wonders to give our crew members a sense of team and pride." In the end, depending on the business type and your employees will help determine the kind of uniforms, if any, to have.

Related: The Awesome Advice We Learned From Richard Branson's Former Assistant

V is for Virginity

Ever wonder where Richard Branson and his team came up with the name "Virgin?" As Branson shares, one of his friends suggested Virgin because they were all "virgins at business." And that's a lesson for many entrepreneurs who are just starting out. "Everyone is a virgin in business when they start," Branson said in a blog post . "It's how you learn and embrace the trials and tribulations of your journey that determines your success in the long run." So, don't look at this business "virginity" or your naivety as a bad thing and instead, use it to explore, learn and create your own path.

W is for Weakness

Everyone has their own set of weaknesses, and there's no reason to cover them up or try to ignore them. Instead, use them to your advantage. In a blog post , Richard Branson shared a personal example: "My dyslexia taught me to think differently, and solve problems in a unique way." Not only should you learn to use your weaknesses as beneficial tools but also surround yourself with people who excel in areas where you struggle.

Y is for Yes

At Virgin, Richard Branson's nickname is "Doctor Yes," he shared in a blog post . While the name doesn't need much explaining, it's because you're more likely to catch Branson saying "yes" rather than "no" to an opportunity. And he thinks you should do the same. "If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes -- then learn how to do it later!" And while saying yes can often come with risk, in the end it's usually worth the reward and can lead to something amazing.

Z is for ZZZ

If you want to be successful, "catch some ZZZs and get some sleep," Branson wrote in his last A to Z series blog post . Sleep should be a priority for not only entrepreneurs but anyone who wants to be their most productive and best self.

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Written by Michael Corrigan | July 19, 2017

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“I have always lived my life by thriving on opportunity and adventure. Some of the best ideas come out of the blue, and you have to keep an open mind to see their virtue.”  – Sir Richard Branson

I often find myself agreeing with Sir Richard Branson , particularly when it comes to the concept of adventure. If happiness  is the goal, and Sir Richard argues that it should be, then adventures must be a top priority.

Since starting our business four years ago, my co-founder and I have had our share. Here’s a taster:

  • Turned down investment from one of the dragons in Dragons’ Den
  • Attended the Golden Globes and the Oscars
  • Met Gary Vaynerchuk  and Jamie Foxx


It’s not often you meet your heroes.

  • Logged more miles than I care to mention, traveling the world
  • Been featured in Inc , HuffPost , GQ , South China Morning Post , Mail Online , and on Good Morning America
  • Seen the product we invented become the top-selling travel pillow on Amazon (UK and US) . We now sell our Trtl Pillow in more than 60 countries

Not bad for a couple of guys from the southside of Glasgow.

And if I could pinpoint one thing; just one secret that drives our success, it would have to be viewing our business, like our lives, as an adventure— clearing our minds and enjoying the journey, just like Richard Branson would advise.

In this post, I’m going to tell you the the three main philosophical underpinnings behind what we’ve achieved over the past few years. I turn 30 at the end of the month, so forgive the introspection, and don’t worry, this will also be chock full of actionable tips on how to put these principles into practice.

In short, entrepreneurs tend to focus too much on the rough patches. With these three tips, I’m going to show how to think of your business like an adventure, so you can re-frame what you are doing in a way that will allow you to better enjoy the journey.

To Reach Success, You Must Enjoy the Journey

Remember those long car rides with your folks when you were a kid?


Do you remember the destination or the journey?

Sure, it’s great to set a destination and eventually get there. But what I remember most is counting the red and blue cars from the back seat, chatting with my parents, stopping for overnight stays, and just watching the world pass by out the window.

The journey’s the adventure.

This is the core philosophy that I learned from Sir Richard Branson , who lives life with precisely this in mind and, as a result, has been an inspiration to so many people just like me.

Want to get advice from billionaire Sir Richard Branson on how he turned his ideas into reality and built his massive empire?

I’m so moved when I think of people like Branson, and Sir Tom Farmer—a fellow Scot and another big inspiration for my co-founder David and me—who are now getting up there in years and reflecting joyfully on long lives of adventure and entrepreneurial success.

These are people who have accomplished so much in business and life, and yet, are still hungry for new experiences and even greater heights.

I believe that in treating your business journey as an adventure, and doing so with patience, not only will your business be better off for it, but also, perhaps more importantly, YOU will be a happier person.


A happier person like this chap.

Here’s how you can do it yourself. Let’s dive into three of the main practices I do regularly that help me stay focused on the journey and treat my life and business as an adventure.

They are not difficult to implement, but they will help you refocus and re-adjust your perspective so you can live a much more fulfilled, happier entrepreneurial life.

1. Cultivate a Mindset for Adventure

Everything begins with mindset.

It is the primary driver for how you see the world and therefore, how you perceive reality. This affects how you interpret what happens to you, including the good things and the bad things, and there will be plenty of the latter when you’re starting a business.

This mindset of adventure translates into what I do in business. I want to take risks and I want to fail. True color in life can only been seen with a contrast of emotions. We need an element of sadness to understand true happiness, failure to understand success.

Keeping this in mind primes you to absorb emotion and experience in its truest form. You focus less on the outcomes and more on the process. Absorb the full spectrum of experience and gain a sense of perspective, and as a result, you’ll enjoy it more!

Here’s an example of what I mean:

Early on in our business, we had gathered a lot of momentum (we even met Richard Branson himself!) and we were offered funding from angel investors—we thought we had hit the jackpot! We continued moving forward, but our plans started to become dependent on the investment, which was continually delayed.

Along the way, we decided to walk away from the deal. Something just didn’t feel right, and we decided to go with our guts.

While this was happening, we also had a trademark issue, which meant we lost a brand that we had worked hard to develop. This, all together, meant that we owed over $30,000 in legal fees, with no brand and very little to zero sales!

At the time, I remember it being a huge challenge. But today, I actually look back on the experience very fondly.

David and I worked out of a hotel lobby that summer. We used to order one Americano and one glass of tap water for the day, because we couldn’t really afford two coffees (David, the kind man that he is, gave me the coffee more often that he had it). We designed a new brand that became Trtl and worked out how we were going to make ends meet.

I realize now that my mindset was what allowed me to deal with what was a very difficult situation at the time for both of us. It allowed me to absorb the setbacks as part of the adventure.

There isn’t one exact moment or tactic that developed that mindset, rather it’s experiences, people, and influences that have coalesced over time. That being said, here are three things I know had a big positive impact:

Fuel Your Mindset With Reading

The knowledge you need is out there; all you have to do is find it. A good place to begin is reading books. When we were starting out, we went hunting for the breadcrumbs of success  in autobiographies.

Who has been there and done it before?

What nuances can you learn from them and apply to your life?

I can recommend three books in particular:

  • The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • Good to Great  by Jim Collins

They had a major effect on the development of our business and our mindset. All three, in their own way, center on adventure as the guiding force of success.

Armed with inspiration, you’re able to see in your mind’s eye how someone has done it before.

Not everyone’s hard-wired for adventure like Richard Branson or Tom Farmer , so it’s useful to see how others have gone about doing things before you take your first steps as a fledgling entrepreneur.

By reading autobiographies like Benjamin Franklin’s—a man who had traveled to Europe by his early 20s, in a time when it was much harder to travel—you can gain a truly unique perspective on life and success, picking up on case studies and building theories as to why some of the best known (and some not-so-well-known) ventures were successful.

How else can you develop and nurture your mindset? Well, the bad news is that it’s a daily struggle. The good news is, it can be done! And that’s where habits come in.

Practice the Right Habits to Train Your Mindset

You need to develop habits that will help put you in the right frame of mind as easily as possible, expending the least amount of energy as possible.

Simple things like looking at your morning routine  are key. Do you choose to meditate or perhaps you like to make notes in your journal? Which media are you choosing to consume before you start your day?

You need a good morning routine. If you want a great life you need to have a great start to the day. These two posts from Benjamin Hardy  and David Sawyer  give useful pointers.

Here are my three favorite habits for success. You should try them too.

Maintain a to-do list:  Try a legal pad and some sharpies. Five tasks per day. It means you focus on the big picture, and don’t get bogged down in the details. You can also use Chrome extensions like Dayboard , but I prefer old school pen and paper.

Network:  You won’t succeed in business if you don’t. But it’s the kind of activity that you need to do repeatedly, otherwise it gets pushed to the margin. The world’s wealthiest people network more than five hours a month.

Exercise and eat well:  There are better things to do with your life than watch TV and binge on Netflix. You only live once. Here are a couple of posts I’d recommend on healthy eating  and exercise  for busy people.

Surround Yourself With the Right People

Something that’s a little harder when it comes to developing your mindset for sucess is being aware of who you are spending your time with.

Are you surrounding yourself with people who are generous, caring, glass-half-full kind of people?


Or are you spending time with people who drone on about what happened on last night’s reality TV show?   To be honest, I’m simply not that interested in spending time discussing such trivial topics.

I agree with French philosopher Michel Foucault . Foucault writes that our identities are fluid , which is great, because it means we can evolve for the challenges that lie ahead.

But it also means that we need to be mindful of who and what we listen to. Developing a filter is key, and the foundation of that filter is what you want to achieve.

As a side note, it has never been so difficult, and simultaneously so easy, to develop that filter.

  • It’s difficult in the sense that the amount of information now available is overwhelming, and many people find it hard to choose where to get their inspiration.
  • But if you know yourself, what makes you happy, and what you’re looking for, you can strategically seek out literally anything you could ever want to know, and tune out everything else. When I was growing up, there were five TV channels in the UK. Now I can choose what I want to absorb when I want to absorb it. I choose the filter.

So how do you break away from people who are feeding a negative mindset, and filter the information you feed your brain?

It’s ultimately a choice you make once you’ve defined a goal . Once you set the goal, you make choices to reach that goal.

One of those choices will be based around what you spend your time doing. Will you watch the news for an hour or will you write a blog? Will you play Assassin’s Creed  for an evening, or will you read a business book?  

When you’re faced with a choice in the moment, can you see and feel the goal and make the constructive choice? Or will you give into temptation? There are seven great tips in this helpful blog post.  

Takeaway: These are the three pillars of a successful mindset . All three involve setting priorities for how you spend your time in ways that align with the life you want to lead.

These three approaches have allowed me to see the forest for the trees and choose a life and business direction that is rich, exciting, and full of adventure (this is a picture of me, on the left again, with my co-founder David in Shanghai, on one of our many business adventures).

Richard-Branson-Michael Corrigan-David-Kellock

2. Identify the Meaning of Your Journey

Humans are meaning-making machines.    

We seek out meaning and instill meaning in every aspect of our lives. Even in smaller, frankly, meaningless things. We’re always hunting for conclusions and concocting stories to fill in the gaps. We’ve been doing this for  thousands of years , well before the written word.

If we begin to wrap our heads around this fact, we can begin to reflect on these stories we tell ourselves, the meaning we instill in our lives, and ask the question: Is this helping us get to where we want to go? And if it’s not, we can change it.

Identifying the meaning in your life helps clear the mind and allows you to focus on the journey, the adventure, which is what life and business are all about.

One book I  recommend is Viktor Frankl’s, Man’s Search for Meaning . It’s a story about his experience as a prisoner in the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II, and why he believes he survived and others didn’t.

He puts it down to the thought of his wife and seeing her again. He chose to hold that thought in his mind throughout the darkest moments, and to this he attributes his survival against all odds.

This is an extreme example, but it illustrates the power of meaning very well.

Meaning doesn’t need to be accidental, it can be a choice. But that choice needs to be an authentic one that resonates with a core feeling.

For David and me that’s adventure.  What matters to you?

adventures trtl foundr min

Here’s one way we use meaning to define the journey of our company:

Within our business team, we look for meaning by talking about why certain things are important and why we are doing what we do. One thing that binds us is a love of working in a team that is truly multinational.

At our company, Trtl, the team includes people from the US, Poland, England, China, Japan, and Scotland.

We’ve spoken about how proud we are as a team that this is the case, and in a world of challenging geopolitical tensions, we think this is important. This gives us meaning.

If we can be an example of openness and thrive in a culture where we not only accept, but enjoy the differences of one another, then we believe that’s something that’s very special.  

Immediately, we become more than just some people at a company.

We cultivate an environment of learning and adventure, where we hear stories of events from around the world and can imagine ourselves in the places, taking in the moment.

This adds to the experience and adventure within the team, which means we make the most of the good times that bind us together, even if there is a challenge ahead.

Takeaway: Determine your meaning in life, and use it to guide you. Mine’s adventure. What’s yours?

3. Reflect and Adjust as the Adventure Unfolds

The lovely thing about seeing business and life as an adventure is that there is no true end goal.

I mean, who ever wants to see an adventure end?!

When one goal is reached, another one is there to chase. It never ends, and because I love the journey, I never want it to end.

The magic is in holding two opposing points in your mind at one moment: You need deadlines to reach the next stepping stone in the adventure, but you also need to enjoy making each step.

No matter what happens today, there is always tomorrow to do something great.

This isn’t an excuse to procrastinate and not begin the process at all, it just means no matter what today’s results are, we can always have a different, better outcome next time.

We’ve talked about mindset and how we can improve this, and therefore the reality of the world around us.

We’ve spoken about meaning, how this is often a choice and an asset to guide us along this journey.

It’s now time to move into the nuts and bolts of what to do with the experiences the the world throws our way and learn how to reflect and adjust.

First of all, I always try to find time for meditation. I often use the Headspace  app when I’m in the mood but when I’m not, I follow the techniques I’ve learned through using it to do it independently.


I feel that meditation is a good technique to slow down the world, kind of like a “mental breather.” Other entrepreneurs do too .

It gives your mind the time and space to digest the feelings and thoughts you’ve not quite had the time to articulate yet. In many ways, it’s similar to active slow recovery jogs between speed sessions, for someone training for a competitive marathon.

As passionate as I am about having as many adventures as possible, you need the time to stop, reflect and digest, if only to appreciate what’s happened.

The next thing I do is journal, whenever I have time.


The Artist’s Way  by Julia Cameron recommends writing “Morning Pages” as soon as you wake, which is effectively a stream of consciousness, putting your thoughts on paper.

All you have to do is fill three pages of a journal every day. There is no wrong or right way to do it and you just write whatever comes into your head. Sometimes it might be some situation that’s really bothering you, sometimes a childhood memory, others some thoughts on a book you’re reading. It’s not to be read by anyone else.

For me, I basically start writing for five minutes in the morning, everything that’s going through my mind. It can be mixture of dreams, worries, frustrations, desires and whatever else. I am very honest with what’s going on in my mind. I can then think more clearly and rationally, and be more effective in my decision making.

I’ve also found that putting pen to paper is a far better way to highlight bad habits in your mind. Instead of a worry or frustration being just a thought, it becomes real when you can see it on paper. This means when you’re stressed in the moment, a bad habit’s about to take hold of you, you are that much more mindful of it happening.

This gives you the opportunity to stop any bad habit on a conscious level and, doing this repeatedly, usually remove the habit for good.

I greatly admire Richard Branson. And Tom Farmer has also had a huge influence on my business life.

I’ve met Sir Tom on a couple of occasions in the last 18 months or so. He is a very humble man. It was  Sir Tom Farmer that really lit the fire in David (my co-founder) and I when he came and spoke to our class while studying at university in Scotland.

I remember towards the end of that initial speech to our class at university all those years ago, he mentioned that he was envious of us.

Here was this great man telling a bunch of students that he would trade places with a bunch of young students. He said that we had it all in front of us, and we still had to experience most of the journey. And that he would trade his fortune to have it all in front of him again.

I try to remember that as much as I can.

And Sir Richard’s Branson’s philosophy will always guide my business.

I’m enjoying the adventure so far and I hope you will too. I would love to hear what adventures you’ve had in your business? What is the passion that drives you? Please comment below: I’ll reply to every one.

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About Michael Corrigan

Michael Corrigan is 29 and lives in Glasgow, Scotland. What matters to him is adventure, for which an essential prerequisite is a good night’s sleep. Now where’s my travel pillow?

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Actionable Strategies for Starting & Growing Any Business.

Richard Branson: My four tips for growing a business

Richard Branson and a group of four men and seven women employees laughing and doing a kick line

Starting your own business can be one of the best decisions you make in life, but it can also lead to some tough situations, and hard decisions to make. Fortunately, Richard Branson has shared some of the best advice for growing a business…

“It is no easy task but with the right support and a smart approach, the dream of scaling up your venture from start-up to successful business is in reach,” the Virgin Founder says in a recent blog. “If you want to be in business 10 years down the line, you must have a deep understanding of your business, the market it operates in and a great team to support.”

Plan for the long-term

Failing to plan for the long-term and thinking about the possible risks and opportunities could make all the difference to the success of your business. “Setting some milestones for you and your team to work towards will keep you motivated and driven,” Branson recommends. 

“There will be obstacles to growth you cannot foresee but having a roadmap in place from the get-go will help build structure and focus on decision-making.”

He also suggests putting in place strategies to mitigate any obvious risks to your business model from the start. “If you have a clear vision of where you would like your business to have expanded to after 10 year, plan how you can achieve this.”

Black and white image of Richard Branson writing

Stick to your founding principles

Branson has one key piece of advice for when expanding into new territories or creating new products: “Having a uniting them all under one roof is one of the best advantages a business can have. Customers relate to brands and the values it stands for more than the tangible aspects of a product.”

He advises working out your business’ values and principles early on so that you can turn these values into tangible activities your customers can interact with. “Virgin has always been about putting the customer at the heart of everything we do and innovating in industries ripe for disruption. This is what our brand stands for and is applied to every business bearing our brand name.”

Gather a great team

Investing in the people you’re working with and trusting them with responsibility is another key ingredient to building a successful business, Branson says. “I learnt this from a very young age. There is little point recruiting great people if you don’t then give them the autonomy to take their role and run with it.

“It also frees you up as the founder to focus less on the day-to-day activities and more on the overarching objectives laid out in your 10 year roadmap. Over my 40 years in business I have assembled a fantastic team to run the Virgin Group’s day-to-day activities and this has freed me up to spend 80 per cent of my time working with Virgin Unite – the not-for-profit arm of the Virgin Group.”

Richard Branson smiling in front of a chair marked with the Virgin logo

Get the right support

Having a good mentor can help you learn from others’ mistakes and hopefully avoid them, as well as teaching you how best to use the funds you have available, Branson says. “I myself benefited hugely from the words of Sir Freddie Laker when starting Virgin Atlantic. He told me I could never compete with the big advertising budgets of the large airlines and would have to get out there and use myself to promote Virgin Atlantic.”

Read more advice from Richard Branson on his Virgin.com blog.

richard branson business plan

Richard Branson Launched His First Business with $2,000, Shows How Far Passion Can Take You

It’s often been said that you need to have money to make money, and that those of us who don’t have any money to our name have no chance of ever having money to our name.


It’s sad to think about, but it’s also not always a sentence to failure — lot of major celebrities started with pretty humble means.

Take, for example, Richard Branson. The Virgin Group founder started his first venture as a teenager! In fact, he writes in a recent  blog post , most people who come to him for business advice lament: “I need x amount of money to get started” — and it’s simply not true, says Branson.

“There’s no doubt it can be easier to achieve lofty ambitions if you already have financial backing,” he writes, “but in many cases, you don’t need lots of money to start a business.”

Branson is dyslexic and dropped out of school as a teenager. But that didn’t stop teenage-Branson from starting Student Magazine , his first business. His publication, launched in 1966, was an alternative to other interschool magazines and covered topics school magazines generally wouldn’t cover, like music and the Vietnam war.

He got started with a simple business plan, and in fact he kept track of advertisers and costs in his school notebook , and ran his magazine out of his parents’ basement. “I was just 16 years old when I founded the magazine, and had no money to put toward it,” writes Branson.

Funding came from a surprising place. Branson’s mother found a necklace on the ground near their home and gave it to the police. No one claimed the necklace, so police returned it and they sold the necklace for £100 and that became the launch money for Branson’s business. (£100, which equates to about £1,500 in today’s money or just about $1,900 USD).

Branson used the money to pay for magazine’s electricity and postage bills. “Without it, the business would have collapsed,”  Branson writes .

That magazine was the start of Branson’s massive empire. He went on to create a mail-order record business, and that became Virgin Records. That brand now includes airlines, a music label and space travel.

Branson says that nowadays, success is even more reachable because unlike teenage him, we live in the digital age. He says technology has “dramatically” has decreased the costs involved in selling products or services and you don’t even need an office, you can work from your home computer. “Rather than commit to pricey premises you can set up online with no technical expertise using a website builder, and start selling from your kitchen table,” says Branson.

Funding is easier, too. “Raising finance to start a business from a bank has gained a reputation for being difficult, but today you can bypass this altogether with schemes that are dedicated to helping entrepreneurs launch, such as crowdfunding or Start Up Loans.”

“We didn’t need lots of money to start our first business and that’s even truer today than it was back then.”

Branson is tremendously wealthy right now, but he started out with nothing. That means we can, too. Never give up on your dream because of your current circumstances.

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Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyles writer focusing on travel, food, and wellness.


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  • Richard Branson’s Tips for Starting a Business

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richard branson business plan

Sir Richard Branson is the founder of the Virgin Group . What makes him particularly special, as probably one of the most successful businesspersons in the world, is his great entrepreneurial spirit. Branson left school at the age of 16, setting up Student Magazine with his friend.

In the 1970s, he then started Virgin Records . By the 1980s, he started his airline, Virgin Atlantic and in the 1990s, Virgin Trains and Virgin Mobile . His most recent project is called Virgin Galactic . As the name sounds, he hopes that this would turn into a space tourism company.

As a whole, he is probably the only entrepreneur with eight individual billion dollar corporations, two-hundred companies, in eight various industries — and he accomplished all of these without a business degree.

Richard Branson’s Tips for Starting a Business

Prometheus72 / Shutterstock.com

Evidently, Branson began as a humble entrepreneur in his teens. He knows exactly what it would take to start a business from the ground-up. In this article, we discuss some of his best tips to start a business from finding inspiration to managing your employees.


From conceptualizing your business to running its day-to-day operations, Richard Branson gives you, as an entrepreneur, these valuable tips to start a business.

Think about what moves you.

As you mull over which idea to transform into a company, ponder over the topics and challenges that you are interested in. Is there a particular industry that you love? A specific talent that you have? A cause that you support?

Do not begin a business simply because you want to earn a profit. If you do not love your business idea, you would not be impassioned enough to turn it into reality. Remember, running your own business would take a lot from you, physically and mentally.

Thus, build a business that moves you. Branson is quoted to have said, “When I started Virgin from a basement in west London, there was no great plan or strategy. I didn’t set out to build a business empire… For me, building a business is all about doing something to be proud of, bringing talented people together and creating something that’s going to make a real difference to other people’s lives.”

If you are having some difficulty in figuring out what moves you, try to find your passion with these five creativity exercises .

Begin at your doorstep.

If you already have an idea in mind, take a good look around yourself and your environment. What do you think the market truly needs? What services do you and your family and friends use that are subpar and could benefit from some kind of improvements?

Consider how your company could help your city, neighborhood, even your street. Starting from this point, you could then expand to larger markets.

Shake things up.

When you create your good or service, keep in mind that you want to serve as many people as possible. Having a business means you need to improve the lives of other people.

As you do this, hopefully more money comes your way rather than goes out. The Virgin Group started Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Records all the way to Virgin Active and Virgin Money. Patently, all these businesses started because of the genuine passion of Branson to shake things up and to change the status quo.

Ultimately, by shaking things up, the Virgin Group hopes to improve the lives of their customers.

Define your brand.

As you define your brand , Branson suggests that you do the opposite of what Virgin did initially — spreading itself out too much. Even though it is true that Virgin branched into too many varying industries, the company still succeeded in concentrating on one single thing — to find brand new ways to help people have a good time.

So, define your brand well or else your competitors may do it for you. For your brand, stick to your competencies ; promise a little but deliver a lot.

Listen to advice. Do not listen to naysayers.

When you are just starting with your business, ask those with experience in your industry for advice, particularly your parents. However, do not confuse discouraging feedback for good advice. Numerous people would declare that your idea is not feasible or it has already been done. When Branson was just beginning with his businesses, several people would tell him that he would not be successful.

Thus, when you listen to good advice, always have a notebook with you. This is what Branson does: he writes things people say so he can easily remember it later on. This is actually how he arrives at new business ideas. On the other hand, when you hear disparaging remarks, do not let it get you down. Try to prove them wrong instead.

Stay focused and motivated.

Of course, you can have big dreams and lofty objectives. Nonetheless, during your first year, focus on creating your business and being on survival mode. Concentrate on your day to day operations, have short targets per day, then per week, then per month, then per quarter, and finally per year. Tick these tasks off a checklist as you accomplish them.

Besides being focused, be self-motivated as well. Branson says that is important to know what your motivations are so you can focus on your goals. He also says, however, that money should not be your major motivator. You have to work on a business that you are proud of. If you simply go into a business to make money, then you should not start a business at all.

[slideshare id=52829562&doc=scalingup-150916031330-lva1-app6892&w=640&h=330]

Love what you do.

It has always been a top priority at Branson’s Virgin to have fun while doing business. This is important in their success. When you love what you do, your employees will love what they do, and your customers would love your brand and product as well.

Branson highlighted that you only have one life to live, so enjoy it . So while he acknowledges he has a small Caribbean island, they tend to just stay in the kitchen anyway.

In fact, Branson says that as long as you have a kitchen, a bedroom, a place for a sofa, and someone to love, you do not need the unnecessary additions in your life. If you are doing something that you love and interests you, you will live a much more enjoyable life than simply accumulating money. Develop an abundance mindset .

Challenge the status quo.

Challenge what is expected of yourself, of others, and of your company and ask your employees to do the same. Put on the lenses of your customer.

Take these examples from Virgin. Virgin Money , a British Bank, is a bank that looks like a living room, not your quintessential bank. It has Wi-Fi, comfortable seats, and newspapers. This removes the teller windows and the customer queues.

In addition, there is also Virgin America Terminal 2 , which is a terminal with a wide array of food choices, a yoga room, and the like. So challenge the status quo, make something different. They will surely stand out.

Create value.

Branson has said that he only begins a business if it would help enhance the lives of people. Since he did not like the customer service from British Airways, case in point, he started Virgin Atlantic, which focuses on the customer.

[slideshare id=60314647&doc=startupsarehard-160401031952&w=640&h=330]

Keep things simple when pitching.

If you want to pitch your idea to an investor or to a bank for a loan, keep your pitch clear and simple, yet memorable. Eliminate unsure language such as “with some luck…” or “we hope that.”

You have to be confident and concrete in your ideas. Branson says that it is significant to have a concise and understandable plan that can be relayed by the investors and bankers to others.

For your first meeting, do not make overly detailed presentations with too many numbers and statistics. You can even give an explanation as to why your business can be sustainable through technological shifts and changes in your market.

Be visible.

Branson advises would-be entrepreneurs to always be visible. He received this piece of advice from Sir Freddie Laker , who was in the British airline industry.

Laker advised him to make sure that he is on the front page of the newspaper and not on its back pages. He said that Branson has to go out there and sell himself — whatever it would take. The only alternative to this is that your business will not survive.

Thus, Branson travels a lot and meets with numerous people as much as possible. This was actually how he comes into his greatest business ideas.

Explore uncharted territories.

Branson believes that there are countless things in this world that have yet to be discovered, achieved, or invented. Try to tap into these uncharted territories to create innovations and new ideas.

Hence, if you are still deciding on what businesses to launch, do some research ; go outside; talk to people; and check out heretofore-untapped opportunities!

First impression matters, but so does the second.

It is most likely that you would get your customers based on their first impression of your brand, product, or service. Hence, first impression does matter. But, so does the second, according to Branson.

Typically, when a customer contacts Virgin the second time, it is because they have problems with their product or service. How you handle these situations would say much about your brand and how you value customer relationships and tackle problems.

[slideshare id=39161162&doc=firstimpressionsslidesharefinal-140916140802-phpapp02&w=640&h=330]

Pick a good name.

Virgin has become such a success because of its distinct name and brand. Now, the Virgin name represents improved service, added value, and a sexy strategy. He has previously shared how he came up with the Virgin name.

Branson was talking to a group of 16 year old girls over a couple of drinks and discussing possible names for the record store. There were a couple of ideas presented and since they were all new to the business world, someone suggested Virgin.

He liked it because it communicates freshness but also a risqué nature. It helps that the name also grabs people’s attention. Here are some tips to naming your business .

You cannot attain perfection.

There are pitfalls to allowing people to think that what they have come up with is already perfection. When people have the belief that they have already perfected something, they tend to be complacent, while others work quickly to improve their work.

It is due to this that Branson never gives anyone at his work a perfect review. He thinks that even if something has been conceived completely brilliantly, there is always room for growth and improvement.

Avoid an “us versus them” mentality.

Your workplace should be one wherein the boss and his or her staff work and communicate well as a team going towards the same objectives.

If your employees do not connect themselves to your business, it means that there is no communication within the chain of command. When you find there is stress or a disconnection among management and employees, check with middle management to get to the problem source and then address it.

Create a corporate comfort zone.

Create a comfortable environment for your employees. This environment must make employees feel encouraged and free to voice their opinions so they can make good and effective decisions and better work.

According to Branson, you need to have a motivated, engaged, and committed team to produce a quality and sustainable product or service.

Get more than one opinion.

Branson says that you have to learn to be a good listener to succeed . This means you bounce off every idea you have to many people before you decide on whether you want to give an idea a go or to let it pass.

What this means is that you are purposeful and detailed prior to implementing your decisions. By seeking more than one opinion, it can save you much more money and time. Just make sure, Branson says, that you do not tell the people you are asking advice from about the opinions you already gathered.

Some more startup advice from the founders of eBay, Amazon, Google, Apple, Dell, and more .

Do not burn bridges.

Sometimes, things just don’t work out, whether it may be your business venture with a friend, another person, or a partner. If this is the case, know when you should end things.

However, Branson says that just because you are parting ways, things do not need to end on a bad note , especially if he or she is a friend. Tackle challenges directly and quickly and finish the relationship amicably.

Talk to people over the phone.

It is wonderful to be savvy with technology, but do not email or text when you can simply call. Through the years, Branson has noted that the quality of communications in business has become poorer. More and more people are avoiding face-to-face meetings and phone calls, with the misguided perception to achieve efficiency.

However, difficulties are challenging to solve if you only use emails and texts. It is not very efficient to have a small difficulty increase exponentially when it could simply be addressed with a call.

Do not fear change – manage it.

Branson says that nothing lasts forever and not all companies are safe from what the future brings. As an entrepreneur, you should know how to adapt.

This means you also have to eliminate nostalgia about what your company once was. Due to changes in opportunities and circumstances, Branson suggests that you would have to bring your company towards a new direction.

To accomplish this, inspire your employees to think just like entrepreneurs. The more responsibilities they have, the better they would perform.

[slideshare id=35582785&doc=50successfulpeoplesharethebestadvicetheyeverreceivedfinal-140606165344-phpapp01&w=640&h=330]

When you make a mistake, don’t fall down—bounce back.

The decisions that you make are not always the best ones. Everyone can make a mistake, so the best you can do is to take responsibility for it.

Branson says that honesty is not just the best policy, but it is the only policy. When you make a mistake, do not let it consume yourself. Figure out the problem and then fix it.

Customers are almost always right.

Of course, the customer is always right, that is, unless they are wrong. Although the opinions of your customers are important, you should not always take the word of your customer as gold and make it the center of your customer service system.

Branson says that loads of entrepreneurs think that offering products and services according to the notion that the customer is always right would help their business. But this is not always the case. You have to be aware that your relationships with your staff or customers might be damaged if you do not have a robust customer service policy.

[slideshare id=66335&doc=what-research-cant-tell-you2615&w=640&h=330]

Be a leader, not the boss.

Be the leader, not the boss. While the boss gives orders, the leader organizes. According to Branson, he gets miffed when he hears “Okay, fine. You’re the boss.”

In essence, what he thinks the person is saying is that he or she does not agree with him, but they would just do it because they told them so. A leader and a good one at that, is someone who implements his or her ideas, but also inspires other people to bring their own.

Take risks.

Branson has a great saying for those wary about risk in business: “The brave may not live forever — but the cautious do not live at all.”

All businesses have their risks. You have to be prepared to be knocked down , but success usually does not come if you play it safe. If you fail, you do not completely fail because you do learn.

Branson says that you have to dream big and set improbable challenges. Try to always catch up to your big goals. If you do not dream and you do not dream big, nothing can happen.

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Posted in: news

13th June 2013

Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz reveal The B Team Leaders and kick-start a Plan B for business

London, 13 June, 2013 – The B Team, a global non-profit founded by Sir Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz, revealed its starting line-up of business leaders today. They will work together to deliver a new way of doing business that prioritises people and planet alongside profit - a “Plan B” for businesses the world over.

The leaders joining The B Team founders Sir Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz are:

  • Kathy Calvin, President and CEO, United Nations Foundation
  • Arianna Huffington, Chair, President & Editor In Chief, The Huffington Post Media Group
  • Mo Ibrahim, Founder, Celtel
  • Guilherme Leal, Founder & Co-Chairman, Natura
  • Strive Masiyiwa, Founder & Chairman, Econet Wireless
  • Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Government of Nigeria
  • François-Henri Pinault, CEO & Chairman, Kering
  • Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever
  • Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Group
  • Zhang Yue, Founder and Chairman, Broad Group
  • Professor Muhammad Yunus, Chairman, Yunus Centre
  • Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, Deputy Chair, The Elders (Honorary Leader)
  • Mary Robinson, Secretary, The Elders and President, Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice (Honorary Leader)

The initial "B Team Leaders" have been selected by a global network of advisors. They have come together as a group of committed business leaders to use their collective voice to help engage other leaders and will act as a catalyst to help deliver “Plan B.” They will work with partners to break down entrenched barriers and ensure there is a clear way forward.

The B Team will address three initial Challenges: “The Future of Leadership,” “The Future Bottom Line," and “The Future of Incentives” to help focus business away from short term gain and to balance the long term benefits for our people and our planet.In a live online broadcast to over 500 hundred gatherings in more than 115 cities around the world, The B Team Leaders also issued a joint Declaration today (bteam.org/about/declaration), acknowledging key global problems such as growing inequality, unemployment and the unsustainable use of natural resources. The group commits to accelerating a movement of leaders around the world driven by a better way of doing business.“

Today we want to start a global conversation on a “Plan B” for business,” said co-founder Sir Richard Branson, “We are working with government agencies, the social sector, and business leaders to help get on top of some of the world’s seemingly intractable challenges. We are keen to listen, learn and share with others to build businesses that do what’s right for people and the planet.”

“Business is integral to society, but it has also created most of the negative environmental challenges of this century,” co-founder Jochen Zeitz said today, “The B Team will help to catalyse a shift away from the existing short-term, unsustainable mindset, towards the long-term interest of people, the planet and the wider economy. Tackling these three challenges is a starting point for a “Plan B” to form.” “The Future of Leadership” Challenge will seek to accelerate a new kind of inclusive leadership underpinned by a moral compass of being fair, honest, positive and creative ( bteam.org/about/compass-beliefs ). This is founded on cooperation and will be aimed at generating long-term value for society, the economy and the environment."

The evolution of business leadership away from a focus on short-term profits is essential for the future generation of leaders,” said Arianna Huffington. “We need a “Plan B” for the way business is managed, starting with leadership more committed to well-being, wisdom and sustainable business success. The only way to enjoy a long-term healthy bottom line is with a workplace that supports the well-being of employees. We want to accelerate that shift by putting the spotlight on business leaders at the forefront of this movement and connecting them with each other."

The “Future Bottom Line” Challenge seeks to accelerate a move away from single-minded financial “short-termism”, towards a focus on the long term, and will aim to expand corporate accountability beyond financial gains to include negative and positive contributions to the economy, environment and society.In driving forward the “Future of Incentives” Challenge, The B Team will work with partners to develop new corporate and employee incentive structures and to identify and map both positive and harmful subsidies. This will help to shift market and business behavior towards incentives that maximize social, environmental and economic benefit.

“Positive market incentives operating in the public interest are too few and far between, and are also up against a seemingly never-ending expansion of perverse incentives and lobbying,” said Mo Ibrahim, “There are models that can help change this and we will work to create new incentives in dialogue with businesses, the social sector and governments."The B Team will be holding a series of community events over the coming months. Input from stakeholders participating in today’s global digital gathering will contribute to The B Team’s plans for these first three Challenges and the formation of a comprehensive “Plan B” for business. The B Team is also encouraging the general public to submit their views on a new charter for better business at www.bteam.org.

To register for the live online broadcast scheduled at 9:30 AM BST, 13 June 2013 please go to: http://media.bte.am

About The B Team

The B Team is a not-for-profit initiative that has been formed by a group of global business leaders to create a future where the purpose of business is to be a driving force for social, environmental and economic benefit. The initial B Leaders include: Sir Richard Branson, Kathy Calvin, Arianna Huffington, Mo Ibrahim, Guilherme Leal, Strive Masiyiwa, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, François-Henri Pinault, Paul Polman, Ratan Tata, Zhang Yue, Professor Muhammad Yunus and Jochen Zeitz. Joining The B Team as Honorary B Leaders are Mary Robinson representing People and Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland representing Planet.

Working with a global community of advisors and partners, The B Team seeks to develop and implement a Plan B for business that puts people and planet alongside profit. The B Leaders will focus on execution and action, catalysing and amplifying others’ efforts by undertaking specific global Challenges where their collective voice can make a difference.

The B Team Founders and Co-Chairs are Sir Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz. They are joined by supporters who make up the Founders Circle including Derek Handley (founding CEO), Havas Media, Strive Masiyiwa, Joann McPike, Blake Mycoskie, Kering/PUMAVision, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation and Virgin Unite (initial incubator of The B Team). For more information, please visit: www.bteam.org or follow @thebteamhq on Twitter.

Download the press release here .

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Split in hyperloop tube that allows vehicles to change directions

Europe’s longest hyperloop test track revives futuristic tube transport hype

Operators hope newly opened Dutch track will help prove feasibility of high-speed shuttle system

The longest hyperloop test track in Europe has opened, raising faint hopes once more that the maglev meets vacuum tube transport technology could be the future.

Operators said the facility would help prove the hyperloop’s feasibility, saying it could allow a 6,200-mile (10,000km) network of high-speed tubes to be in place around the continent by 2050.

As it stands, the European Hyperloop Center test bed in Veendam is not so much a loop as a 420-metre-long forked white pipe running alongside the railway and road that must still be used, for now, to transport people around this corner of the Netherlands .

Made of 34 interconnected prefabricated 2.5-metre-wide steel cylinders, the partly EU-funded test pipe is somewhat shorter than the 2-mile track envisaged in 2020 , and allows speeds of only a fraction of the 620mph (1000km/h) that proponents believe the technology can achieve.

The test track at the European Hyperloop Center in Veendam

The fork in the Vandeem pipe will allow engineers to test what happens at a “lane switch” when a high-speed vehicle changes course. First tests will be carried out by the Dutch company Hardt Hyperloop in the coming weeks.

The centre’s director, Sascha Lamme, said it was a “pivotal moment”, telling Agence France-Presse: “You need this to create a network. The lane switch is a diverging part of the infrastructure, so one part goes for example to Paris, the other one heads off to Berlin.”

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The idea of the hyperloop was floated by Elon Musk in 2013 , who proposed a line linking San Francisco and Los Angeles, using magnets to propel shuttles along pipes in near-vacuum conditions, with the lack of friction and air resistance potentially allowing the vehicles to rival the speed of aeroplanes.

His fellow tycoon Richard Branson continued to put the hype in hyperloop with a Virgin-branded company testing a passenger capsule in the Nevada desert in 2020. He sold up and the renamed Hyperloop One collapsed last year.

While past predictions for the hyperloop have appeared unduly bold, Lamme maintained a pan-European network could appear in a few decades. “If you look at how highways were developed over time, it goes exponentially when the technology is ready. It should really be possible to get into a station in Amsterdam and travel to a city like Barcelona in two hours.”

Supporters say the hyperloop offers potentially cleaner and quieter as well as quicker transport, although passengers may balk at the idea of travelling in a windowless pod hurtling through an airless tube. Lamme suggested reluctance could be overcome with “a capsule with a nice ceiling which might display stars or a nice sunny day”.

Europe’s innovation may yet allow it to keep up with developments in China, which opened a one-mile test track for “low-vacuum pipeline magnetic levitation technology” in Shanxi province in 2022, according to state media.

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  • Virgin Atlantic Kicks off 40th Birthday Celebrations Naming New Aircraft After Sir Richard Branson

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25th March 2024

Ruby Rebel: Virgin Atlantic Kicks off 40th Birthday Celebrations Naming New Aircraft After Sir Richard Branson

  • Ruby Rebel is the airline’s newest Airbus A330neo named in honour of Sir Richard Branson.
  • Aircraft will feature brand new flying icon with registration G-VSRB.
  • Virgin Atlantic celebrates its 40 th birthday on 22 nd June 2024.

In the year that Virgin Atlantic turns 40, the airline will pay homage to its founder, Sir Richard Branson, by naming its latest state of the art aircraft in his honour.  Ruby Rebel, registration G-VSRB, will salute Sir Richard and mark 40 years of Virgin Atlantic shaking up the travel industry.

The airline’s fifth Airbus A330neo, which will enter service from May, will also feature a brand-new flying icon, inspired by Sir Richard and the rebellious spirit that’s always driven Virgin Atlantic to do things differently.

The icon, whose features are inspired by Holly Branson, include nods to Sir Richard’s career and famed business ventures throughout its design, such as Virgin Records pin badges, a Tubular Bells charm bracelet, a Virgin Galactic rocket on the belt’s buckle and a Virgin Voyages anchor on icons boot.  Another bracelet featuring the letters J, S, and H have been designed as a sweet gesture to his wife Joan and children Holly and Sam. The icon’s punk styling reflects the airline’s iconic Vivienne Westwood uniform, which is still rocked by its cabin crew today. 

Ruby Rebel symbolises Virgin Atlantic’s desire to do things differently, beginning in June 1984, when its first aircraft, Maiden Voyager, departed London for New York, bringing a flash of red to the skies.  The airline’s focus has always been to deliver the best customer experience in a brilliantly different way. From being the first airline to introduce seat back TVs, the Premium cabin and fleet wide Wi-Fi, to flying the first world’s first Pride flight and the first 100% SAF transatlantic flight, Virgin Atlantic and its people continue to challenge the status quo.

Shai Weiss, CEO Virgin Atlantic, commented;

“Forty years ago, Virgin Atlantic flew our first customers between London and New York offering something different and realising our purpose to ensure everyone can take on the world. As we gear up to mark our Ruby anniversary in June, it’s an opportunity to look ahead to the next forty years.

“So much has changed, but the one thing that’s remained constant is our incredible people and their unique red spirit, the red thread that keeps us flying miles above the rest. It all started with Richard on 22 June 1984, a pioneer with a vision to shake up the travel industry, putting people first and giving customers a choice.

“Ruby Rebel embodies the rebellious spirit that’s always driven us to do things differently. And, the best is yet to come.”

Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Atlantic Founder and President, commented;

“When starting Virgin Atlantic, I went against everyone’s advice – and on paper they were right.  They knew we’d be a tiny airline against much bigger players.  But my attitude is that if you can create something that's better than what everybody else is offering, then you have a chance of succeeding.

“Virgin Atlantic was created to provide a bright red, fun, friendly, fabulous choice that made flying better for everyone. We worked out in 1984 all the things we could do differently, from our planes, our Clubhouses, our in-flight experience and most importantly our people.  Now, 40 years later that rebellious spirit lives on and will continue to drive us forward as we shake up the aviation industry for the next 40 years and beyond.”

For further information please contact the Virgin Atlantic press office on +441293 747373 or email [email protected]    

About Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic was founded by entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson in 1984, with innovation and amazing customer service at its core. In 2023, Virgin Atlantic was voted Britain’s only Global Five Star Airline by APEX for the seventh year running in the Official Airline Ratings. Headquartered in London, it employs more than 8,500 people worldwide, flying customers to 30 destinations across four continents throughout the year.

Alongside shareholder and Joint Venture partner Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic operates a leading transatlantic network, with onward connections to over 200 cities around the world. In February 2020, Air France-KLM, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic launched an expanded Joint Venture, offering a comprehensive route network, convenient flight schedules, competitive fares and reciprocal frequent flyer benefits, including the ability to earn and redeem miles across all carriers.  Virgin Atlantic joined SkyTeam in March 2023 as the global airline alliance’s first and only UK member airline, enhancing the alliance’s transatlantic network and services to and from Heathrow and Manchester Airport.  

Virgin Atlantic has been pioneering sustainability leadership for more than 15 years, committing to Net Zero by 2050 and continuous action that reduces environmental impact.  The airline operates one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient fleets in the skies, with an average age under seven years. In October 2022, Virgin Atlantic welcomed the first of 16 A330-900neos to the fleet, continuing its transformation towards 100% next generation aircraft by 2028.  In November 2023, the airline led a consortium to deliver the world’s first flight across the Atlantic on 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), demonstrating that 100% SAF can be used safely as a drop in fuel in existing infrastructure, engines and airframes. The need to scale production is an industry imperative and Virgin Atlantic is committed to radical collaboration across the energy chain to support commercialisation ahead of 2030. 

For more information visit www.virginatlantic.com or via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @virginatlantic.  


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    Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz reveal The B Team Leaders and kick-start a Plan B for business. London, 13 June, 2013 - The B Team, a global non-profit founded by Sir Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz, revealed its starting line-up of business leaders today. They will work together to deliver a new way of doing business that prioritises people and planet alongside profit - a "Plan B" for ...

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  22. LLC "TFN" Company Profile

    d&b business directory home / business directory / retail trade / sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument, book, and miscellaneous retailers / other miscellaneous retailers / russian federation / moscow region / elektrostal / llc "tfn" llc "tfn" get a d&b hoovers free trial. overview

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    Find company research, competitor information, contact details & financial data for AVANGARD, OOO of Elektrostal, Moscow region. Get the latest business insights from Dun & Bradstreet.

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