Richard Branson was a talented individual from his childhood. People looked at him as a role model and looked up to his huge success in business and life. Virgin Group was his creation and it is one of the most well known companies today. Many people would think that Richard was a scholar in school, but he wasn’t. Ironically, Richard was terrible at school and this was partly because of his dyslexic condition. Richard didn’t like school, but what he did like was business.
When Richard was 11, he wrote his first business plan. He decided to plant trees and wait a few years until they had fully grown in order to sell them. Unfortunately the business had failed due to rabbits that ate the seeds. Richard was very intuitive and one of the reasons was that his family was always there to support his endeavors. Most families would not have allowed their 11-year old son to plant trees on their own land, but Richard’s did and they encouraged Richard to follow his passion. Without his family’s support, he would not be where he is today.
Richard left Stow High School at the age of 15, and started a magazine called ‘Student’. Before he left, his principal told him that either he would go to prison or he would become a multi-millionaire. The principal definitely saw something in the boy. Student magazine was Richard’s first successful business venture and the magazine’s goal was intended on bringing out students views on global issues. Student sold 100,000 copies and it was a huge success. This initial success provided Branson with the drive to explore music and soon Virgin was born.
Richard grew Virgin into one of the top six recording companies in the world.
Richard always wanted to expand and reinvest profits into starting new businesses. This was his motto and this is what made his company unconventional. Virgin soon expanded into the airline industry and Richard started Virgin Atlantic.Virgin Atlantic would fly passengers across the Atlantic Ocean. Starting an airline business was a huge risk since Virgin Atlantic had only one licensed plane and was at risk of facing competition from much bigger airline companies such as British Airways. Richard’s friends and employees thought he was insane to expand into the airline industry when he had so much to lose. Richard was unmoved, and keen on entering the airline industry. His vision proved right, and today Virgin Atlantic is one of the airlines that provides flights across the Atlantic.It’s lounge, having personally witnessed them myself, are top class. They are one of the most unique lounges that I have ever seen. Branson’s next goal was to break some world-records.
Richard set out on a number of hot air balloon rides across the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
“I am prepared to try anything once,” Richard says when asked why he’s risking his life in a hot-air balloon, when he can inevitably fly in the comfort of his own airline flight.
In six of his hot-air balloon adventures he had put his life on the line when the balloon gave way and sent him and his partner hurling into the cold waters. These breathtaking balloon rides made Richard a public icon and it helped the Virgin Group make a name for itself.
Today, Virgin Group operates over 400 companies. Richard was able to create this
company from scratch, because of his drive to work and think differently from the rest. He never doubted himself and kept his mind focused on the goal that he set for himself. “My biggest motivation? Just to keep challenging myself. I see life almost like one long university education that I never had – every day I’m learning something new,” quotes Richard. From balloon rides to running Virgin, Richard never gave up and strived to be the best that he could be. Richard Branson’s net worth is $4.3 billion and he utilizes this money wisely to expand the Virgin name, or donate to the poor. Richard Branson is not smart; rather he is an innovative genius.
Some more images….
Book – Losing my Virginity by Richard Branson (http://www.amazon.com/Losing-My-Virginity-Survived-Business/dp/0307720748/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1343734929&sr=8-1&keywords=losing+my+virginity)