The global Virgin group began with Virgin Records in the 1970s and grew to manage over 400 companies catering to numerous industries and countries. Founded and managed by entrepreneur Richard Branson, a British businessman, philanthropist and writer, the company is worth over $5 billion today.
From hotels to record stores, and from trains to airplanes, the Virgin Group owns several ventures, making Branson one of the most successful entrepreneurs globally.
From a young age, Richard Branson expressed an interest in entrepreneurship and over the years has come a long way from his first business venture, Student, a magazine he started when he was 16. Along with the plethora of wealth he garnered over the years, he was also knighted for his ‘services to entrepreneurship’ in Britain. Here are 10 things Branson did to help him achieve all his glorifying success.
10 Don't Be Afraid To Take Shorter work weeks
Richard Branson is a huge advocate for shorter and more flexible working hours. He believes that with today's technological developments, employees now have the liberty to work from home and even take 3 or 4 day weekends.
Branson proposes that relaxing, exploring the world, spending time with family and being physically fit, all help people become more prolific. He claims that ‘through this balance, they become happier and more productive.’
9 Take down notes
Richard Branson claims that the simple action and habit of taking down notes helped birth some of the Virgin Group’s most successful companies.
Companies such as Virgin Trains and Virgin America would have never come to fruition without Branson jotting down random thoughts in his notebook that later helped create the many global brands we see today.
He also urges all entrepreneurs to not 'just take notes for the sake of taking notes,’ but to review their ‘ideas and turn them into actionable and measurable goals,’ to craft a path to success.
8 Remember to always have fun
Richard Branson believes in enjoying what you do. He proposes that if you aren’t having fun and enjoying what you do, then you should probably quit and look for inspiration elsewhere.
This idea of his is not solely limited to entrepreneurs but also affects the employees of any business. Branson states that employees who have fun are likely to more motivated, care about the customers, stay engaged, and hence, perform better. If your job isn't enjoyable Branson believes it's time for a new one.
7 Master the art of delegation
Richard Branson poses that all entrepreneurs must be skilled at the art of delegation. He urges all entrepreneurs to ‘hire to your weaknesses.’ This allows for additional capabilities to be added to your company, as well as freeing up additional time for you.
Hiring people who can do the tasks you are weaker at allows you to spend more time doing the most important jobs and more time relaxing.
Branson also urges businessmen to spend any extra free time with family and to always take their ideas into account as well.
6 Communicate and Collaborate
Branson encourages all entrepreneurs to create an atmosphere in an office where employees can share their ideas and innovations with ease. He believes that listening is one of the most important skills every entrepreneur must excel at.
The practice of creating an open work environment that encourages the notion of collaboration and intermingling is incredibly beneficial to any business.
This practice has been employed by other successful businesses such as Pixar and Apple in the past.
5 Be a people person
In order to be a good leader, you need to start by being a good communicator. Employees thrive on motivation and open communication. Branson believes that the way we interact with people in today's world has a direct influence on the level of success we achieve in life. Therefore, in order to become a successful leader, you need to be adept at communicating with the employees, consumers, and other people around you.
Branson poses that being a good leader comes from being a good friend, or a people person. He believes as a successful businessman, you need to know how to bring out the best in your employees, and hence motivate them to work more productively.
4 Shut off the digital distractions
In today's digital world, where we are surrounded by social media and mobile screens, Branson urges all entrepreneurs to get a break from all the technology once in a while. Being an avid adventure seeker himself, he believes every businessman should take time out for outdoor activities. Even if you aren’t an adventurous soul, he believes you can start with your own backyard.
Branson poses that undertaking these adventures is always incredibly rewarding and can help entrepreneurs build more successful empires.
3 Don’t give up
Whether it's the business world or the adventurous one, Branson says there hasn’t been anything he has achieved without facing challenges. He states that at times when the easiest thing to do was walk away, he stuck to his goals with tenacity, and the results were beyond amazing.
He also believes that it is these challenges or small failures that make him a better businessman. Every time you fail or fall, you learn to pick yourself up and do better in the future.
2 Befriend your enemies
We’ve all heard the phrase, ‘keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.’ Richard Branson believes that this is a key trick to conquering the world of business. He poses that your enemies or competitors often posses crucial capabilities and knowledge that could help grow your own business endeavors.
Therefore, Branson urges all entrepreneurs to bury the hatchet and grow their success by befriending their enemies.
1 Think Laterally
What is better than owning multiple different businesses? Owning multiple different businesses that all complement and help market each other. Richard Branson started out with Student magazine, saved the money from that venture to buy a record company, and then made enough money to buy a studio.
He then employed his magazine to market new artists, employed his studio to record new artists and his record store to sell their records. This lateral way of thinking helped Branson create three successful that all complemented and helped each other, allowing for higher profits and a faster road to success.