How did one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs propel himself to spectacular stardom? Virgin boss and all-round business genius Richard Branson gives his top tips for success.
1. Follow your dreams and just do it
You will live a much better life if you just do it and pursue your passions. Those people who spend their time working on things they love are usually the ones enjoying life the most. They are also the ones who dared to take a risk and chase their dreams.
2. Make a positive difference and do some good
If you aren’t making a positive difference to other people’s lives, then you shouldn’t be in business. Companies have a responsibility to make a difference in the world, for their staff, their customers – everyone.
3. Believe in your ideas and be the best
Belief in yourself and belief in your business ideas can make all the difference between success and failure. If you aren’t proud of your idea and believe in your plans, why should anybody else?
4. Have fun and look after your team
Fun is one of the most important – and underrated – ingredients in any successful venture. If you’re not having fun, then it’s probably time to call it quits and try something else.
If your staff are having fun and genuinely care about other people, they will enjoy their work more and do a better job. Find people who look for the best in others, praise rather than criticise, and love what they do.
5. Don’t give up
On every adventure I have been on – whether setting up a business, flying around the world in a balloon or racing across oceans in a boat – there have been moments when the easy thing to do would be to give up.
By simply not giving up, brushing yourself down and trying again, you’ll be amazed what you can achieve.
6. Make lots of lists and keep setting yourself new challenges
If you don’t write down your ideas, they could be gone by the morning. Write down lists to keep track of your goals, and you’ll be amazed what challenges you overcome.
7. Spend time with your family and learn to delegate
The art of delegation is one of the key skills any entrepreneur can master. If you find people who can take on tasks you aren’t good at, it frees you up to plan for the future.
It also gives you time to spend with your family, which is the most important thing of all
8. Try turning off the TV and get out there and do things
Rather than sitting in front of a screen all your life, switch off the TV or the computer and go out into the world. There’s so many fascinating people to meet, exciting adventures to embark upon and rewarding challenges to take on that there’s no time to lose.
9. When people say bad things about you, just prove them wrong
Some people will react to success by trying to hang onto your coat tails. The best thing you can do is to not only ignore them, but to prove them wrong in every single way. We’ve had a particular writer claiming Virgin Galactic is a white elephant - we’ll prove them wrong when we go to space later this year.
10. Do what you love and have a sofa in the kitchen
As long as you are surrounded by the people you love, doing what you love, it really doesn’t matter where you are. When we are on Necker we tend to spend most of our time in the kitchen. If you’ve got a bedroom too, and a partner that you love, you really don’t need much else.
Article published in SME Insider 29 Jul 14
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