Entrepreneurial Lessons From Richard Branson
When it comes to great businessmen and entrepreneurs. Few can rival Richard Branson as a cultural icon of capitalism and business savvy. Here’s a guy who built – quite literally – an empire from scratch and who did so with a fun public image and while involving himself in many exciting and daring adventures. He’s a real-life Tony Stark, a billionaire playboy and a roaring success by anyone’s standards.
As such then he can serve as really rather an incredible role model for any other budding entrepreneurs hoping to one day follow in his footsteps and leave a mark on the world and the business scene. Here we will look at just some of the lessons that we can learn from old Rich.That can help steer the way for the pioneers of tomorrow.
You Don’t Need a Fancy Education
Richard Branson famously has little in the way of educational qualifications, but he never let that stop him. In fact, that’s probably part of the reason he did strike out on his own. Don’t view a lack of the degree as a barrier to success then. If you have the skill, you have the skill – you don’t need a piece of paper to prove it.
Controversy sells, and Richard Branson knows this well. Not only does Branson enjoy occasionally drawing attention to himself and his company with occasionally controversial stunts – but even the name ‘Virgin’ was one that was met with some hesitation when he tried to get it registered and it’s certainly not one that people forget. Which is why it’s such a stroke of genius…
Turn Weaknesses Into Strength
Branson was diagnosed with dyslexia which is part of the reason he left school at 16. However, rather than letting this stop him he, in fact, turned it into an advantage – reading everything out loud and thus gaining a better understanding of it and becoming a better communicator.
Build on Your Success
Richard Branson did something I like to call ‘springboarding’ – by which I mean that he used each success to help launch his next project. It started with a newspaper for students, moved on to selling papers and continued into almost every other industry. If you have high ambitions that you can’t quite reach right now, then start off with some that are a bit smaller and use them as a step ladder. Bootstrapping is one example of this.
Spread Your Bets
The Virgin brand is somewhat unique in that it isn’t associated with any on service and instead incorporates multiple businesses. Of course, this puts Branson in a position of incredible strength (which he likens to the Roman Empire in his book Business Stripped Bare) because if any of the micro-businesses should struggle, all the others can hold it up.
Brand is Important
It was perhaps fate that someone called ‘Branson’ would become the master of branding. what is Virgin other than a brand? Here the cunning entrepreneur realizes that he can branch into any business he likes as long as the standard of service is consistent across the board because people will gravitate to a familiar logo they generally know to be reliable.
The Sky is Not the Limit
Branson shows us that you can go wherever your imagination takes you. Not content with flying his hot air balloon, Branson is now on the verge of finally privatizing space flight. Which is rather incredible…