Richard Branson is an entrepreneur, visionary, and risk-taker who has amassed a fortune of over $4 billion.
He has created one of the largest holding companies in the world, and it all started with his young company over 3 decades ago, Virgin.
Branson has developed a reputation for being a risk-taker and someone who values fun over everything else. He lives on a 74-acre island called Necker Island, and spends his days surfing, hiking, and doing other wild activities while running his empire during his spare time. It’s amazing to see the lives that Branson has impacted, and it’s even more amazing that he is still doing it with great joy.
In the video below, Evan Carmichael documents Richard’s 10 rules for entrepreneurial success, from the man him self:
1. Keep it simple
Richard Branson has dyslexia, meaning he has trouble reading and often times mixes up words and letters. Yet he has still managed to amass a fortune of more than $4 billion. Do you think he did that by making things complex?
Branson prides himself on his ability to keep things simple. As an entrepreneur, that’s exactly what you want to make a habit of. It’s very tempting to make things complex, because all the “cool businesses” have so many elements and have so much sizzle to them. And we all want to create the next Facebook, or Google right? However, these companies slowly progressed into those complex looking systems and they are most likely just a series of simple processes put together.
Keep things as simple as possible. That’s where the money is made. You want to be able to convey your ideas, products, and services as clearly and simply as possible.
2. Give it a try
Rather than debating for days and weeks and months about whether or not to try out a new idea or business, you’re better off just giving it a shot. What’s the worst that can happen? With the internet, testing out new concepts and businesses is relatively cheap and you can usually find out pretty quickly if you have a goldmine on your hands or not.
Instead of debating about whether or not to move forward with your idea, just give it a try. If it doesn’t work out, you can always go back to doing what you were doing before.
3. Be a leader
As a company, you are simply a group of people who are all striving towards a greater goal and vision. And with all groups of people heading in the same direction, a strong leader is needed to make sure the gang stays on course together. Otherwise, your business is doomed.
I don’t think it’s any secret that leadership is a crucial skill to any founder or entrepreneur. Whether you are leading thousands of people, or simply only leading yourself, it’s important to have a clear vision and work hard each day to make that vision a reality. Clearly relay your vision to as many people as possible and ask them to trust and follow you.
“You shouldn’t blindly accept leaders advice. You’ve got to question leaders on occasion.” – Richard Branson
4. Don’t give up
When you are starting a business or going down any challenging endeavor, you are bound to encounter challenges. You are going to hit many roadblocks and obstacles. These are obstacles that would make any sane person want to throw in the towel and quit. If you want your business to succeed, you can’t do that (duh).
You’ve got to power through and pick yourself up after every defeat. You’ve got to look back and take every struggle as a learning experience and then jerk your head forward and never look back again. Charge forward and don’t let anything or anybody stop you from giving it yet another try.
One of the hardest things for entrepreneurs to do in their business is delegate. I can personally relate to this, as I am someone who believes that no one else can run my business better than me, so why should I let them? And the thing is, I’m probably right. But take note of what I said above…No one else can RUN my business better than me. While I’m busy running my business, whose going to GROW it? The answer is, no one.
The reason it’s important to delegate is because 1. There are probably certain tasks in your business that you absolutely hate, and having someone else do it would make you much happier, 2. Because delegating certain tasks to people will most likely ensure that the task gets done BETTER, because it’s not one of your strengths, and 3. So that you can spend your time focusing on more important objectives, like GROWING YOUR BUSINESS!
6. Treat people well
One of the myths that we have been sold over the last few decades is that you’ve got to be ruthless to get to the top. Richard Branson does not believe this to be true. Instead, he feels that treating people poorly will only harm your chances for success, as you are only burning bridges and turning potential profitable relationships into dead ones.
Sure, you’ve got to be bold at times, but there should never be a time when you treat people with disrespect. You should always treat people nicely for as long as possible and only get ruthless if you have no other choice.
7. Shake things up
When you are looking to create a new business or product, look at current situations and products and then think about how you can improve on them. There is no need to completely reinvent the wheel. All you have to do is make relatively crucial improvements to products and businesses that already exist!
This way, you are not only creating profits but also impacting the world and helping people in a positive, new way.
“I don’t think of work as work and play as play. It’s all living” – Richard Branson
8. People will be skeptical
When you are going out to do your own thing and trying new stuff in the business/entrepreneurial realm, many people will act skeptical. Since 9 out of 10 businesses fail during their first 5 years, it’s easy to understand why. Most businesses just do not have what it takes to make it, and the people who are skeptical are simply taking note of these facts and often times are simply people who care about you and want the best for you.
All you need to do is be aware of the skepticism and think long and hard about whether YOU believe in your business concept or not. That’s really all that matters.
9. Affect lives positively
Richard Branson says, “When you are creating a business, you are creating something that should impact lives“. In the end, all a business is, is a group of people who are working towards building products and services that impact lives in a positive way.
This is not to say that profits are not important, but at the end of the day your company should simply be a machine that is working hard towards positively affecting as many lives as possible.
10. Do things differently
When you think about it, the reason that Richard Branson is such a successful businessman and investor is because he did things differently than every other businessman or wantrepreneur. That’s how every wildly successful person or entrepreneurs’ life can be summed out: They did things differently for long enough.