I have been fascinated by the enigmatic Sir Richard Branson for a long time. He lives with a lot of flash, and seems to have his hands in all kinds of business (in a very interesting variety of areas) and I've discovered that he has a very interesting background and life philosophy.
Branson recently became the most followed LinkedIn Influencer with 1 million followers, passing President Obama. He is founder of Virgin Group, a thrill-seeking adventurer and he loves his mum. In fact, he says the best advice he ever received came from her: "Have no regrets." In an interview with LinkedIn, Branson says his mother "starts more new projects in a week than most people do in a year."
In other words, don't waste time looking back on failed projects. Spend that time developing new ideas.
In his recent book, "Screw Business as Usual," Branson sums up his formula for success with a few simple ideas that incorporate passion, belief (confidence), perseverance, listening and having fun. Oh, and delegating—one of the hardest things for a leader to do. Balance good work with a good life and you, too, could be sitting pretty on your very own Caribbean island. Branson named his Necker Island. What will you name your island when you get it?
Big Ideas = Big Risks
Branson encourages you to dream so big you have to catch up with yourself. When you have developed a plan for your idea, follow through with it no matter what it takes. You can't succeed if you don't try—a simple statement that has enormous impact.
If your risk takes money that you don't have, cut costs whenever possible to make your idea happen. Market online through social media, reuse paper, print business cards for less, eat your leftovers, recycle cans & bottles for the deposit, save your change.
Reputation is Everything
Being controversial isn't always a bad thing. Richard Branson signed the Sex Pistols to his Virgin Records label after the punk band was dropped by other labels for the members' mayhem and debauchery. When other businesses are fearful of taking risks, step in and cash in the opportunity. If it blows up in your face, move swiftly onward and learn from your mistakes. But don't look back with regret or Mum Branson will be disappointed.
Act big on your dreams. Branson never had a journalism degree, yet he started a magazine. He never took a business class, yet he's one of the most successful and influential businessmen in the world. "Forbes" reports he's the fourth wealthiest person in the U.K.
Richard Branson recently joined the Giving Pledge, where the world's wealthiest people—a total of 105 families from nine countries—make an agreement to donate half of their wealth to charities around the world. Branson and his wife Joan are quoted on the website saying they would like the Virgin Group to help make a difference in the world; to address issues that allow business, government and not-for profit companies to join together creating a healthy, equitable and peaceful world.
Encouraging a sense of togetherness that resembles a "daytime family" is top priority in Branson's companies. In the Mojave desert, the Virgin Galactic team is building spaceships on a mission to take people to the moon for $200,000 a ticket. It's a delicate venture building aircraft for these missions. But faith, family, dedication, good health, kindness and hard work prevail.
Never Give Up
There is always something big out there for you. If a business opportunity doesn't turn out as you had hoped or planned, keep on the path toward one that does. Never give up.