If there’s anyone qualified to lay out the blueprint for dreaming big, living life on your own terms and turning your passions into your career, it’s the iconic Sir Richard Branson. He’s fearlessly and boldly disrupted one industry after another as the founder of the Virgin Group, from publishing to airlines to creating Virgin Galactic (the world’s first commercial spaceliner), building an empire of more than 100 companies and 60,000 employees in over 50 countries.
Drawing threads from his new book, Finding My Virginity, we talk about some of his recent projects as well as the steps he took to get from one stepping stone to the next. Sit down with Sir Richard and I as he uses stories to break down prioritizing your life, setting goals, and how to choose what to pursue.
In today’s episode:
- It’s time to spin the nasty term “dyslexia” into a positive; let’s start calling it “alternative thinker.” Richard actually credits his alternative thinking to shape him into a master delegator, a skill that he credits much of his success to.
- The recipe for a successful business boils down to this: spend lots of time on the things you care about, pay attention to what annoys you about how others are doing things, find a way to do it better.
- The best leaders treat those they lead like family.
People shouldn’t be afraid of being human beings with all the vulnerabilities that humans being have.
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Some Questions I Ask:
- How long has the Virgin Hyperloop 1 partnership been in the works? [1:30]
- How did you and Shervin start talking about a partnership in the first place? [3:45]
- Talk about how you’ve used your dyslexia to your advantage. [5:20]
- Why did you start your first magazine and how did you get it off the ground? [8:55]
- Talk to me about traditional education vs doing the work. [14:12]
- Do you think about the world that your grandkids will go to school in and do you think it’ll look like it looks now? [16:15]
- What advice would you give someone who is trying to find their passion? [16:50]
- Do you recommend starting small? How do people get past the first paralyzing step? [19:50]
- How important is it to have a bad guy or problem to fix when starting a business? [23:45]
- Explain the concept behind your new book, Finding My Virginity. [24:50]
- What’s been the key to your success in leadership? [28:00]
- How important is vulnerability and authenticity in leadership? [30:48]
- Talk to me about your fascination with space. Why space? [32:04]
- How important is mentorship in building a life that you’re proud of? [34:20]
- What are some of your morning routines? [36:57]
- What’s the most important thing to you? [40:27]
- Is there a way for people to help in your efforts in rebuilding the Caribbean? [43:12]
In This Episode, You Will Learn:
- The brief story of how Richard got involved transporting people at 650 miles per hour. [1:50]
- Why Richard thinks it paramount to continue putting the Virgin Brand on exciting, cutting edge technologies. [4:00]
- A few days ago Richard spent 18 hours climbing a mountain in Morocco and by the time he reached the bottom, he had come up with a new term for “dyslexia”; alternative thinker. [5:57]
- When starting his first venture, a magazine campaigning against the Vietnam war, the last thing Richard thought he was going to be was an entrepreneur. [9:11]
- How Richard ran his magazine from the school pay phone, using the operator as his secretary to get big brands to pay him advertising money by pitching them against each other. [9:50]
- Richard turned a magazine into a record label into what eventually became the most successful record company in the world. [13:13]
- Richard’s thoughts on the current education system and his hopes for the future of education. [14:55]
- How to turn your passion into your full time business; look for ways that you can do something better than others are doing. [17:40]
- Here’s a link to the first interview we did with Richard, where he explains how Virgin Atlantic got started. [19:20]
- Why Richard thought he had a fighting chance to start a successful airline, and the trials he went through to make it work. [20:00]
- Why you should write a book. [25:30]
- How being a good leader is like being a good parent. [28:21]
- “People shouldn’t be afraid of being human beings with all the vulnerabilities that humans have.” [31:53]
- “If you can pull off the best in an industry, you’ll eventually get your money back.” [34:05]
- Check out The Elders, a group of global leaders Sir Richard and Peter Gabriel put together about ten years ago. [35:00]
- Why looking after yourself is the most important thing you can do for yourself and how Richard puts it into practice each morning. [37:17]
- Once a year, the Branson family sets themselves up with a big challenge. This year involved something like an 8 day hike across the Alps, a two and a half thousand km bike ride in italy, a swim to Sicily, then a marathon, another hike, mountain bike, then a hike to the top of Mount Etna. [38:23]
- The best thing you can do to help rebuild the Caribbean. Come visit! [44:26]
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