Sir Richard Branson values three attributes when measuring success in business: leadership, relationships and fun (not necessarily in that order). Profits come after everything else falls into place — and judging by Branson’s incredible financial profile, he knows a thing or two about making things fall into place. His inspirational words from economic interviews, social media posts and books on leadership are a helpful guide to entrepreneurs everywhere, from those just starting in their garages to the highest C-Suite executives.
For Branson, opportunities come when you open your mind enough to see them. Shedding a conception of the impossible is the best way to start!
“If you start a conversation with your mind made up, you may as well not bother.” - Richard Branson’s Facebook account
“See a glass half full as an opportunity to top it up, start a conversation and spark a new idea.” - Richard Branson’s Twitter account
“It is fascinating what people achieve when their perception of what is possible alters.” - Richard Branson’s Twitter account
“Whatever your goal is you will never succeed unless you let go of your fears and fly.” - Screw It, Let’s Do It
“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!” - Richard Branson’s blog
What does success mean? To Richard Branson, a successful entrepreneur is satisfied with what they do — but always has their eyes open for new opportunities.
“When entrepreneurial ideas are coupled with the right people, we can change the world.” - Richard Branson’s Facebook account
“A business is simply an idea to make other people’s lives better.” - Inc. Magazine, April 2013
“Find the right people to work with and you can’t go wrong.”- Richard Branson’s Twitter account
“My definition of success? The more you’re actively and practically engaged, the more successful you will feel.” - Richard Branson’s blog
“Never just try to make money. Long-term success will never come if profit is the only aim.” - Screw It, Let’s Do It
While many company leaders spend all their time talking, Branson recommends listening to your employees. Above all, he values treating them with respect — not just because it’s good business, but because it’s how a leader should act.
“My golden rule in business? Listen to your staff.” - Richard Branson’s Twitter account
“Just like a flower needs water, people flourish when they are praised. Even the finest criticism can be so damaging especially if it comes from the person running the company.” - Pendulum Summit in Dublin, 2018
“How slim the line is between genius and insanity and between determination and stubbornness.” - Losing My Virginity: How I've Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way
“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” - Richard Branson’s Twitter account
“Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.” - The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership
Richard Branson is more likely to spend an afternoon narrowly avoiding death in thrill-seeking stunts than in a stuffy office. His emphasis on having fun doesn’t only relate to jumping out of different types of aircraft, however: It involves being passionate about your work and loving what you do.
“I have no secret. There are no rules to follow in business. I just work hard and, as I always have done, believe I can do it. Most of all, though, I try to have fun.” - Screw It, Let’s Do It
“Fun is at the core of the way I like to do business and it has been key to everything I've done from the outset. More than any other element, fun is the secret of Virgin's success. I am aware that the idea of business as being fun and creative goes right against the grain of convention, and it's certainly not how they teach it at some of those business schools, where business means hard grind and lots of 'discounted cash flows' and net' present values.’” - Losing My Virginity: How I've Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way
“As soon as something stops being fun, I think it’s time to move on. Life is too short to be unhappy. Waking up stressed and miserable is not a good way to live.” - Screw It, Let’s Do It
“Fun is one of the most important and underrated ingredients in any successful venture.” - The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership
“I'm a great believer in life to saying yes and not saying no, and hopefully making people smile and just having fun in life.” - “Living Fully and Doing Business Differently With Richard Branson,” Huffington Post
If you’re ready to start a business, Richard Branson’s zest for life is an excellent model going forward. For more quotes from inspiring people, check out: