“Stick your neck out…it’s a lot more fun than sitting at home and watching other people do it.”
– Sir Richard Branson
Sir Richard Branson (@richardbranson), founder and chairman of The Virgin Group, is a world-famous entrepreneur, adventurer, activist, and business icon. He has launched a dozen billion-dollar businesses and hundreds of other companies.
His new autobiography, Finding My Virginity, shares the candid details of a lifetime of triumphs and failures and provides an intimate look at his never-ending quest to push boundaries, break rules, and seek new frontiers.
I loved our conversation, and we covered a lot, including:
- Richard’s thoughts on “clean meat,” block chain, and cryptocurrency
- How he’s coped with dyslexia, and how his parents helped make him resilient
- Behind-the-scenes stories of deal-making, PR stunts, big wins, and big losses
- The habits (and life decisions) he’s used to maintain high energy levels for decades
- How Richard masterfully caps/limits downside risk, even though he’s perceived as a risk taker
- How and why he takes regular 1-2-month (sometimes longer) breaks from alcohol
- Favorite books
- Lessons learned from Nelson Mandela and other mentors
- And much more…
- Listen to it on iTunes.
- Stream by clicking here.
- Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”
Want to hear another episode with an iconic leader? Listen to my conversation with Ray Dalio. We discuss how Ray thinks about investment decisions, the three books he would give to every graduating high school or college senior, how he might assess cryptocurrency, and much, much more (stream below or right-click here to download):
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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
Selected Links from the Episode
- Connect with Richard Branson:
- Finding My Virginity by Richard Branson
- Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way by Richard Branson
- Richard’s Instagram vide of hurricane devastation
- Turning Prisoners into Entrepreneurs Could Save £1.4 Billion a Year by Hanna Kozlowska, Quartz
- How Branson Won the ‘Dirty Tricks’ Air War: Virgin’s Libel Battle with BA Is Likely to Be Settled Today. Michael Harrison Plots the Background by Michael Harrison, The Independent
- Screw It, Let’s Do It: Lessons In Life by Richard Branson
- Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School by Richard Branson
- Memphis Meats’ Lab-Grown Meat Raises $17M With Help From Bill Gates And Richard Branson by Christina Troitino, Forbes
- The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth by Tim Flannery
- Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari
- Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
- What was it like riding out Hurricane Irma in the British Virgin Islands? [08:44]
- Richard’s school headmaster told him he would either “end up in prison or a millionaire.” [16:40]
- How did spending one night in jail spur the beginning of Virgin Records? [20:05]
- How did being accused of tax evasion and the threat of prison lead to a program for helping people pay their bail? [21:18]
- Which harsh but loving lessons did Richard’s mum teach him about business and life? [23:14]
- Richard explains how being told that “with a name like Virgin, people won’t believe in you” was a good thing. [33:00]
- When did Richard realize that entertaining people in the airline business is more important than simply flying them from point A to point B? [36:05]
- Richard explains how people perceive him to always be on the cutting edge. [38:58]
- Richard had to make a tough decision regarding the sale of Virgin Records to move Virgin Atlantic Airlines forward. [43:45]
- How did Richard become a master of opportunity, risk assessment, and negotiating? [44:35]
- Was there ever a time when coworkers or board members tried to prevent Richard from pursuing certain business ideas? [47:15]
- What are Richard’s best practices for launching a new company? [49:20]
- Richard explains his reasons for writing his new book after more than 50 years in business. [51:01]
- How has Richard kept his energy level and enthusiasm for business so high over such a long span of time? [53:40]
- Many listeners want to know the reasons behind Richard’s investment in Memphis Meats. [56:50]
- Which books (outside of his own) does Richard most recommend or give to others? [1:00:01]
- In the last five years, which new behaviors, beliefs, or habits have improved Richard’s life? [1:03:30]
- How does Richard cope when he feels overwhelmed or unfocused? [1:06:50]
- Does Richard have a favorite failure? [1:11:54]
- Are there any quotes that Richard lives his life by and what would he would put on a billboard? [1:14:07]
- Nelson Mandela
- Vanessa Redgrave
- James Baldwin
- Boy George
- Janet Jackson
- The Rolling Stones
- Matt Mullenweg