Thursday, June 04, 2009

Be Like Branson

Richard Branson turns 60 next month and his life seems as golden as his locks. He’s worth about $4.4 billion and he ranked as the 236th richest person last year, according to Forbes. Branson has put his Virgin brand on independent businesses in the airline, rail, space travel, financial, healthcare and beverage industries, to name a few. He’s a humanitarian, environmentalist and an adventurer. Here are some of Branson’s success strategies:
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Have fun. "Any proposal I like must sound fun."
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Take pride in your work. "What really matters is what you create. Does it work or not? Does it make you proud?"
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Stay open to ideas. "Some of the best ideas come out of the blue, and you have to keep an open mind to see their virtue." For instance, Virgin Atlantic’s in-flight massages and manicures began after a tip from his wife’s manicurist.
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Empower and respect. "Inspire people to think like entrepreneurs, and whatever you do, treat them like adults. The hardest taskmaster of all is a person’s own conscience, so the more responsibility you give people, the better they will work for you."
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Pass the torch. "All young people… need someone who can show them a future. They need to be able to work out what they can do with their lives, how they can enjoy their lives, how they can pay for it and how they can take responsibility for their actions. I think it’s a shame that we teach children everything about the world, but we don’t teach them how to take part in the world, how to realize an idea, how to measure the consequences of their actions, how to take a knock, or how to share their success."
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Read this month's cover story, "Virgin Entrepreneur" on Richard Branson.

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