You’ve heard of the name Richard Branson, right? Well if you are among the few who have not, Richard Branson is the founder and owner of the Virgin conglomerate, including Virgin Records and Virgin Airlines. His net worth in 2017 is 5.1 Billion. I think we can all agree that he is a successful business owner, one that many of us respect and admire.
Do you know the story of how Richard Branson started Virgin Airlines? Let me share it with you.
He arrived at the airport one day to hear that his flight to Puerto Rico was cancelled. Determined to find a way to get to his destination, he found a private plane. However, he still didn’t have enough money to pay for the plane. So instead of giving up, he put up a sign that said “$29 for a plane to Puerto Rico.” When people saw this great deal, they took him up on it and he was able to raise the money for the trip. This moment became his inspiration for his airline and now, it’s worth billions.
If you had one question to ask him, what would it be? I know we’d love just 5 minutes to hear his advice on life and on business. Just looking through some of his most famous quotes can give you a teaser of how he arrived at success. Like many entrepreneurial journeys, there were not just ups and downs and detours along the way but he was open minded, always up for something new and never gave up. If only more people could believe in themselves and see how they truly have the power to achieve the life of their dreams!
He has shared so many pieces of advice in his interviews throughout the years, some of them echoing perpetually online. Here are some of the ones that have inspired me.
“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.” Why do we over analyze and think that we need to be experts at everything before we even get started? Seize the opportunity when it comes your way, even if you don’t know how to do it because you can always learn later! This was exactly how I got started in business – you earn as you learn and you continue to be the best at what you do. Just remember, we all didn’t become successful entrepreneurs overnight. You have to learn it, and most of us started at ground zero. In my case, my start was the basement, not even ground zero. Look at me now! I am so good at what I do and continue to strive to do better, BE better.
“A business can be started with very little money” – waiting for the funds means you will never get started. If you didn’t have the money now, when will you ever get the money to start? Most of the time, this is just an excuse to the big dough may mean you’ll never get started. In my experience, those people who wanted it bad enough found a way and found the funds to start their own businesses. Most were not traditional brick and mortar but, rather Multi-Level Marketing or Direct Sales. There are many reputable companies with quality products and running their companies with integrity. Do your research and you will see that many have an affordable start up cost. If you you want to make money by not putting any money in, well, I can’t help you there. Anyone who has been an entrepreneur knows that you have to spend money to make money. That’s just the way it goes!
“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” Fear of failure is one of the biggest things that keeps people from pursing their dreams. Instead of seeing failure as negativity, see it as a valuable lesson you can apply in your life and business. Don’t think of failure as hindering your progress but rather how it will help you to continue to grow and succeed as a business owner. I have failed time and time again, and I continue to fail. But my perspective is different now. Failure is embracing the opportunity to learn. Failure does not define who I am. It’s just an event, not a person. Choosing how you view your failures will either move you forward in life or hold you back. Let it be the first option.
“A business is simply an idea to make other people’s lives better” It can’t be just about making money. You have to have a bigger vision, a bigger purpose. When you can help others, they will see the value you have to offer and continue to come back and be your loyal customers for years and years to come.
Being an entrepreneur is far from easy, but the financial and emotional rewards make it all worth it. Maybe next time someone approaches you about an opportunity, you won’t be so quick to say “No” because it might just be what you are looking for. You will never know though, if you don’t at least give it a try.
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