James / Published on September 18, 2013
So, what can you learn from this uber-successful man?
How did he manage to rise to the top, despite his shortcomings? (Branson is notoriously lacking in the English and Math skills department!).
Branson’s story may be unique, but here are five key take-aways you can learn from his success…
1. Persevere - despite your background and imperfections
Do you have a great business idea, but lack the skills necessary to run a business? Or do you have great business acumen, yet no brilliant business idea?
Whatever the problem is, the first thing you can learn from Richard Branson is to persevere.
Branson is dyslexic and has had to overcome many adversities to get where he is.
Instead of letting his weaknesses hold him back, he was determined to excel in other areas, i.e. gaining great communication skills and learning how to use his intuition.
2. Failing once, twice, or even three times doesn’t mean you will never make it
Branson wasn’t successful the first time he tried to set up in business, neither the second or third time, in fact he has had quite a few failed ventures (as well as successful ones).
Branson says "I will work day and night to avoid failure, but if I can't, I'll pick myself up the next day. The most important thing for entrepreneurs is not to be put off by failure”
This lesson is linked to the first point; just persevere!
3. You can change your innate characteristics to those of a successful business owner
Branson says he was terribly shy when he was younger, and it used to hold him back. So his mother used to encourage him to speak to people and persuaded him to come out of his shell.
Branson says; “My timidity could have easily held me back if she hadn't helped me come out of my shell. She feels that shyness is very selfish, as it means you are only thinking of yourself, and so she was very insistent that I look adults in the eye and shake their hands
“You can teach yourself to get up every day and try to keep a new business going despite long odds”.
4. For high self-esteem & self-worth, maintain a good reputation
Another thing Branson learnt from his parents is that that your reputation is very important, and if you can uphold it, you will have high self-worth which will enable you to achieve your goals.
He writes in Losing My Virginity. “My parents had always drummed into me that all you have in life is your reputation: You may be very rich, but if you lose your good name, then you’ll never be happy.”
5. Don’t follow others; there is no set path to success
The final important lesson we can learn from Branson is to not follow the crowd.
Branson maintains that just because one company was successful with its strategy, it doesn’t mean you will be, even if you have the same goals.
“There are many ways to run a successful company. What works once may never work again,” Branson writes in Business Stripped Bare.
“There are no rules. You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing.”
So there we have it, five very important lessons we can learn from Richard Branson’s rise to the top.
Which lesson do you think is the most important to take on board?