A. Richard Branson’s Sumry Bio
B. Ventures & Adventures
C. Space Flight
A. Richard Branson’s Sumry Bio
Sir Richard Branson (born 18 July 50) is an English Business Magnate, Investor, & Author. In the 1970s, he founded the Virgin Group, which today controls more than 400 companies in various fields. Branson expressed his desire to become an Entrepreneur at a young age. His first business venture, at the age of 16, was a Magazine called Student. In 1970, he set up a Mail-order Record business. He opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records—later known as Virgin MegaStores—in 1972. Branson’s Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980s, as he started Virgin Atlantic airline and expanded the Virgin Records music label. In 2004, he founded SpaceFlight corp Virgin Galactic, based at Mojave Air & Space Port in California, noted for the SpaceShipTwo sub-orbital Space Plane – designed for Space Tourism. In March 2000, Branson was knighted at Buckingham Palace for “Services to Entrepreneurship“. For his work in retail, music & transport (with interests in land, air, sea and space travel), his taste for adventure, and for his humanitarian work, he has become a prominent Global figure. In 2007, he was placed on the 100 Most Influential People in the World list. Wikipedia
B1. Richard Branson is Top 5 of Richest People UK
Thanks to the successes of the Virgin Group, Branson’s net worth is $6Billion, making him the 5th richest person in the United Kingdom.
B2. As a True Philanthropist, he has been Awarded by the UN
Branson is a Philanthropist to the core. He has contributed to the education, uplift & quality of life of African children. Moreover, he has made a lot of contributions to the environment & humanitarian causes, earning him the title of The United Nations Correspondents Association Citizen of the World Award. Together with Nelson Mandela, Branson initiated “The Elders”, a human rights advocacy group, in 2007 to voice concerns in the areas of injustice & human suppression ((c) Virgin).
B3. Hot Air Balloon Adventurer, Breaking World Records
Known for his adventurous streak, in 1987 Branson broke the World Record for being the first and only person to cross the Atlantic in the largest Hot Air balloon. Following this, in 1991 he again broke his own record by crossing 6700 miles of the Pacific in a Virgin Hot Air balloon at a speed of 245 miles per hour.
B4. Richard Branson as the Perfect Manager: ‘Bottom Heavy’ Empowerment
Being an Entrepreneur and a friendly manager is something Branson has perfected. According to business records, he is one of those corporate people who believe in a ‘Bottom Heavy’ approach, love to delegate and give responsibility to workers + instill in his employees, a habit to “Love the work they do and enjoy it.
B5. The Virgin Empire: Over 400 Businesses
Did you know that his Virgin Group is more than just an airline? It comprises of more than 400 business concerns in various fields such as music, entertainment, clothing, cosmetics, financial services, nightclubs, train services, tour operations, health clubs, publishing, film industry, & mobile phone services.
B6. His Private Island – When It’s Time to Relax & Party w/ Celebrities
Being one of the richest people in all of the UK, Branson owns not only villas, jets & hot air balloons but also has his very own island! Necker Island, as it is called, is in the middle of the British Virgin Islands. Necker Island is a famous recreation spot for the elite to take a break from their busy lives and reconnect with nature. 74 acres in total, this small piece of land is decorated in luxuries just like Sir Richard likes his ‘hideaway’ to be!
B7. Struggling with being Dyslexic when Young
Richard Branson struggled with being dyslexic all through his schooling. Even though he eventually gave up studying, he refused to be daunted by this weakness in his professional career. Soaring Virgin to great heights, this man is a true role model for every individual who aspires to become an entrepreneur.
B8. all Virgin Business Ventures are very Close to his BiG Heart
Being a self-made man, Richard Branson is known to be very touchy about the welfare of his companies. In June 1992, when he sold Virgin Records to Thorn EMI for a reported $1Billion, he cried the entire time the deal was being carried out.
B9. Necker Nymph, the Underwater Ride
Most of us only dream of flying in the skies. $Billionaire Branson dreamt to travel way beneath the ocean surface. Branson’s Necker Nymph is an underwater ride that takes high profile travelers to Necker Island.
.B10. Richard Branson owns >50 Luxurious Lodges all Around the World
His superb taste for design, architecture and small details is apparent in the top-notch Lodges he owns around the world. These lodges are fully equipped for a luxurious retreat and are nothing less than heaven on earth.
B11. The Excitement Richard Branson gets fm all sorts of Air Travel
Among his favorite hobbies are outdoor sports such as Kite surfing, Jet packing & flying across the world in his notorious Hot Air balloon. Stemming out of his interest to travel to Space, The Virgin Galactic is a new venture of Virgin Airlines that makes sub-orbital flights into Space with about $150K. Most of these flights have Branson himself on board fired with excitement.
C. 1st Flight to Space turns his smart Disruption into Reality
A new Space Age is coming. Virgin Galactic spaceflight Unity 22 turned Richard Branson into the first person to ride into space aboard a rocket he helped fund. He called it “The experience of a lifetime.” A giant leap toward commercial sub-orbital Space-Flight that was shared as a global live stream. What a powerful message for all the Virgin Group companies and their employees about living by their Company Values: Insatiable Curiosity & Smart Disruption.
SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity successfully performed a full-duration burn, launching its crew above the 50-mile marker used by NASA, FAA & U.S. military, where we could see live – Branson floating in the spacecraft. And then re-entered to land back at Spaceport America in New Mexico after flying to the edge of space with a Crew of five.
SpaceShipTwo is a winged plane with a single rocket motor that the company has spent nearly two decades developing. This flight occurred exactly nine days before Amazon $Billionaire Jeff Bezos was to fly his own company’s spacecraft. SS2 is developed by Virgin Galactic, a British-American spaceflight company that operates in the United States and aims to provide suborbital spaceflights to Space Tourists. Richard Branson says in his company Blog “After 17 years of research, engineering & innovation, Virgin Galactic stands at the vanguard of a new commercial space industry poised to open the universe to humankind and change the world for good.”
Richard Branson’s achievement is an inspiring story about:
- Innovation, with a new design for space-ships to make them reusable and safer. One of Richard’s famous quotes is “Don’t ever let anyone prevent you from dreaming. Imagination is one of our greatest gifts”.
- Leadership, as Richard dared to be in the first flight, live by the company purpose of doing amazing stuff & the six Core Values.
- Courage to fight for your dreams beyond other’s limits. Richard calls himself a troublemaker, who believes in turning ideas into reality. His dyslexia helped him build individual strength. He says in his blog “I’ve always been a dreamer. My mum taught me to never give up and to reach for the stars.”
C1. Company Values
a) Insatiable Curiosity
We’re adventurous & inventive, + we never stop questioning – “What if?” & “Why not?” – so we never miss a trick.
b) Delightfully Surprising
We look for unexpected ways to delight. We love connecting with people. We believe thoughtful little touches add up to a big difference.
c) Heartfelt Service
If it matters to you, then it matters to us !!! We’re warm, inclusive & down to earth. We care about our Customers, and each other.
d) Smart Disruption
We’re not afraid to go our own way, challenge the rules & challenge the norms to find new & exciting ways to go above our previous limits.
e) Straight Up
We’re honest, decent & straight-talking. We stick up for what’s right and accept responsibility – if we get it wrong.
f) Red Hot Relevance
We’re spirited, brave & progressive. We stand out in a world of same-old.
D. What I Learned from my 7 Biggest Failures
The mark of a true Entrepreneur is the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. $Billionaire Richard Branson owns so many businesses (400), he’s said that he has a hard time keeping track of them all. Worth more than $5Billion, he’s been knighted by the British government for his “Services to Entrepreneurship” and has a well-earned reputation for success. But Branson’s career has had its share of mistakes & mis-calculations. Here are a few examples of failures in his career and the lessons we can learn from them.
1. When his first company didn’t make money.
Branson dropped out of school in 1967, at the age of 16, to start his first business: Student magazine. He wanted Student to become the “Voice of his generation, and the magazine earned some big name interviews — but not a lot of money. Cash Flow soon became a problem for the would-be publisher. If he had stuck to his original plan, Branson might have gone under. Instead, he decided to be flexible and pivoted into what would end up being a much more successful industry — music. He launched a mail-order Discount Record business, and what began as a way to pay for the Magazine grew into a billion-dollar recording empire called Virgin Records.
2. When Virgin Atlantic Airlines almost crashed before it took off.
Branson launched Virgin Atlantic Airlines in 1984 to give passengers a better flying experience. He saw a big opportunity, but had little experience, and his new venture almost failed, before it got off the ground.
During the initial test flight of Virgin’s only plane, a rented Boeing 747, a flock of birds flew into an engine, causing extensive damage. The airline couldn’t get certified to start carrying passengers without a working plane, and it couldn’t get $$$ for repairs without being certified (Catch 22). Instead of panicking or giving up, Branson stayed optimistic. Working fast, he re-structured his companies and pulled $$$ from other ventures to get repairs done quickly. His airline got the Certification it needed, and Virgin’s inaugural flight from Gatwick to Newark (in England) was a success.
3. When his Soda company fizzled.
Virgin moved into new territory again in 1994 with the launch of Virgin Cola, a soda designed to compete with Coke & Pepsi. Early taste tests were promising, and early on, Branson had high hopes. “Coke is the best known brand in the world, and if we could topple Coke, we thought it would be a lot of fun,” he once said. Before long though, it became clear that Virgin Cola wasn’t selling. It was too similar to other sodas to build its own identity. The company folded after a few years, teaching Branson an important lesson in the process –“If you’re not unique, you won’t get noticed”. Wasn’t “Better, Faster or Cheaper”
4. When his Trip around the world almost killed him.
Branson’s personal ambitions are just as big as his professional ones. He’s attempted several adventurous world records and was the first person to pilot a Hot Air balloon across the Atlantic. But his trip Around the World wasn’t as successful. After accidentally losing most of their fuel, Branson and his co-pilot found themselves above the Pacific Ocean facing gale force winds. With no hope of rescue if they ditched, they calculated the likelihood of their survival at only 5%. Branson has said they were faced with two choices, either lay down and accept their fate or stay up for three days straight trying to reach North America. They managed to make it to safety, and Branson’s experience taught him the value of resilience. “Never give up,” he said in an interview. “Even if it sounds slightly corny. Fight, fight, fight to survive.”
5. When Virgin Cars missed the mark.
The Virgin Group has found plenty of success in planes & trains, but automobiles were a different story. In 2000, Branson decided to launch Virgin Cars, an online business that aimed to change the way cars were sold. While the company started out strong, it soon lost steam and shut down within a few years. Branson blamed a failure to focus on the right form of disruption. In hindsight, he decided that what needed to change about the Auto industry wasn’t how cars were sold, but how they are powered. He’s since invested heavily in creating more sustainable environmental fuels. He’s also applied a new rule across all his businesses. “There can be no profit without a well-defined purpose.”
6. When Shoppers didn’t say yes to one Dress.
Branson has made several attempts into the fashion world without success. He’s had a clothing company, cosmetics & even got down to sexy underwear label – that was meant to compete with Victoria’s Secret. But the secrets got out and he zoomed to doom. Perhaps the most surprising of the Virgin fashion ventures was Virgin Brides, a wedding dress & bridal boutique that opened in 1996. Branson shaved his beard and donned one the brand’s wedding dresses for the launch event, but his short-lived modeling career failed to drive sales. Branson’s multiple attempts to make Virgin fashionable reflect his willingness to fail at first, but succeed later. While he doesn’t easily give up on projects, he’s also unfazed when things don’t work out as planned. He starts over with a new approach, but even that didn’t work.
7. When Virgin Digital didn’t get downloads.
Virgin Digital opened its site online in 2005. A music download site in the style of iTunes, Branson’s music platform boasted a massive library of songs. It also featured a digital music Subscription service that foreshadowed later platforms like Spotify. Unfortunately, what Virgin Digital didn’t have was the iPod. The service fought a losing battle against Apple‘s iTunes and pirated music sites for two years before shutting down for good in 2007. The loss was a reminder for Branson that it’s always better to forge your own trail than it is to follow in other company’s footsteps.
Everyone fails. The people who fail most eventually succeed.
Any one of Branson’s failures could have de-railed his entire career, if he’d allowed it to, but the mark of a true Entrepreneur is the ability be flexible to adapt to changing circumstances. A true adventurer in both business & life, Branson will continue pushing his limits — and we can all stand to learn a bit from his bravado.
What is holding us back from achieving our dreams? Perhaps not as much as we think.
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