This world is a perfect place to be habituated in. As an individual, it helps you learn from your mistakes, develop yourself, even rebuild your personality and then soar towards a pathway of success. Failures are a part of life and not just any part, they are the most important part. Without failing, one wouldn’t realize the value of success, the worth of a win. In order to keep growing, you need to keep making mistakes. The faster one makes a mistake, the faster he learns, the better he can recover. This principle is what differentiates an entrepreneur from his employees. The fear to fail is absconding and one should overcome it.
Here lies a story of a glorious entrepreneur who worked hard to bring to reality all of his dreams - Richard Branson, an English business magnate, investor and philanthropist. He is the founder of the Virgin Group, which controls more than 400 companies. The 68-year-old had the desire to become an entrepreneur at a very young age.
Richard has dyslexia and had poor academic performance in school. His headmaster had told him that he would either end up in prison someday or become a millionaire. The latter happened.
His parents were supportive of all his endeavours and were always there to guide him along the way. At the tender age of 16, he started his first business venture. It was a mere magazine called ‘Student’. Richard wanted to campaign against corporal punishment, compulsory chapel, games and Latin. Hence, after a lot of thought the idea of an inter school publication, Student magazine was published.
He put down the plan on paper and was amazed by the success of the magazine within a very short duration. He sends everyone a crystal clear message that one doesn’t have to have a formal, perfected business plan to get started. This idea is even advocated by other billionaire entrepreneurs like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman. These entrepreneurial instincts just kept developing for Richard and soon enough in 1970, he set up a mail- order record business- Virgin records which was later known as Virgin Megastores. This business grew rapidly and Richard knew that this was just the beginning. His thirst for success was unquenchable and he went on to set up Virgin Atlantic Airline and expanded the Virgin Records music label. He then launched Virgin Mobile in 1999 and then Virgin Australia in 2000.
In March 2000, he was knighted at the Buckingham Palace for ‘Services to Entrepreneurship’. This was a major milestone in his life. He soon gained popularity and became a prominent figure in the industry for his work in retail, music and transport, his taste for adventure and his humanitarian work. In 2002, he was named in the BBC’s poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. In 2004, he founded spaceflight corporation Virgin Galactic, which is well known for its SpaceShipOne project. In November last year, Forbes listed his estimated net worth at $5.1 billion.
“My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them…from the perspective of wanting to live life to the full, I felt that I had to attempt it.”
The businesses he started had many controversial loopholes and many a times faced challenges of pulling in revenues. Having such a widespread variety of firms to handle, there arose several legal issues with different companies and the Virgin Group suffered several losses too. Despite these hurdles, he ensures that the show keeps going on by using his management abilities.
He is an idol for many entrepreneurs around the globe, they respect him and follow his pathways.
(By Declan Rego)