An interview with billionaire and founder of the Virgin Group, Sir Richard Branson. In this interview, Richard discusses how to be successful as an entrepreneur and gives lessons he has learnt over his long career. Richard also talks about advice he wished he had when he was first starting out and the importance of protecting the downside.
Sir Richard Branson: How To Become A Successful Entrepreneur
Well again I don't necessarily think of them as business principles. I think the word you know I think what business it becomes the business but what you're doing is you're you're painting a picture of your you're trying to you're trying to create create something to make a difference to other people's lives. You have a blank canvas and you're filling in in every little bit of that canvas to get every single little detail right. And if that canvas you know sings out at the end that it's you know it's a beautiful picture you your business going to be successful if you know if bits of the canvas are not quite right your business may fail. So if you set up a. If you set out to change people's lives you've got to get every single little detail right. You got to make sure that people that you're working with. A hundred percent believe in what you're trying to do and you vote you've got to make sure that what you're trying to do is is worthwhile spending your time on.
And at the end of the day you want to be sure that you know that people's lives you've affected you. You've already been affected them and benefited them and if you get a right. You know I hope you able to pay the bills at the end of the year.
Well you know I know you've started so many businesses Richard. I mean you have I think 300 some companies right now and you know so many entrepreneurs I work with a lot of entrepreneurs who are startups who are in their growth phase who are even in their you know legacy phase and if you're in a startup mode. I mean you just talked about this painting the canvas that's really incredible what is there like. One tangible piece of advice that you wish that you had when you were just starting your your first business. I mean the absolute key.
And I like the old stock gramophone record that existed in my day is how how how good you are with people and if you know if you genuinely care about people if you can surround yourself with people that genuine genuine excited about what you're doing if you know if you can draw out the best in people if you have you're good at you know praise lavishing praise on people and not criticizing your people and uninspiring your people. You know that's that something you just have to do from day one. You know I never use the word. I mean it's you know you're a team. We're doing this we're doing that. Just never ever you know let let it sort of sense censoring yourself and just be a great great leader of people. And you know if you can do that from from day one even if you've got one other person working with you or two other people working with you. Then. You know you can enjoy the good times together. But there will be bad times and those people will pull pull around for you. They'll they'll work day and night to try to you know keep whatever it is you're creating a life and make sure that you make sure it survives. The number one lesson is a great people person.
And the follow up would be yes. Now you've started to make it as a business editor so that we work with a lot of seven figure eight or nine figure business owners. What did you do to take it to really the whole whole next level.
I think I think the next stage is you know is to be a great delegator and not try to do everything yourself. Try to find people. Who are better than you all the time try to find people better than you to put you. Put you out of business effectively so you know whatever you are spending all your day.