Richard Branson Story
Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson is an English business magnate, investor, author, and philanthropist. He founded the Virgin Group, which controls more than 400 companies. Branson expressed his desire to become an entrepreneur at a young age. as of May of 2019, he has a net worth of 4 billion dollars
Who is Richard Branson?
Richard Branson, in full Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson, (born July 18, 1950, Shamley Green, Surrey, England). British entrepreneur and adventurer, head of Virgin Group Ltd., known for his publicity stunts. Also for setting records in powerboat racing and hot-air ballooning.
Richard Branson struggled in school and dropped out at age 16—a decision that ultimately led to the creation of Virgin Records. His entrepreneurial projects started in the music industry and expanded into other sectors. Including the space-tourism venture Virgin Galactic, making him a billionaire.
Still struggling, Branson dropped out at the age of 16 to start a youth-culture magazine called Student. The publication, run by students, sold $8,000 worth of advertising in its first edition, launched in 1966. The first run of 50,000 copies disseminated for free, with Branson afterward covering the costs through advertising.
First Steps on Entrepreneurship Way
By 1969, Branson was living in a London commune, surrounded by the British music and drug scene. It was during this time that Branson had the idea to begin a mail-order record company called Virgin to help fund his magazine efforts.
The company performed modestly but well enough for Branson to expand his business venture. With a record shop on Oxford Street, London. With the success of the new store, the high school dropout was able to build a recording studio in 1972 in Oxfordshire, England.
When the magazine began losing money in the late 1960s, he formed Virgin Mail Order Records to raise funds. In 1971 he opened the first British discount record store. Then in 1973, he helped form Virgin Records, which quickly became the principal label worldwide for punk and new wave.
In 1984 he became the majority backer of the airline that he renamed Virgin Atlantic Airways. Beginning with a single aircraft, the carrier succeeded despite fierce opposition from established airlines. In 1992 Branson sold Virgin Records to raise additional money for Virgin Atlantic.
By the 1990s the Virgin conglomerate, which was among the largest privately held companies in the United Kingdom, comprised some 100 businesses, including Virgin Megastores. In 2004 Branson formed Virgin Galactic, a space tourism company that was working toward offering commercial suborbital passenger flights.
In 2006 Branson sold Virgin Mobile, a wireless phone service, though he remained the largest shareholder of the company, which later renamed Virgin Media, Inc. That same year he formed the collaborative entertainment companies Virgin Comics LLC and Virgin Animation Private Limited.
Branson expanded his entrepreneurial efforts yet again, this time to include the Voyager Group travel company in 1980, the Virgin Atlantic airline in 1984 and a series of Virgin Megastores. However, Branson’s success was not always predictable, and by 1992, Virgin was suddenly struggling to stay financially afloat. The company sold later that year to Thorn EMI for $1 billion.
Branson was crushed by the loss, reportedly crying after the contract was signed, but remained determined to stay in the music business. In 1993, he founded the station Virgin Radio. In 1996 he started a second record company, V2, which signed artists such as Powder Finger and Tom Jones.
The Virgin Group eventually reached 35 countries around the world, with nearly 70,000 employees. Handling affairs in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Canada, Asia, Europe, South Africa and beyond. He has expanded his businesses to include a train company, a luxury game preserve, a mobile phone company and a space-tourism company, Virgin Galactic.
Branson is also known for his sporting achievements, notably the record-breaking Atlantic crossing in Virgin Atlantic Challenger II in 1986, and the first crossing by a hot-air balloon of the Atlantic (1987) and Pacific (1991). He knighted in 1999 for his contribution to entrepreneurship, and in 2009, he landed at No. 261 on Forbes‘ “World Billionaires” list with his $2.5 billion in self-made fortune, including two private islands.
Branson’s numerous charitable initiatives included pledging an estimated $3 billion in 2006 to fund environmentally friendly fuel research. In 2007, in honor of his sustained support of humanitarian and environmental causes, Branson received the Citizen of the Year Award from the United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA).
He published an autobiography, Losing My Virginity: How I’ve Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way (1998, updated ed. And iterated his business philosophy in The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership (2014).
Live like Branson
In 1986 Branson was part of a team that set a record for a powerboat crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. In hot-air ballooning, he and Swedish aeronaut Per Lindstrand became in 1987 the first team to cross the Atlantic in a hot-air balloon and in 1991 the first to cross the Pacific Ocean.
Branson was also a member of teams that made three failed attempts in the late 1990s at round-the-world balloon flights. On the third attempt, made in December 1998, the pair were joined by American adventurer Steve Fossett, and they traveled some 8,200 miles (13,200 km).
Becoming the first to fly across the whole of Asia in a hot-air balloon before forced down off Hawaii. Branson later helped fund Fossett’s record-setting flight in 2005. Which he completed the first solo nonstop circumnavigation of the world in an airplane.
By the way, we have gathered the top 7 quotes by Richard Branson. I suggest you read them for your Entrepreneurship way.
So which part did you find more inspiring?