“Business has to give people enriching, rewarding lives, or it’s simply not worth doing.” – Richard Branson
When Richard Branson was a teenager, the headmaster of his school told him he was either going to be a billionaire or wind up behind bars.
He dropped out of school at 15 and started a student newspaper to protest against the Vietnam War, where he interviewed the likes of John Paul Sartre and James Baldwin.
At 16 years old, while sitting around in a basement in London with friends, Branson asked what would be a good name for a record company. One friend said with a sly smile, “Well, we’re all virgins here, why not call it that?”
He had a tape of Mike Oldfield called Tubular Bells which none of the big recording labels would release. It was the first album released by Virgin Records and an early cornerstone to the company’s success.
Later, when travelling on different airlines for Virgin Records tours, he was annoyed with the delays, nasty flight attendants, uncomfortable seats, and the disgusting food.
This gave him the idea, “What if we started an airline that provided a good alternative to this?”
Since then, Branson, who is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world, started over 200 companies under the Virgin brand name. Many of which were aimed at taking down a bully in an industry by providing a better alternative.
“I’ve never seen myself as a business person or been motivated by making lots of money. I want to create things I am proud of.” – Richard Branson