Richard Branson Shares His Best Business Advice In 4 Letters

Richard Branson Shares His Best Business Advice In 4 Letters

Richard Branson Shares His Best Business Advice In 4 Letters

Richard Branson loves a good challenge.

That’s why in celebration of his 65th birthday in 2015, the Virgin founder and visionary entrepreneur announced that he would complete 65 challenges – as part of the #ChallengeRichard campaign – during the coming year.

Four of the 65 challenges involved Branson writing a letter to the 10, 25, 50 and 65-year-old versions of himself.

This was the result.

Richard Branson’s Letter To His 10-Year-Old Self

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In My Letter To 10 Year-Old Me, Branson encouraged young Ricky to embrace the spirit of adventure and to never stop dreaming.

He told his younger self that he will face challenges – everyone does – and to not let that get in the way of achieving his dreams.

Here is some of his best advice:

  1. The spirit of adventure will keep you curious; open your mind to great opportunities; and steer you on a lifelong quest to prove that impossible is just a word.”
  2. “Never stop dreaming and creating.”
  3. Don’t ever let anyone prevent you from going after your dreams.
  4. You will face many challenges, and often feel like you don’t fit in and that you can’t always keep up. Don’t let this hold you back. Use your imagination to find inventive ways around it.”
  5. “You will make a lot of mistakes and fail time and time again. But don’t let this discourage you. Failure teaches us life’s greatest lessons, and often shows us a better way of doing things.”
  6. Above all, always remember to have fun.”
  7. As you grow older you will realise just how important it is to do what you love and love what you do. Don’t waste your time doing things that don’t excite you.”

Richard Branson’s Letter To His 25-Year-Old Self

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In My Letter To 25 Year-Old Me, Branson encouraged his younger self to stick with his new company, Virgin. He warned himself about the bumps ahead, but to focus on his goals – even in the face of adversity.

Branson also wrote about the importance of learning from mistakes, and transforming challenges into opportunities.

Here is some of his best advice:

  1. “The road ahead is pock-marked with many bumps, chasms and forks. There will be times where you want to give up and throw everything in. Don’t. By turning challenges into opportunities, you will find success you never realised you were capable of achieving.”
  2. But you won’t always succeed. In fact, you will fail time and time again. That’s ok though, because failure is an inevitable part of every personal and entrepreneurial journey.”
  3. It’s important to pick yourself up, retrace your steps, look at what went wrong, and learn from your mistakes.
  4. “Continue to take chances. In the future how ‘lucky’ you are in business will be determined by how willing you are to take calculated risks.”
  5. “Don’t let the naysayers deter you.
  6. Don’t be afraid to delegate responsibility.
  7. Your ability to take calculated risks and your incurable optimism will lead to great heights – both in business and in life.

Richard Branson’s Letter To His 50-Year-Old Self

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

In My Letter To 50 Year-Old Me, Branson – who is known among some Virgin staffers as Dr. Yes (due to his proclivity to say “yes” almost automatically to good ideas) advised his younger self to make a greater social impact and a positive difference in people’s lives.

Here is some of his best advice:

    1. You’ve never gone into business to make money, but instead always wanted to make a positive difference in people’s lives.
    1. It’s up to all of us to create the world we want to live in, and we can if governments, businesses and individuals work together.
    2. If you need more incentive to act, think about your children.
    3. Passionate people are happy people. The future needs passionate, happy and confident young leaders, willing to challenge the status quo and stand up for their convictions.
    4. Plus life is more fun when you work with your family and friends.
  1. “…the sky is no longer the limit and the future will be so bright, if you continue to look for opportunities where others see challenges.
  2. Just remember, whatever you do and wherever you go, make sure you place purpose at the heart of your words and actions.

Richard Branson’s Letter To His 65-Year-Old Self

AP Photo/Abraham Caro Marin

In My Letter To 65-Year-Old Me, Branson tells his present-day self that it’s a great time to be alive.

The self-described “Tie-loathing adventurer, philanthropist & troublemaker” believes strongly that business can be a force for good.

Branson writes specifically about the world he wants to live in, but recognizes that there is much more to do.

Here is some of his best advice:

  1. Yes, the human race is currently facing so many challenges, but the spirit of entrepreneurship is flourishing, and doing great things to work towards creating a world where all people and the planet thrive.
  2. “Keep having fun, taking risks and looking for the best in people.
  3. “Keep dreaming big and saying yes to your heart’s desires.”
  4. “Keep looking at the world with wide-eyed enthusiasm, and believing that together we are more powerful than the problems that confront us.”
  5. “Keep your zest for life, passion and the fire in your belly – always remembering Steve Jobs’ words: ‘The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.’”
  6. Most importantly, keep immersing yourself in the world – it will always be the best way to learn and look forward.
  7. Now is no time to slow down; your best years are still yet to come – so keep your body and mind active, and love in your heart.

Zack Friedman is a keynote speaker and Founder & CEO of Make Lemonade, a personal finance comparison site that helps you save money and live a better financial life.