Five Questions With Richard Branson

On 10/06/2010, in Entrepreneurship, by Jordan Wilson

An interesting interview with Richard Branson on his business philosophy.

I think he makes some excellent points.

I have a few brief thoughts on Mr. Branson’s philosophy below:


You will fail at many things in life. It is rare, if not impossible, to succeed in every instance.

Never dwell on failure.

Definitely learn from your mistakes. Understanding where you went wrong may be the key to future success. But do not fixate on the past. Move forward and try again.


I have worked with many people who believed that they are always the smartest person in the room. They were usually wrong.

As a result, they kept a closed mind to the ideas and opinions of others.

I suggest you keep an open mind to all.

Everyone has unique experiences and insights that can provide a useful perspective when you make decisions. If you turn a deaf ear to others, you will not usually reach the best results.

Over time, some people will consistently provide poor advice and you can bear that in mind. But even a blind squirrel can find the occasional nut, so never just automatically disregard these people.

Risk Taking

It takes risk to become successful in life. Do not be scared off by risk alone.

Risks need to be analyzed, especially in light of the risk-return payoff. We have covered this extensively in our discussions on investing.

And, as Mr. Branson states, you always need to “protect the downside.”

Advance planning is always required to try and minimize the risks. Contingency measures are also needed should, despite your best efforts, problems arise.

No matter how well you prepare, there is always the possibility of failure.

But those who fail to plan, always plan to fail.

Failure is a common occurrence in life. Learn from your mistakes and, per Mr. Branson, “never to look back in regret but to move on to the next thing.”

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