Richard Branson: A Story of Failure and Success
“The Brave May Not Live Forever, But The Cautious Do Not Live At All” these iconic lines by Richard Branson, portrays a man who wasn’t scared to take risks. Someone who has fallen and failed but hasn’t given up.
👦🏻 Early Life
While some might assume a billionaire like him to be smart, he had his own share of problems while growing up. Richard was an unconventional kid who suffered from dyslexia and just couldn’t wrap his mind around the idea of sitting and learning in the closed doors of a classroom. He shortly dropped out of school at 16 and ironically, started a magazine called ‘School’ which had $8000 in advertising revenue.
One successful venture paves the path for another and hence began the story of Virgin Records where he signed Mike Oldfield as his first artist whose single ‘Tubular Bells’ stayed on top of the UK charts for months. This success lead to more records with artists like Rolling Stones and Culture Club. In 1984, Branson decided to fly high with the launch of Virgin Airlines which was met with skepticism as it was a direct competitor to British Airways. But it proved the skeptics wrong with its tremendous success and it is now among the most recognized and well-reputed airlines in the world!
🛍️ Diversification Spree
Branson in the 1990s went ahead in his journey of diversification and branched out into other businesses which include Virgin Mobile, Virgin Trains and Virgin Galactic: an American spaceflight company which is responsible for keeping his dream of space exploration alive. In July 2021, Richard became the first-ever billionaire to go to space.
Life has its own ways of teaching lessons. In 1992, music industry sales started declining at an alarming rate which was reflected in Virgin Records’ revenues and the company’s struggle began. Branson was forced to sell Virgin Records. The sale went to Thorn EMI for a billion dollars. Other failed business ventures include Virgin Cosmetics, Virgin Cola and Virgin Brides.
✈️ Virgin Group’s Current Standing
More than 40 Virgin companies are now operating in 35 countries and employing over 60,000 people and Richard Branson has a net worth of $4.4 billion. In his journey there were a lot of ups and downs but not once did he think about giving up. He learnt from his failures and used them as stepping stones to create numerous successful business ventures. Richard Branson has now become a regular blogger and is very active on Twitter and LinkedIn with a strong following!