By May 11, 2012 Read More →

Richard Branson Quotes

Richard Branson Quotes

This is my collection of Richard Branson quotes.  Richard Branson lives to challenge himself, make a difference, and have fun in the process.

As you read through these Richard Branson quotes, you’ll find some common themes:  adventure, brand, business, entrepreneurism, fun, quality, and purpose.  While putting together my Richard Branson quotes, one pattern that really stood out for me, is how deeply Richard Branson cares about both sides of the equation.  He cares deeply about the people that wok for and with him, just as deeply as he cares about the people he builds his businesses to serve,and a make a difference for.

The other pattern that stood out for me is how much Richard Branson wants to improve the quality of life for people.  I realized this as I read his books, that a lot of this drive comes from the pains and challenges he faced growing up.  He has never lost connection with people, and he has never lost sight of what really matters in life.

Please enjoy this collection of Richard Branson quotes.  Use them to inspire you and consider what we can learn from somebody who lives life with passion, purpose, and the pursuit of fun along the way.

Adventure and Fun

  • “A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.”
  • “Customers shouldn’t just think of your business as a place to buy a product or use a service — it should be a fun place to be.”
  • “First and foremost, any business proposal I like must sound fun.”
  • “I am prepared to try anything once.”
  • “I prefer to have a great time and to keep my wits about me.”
  • “I think the most important thing is that in the last seven days we’ve just had the greatest adventure of our lifetimes.”
  • “I’m inquisitive … and I love a new challenge… and if I feel that we can do it better than it’s been done by other people, we’ll have a go.”
  • “Some 80% of your life is spent working. You want to have fun at home; why shouldn’t you have fun at work?”
  • “Throwing yourself into a job you enjoy is one of the life’s greatest pleasures!”
  • “We’d love to be involved with the creation of something very special, something quite large and something quite exciting.”
  • “We’re going where no one has gone before. There’s no model to follow, nothing to copy. That is what makes this so exciting.”

Brand

  • “All you have in life is your reputation: you may be very rich, but if you lose your good name, then you’ll never be happy. The thought will always lurk at the back of your mind that people don’t trust you. I had never really focused on what a good name meant before, but that night in prison made me understand.”
  • “Branding is everything. A young girl once came up to me and told me I could be famous because I looked just like Richard Branson!”
  • “First of all, if you’re setting up a new company, you want to try to find a brand that can work on a global basis.”
  • “Good brands reflect the histories of the time and the group of people that made them. They can not be copied. They can not be recycled.”
  • “If you get your face and your name out there enough, people will start to recognize you.”
  • “In the beginning it was just about the business – now it’s about the brand.”
  • “Protect your reputation.  Don’t be afraid of making mistakes.”
  • “Quality brands never go bankrupt.”
  • “What does the name Virgin mean? We are a company that likes to take on the giants. In too many businesses, these giants have had things their own way. We are going to have fun competing with them.”

Business

  • “Above all, you want to create something you’re proud of. This has always been my philosophy of business.”
  • “I can honestly say that I have never gone into any business purely to make money. If that is the sole motive, then I believe you are better off not doing it.”
  • “Because I don’t see Virgin as a company but as a way of life and I fully enjoy it, I don’t think I’ll ever retire.”
  • “Business opportunities are like buses, there`s always another one coming.”
  • “Every business, like a painting, operates according to its own rules. There are many ways to run a successful company. What works once may never work again. What everyone tells you never to do may just work, once.”
  • “I love stirring the pot.  I love giving big companies a run for their money — especially if they’re offering expensive, poor-quality products.”
  • “I never get the accountants in before I start up a business. It’s done on gut feeling, especially if I can see that they are taking the mickey out of the consumer.”
  • “Most “necessary evils” are far more evil than necessary.”
  • “Our model is to develop each business separately with its own shareholder and management – this way we can concentrate on the job in hand, rather than be part of some enormous and faceless conglomerate.”
  • “Perhaps my early problems with dyslexia made me more intuitive: when someone sends me a written proposal, rather than dwelling on detailed facts and figures I find that my imagination grasps and expands on what I read.”
  • “We’ve got an engaging, edgy, vibrant, fun product, … It may or may not work, but we’re going to give it our best shot.”
  • “When we start a new venture, we base it on hard research and analysis. Typically, we review the industry and put ourselves in our customer’s shoes to see what we could do better.”

Challenges

  • “Although my spelling is still sometimes poor, I have managed to overcome the worst of my difficulties through training myself to concentrate.”
  • “Complexity is your enemy. Any fool can make something complicated. It is hard to keep things simple.”
  • “However tight things are, you still need to have the big picture at the forefront of your mind.”
  • “I just like to enjoy life and push myself. Of course, there is method to my madness. When you are entering into a new industry, for example, it helps to do something to get your name on the front pages.”
  • “My biggest motivation?  Just to keep challenging myself.  I see life almost like one long university education that I never had.”
  • “”My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them.”
  • “My mother was determined to make us independent. When I was four years old, she stopped the car a few miles from our house and made me find my own way home across the fields. I got hopelessly lost.”
  • “Records are made to be broken. It is in man’s nature to continue to strive to do just that.”

Entrepreneurism

  • “I believe that drudgery and clock-watching are a terrible betrayal of that universal, inborn entrepreneurial spirit.”
  • “I think a lot of becoming an entrepreneur is something which people have to learn just from getting out there and giving it a go, and having to learn the art of survival.”
  • “I wanted to be an editor or a journalist, I wasn’t` really interested in being an entrepreneur, but I soon found I had to become an entrepreneur in order to keep my magazine going.”
  • “I was never, ever interested in becoming a businessman or an entrepreneur.  If I was a businessman, or saw myself as a businessman, I would have never gone into the airline business.”
  • “The quickest way to become a millionaire in the airline business is to start out as a billionaire.”
  • “There are no rules. You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over, and it’s because you fall over that you learn to save yourself from falling over. It’s the greatest thrill in the world and it runs away screaming at the first sight of bullet points.”
  • “To be successful, you have to be out there, you have to hit the ground running, and if you have a good team around you and more than a fair share of luck, you might make something happen. But you certainly can’t guarantee it just by following someone else’s formula.”
  • “What’s the quickest way to become a millionaire? Borrow fivers off everyone you meet.”
  • “You never know with these things when you`re trying something new what can happen. This is all experimental.”

Leadership

  • “As much as you need a strong personality to build a business from scratch, you also must understand the art of delegation. I have to be good at helping people run the individual businesses, and I have to be willing to step back. The company must be set up so it can continue without me.”
  • “I may be a businessman  in that I set up and run companies for profit, but when I try to plan ahead and dream up new products and new companies, I’m an idealist.”
  • “Once again, I was the captain of my ship and master of my fate.  I believe in myself. I believe in the hands that work, in the brains that think, and in the hearts that love.”
  • “You shouldn’t blindly accept a leader’s advice.  You’ve got to question leaders on occasions.”

Life

  • “I am impressed with just the enthusiasm for life and the fact that some of these people are in their 80’s, even 90’s, and they’re absolutely determined to get out there and make a difference.”
  • “As we drifted to earth I sat up on the glass roof of the capsule, watching the beauty of the golden dawn as it broke over the desert. This was a day I never thought I’d see and the rising sun and growing warmth of the day seemed very precious. It made me aware that hard-won things are more valuable than those that come too easily. It reminded me to always enjoy the moment. “
  • “I don’t think of work as work and play as play. It’s all living.”
  • “I love the freedom of movement that my phone gives me. That has definitely transformed my life.”
  • “Life can seem rather unreal at times.  Alive and well and loving one day.  No longer there the next.”
  • “Life is a helluva lot more fun if you say yes rather than no.”
  • “Ridiculous yachts and private planes and big limousines won’t make people enjoy life more, and it sends out terrible messages to the people who work for them. It would be so much better if that money was spent in Africa – and it’s about getting a balance.”
  • “You only live once, and I just don’t want to waste a minute of my life.”

People First

  • “A company is people … employees want to know … am I being listened to or am I a cog in the wheel? People really need to feel wanted.”
  • “Having a personality of caring about people is important. You can’t be a good leader unless you generally like people. That is how you bring out the best in them.”
  • “I cannot remember a moment in my life when I have not felt the love of my family. We were a family that would have killed for each other – and we still are.”
  • “I know enough to know that no man is an island.”
  • “Respect is how to treat everyone, not just those you want to impress.”
  • “The companies that look after their people are the companies that do really well. I’m sure we’d like a few other attributes, but that would be the most important one.”

Purpose

  • “For a successful entrepreneur it can mean extreme wealth. But with extreme wealth comes extreme responsibility. And the responsibility for me is to invest in creating new businesses, create jobs, employ people, and to put money aside to tackle issues where we can make a difference.”
  • “I’ve had to create companies that I believe in 100%. These are companies I feel will make a genuine difference. Then I have to be willing to find the time myself to talk about them, promote them and market them. I don’t want to spend my life doing something that I’m not proud of.”
  • “Look, if you can indulge in your passion, life will be far more interesting than if you’re just working.  You’ll work harder at it, and you’ll know more about it. But first you must go out and educate yourself on whatever it is that you’ve decided to do – know more about kite-surfing than anyone else. That’s where the work comes in. But if you’re doing things you’re passionate about, that will come naturally.”
  • “People have to decide on priorities if they want to get anywhere.  The best lessons I learned was to just do it.”
  • “The important thing is that you’ve got a strong foundation before you start to try to save the world or help other people.”
  • “Well, I’m somebody who is just living …living life, and if I get frustrated by something, then I like to try to put it right.”

If you have a favorite Richard Branson quote, please feel free to share it.

Photo by Gulltagen.

Posted in: Quotes, Success

5 Comments on "Richard Branson Quotes"

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  1. Hilary says:

    Hi JD .. great list – he is certainly inspirational – who has carried on his personal dream from a teenager, through life to now – where he is still dreaming of possibilities and doing them.

    I love the dyslexia quote .. “Although my spelling is still sometimes poor, I have managed to overcome the worst of my difficulties through training myself to concentrate.” I hear so many make excuses that they can’t improve .. but so many dyslexics are incredible leaders ..

    Love that you’ve given us ‘his’ list .. cheers Hilary

  2. JD says:

    @ Hilary — Thank you.

    I like that quote too, because it’a reminder that hurdles don’t have to be limits. It may actually have been a blessing in disguise.

    I really like the fact that Richard Branson is outrageous and continues to push his limits. He’s out to change the world and he means it with a passion.

  3. Alik Levin says:

    Ha! Loved this one – “Business opportunities are like buses, there`s always another one coming.”
    That plus if you won’t get away from one in time you will be smashed… or don’t jump off it when it’s full speed…

    Ha! Love it.

    Gee what a great metaphor that perfectly works for me.

  4. JD says:

    @ Alik — It reminds me of “catch the next train.”

    One of my earlier managers was good at focusing on “what’s next.” Rather than dwell on what you missed, put your focus on making the most of what’s coming.

  5. Richard says:

    Just finished ‘Business stripped bare’ Very enjoyable and informative ! Richard would truly would fascinating to chat with ! What an inspiring individual !! And more seems likely to be ahead of us based on his life philosophy.