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10 Reasons Why Richard Branson Is So Successful

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10 Reasons Why Richard Branson Is So Successful

It may come as a surprise, but Richard Branson wasn’t always the over-achieving entrepreneur that he is today. Sure, he was in business by the age of 20, but he was also a high school drop out who was under investigation for tax evasion and looked like an unwashed hippie. He did however manage to turn his life around and is now the head of a multi-billion dollar empire who has his sites set on space. So what makes Sir Richard so special, and how did he achieve so much success in a single lifetime?

Photo Credit: www.australianretail.com.au

    Photo Credit: www.australianretail.com.au

    1. He has fun

    Mr. Branson recognizes that you won’t be truly successful unless you enjoy what you’re doing and allow time for fun. He himself has stated that when he no longer enjoys a project, it’s time to move on from it.

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    2. He’s visible

    And no, I’m not just referring to the flight attendant uniform incident.

    What good is a leader who is stuck behind a desk? You can’t very well lead from an office can you? Sir Richard literally makes it his business to get out and about to visit his employees, as well as his customers. He has mentioned in interviews that when he is on one of his flights, he will go and meet his crew and passengers with a notebook in hand. He states that this way he can both hear and record their ideas. Despite being as busy and important as he is, he takes their names and email addresses and makes a point of responding to them by the next day.

    His philosophy is to run large businesses in the same way as a small one‒by being responsive and friendly. This is a successful philosophy to have, because both his staff and customers are left feeling appreciated he himself is humanized. Happy people equals loyalty, hard work and ultimately profit. This is impossible to achieve if your only contact with your employees is through the occasional company newsletter and a Christmas card that has obviously been signed by your secretary.

    3. He’s an amazing leader

    This follows on from the previous point. He’s a good leader because he’s present and takes the time to listen. How can you lead if you don’t have any real idea of what’s going on in your company. And by that I don’t mean the head office where people leave early on a Friday but then demand the retail stores cut staffing and work overtime for free. Branson gets off his ass and makes sure he knows exactly how his businesses are being run on each and every level. This is what makes him a good leader. He ensures that he has genuine knowledge and that his staff members are allowed input.

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    4. He creates things that stand out

    Sir Richard recognizes that in the modern world, it is notoriously difficult for a company to survive unless it stands out in some way. In fact, you have to be radically different. Take Virgin Atlantic for example. They’re known for their outstanding customer service. Branson made this a priority aboard his planes because he was sick of subpar service on other airlines. The fact that his flight attendants are also renowned for being particularly attractive is a subject for another article.

    In addition, Virgin Atlantic were also the first company to offer premium economy, in-seat entertainment, onboard beauty therapists and drive through check in.

    5. He has perseverance

    Despite being such a success today, things didn’t always look so rosie for Richard Branson. For starters, he suffers from dyslexia, which made both reading and learning certain things incredibly difficult. Although this still effects him today, he has never let it hold him back.

    Furthermore, he experienced a myriad of problems at the beginning of his career. Some of these included cash-flow problems, tax issues, law violation and even a night in jail. Instead of giving up, he chose to learn from his mistakes and use them to guide him later in life. It also inspired him to educate himself in certain areas of business so he could persevere and succeed.

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    6. He breaks the rules

    Richard Branson hasn’t been successful by following along with what everyone else does. He breaks the rules and takes risks, albeit calculated ones. After his early career troubles, he learned that innovation was the key to success, but that some confines were necessary. As such, he uses his past mistakes and intuition to guide him and engages in trial and error when it comes to new ventures. Perhaps the greatest lesson that he learned was that failures can lead to great ideas.

    7. He says “yes”

    Branson has never been afraid to say “yes” to new concepts, ideas and pursuits. This is why The Virgin Group is now an empire made of over 200 diverse companies. He hasn’t simply stuck to one area; he has branched out. He’s always ready to learn and try something new.

    8. He respects his staff

    As previously discussed, Branson shows his staff respect and takes the time to meet and listen to them. This in turn makes his employees both proud of and loyal to their company and boss. This is imperative, because the best ambassadors for a brand or company are those who work for it, and Sir Richard has recognized that this will ultimately help make them successful.

    9. He gives back

    Any successful person who is at all decent knows that it’s their social responsibility to help those in need and do some good for the world. For those who believe in karma, this makes a fair amount of sense. From a pragmatic viewpoint, it also shows that you’re caring and not a greedy, money grubbing pig. This kind of positive publicity is good for profits, as well as the people you’re aiding.

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    Despite his relatively humble beginnings, Branson began giving back to the community at the age of 17. He did this by starting his own charity and he has pledged money to countless others since. He is known particularly for his educational work in Africa, as well as pledging three billion dollars over the next decade to go towards reducing global warming.

    10. He dreams big

    Branson started with a local newspaper and has built eight separate billion dollar companies, but he’s not stopping there. Next on his agenda is conquering both the ocean and space. Move over, Kirk and Nemo.

    Virgin Galactic is being planned for suborbital space, whereas Virgin Oceanic will be used to explore the lowest trenches of the deep and probably discover R’lyeh. Tell Cthulhu I said “Ia ia.”

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    Tegan Jones

    Tegan is a passionate journalist, writer and editor. She writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on October 21, 2021

    How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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    How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

    Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

    Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

    The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

    Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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    Program Your Own Algorithms

    Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

    Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

    By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

    How to Form a Ritual

    I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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    Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

    1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
    2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
    3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
    4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

    Ways to Use a Ritual

    Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

    1. Waking Up

    Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

    2. Web Usage

    How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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    3. Reading

    How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

    4. Friendliness

    Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

    5. Working

    One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

    6. Going to the gym

    If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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    7. Exercise

    Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

    8. Sleeping

    Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

    8. Weekly Reviews

    The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

    Final Thoughts

    We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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    Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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