Allowing my people to have a good work-life balance by working flexibly is very important to me.
Your employees are your company's real competitive advantage. They're the ones making the magic happen-so long as their needs are being met.
The true cost to the world of a burger is far greater than the money you hand over to buy it.
The most talented, thought-provoking, game-changing people are never normal.
You see, it's essential that one of us stays awake during the flight ballon. So, rather than using the comfortable Virgin seats which we used to cross the Atlantic, we've asked British Airways for two of theirs.
It is only by being bold that you get anywhere. If you are a risk-taker, then the art is to protect the downside.
Create the kind of workplace and company culture that will attract great talent. If you hire brilliant people, they will make work feel more like play.
Making money never was my incentive. I just want to fight big companies.
No failure means no risk, which means nothing new.
If you're lucky enough to have a few hundred thousand dollars in the bank account, that should be sufficient for your own personal needs, and anything more than that you've got to put to good use.
Respect is how to treat everyone.
Respect is how to treat everyone, not just those you want to impress.
Be bold, brave and not afraid to fall on your face and ultimately you will succeed.
Launching a business is essentially an adventure in problem-solving.
You need lucky breaks to be successful.
Too many people measure how successful they are by how much money they make or the people that they associate with. In my opinion, true success should be measured by how happy you are.
Doing good is good for business.
Actually, we did a fun April Fools' thing with Google a couple of years ago, which we called Virgle. And we looked for volunteers to go on a one-way trip to Mars.
You don't learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.
Ever since I saw the moon landing as a young teenager, I was determined I would go into space one day.
The amount of time people waste dwelling on failures rather than putting that energy into another project, always amazes me.
Be swift to take advantage of business opportunities. Bigger companies are too cumbersome to move quickly; this can be a competitive advantage for you.
Fortunately we're not a public company -- we're a private group of companies, and I can do what I want.
If you go back into military history, the person who's leading the troops ought to be in with the troops and not just standing on the backline sending them into battle.
The first thing to look for when searching for a great employee is somebody with a personality that fits with your company culture. Most skills can be learned, but it is difficult to train people on their personality.
Smiling can be a competitive advantage. It makes everyone feel better and every situation brighter.
Your company should act as a springboard for ambitious employees, not a set of shackles.
Every single astronaut who has come back from space comes back determined to do more to protect it.
If you do something for fun and create the best possible product, then the profit will come.
Well, we know that people in Australia love the idea of both Impulse and Virgin Blue getting up and adding a bit of competition, and it's fun to be able to deliver it.
Whenever I see people getting a bad deal I want to step in and do something about it. Of course, this is not pure altruism -- there's a profit to be made too.
Space has always fascinated me. As a young boy looking up at the stars, I found it impossible to resist thinking what was out there and if I ever would experience space first-hand.
We Virgin Group have been successful not by wasting time scrutinising our competitors but by looking at ourselves from the point of view of our customers do and seeking feedback through listening.
I think in life the key thing is just to fight really hard to make sure something survives. If it looks like you've done everything you can to avoid failure, just move forward, move on and learn from it.
There are no quick wins in business -- it takes years to become an overnight success.
There is no way I would ask others to go on a Virgin Galactic flight if I didn't feel it was safe enough for myself.
We Experiment Endlessly, With New Products, New Methods, New Companies And New Marketing. A Successful Business The Emphasis Is On Experiment And Development, Ideas Are The Lifeblood Of Business.
Don't bother doing something unless you're radically different from the competition.
If you are a small company taking on a big company, you need to have a sense of humor.
Past failures unlock future successes.
Good customer service begins at the top. If your senior people don't get it, even the strongest links further down the line can become compromised.
I think I've learned that if you have a house, you end up living in the kitchen, so if you have one big kitchen and then enough bedrooms for your family, that's about all you need for a home.
Starting your own business isn't just a job -- it's a way of life.
We've definitely cracked the technology. Now we're just trying to be able to produce the amount of fuels that we need to satisfy our own needs and then other people's needs.
I've been very passionate about renewable energy for many years, particularly solar energy and its capacity to bring abundant clean, sustainable energy to millions around the globe.
Dreaming is one of humanity's greatest gifts; it champions aspiration, spurs innovation, leads to change, and propels the world forward.
Always think, 'what's the worst that can happen' and have some kind of strategy to deal with it.
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.
And we hope to sell the clean fuels to other airlines. I mean, the exciting thing about the breakthrough with clean fuels for the airline industry is there's only 1,700 pumps in the world that fill up the airlines.
My definition of success? The more you are actively and practically engaged, the more successful you will feel.
If you look after your staff, they'll look after your customers. It's that simple.
We don't actually plan to launch new businesses over the next few years, but we are planning to take the ones we have into new territories.
I just love every minute of my life. I love the variety. Every minute of every day I'm meeting fascinating new people, learning and working with wonderful teams of people creating wonderful things.
You never know with these things when you're trying something new what can happen. This is all experimental.
One thing is certain in business. You and everyone around you will make mistakes.
LEARN FROM FAILURE. If you are an entrepreneur and your first venture wasn't a success, welcome to the club.
Business opportunities are like buses: there's always another one coming.
Bakers bake bread, accountants manage accounts and entrepreneurs turn ideas into reality.
If you have conflicts, everything breaks down in society. Kids can't go to school. Basic health can't be looked after. Every aspect of society falls apart.
Meet regularly with your business team and brainstorm. Intricate business problems are mostly resolved at brainstorming sessions.
Unless you dream, nothing will happen. If you dream, you might be able to make your dreams come true.
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!
My general attitude to life is to enjoy every minute of every day. I never do anything with a feeling of, 'Oh God, I've got to do this today.'
I love travelling full stop -- so while I've had some harrowing instances, I never look at them negatively. Memories are made when you're travelling -- not when you're chained to your desk.
I've been taught not to have any regrets. If we were to add up all of the hours spent regretting mistakes and use that time to develop new ideas, who knows how many brilliant new businesses would be created.
The way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers.
We must rapidly wean ourselves off our dependence on coal and fossil fuels.
Any idea can be a great idea if you think differently, dream big and commit to seeing it realized.
I have always lived my life by thriving on opportunity and adventure. Some of the best ideas come out of the blue, and you have to keep an open mind to see their virtue.
My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them.
As a leader of people, you have to be a great listener, a great motivator, be very good at praising and bringing out the best in people.
Screw the competition -- focus on good customer service.
We are going to transform Britain's rail system from the worst in the world to the best. If you can do a few things like that, when the body gives out, you can say you've lived a good life.
I felt uneasy about making the rapid decisions I have always made, and wondered whether every decision should be formally ratified and minuted at a board meeting.
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.
A generation ago, the image was that you had to trample everyone else down to succeed; but I don't believe that makes good business sense.
Succeeding in business is all about making connections.
Everything in your business can be outsourced... if you're not emotionally attached to doing it all.
I am no stranger to healthy competition-wor king hard and playing hard.
I've been lucky to have survived balloon trips, boating trips, you know, a lot of rather foolish things in my life, so I was definitely born under a lucky star.
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.
Don't wait till you are big before you begin building your brand. Build a brand from scratch alongside your business.
I am a believer in trying to treat people properly and trying to respond and making sure that I find the time to be courteous.
Don't be afraid to take that leap into the unknown.
Above all, you want to create something you're proud of.
A passionate belief in your business and personal objectives can make all the difference between success and failure. If you aren't proud of what you're doing, why should anybody else be?
Learn to look after your staff first and the rest will follow.
Explore this next great frontier where the boundaries between work and higher purpose are merging into one, where doing good really is good for business.
Irreverence ran on both sides of our family...my parents brought me up to think we could all change the world.
The ability to bounce back after a setback is the single most important trait an entrepreneurial venture can possess.
Just watching Israel bombarding Palestine and Palestine sending one or two little rockets over to Israel -- it's just too sad for words.
Seek out strategic alliances; they are essential to growth and provide resistance to bigger competition.
The best way forward is to give more people everywhere greater power to build their own destinies.
Life's too short. If you're passionate -- stand up.
I've always had a soft spot for dreamers -- not those who waste their time thinking ‘what if' but the ones who look to the sky and say ‘why can't I shoot for the moon?'.
I believe in benevolent dictatorship provided I am the dictator.
If you get your face and your name out there enough, people will start to recognize you.
Play fair, be prepared for others to play dirty, and don't let them drag you into the mud.
Take a chance -- it's the best way to test yourself, have fund and push boundaries.
My philosophy in life is that you only live once. Live life to its fullest.
I want Virgin to be as well-known around the world as Coca-Cola.
I never really felt secure until I was well into my 30s, because anytime I had success, I would invest in new projects.
I don't think of work as work and play as play. It's all living.
Grow internally first. Strengthen your bottom line first before considering external growth.
I have always believed that business should be a force for good.
Can you imagine what a different world we will live in when businesses do what's right for the communities and the environment in everything they do?
Free publicity and word of mouth is probably the best and cheapest form of advertising. Learn to use it to your advantage.
If you don't make bold moves, the world doesn't move forward.
A complaint is a chance to turn a customer into a lifelong friend. I say that seriously, not as some press release baloney.
It's a common misconception that money is every entrepreneur's metric for success. It's not, and nor should it be.
If you're hurt, lick your wounds and get up again. If you've given it your absolute best, it's time to move forward.
As a teenager, I went to Bali a lot, but it's a long, long way from England. Which is why, when we bought Necker Island, we made it like a mini Bali.
There is no point in starting your own business unless you do it out of a sense of frustration.
A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.
Build your own business team. Survival in business requires a synergy of skills.
Not enough people realize the satisfaction you can get from really pushing yourself to the limits.
Whether you are launching a start-up or leading an established company, you should start establishing your social media presence if you haven't already.
The quality of business communications has become poorer in recent years as people avoid phone calls and face-to-face meetings, I can only assume, in some misguided quest for efficiency.
We're one of the only animals in the world that don't really think of ourselves as animals, but we are animals, and we must respect our fellow animals.
Can you afford to ignore China? It's like saying you can afford to ignore the internet. I don't think so.
Enjoy life -- you only get one.
Through the right people focusing on the right things, we can, in time, get on top of a lot if not most of the problems of this world. And that's what a number of us are trying to do.
Life is a series of ups and clowns. Make it worth your wild!
I don't buy a lot of things. I like to create things. I've been lucky enough to be able to build my beautiful island in the Caribbean. I certainly haven't regretted that.
However tight things are, you still need to have the big picture at the forefront of your mind.
When I was four, my mother insisted I get out of the car and find my own way home. Although I got lost, I did find my way home. It taught me the value of independence at an early age.
And you know, I've had great fun turning quite a lot of different industries on their head and making sure those industries will never be the same again, because Virgin went in and took them on.
The jet stream is a very strong force and pushing a balloon into it is like pushing up against a brick wall, but once we got into it, we found that, remarkably, the balloon went whatever speed the wind went.
Having no regrets makes way for the best piece of advice I can give -- don't be afraid of failure.
In business, if you realize you've made a bad decision, you change it.
My favorite mode of transport is hot-air ballooning. It's so graceful to be blown by the wind, to go where the wind takes you.
At the end, entrepreneurship is not about wearing expensive suits and earning a lot of money. It is all about being true to yourself, to your values in life. Your dreams.
The quickest way to become a millionaire in the airline business is to start out as a billionaire.
Remain focused on fulfilling your business mission. Never allow adversity divert your attention and efforts.
The art of delegation is one of the key skills any entrepreneur must master.
We believe that within five years, 96 percent of British consumers will have access to the Internet, whether it be through a personal computer, a set-top box or a mobile phone.
If you want to be a Millionaire, start with a billion dollars and launch a new airline.
The first thing that has to be recognized is that one cannot train someone to be passionate -- it's either in their DNA or it's not.
I love the freedom of movement that my phone gives me. That has definitely transformed my life.
I am prepared to try anything once.
About 40 percent of my time is spent on social issues and building new organizations, more for the benefit of the climate or health issues.
I love Africa, and Ulusaba, our home in South Africa, is pretty special. It's on a rocky hill overlooking the bush, and from your room, you can see lions stalking zebras by the waterhole.
If you want milk, don't sit on a stool in the middle of a field in the hope that a cow will back up to you.
The truth is this: the Earth cannot provide enough food and fresh water for 10 billion people, never mind homes, never mind roads, hospitals and schools.
Remember it's OK to be yourself.
I think, because I started Virgin when I was a teenager, it has become a part of me, like my family, and I am motivated by ambition for it, almost as if it were a child.
Nobody's ever called me Sir Richard. Occasionally in America, I hear people saying Sir Richard and think there's some Shakespearean play taking place. But nowhere else anyway.
There is no real difference between work and play -- it's all living.
Screw it, let's do it.
Screw it, let’s do it -- Just get on with it and do it.
You've got to take risks if you're going to succeed. I would much rather ask forgiveness than permission.
My people are at the core of everything I do, and I recognize the importance of giving them the flexibility to balance work around their personal lives.
Some 80% of your life is spent working. You want to have fun at home; why shouldn't you have fun at work?
Everyone needs something to aim for. You can call it a challenge, or you can call it a goal. It is what makes us human. It was challenges that took us from being cavemen to reaching for the stars.
I don't think so, in that Virgin is already a global brand. Brands like Amazon have had to spend hundreds of millions of pounds you know, building their brands, whereas Virgin is already well-known around the world.
We should all seek to innovate, or be curious about innovation. Innovation truly is one of our greatest gifts.
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.
It took me years to work out the difference between net and gross. In meetings I just used to say, 'Tell me if it's good or bad news.'
To be a great leader, you must be a great listener.
The best advice I got from my dad? Wear a condom.
My philosophy is that if I have any money I invest it in new ventures and not have it sitting around.
So I've seen life as one long learning process.
So I've seen life as one long learning process. And if I see -- you know, if I fly on somebody else's airline and find the experience is not a pleasant one, which it wasn't in -- 21 years ago, then I'd think, well, you know, maybe I can create the kind of airline that I'd like to fly on.
Had I pursued my education long enough to learn all the conventional dos and don'ts of starting a business, I often wonder how different my life and career might have been.
Please be polite. Nothing in life should erode the habit of saying thank you to people or praising them.
I have enjoyed life a lot more by saying "yes" than by saying "no."
It's so graceful to be blown by the wind, to go where the wind takes you. Just drifting over beautiful rivers in a balloon is perfect.
I'm not sure how I'd survive without English Breakfast tea. Even in the Caribbean, I must drink 20 cups a day.
As an entrepreneur, you've got to protect against the company going bust. And as an adventurer, you've got to protect against losing your life. It's even more important as an adventurer to get it right.
I make up my mind about whether I can trust someone within 60 seconds of meeting them.
Smoking marijuana, as long as you leave the nicotine out of it, is certainly no more damaging than having a drink, and I suspect better for you than having a drink.
As people's access to the internet grows we're seeing the sharing economy boom -- I think our obsession with ownership is at a tipping point and the sharing economy is part of the antidote for that.
Most skills can be learned, but it is difficult to train people on their personality.
Failing can provide invaluable lessons and making mistakes and experiencing setbacks is part of the DNA of every successful entrepreneur.
Forgiveness equals inner peace -- more peaceful people equals more world peace.
If you create something that makes a difference in people's lives, you are likely to become a business success as well.
Lightning is something which, again, we would rather avoid.
Rather than getting nostalgic...embrace the new opportunities and challenges available to you now.
Tough times are inevitable in life and in business. But how you compose yourself during those times defines your spirit and will define your future.
Fun is one of the most important -- and underrated -- ingredients in any successful venture. If you're not having fun, then it's probably time to call it quits and try something else.
There's nothing like the endorphins from being fit, and the incredible endorphin rush that goes with that.
There's nothing like the endorphins from being fit, and the incredible endorphin rush that goes with that. It beats drugs, drink, and almost anything else I know.
Don't become a slave to technology -- manage your phone, don't let it manage you.
I'm not superstitious. I don't really believe in star signs, sorry, or superstitions.
Business leaders take things far too seriously, and forget that most of the time people spend in their lives is at work, and it should be fun.
Being a good listener is absolutely critical to being a good leader; you have to listen to the people who are on the front line.
The best way of learning about anything is by doing.
If you can make peoples lives a lot better, you've got a really good business.
Protect your reputation. Don't be afraid of making mistakes.
My early business ventures included growing Christmas trees and breeding birds.
Don't think what's the cheapest way to do it or what's the fastest way to do it. Think what's the most amazing way to do it.
It's clear that it is in the best interest of business to be part of the conservation, along with governments and civil society.
Never look back in regret -- move on to the next thing.
For a successful entrepreneur it can mean extreme wealth. But with extreme wealth comes extreme responsibility.
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.
We have teams of people working on electric cars. So you never know -- you may find Virgin competing with the Tesla in the car business as we do in the space business.
Lead by listening -- to be a good leader you have to be a great listener.
One of the best bits of advice I can give is, early on, when you're building a new business, try to find somebody to run it on a day-to-day basis to free yourself up to look at the bigger picture.
To be successful, you have to be out there, you have to hit the ground running.
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.
Two heads are definitely better than one and by sourcing ideas from each other, you have a better chance of coming up with a strategy that will allow your business to overcome a setback or challenge.
Making the extra effort to say thanks in a genuine, personal manner goes a long way. It is pleasurable to do, and it encourages more of the same good behavior.
Space is hard -- but worth it. We will persevere and move forward together.
I have never had an office that I work out of and work has become intertwined with my personal life.
Being dyslexic can actually help in the outside world. I see some things clearer than other people do because I have to simplify things to help me and that has helped others.
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.
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.
I think it's quite great to set yourself a big challenge, and then you've got another reason for keeping fit.
It's only by being bold that you get anywhere.
Most "necessary evils" are far more evil than necessary.
Mentorship is key to unlocking each of our entrepreneurial spirits.
It always pays off to focus on things that will make you feel proud. Remember this during every difficult decision you face.
All good leaders listen to their people and empower them to go away and turn any innovative ideas they have into a reality.
We'll not be sending anyone into space before it is safe and the vehicle is well and truly tested.
If you opt for a safe life, you will never know what it's like to win.
The best advice I could give anyone is to spend your time working on whatever you are passionate about in life.
It isn't effective or productive to force your employees to do anything. Choice empowers people and makes for a more content workforce.
I have had fun running all of the Virgin businesses, so I never see a setback as a bad experience; it is just a learning curve.
If you are seizing on a new business opportunity, deliberately move your customers' expectations up a few notches and consistently over-deliver on your promises -- you will leave your competitors struggling to catch up.
Half the art of ballooning is to make your crashes so gentle that you can fool yourself into calling them landings.
What matters is working with a few close friends, people you respect, knowing that if times did turn bad these people would hold together.
Successful entrepreneurs don't wait for the perfect moment -- they create it.
From my very first day as an entrepreneur, I've felt the only mission worth pursuing in business is to make people's lives better.
You can't run a business without taking risks. The brave may not live forever -- but the cautious do not live at all!
We're introducing separate rooms with double beds in all of our planes so people can actually go with their partner and have a proper night's sleep.
By putting the employee first, the customer effectively comes first by default, and in the end, the shareholder comes first by default as well.
Treat failure as a lesson on how not to approach achieving a goal, and then use that learning to improve your chances of success when you try again. Failure is only the end if you decide to stop.
If someone offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes -- then learn how to do it later!
As men, we all have something to give. We all have the power to do our own part to stop the global pandemic of violence against women and girls. It is holding us all back.
So unlike having to convert, you know, all the cars' or all the lorries' petrol stations, once you've actually got the clean fuels, it's relatively easy to, you know, get it to the airplanes.
Loyal employees in any company create loyal customers, who in turn create happy shareholders.
Be creative. Innovate consistently on the little things that the big companies ignore. Little things often make big differences in business.
Publicity is absolutely critical. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front page ad.
I'm a lad of the '60s. I started a magazine to try and end the Vietnam war, but it was a number of years before I had the profile, the financial resources and the time to do more.
I believe in myself. I believe in the hands that work, in the brains that think, and in the hearts that love.
There is no planet B. We have to take care of the one we have.
At Virgin, we have always backed the power of the entrepreneur and inventor to find solutions to tricky problems. Why should climate change and the battle against carbon be any different?
Exploration is a wonderful way to open our eyes to the world, and to truly see that impossible is just a word.
Confidence breeds confidence and negativity breeds negativity. Treat those around you with respect and dignity and they will thrive.
The funny thing is people won't let me pay for things. I'll be in a restaurant and the manager will say, 'Oh no, it's on the house.'
If you find yourself stuck in the middle there is only one way to go, forward.
Have faith in yourself.
Think yes not no.
Live life to the full.
Never give up.
A business can be started with very little money.
A good leader doesn't get stuck behind a desk.
If people are crazy enough to dare, impossible things happen.
Every aspect of life is magnificent and wonderful. It's so important to keep fit and healthy.
The key is to set realistic customer expectations, and then not to just meet them, but to exceed them -- preferably in unexpected and helpful ways.
We should focus on what people get done, not on how many hours or days worked. Just as we don't have a nine-to-five policy, we don't need a vacation policy.
I never wanted to be a businessman, I just wanted to change the world.
It's worrying to think more than half the world's population lacks internet access and therefore lacks an equal opportunity to improve their lives.
Set impossible challenges. Then catch up with them.
People from all over the world come to London wanting to make their own mark on it, and they add to the energy and vitality of the capital. It's got a bit busier since the '60s, but the more the merrier!
Wine, like life, is meant to be enjoyed.