For my 100th post on Care2.com, I’m going to share something a little different. Awhile ago I had the honor of spending a few hours with Sir Richard Branson at his home on Necker Island, in the British Virgin Islands.
As I walked into his home, I found him lying in a hammock in an alcove of the great room, open to the warm tropical breezes, overlooking the multi-colored turquoise Caribbean Sea. Bliss.
Barefoot and dressed in swim shorts and a tee shirt, he looked more like a Jimmy Buffett fan rather than the founder of the Virgin Group, best known as the only person in the world to have created eight separate billion-dollar companies from scratch, each in a different sector. He currently holds the rank of #261 on the Forbes List of Billionaires.
Since my return, the number one question I’ve been asked is, “What did you learn from Richard Branson?” I have extracted excerpts from our interview and compiled them into Today’s Brilliance. I hope you enjoy it.
The Top 10 Things I’ve Learned From Richard Branson
1) The Most Important Thing in Life is Family
Our relationship with our spouse, children and parents is the most important thing in life. Richard was part of a close-knit family, raised in the countryside of England. From a small boy he was strongly influenced by his parents, who still remain an integral part of his life today.
When I asked Richard about the influence of his mother, he smiled and said his mother was and still is “impossible to keep up with”. When Richard was a small boy, his mother was determined that he should stand on his own two feet. At 4 years of age, she put him out of the car and told him to find his own way to his Grandmother’s house. Still a memorable event for Richard, he attributes his mother’s determination that he should find his own way in life as a great part of his success.
Richard and Joan, his wife of 32 years, remain happily married and very close to their adult children. Although his children “have had it a bit easier than [he] did”, Richard and Joan have instilled a sense of responsibility, while surrounding them with closeness and love.
“What you’re really doing is bringing up your children to continue onwards after you. It’s finding the time to be really close to your children. Finding the time to be sure they have 100% love and commitment from a father or a mother.”
In business, unlike many who may just say the words for good PR, Richard believes that running a company is also like a family. “For the people who work with Virgin – it is their home.” And just as he’s created a happy, close multi-generational family, he has done the same thing with his global business family….Continue reading at InspireMeToday.com.
Sir Richard is the founder of the Virgin Group and the only person to ever create eight separate billion dollar companies each in a different sector.
Photo Credit: Max Elman
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