“Looking back, I believe that the qualities that make for a great entrepreneur – such as boundless energy, a curious nature and, sometimes, an obstinate streak – are not often attributes demonstrated by top students in the classroom.” – Richard Branson, Entrepreneur Article
When Richard Branson was four years old, his mother dropped him off in the middle of the English countryside and told him to find his way home. He did. This was his first lesson in independence, but it wasn’t his last (particularly where school was concerned).
- Started his first business, a magazine called The Student, at age 15.
- Founded the Virgin Group, comprised of more than 400 companies worldwide, including Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Mobile, and Virgin Records.
- Has invested in leading technology startups like Square, Twitter, Pinterest, and Praxis business partner BitPay.
Branson had a supportive if peculiar upbringing, but he never fit into school. To complicate his troubles with reading due to dyslexia, he had a natural curiosity which drove him to prefer working on his magazine to attending class. When the time came to decide between running his magazine and attending university, he chose his business.
From Student magazine’s humble beginnings (one of the publication’s first offices was a crypt at St. John’s Church in London), he went on to lauch Virgin Records, which eventually grew into a full international recording and music publishing company. At 65 years old, he is still pioneering with Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceflight venture.
People like Richard Branson exist for the fun and challenge of building things. Are you putting your own entrepreneurial creativity to good use?