Billionaire entrepreneur and prolific boss Richard Branson is known and lauded for his excellent work ethic, huge business success and kind demeanour towards his employees.
At the age of 16, Branson started his own magazine called Student, forfeiting his school academics to run his business. This was quite risky for a 16-year-old with no journalism or business experience, but Branson is a strong believer that formal education isn’t necessarily the key to business success.
“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.” – Richard Branson
Student evolved into music stores, which then ventured into being a music label as well. Today, Branson’s Virgin group owns more than 400 companies in different industries such as airlines and telecommunications.
As long as you’re willing to commit yourself to an idea or project, and put your heart and soul into making it work, then failure isn’t a bad thing at all. You can only do better next time if you make the mistakes in the first place.
Gaining that practical experience and learning by doing is far more valuable than simply studying theories and concepts from a textbook. Branson himself was dyslexic, which made learning difficult and frustrating. He found his calling through seeking his own opportunities and taking risks.
“Every risk is worth taking as long as it’s in a good cause and contributes to a good life.” – Richard Branson
Today, so many of us are caught up in the idea that we must have formal training before even considering starting our own business ventures. We have the ideas and the vision, but we might not justify executing any of them because we don’t feel “qualified” enough.
But sometimes that leap of faith needs to be taken, regardless of whether or not our ideas succeed. As Branson once said, “Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.”