Meet Your Instructor

Richard Branson

Lesson time 05:56 min

Richard introduces the adventurer’s mindset, which he uses to guide many of his decisions in business and life. He shares one example of this kind of audacious thinking and then sets the expectations for what members will learn in this class.

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Topics include: Richard introduces the adventurer’s mindset, which he uses to guide many of his decisions in business and in life. He shares one example of this kind of audacious thinking when he bought Necker Island, and then sets the expectations for what students will learn in this class


RICHARD BRANSON: I was chasing a lady, and I decided to try to persuade her that she should come live with me. And somebody said, did you name Virgin after the Virgin Islands? I'd never heard of the Virgin Islands. I pulled out a map. I saw where the Virgin Islands were. I didn't have any money, so I rang up and estate agent. Said, I'm thinking of buying an island in the British Virgin Islands. They responded exactly as I had hoped. We'll send you two tickets, we'll lay on a house, and we'll lay on a helicopter. So I went to her and said, I've got you a ticket to go to the Virgin Islands for the weekend, and somehow persuaded her to come. And then, we found ourselves in the helicopter above the most beautiful island in the whole world-- Necker Island. And I looked at the island and thought, this is where I'd like to live one day. And I looked at her, and this is the girl I'd like to live with. We went back, and I asked how much they wanted for the Island. And they said, $6 million. I thought I could maybe get together $80,000, scraping and borrowing. The house was withdrawn, and we flew off. I kept in touch over the next year, and it turned out that nobody, apart from myself, had ever come to see the island. And so I didn't give up, and in the end, they accepted around about $120,000 for the island, simply because nobody else had come to see it. So it was cheeky. It was audacious that I got myself, the mother of my children, a beautiful island, and a beautiful home, all rolled into one. Might sound incredible, but all of the businesses I've started, I think, came from this same bold approach. And so whether it's buying an island or starting an airline, or trying to stop a war, what I've learned is, you've just got to be bold. You just got to try it. You may well fall flat in your face. Most of the times, you may well fail. But just occasionally, you will succeed. The more times you try these things, the more often you will succeed. [TURTLES GROANING] By the way, I think we're hearing giant tortoises making love in the background. [MUSIC PLAYING] My mom was determined that I stood on my own two feet and would push us out of the car, aged six years old, and make me find my own way to Granny's house. I mean, I was brought up in a household where every day was an adventure, and we were doing adventurous things every day. And as I got older, I began to pursue adventures of my own. I personally think that to have lived a really full life, you need to have taken a sense of adventure. It's this sense of adventure, the willingness to jump in, no matter what the odds-- that's been the key to my success as an entrepreneur. And it might get you into trouble. It might even endanger your body or your health. But you only live once, and I think you should live life to its full. To the next generation of dreamers, if we can do this, just imagine what you can do. Yay! Ev...

About the Instructor

Sometimes, making it big is all about following the fun. Ask Richard Branson. The founder of the Virgin Group built a business empire by solving the problems that fascinated him, disrupting every industry he touched, and pursuing dreams that seemed impossible. The adventure took him from humble beginnings to the stars. Learn how you, too, can find ideas so good they’re scary, lean into your fear, and achieve liftoff.

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Richard Branson

Entrepreneur Richard Branson teaches you how to turn your wildest dreams into successful businesses—and have fun doing it.

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