Richard Branson

Richard Branson

I wanted to be an editor or a journalist, I wasn’t really interested in being an entrepreneur, but I soon found I had to become an entrepreneur in order to keep my magazine going.

Fortunately we’re not a public company – we’re a private group of companies, and I can do what I want.

My mother was determined to make us independent. When I was four years old, she stopped the car a few miles from our house and made me find my own way home across the fields. I got hopelessly lost.

Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.

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.

Right now I’m just delighted to be alive and to have had a nice long bath.

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.

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.

I love the freedom of movement that my phone gives me. That has definitely transformed my life.

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.

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.

Ridiculous yachts and private planes and big limousines won’t make people enjoy life more, and it sends out terrible messages to the people who work for them. It would be so much better if that money was spent in Africa – and it’s about getting a balance.

Like getting into a bleeding competition with a blood bank.

And obviously, from our own personal point of view, the principal challenge is a personal challenge.

I was dyslexic, I had no understanding of schoolwork whatsoever. I certainly would have failed IQ tests. And it was one of the reasons I left school when I was 15 years old. And if I – if I’m not interested in something, I don’t grasp it.

I cannot remember a moment in my life when I have not felt the love of my family. We were a family that would have killed for each other – and we still are.

A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.

The balloons only have one life and the only way of finding out whether they work is to attempt to fly around the world.

I believe in benevolent dictatorship provided I am the dictator.

Lightning is something which, again, we would rather avoid.