Richard Branson Success Story: A 73 Old Billionaire

Sir Richard Branson is a 73-year-old self-made multi-billionaire.  Richard Branson success story is a testament to his philosophy: “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and by falling over.” He is the founder of Virgin Group, one of the biggest business conglomerates, employing over 60,000 employees and operating in more than 35 countries. 

Virgin Group is a diverse business group with arms in airlines, wireless communications, radio stations, hotels, health clubs, financial services businesses, the nightclub Heaven, renewable technologies, a Formula One team, and even a space tourism company. In this blog, we delve into Richard Branson success story and learn how a school dropout and a dyslexic became a multi-billionaire. 

The Beginning (1960s)

Sir Richard Branson started his business venture at the age of 16 when he launched his magazine, “Student,” which interviewed celebrities. From his magazine, he generated advertising revenue of  $8,000. After incurring losses from his magazine, he sold the magazine and started Virgin Mail Order Records in 1969. Even though Branson was dyslexic, his dexterity in business played a crucial role in Richard Branson success story.

First Millions Dollars (1970s)

“Do not be embarrassed by your failures; learn from them and start again.” – Richard Branson

As we have mentioned, Richard Branson sold his first business because he started losing money in it. In 1969, he started raising money for his next business venture, Virgin Mail Order Records. By 1972, he owned more than 14 record stores and later founded the music label Virgin Records in the same year. Richard Branson success story took a pivotal turn when, in 1973, he made his first million dollars. And 1979, he bought Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands for $180,000, which later became his primary residence. 

Innovative Flight Solutions (1980s)

Business opportunities are like buses; there’s always another one coming.”- Richard Branson

After buying his home in the Necker Islands, Sir Branson launched Virgin Books and Virgin Videos in 1981. Within two years, his business empires included more than 50 companies and gross revenue of 17 million. The year 1984 marks the biggest episode of Richard Branson success story after he launched his first airline company, Virgin Atlantic. The airline became a major hit because of innovative customer services like free ice cream, seat-back video screens, in-flight massages and more.

Rough Patch (1990s)

“If you want to be a Millionaire, start with a billion dollars and launch a new airline.” Richard Branson

In 1992, Richard Branson success story took a tragic turn when he was forced to sell his first company, Virgin Records, to keep Atlantic afloat. His airline was going through a rough patch because of the terrorist attacks, and people abstained from flying. His competitor, British Airways, launched a hostile campaign to subdue Virgin Atlantic’s operations.  However, Richard lodged a case against British Airways, which they eventually won and received $945,000 in damages, plus legal fees estimated at around $3 million, along with an apology.

Dawn Of A New Era (2000s)

“We have one planet in our solar system that’s habitable, and that’s the Earth, and space travel can transform things back here for the better. First of all, by just having people go to space and look back on this fragile planet we live on. People have come back transformed and have done fantastic things.”— Richard Branson

The Richard Branson success story took a new turn in 2004 when Virgin Group joined hands with Burt Rutan, an American aeronautical engineer, for his new business venture, Virgin Galatic. Again, looking at the sky and the vision to make a dramatic difference in people’s lives, he launched his Virgin Galactic company to commercialise space travel for the general public. After a series of failures, the company finally launched its first commercial space flights in 2021, and in 2022, it opened its flight reservation for the general public. 

At present, Virgin Galactic, Virgin Orbit, and VOX Space are the company’s three space-focused companies: Virgin Galactic for cargo and VOX Space for government missions. And has launched a total of 11 spaceflights. 

Life Apart From Business

My general attitude to life is to enjoy every minute of every day. I never do anything with a feeling of, ‘Oh God, I’ve got to do this today.’ – Richard Branson

The success story of Richard Branson is not just confined to business operations it expands further. Let’s have a closer look at those aspects of his life:

Philanthropic Endeavours

Richard Branson success story is incomplete without discussing his charitable works. He was a huge believer in making a difference in society and utilizing his money for the greater good of society.

Some of his philanthropic pursuits are: 

  • He joined the ongoing war with AIDS and HIV by launching the social activist programs  Virgin Unite.
  • He further launched the Center of Entrepreneurship to teach entrepreneurial skills in developing countries.
  • In 2006, Branson pledged to donate $3 billion dollars to fund research on environmentally friendly fuels

Books Written

Richard Branson success story is encapsulated in the pages of this books, imparting his business wisdom to the public. Below, we have mentioned some of the books which he has written:

  • Losing My Virginity: How I’ve Survived, Had Fun
  • Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way (1998, updated ed. 2011)
  • The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership (2014)

From A Dyslexic School Dropout To A Billionaire Philanthropist

Richard Branson success story teaches us to pursue our goals despite the odds we face in our lives. He was a huge advocate of pursuing happiness in one’s life. His famous line on success: “Too many people measure how successful they are by how much money they make or the people that they associate with. In my opinion, true success should be measured by how happy you are.” clearly states what success meant for him. 

In 1999, he received a knighthood for his hard work and charitable work. In 2007, he received the Citizen of the Year Award from the United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA). We hope you liked this success story. For more such success stories like Elon Musk and more, follow us on social media platforms. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How High Did Richard Branson Go In Space?

Richard Branson reached a height of 53.5 miles in his Virgin Galactic rocket plane. 

How Much Is Richard Branson Worth?

As per Forbes, he has a net worth of $3.4 billion. 

How many Business Does Virgin Group have?

Virgin Group has invested in more than 40 businesses in different industries. 

Who is the CEO Of Virgin Group?

Josh Bayliss has been the CEO of Virgin Group since 2011. 

Who is Richard Branson married to?

Joan Templeman is the wife of Richard Branson. 

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