You don’t learn to walk by following rules.
You learn by doing, and by falling over.
If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it,
then learn how to do it later!
Do not be embarrassed by your failures,
learn from them and start again.
And obviously, from our own personal point of view,
the principal challenge is a personal challenge.
If you want to be a Millionaire,
start with a billion dollars and launch a new airline.
Through the right people focusing on the right things, we can, in time, get on top of a lot if not most of the problems of this world.
And that’s what a number of us are trying to do.
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.
We’ve always had a pretty competitive and pretty ferocious battle with British Airways…
It’s lasted now about 14 years, and we’re very pleased to have survived it.
I’ve been very lucky.
I come from a very close family.
I think it’s quite great to set yourself a big challenge, and then you’ve got another reason for keeping fit.
Respect is how to treat everyone,
not just those you want to impress.
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.
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.
Life is a helluva lot more fun if you say yes rather than no
I’m a lad of the ’60s. I started a magazine to try and end the Vietnam war, but it was a number of years before I had the profile, the financial resources and the time to do more.
Well, we know that people in Australia love the idea of both Impulse and Virgin Blue getting up and adding a bit of competition, and it’s fun to be able to deliver it.
The balloons only have one life and the only way of finding out whether they work is to attempt to fly around the world.
With the casino and the beds, our passengers will have at least two ways to get lucky on one of our flights.
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.
The music industry is a strange combination of having real and intangible assets:
pop bands are brand names in themselves,
and at a given stage in their careers their name alone can practically gaurantee hit records.
I believe in benevolent dictatorship provided I am the dictator.
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.
The jet stream is a very strong force and pushing a balloon into it is like pushing up against a brick wall,
but once we got into it, we found that, remarkably, the balloon went whatever speed the wind went.
Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.
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.
Well, the odds must be against anybody being able to fly around the world in a balloon on the first attempt.
All of us who are attempting to go around the world in balloons are effectively flying in experimental craft because these craft cannot be tested.
Well, I think that there’s a very thin dividing line between success and failure. And I think if you start a business without financial backing, you’re likely to go the wrong side of that dividing line.
Fortunately we’re not a public company – we’re a private group of companies, and I can do what I want.
You never know with these things when you’re trying something new what can happen. This is all experimental.
For a successful entrepreneur it can mean extreme wealth. But with extreme wealth comes extreme responsibility.
And the responsibility for me is to invest in creating new businesses, create jobs, employ people, and to put money aside to tackle issues where we can make a difference.
Like getting into a bleeding competition with a blood bank.
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.’
We’re introducing separate rooms with double beds in all of our planes so people can actually go with their partner and have a proper night’s sleep.
My philosophy is that if I have any money I invest it in new ventures and not have it sitting around.
The funny thing is people won’t let me pay for things.
I’ll be in a restaurant and the manager will say, ‘Oh no, it’s on the house.’
To me, business isn’t about wearing suits or pleasing stockholders. It’s about being true to yourself, your ideas and focusing on the essentials.
One thing is certain in business. You and everyone around you will make mistakes.
Lightning is something which, again, we would rather avoid.
We believe that within five years, 96 percent of British consumers will have access to the Internet, whether it be through a personal computer, a set-top box or a mobile phone.
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.
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.
A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.
I love the freedom of movement that my phone gives me.
That has definitely transformed my life.
We, we – as I say, we go in and shake up other industries and I think, you know, we do it differently and I think that industries are not quite the same as a result of Virgin attacking the market.
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.
If I’m not interested in something,
I don’t grasp it.
Right now I’m just delighted to be alive and to have had a nice long bath.
So I’ve seen life as one long learning process.
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.