In our Autumn 2017 issue, we took a look at the remarkable career and beliefs of Richard Branson. Here is a sneak peek of our profile on his life and work. To read the full article, pick up a free copy of the magazine in one of our many stockists across Ireland today.
By Alison McEvoy
“Don’t forget the to-do list, but remember to write the to-be list.” – Richard Branson
Richard Branson’s combined material success and maverick style of living and working make him a fascination to entrepreneurs and business leaders worldwide. His message is in fact full of meanings which can empower us all. In an open letter in support of the mental health foundation Mind, he reveals the truth about what lies behind his success – his own ability to find happiness:
“I know I’m fortunate to live an extraordinary life, and that most people would assume my business success, and the wealth that comes with it, have brought me happiness. But they haven’t; in fact it’s the reverse. I am successful, wealthy and contented because I’m happy.”
I get the feeling that his happiness is not the result of a privileged upbringing, but rather that it has been hard won. One of the rare childhood memories he shares is that, as a child, his mother would drop him out of the car, miles from their destination. She wanted him to “learn to stand on his own two feet,” and so he would have to “find his own way to Granny’s house.” He doesn’t speak about how he found his way, or about the gamut of emotions his child-self must have gone through before he picked himself up and started out, putting one foot in front of the other. Very early on in life, faced with an open road and a destination, he learned to innovate and make his way.
In life, such learning is invaluable, yet it is often only through challenges that we learn these lessons. He seems to deliberately choose not to dwell on his hardships, and is more interested that others learn the lessons, without the adversity. He spends most of his time now working on social projects: helping people start businesses in South Africa and the Caribbean; devising ways to protect the earth’s oceans and atmosphere; and backing a whole host of initiatives worldwide that seek to make people’s lives better, all under the umbrella of his newest venture Virgin Unite.
This is a sneak peek from our Autumn 2017 issue’s profile piece on Richard Branson. The issue is available now – pick it up for free in one of our many stockists across Ireland to read the full article.