An interview with philanthropist, billionaire, bestselling author and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson about what motivates him, his daily routine, the importance of face-to-face, work friendships, and his best career advice.
Welcome to the fourth episode of 5 Questions with Dan Schawbel (Subscribe on iTunes). As your host, my goal is to curate the best advice from the world’s smartest and most interesting people by asking them just 5 questions.
This episodes guest:
Richard Branson was born in London as the eldest of three children. Despite having dyslexia and a poor academic record in school, his parents supported him. Branson ran both Student magazine and a record business from his church. He interviewed famous people for the magazine, such as Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger and used the magazine to advertise his record business. This enabled him to start the record store that eventually launched Virgin Records. After selling the company years later, he went on to start Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Mobile, Virgin Pulse, Virgin Galactic and over 400 other Virgin brands under The Virgin Group. Combined, his companies employ over 70,000 employees and generate over 25 billion in annual revenues. From 1998 to 2017, he wrote 8 books including Losing My Virginity, Screw It, Let’s Do It and Like a Virgin. Richard has had a variety of remarkable achievements, including being knighted by Prince Charles of Wales, named in BBC’s poll of 100 Greatest Britons and Forbes estimates his net worth at over 5 billion. I’ve been privileged to interview Richard three times in my career. While he may be an intimidating figure, when you meet him in person he’s very approachable and his views have become more relevant over time.
Video interview from San Francisco:
The 5 questions questions I ask in this episode:
- You have been starting, managing and advising companies since you were a teenager. What keeps you motivated to continue this entrepreneurial journey?
- Can you tell me about your daily routines for maintaining your health and how that impacts your productivity as a businessperson and entrepreneur?
- You’ve said that technology has kept you more connected, but what role do face-to-face interactions have in your success?
- We’re working longer hours than ever before. The average workweek is 47 hours a week. Because of this, don’t you think it’s more important now than ever before to have real friendships with the people you work with?
- A lot of people have learned a lot from your experiences, and everything that you’ve said over the years, but what is one piece of advice that you haven’t really told people, and you think is vital in our society today?
Follow Richard’s journey: