In many ways Richard Branson is the prototype of the entrepreneur. Since starting the Virgin group 46 years ago, he has overseen hundreds of companies around the world, across a wide range of industries, which bear the Virgin name.
There is no difference between the way he deals with risks in the professional and in the private sphere, and this is clearly told in the new documentary “Don’t look down”. The film highlights footage from both of his record-breaking balloon trips, the transatlantic one in 1987 and the transpacific one in 1991.
Business Insider recently sat down with Branson to talk about the film, and how the film reveals his business philosophy. We asked him for the advice he most often gives to the entrepreneurs he hosts during conferences on his private island.
“When someone comes to me who would like to start a business, I think my first question is: Do you think it will make people’s lives better? If so then you will have a successful business. Another little tip is ” Go ahead and do it! ”. To Fortune magazine last May, Branson said, “I’m someone who strongly believes in the idea of jumping in and trying. Sometimes you fall face down, other times you succeed ”.
Branson has also argued over the years that entrepreneurs need to put their egos aside and hire people who are better than them at doing certain things, and they need to make sure at the end of each day that ‘start a business – everyone enjoyed it.
“Surround yourself with great people,” Branson told us. “Make sure you have a lot of fun while you work. Make sure you make time for yourself. And just go on ”.