Sir Richard Branson is an English businessman and investor. Best known as the founder of Virgin Airlines and Virgin Records, he leads more than 400 companies in the Virgin Group. While he professes to there are no shortcuts to success, he feels strongly that certain attitudes and actions can help. Here are his tips for succeeding in business the Virgin way:

  1. Do some good. If you aren’t making a difference in other people’s lives, you shouldn’t be in business – it’s that simple. Companies have a responsibility to make a difference in the world. They owe this to their community, their staff, their customers, everyone. The amazing part is that “doing good” is also good for business.
  2. Believe in your ideas. A passionate commitment to your business and personal objectives can make all the difference between success and failure. If you aren’t proud of what you’re doing, why should anybody else be? Stay focused on being the best at what you do.
  3. Have fun, and make sure that your team members are enjoying themselves too. Fun is one of the most important and underrated components of any successful venture. If you’re not enjoying yourself, it’s probably time to call it quits and try something else. If your employees are engaged and having fun, and they genuinely care about your customers, they will enjoy their work more and do a better job. Hire people who look for the best in others, who lavish more praise than they dole out criticism, and who genuinely love what they do.
  4. Don’t give up. I have faced difficult moments when the easiest thing to do would have been to throw in the towel and walk away. But you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve by tenaciously sticking to your goals. When you fail, get back up, brush yourself off and try again.
  5. Listen, take lots of notes and keep setting yourself new challenges. If you don’t write down your own (and others’) spontaneous ideas, they can vanish in the blink of an eye. So be sure to keep track of your goals. Make lists. And remember to listen more and talk less. You’ll be amazed at the obstacles a listening culture can overcome.
  6. Delegate. This is a key skill that leaders must master. Be sure to “hire to your weaknesses.” Bringing on people who can do the tasks you aren’t particularly good at can free you up to do other things.
  7. Communicate, collaborate and communicate some more. Above all else, work and play with others. Mushrooms might grow when they are kept in the dark and fed a diet of dung, but that strategy doesn’t work with people. The Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and companies like Pixar built open work environments that invited intermingling and the sharing of visions – you need that atmosphere too.
  8. Turn off your laptop and iPhone, and get out there. Don’t sit in front of a screen all day. Switch everything off and venture out into the world regularly. If you’ve been neglecting this part of life, start with your own backyard, and then expand your field of vision. With so many fascinating people to meet, exciting adventures to embark upon and rewarding challenges to undertake, there’s no time to lose. As the saying goes: Life isn’t a dress rehearsal.

These attitudes and actions have worked for Richard Branson in building his businesses. With spring upon us, take the time to implement them in your job and life to realize more success.

Contact Carol Pence by calling (510) 706-1583 or via e-mail at CPence@pgahq.com.