The billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist offers some wise words on work, success, diversity and making every day count.
1. The company we keep in our companies is often the key to our success.
“You don’t have to be the fastest runner in the relay team or the best speaker on the debate panel, as long as you surround yourself with great people and contribute in your own way.”
2. Everyone has something valuable to bring to the table.
“I have never looked at my dyslexia as a disability; in fact, I think it has helped me achieve success. Just because you are different does not mean you can’t do well and achieve things in life. Looking at the world in a different way to everyone else is a strength and should be praised and encouraged.”
3. Say yes instead of no.
“Opportunity favours the bold – this is a lesson that I learned early on, and have used to guide the Virgin story. If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”
4. Do something fun as you start your day
“I like to get up early and start the day with some sport – usually a fierce game of tennis or an hour of kitesurfing. It gets the blood pumping and makes you feel like you’ve achieved something before you’ve even started working. It also releases endorphins so you’re more likely to be in a good mood! If you’re not an early bird, perhaps try and build some exercise into your commute instead. Get off the train a stop early, ride your bike, do a yoga YouTube video in your lounge. I hear people say they don’t have time for fitness, which is true. You don’t have time for it, you make time for it. There is nothing more important than your health.”
5. Have a break
“It’s so important to carve a little time for yourself to breathe. I find the best way to do this is to make a cup of tea and take 10 minutes to reflect. Often, this time sparks new ideas as your mind wanders, or helps you find solutions to problems that have been bugging you. I find that taking a break helps me rest rather than give up. If you burn yourself out, you’re no good to anyone.”