“I believe in benevolent dictatorship provided I am the dictator.” - Richard Branson
I get asked on a regular basis, why I admire Sir Richard Branson. Some people are often really surprised when they hear that, for a girl who doesn’t ‘idolize’ people per se, I would consider the word ‘idol’ in a sentence with his name. I don’t get it though, I mean I know why I think he’s amazing.
This was more than evident, recently, when I attended the Women’s Conference, sponsored by Lean Cuisine, in Long Beach, California where I was afforded the opportunity to meet him. (I dieee! ) The questions from good friends and even family members came in more mass than before. Even complete strangers asked me about it.
The funniest question I’ve gotten, in reference to my fascination and utter admiration, was, “OMG, do you like, like him?”
Quite frankly the answer to that one is, “NO.” Sorry, he’s old enough to be my daddy and I’m not all about the whole older man sugar daddy thing. So the whole laws of physical attraction thing? You won’t find that here.
So why in the world was I so excited to go to a women’s conference to see a man? What would possess me to own all of his books and treat them as a sort of business bible on life?
Well, here you go:-
“I wanted to be an editor or a journalist, I wasn’t really interested in being an entrepreneur, but I soon found I had to become an entrepreneur in order to keep my magazine going.” – Sir Richard Branson
1.) He’s fun.
So whether he really is, or isn’t, Sir Richard Branson certainly appears to know how not to take life too seriously. Whether it’s telling British Airways they “can’t get it up” (referring to the launch of the London Eye) or whether it’s jet skiing with naked super models, it can never be said, Branson doesn’t enjoy life.
Live a little.
2.) Necker Island.
Need I say more? When you own your own island and have turned it into another business venture, how much cooler can you get?
Nestled in the British West Indies, equipped with sandy beaches, immaculate villas, Michelin-trained chefs and crystal clear blue water — the 74-acre piece of Branson paradise makes him his own dictator. Plus, if you had a few thousand dollars to burn, you too, could stay in Bransondise …for about $30,000 a night!
“Ridiculous yachts and private planes and big limousines wonâ€™t make people enjoy life more, and it sends out terrible messages to the people who work for them. It would be so much better if that money was spent in Africa â€“ and itâ€™s about getting a balance.” – Sir Richard Branson
3) He’s GREEN andÂ 4) He cares…mostly.
Who else can you think of who has said, that in the course of 10-years, they would be pouring money (an estimated $3 billion USD) from their company into researching and developing renewable energy.Okay, so sure, I concede, the man is responsible for burning up more fuel than me and all my Pink Book readers would have in our lifetimes. But still — $3 billion USD is a lot of money and I don’t know of any other Rebel Billionaires who would a) admit that their venture (Virgin Fuel aka Virgin Green Fund) was foremost for-profit and b) help save the planet at the same time.
He’s smart. Sir Branson understands long-term goals. He gets that if he pours money into renewable energy, which would save the planet at the same time, it would cut down on fuel costs. If he was able to cut down on fuel costs, it would then lower the price of airline tickets.
Thus, if Virgin were to lower their price tags, more people would fly — supply and demand — da, da, da and bam! More money $$$!
Even, if they weren’t to lower their airfare, at the end, if his ambitious project were to take flight — Sir Branson would have helped to save the planet and made more money.
â€œBusiness opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.â€ – Sir Richard Branson
5) He’s a Branding God. No, seriously.
As someone who always wanted to be a journalist, then always wanted to be a broadcaster, then always wanted to be an advertiser and finally settled on getting her degree in public relations, I notice things like this. No, really. I do.
Sir Branson gets that to sell his products, he sells his lifestyle.
By buying into the Virgin name, you too can be like Sir Branson. When you fly Virgin Atlantic, the plane has neon lights inside of it. When you are taking off, you watch a video hosted by him. Better yet, before you even take off from the ground, there’s James Bond sounding adventure music playing.
And those crappy movies a lot of airlines play or make you pay for? On Virgin there is an on-demand music, video and television library at your disposal for free. That’s for everyone. Let’s not even talk about the extra luxuries people in Business and First-Class get.
â€œA business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.â€ – Sir Richard Branson
6) The Self-Made Empire.
No, Sir Branson didn’t get all of his glitzÂ from havingÂ a rich daddy and mummy. He did it himself. Everyone loves a self-made man (or woman.) Whether that’s here in the United States, in Britain or anywhere in the world for that matter.
There is a lot that could be said about someone who just did it.
Age of the Empires is real in Bransonlandia, he would know, he made one.
7) Sir Branson is a Knight in Charming Armor.
He’s very charismatic and exceedingly charming. I would know, I’ve met him. On top of that, I know at least three other people who have as well, and their stories match my own.
…and yes, he was knighted. So that makes him a *ahem* member of the would-be contemporary version of The Round Table.
By the way:-
Dear Sir Branson & Co.,
If you’re reading this,
please hire me
And if you too, Pink Book readers, would like to read Sir Branson’s books, they are:
I’ve also read, Branson by Tom Bower which I found interesting as well. Be a well-rounded reader folks! It’s how you know what’s out there.
Also, if you can find my article featuring Branson from the Women’s Conference on “Tough Leadership in Tough Times,” here.
Sasha Muradali runs the â€˜Little Pink Bookâ€™ . She holds a B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Florida (â€™07) and an M.A. in International Administration from the University of Miami(â€™08). She loves Twitter and all things social media, so you should find her @SashaHalima or get a copy of the â€˜Little Pink Bookâ€™ delivered to your Kindle.