SCREW IT, LET’S DO IT by Sir Richard Branson

Posted: July 2, 2010 in Collection, General, Legends, My Heros, Passion, Story, Success, Win win

Richard Branson

Richard Branson

From few days I was searching for Richard Branson’s “Screw it,  Let’s do it” articles on the net(by reading his articles on a newspaper), finally I got some of the articles.. too good, I liked it very much, too inspirational, words are so true… really WOW!!!. So I thought of sharing these articles with you all.

‘SCREW IT, LET’S DO IT’ is a no nonsense lessons-in-life quick-read-book by global entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson. The book gives us a fascinating insight into his business and personal life, and the lessons he has learned along the way. From his humble beginnings running a student newspaper to the all-encompassing Virgin empire he runs now, Branson shares his failures, successes and everything in between.  Read it, and be truly inspired!

I am sure everyone will become his fans and  you all love him a lot.

Let me know your feedback.

A short bio of Sir Richard Branson

Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson born 18 July 1950 is a famous British entrepreneur and founder of the international brand Virgin. Branson’s first successful business venture was at age 16, when he published a magazine called Student. He then set up an audio record mail-order business in 1970. In 1972, he opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records, later known as Virgin Megastores and rebranded after a management buyout as Zavvi in late 2007.

With his flamboyant and competitive style, Branson’s Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980s-as he set up Virgin Atlantic Airways and expanded the Virgin Records music label. Richard Branson is the 261st richest person according to Forbes’ 2009 list of billionaires, with an estimated net worth of approximately £1.5 billion (US$2.5 billion).

In 1993, Branson was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Technology from Loughborough University. He was knighted in 1999 for his “services to entrepreneurship”. In 2000, Branson received the Tony Jannus Award for his accomplishments in commercial air transportation.

Branson is the patron of several charities, including the International Rescue Corps and Prisoners Abroad, a registered charity which supports Britons who are detained outside of the UK.

Sir Richard appears at No. 85 on the 2002 list of “100 Greatest Britons” (sponsored by the BBC and voted for by the public). Sir Richard also ranks No. 86 on Channel 4’s 2003 list of “100 Worst Britons”. Sir Richard was also ranked in 2007’s Time Magazine “Top 100 Most Influential People in the World”. In 2009, Branson was voted the UK’s “Celebrity Dream Boss” in an opinion poll by Cancer Research UK.

On 7 December 2007, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon presented Branson with the United Nations Correspondents Association Citizen of the World Award for his support for environmental and humanitarian causes.

FIRST LESSON – JUST DO IT!

My staff at Virgin call me ‘Dr. Yes’ because I won’t say no. I find more reasons to do things than not to do them. My motto really is: ‘Screw it – let’s do it!’ I will never say, ‘I can’t do this because I don’t know how to.’ I won’t let silly rules stop me. I will find a legal way around them. I tell my staff, ‘If you want to do it, just do it.’ That way we all benefit. The staff’s work and ideas are valued and Virgin gains from their input and drive.
*
I started Student magazine when I was fifteen years old and still at school. Some people said I couldn’t do it. They said I was too young and had no experience. I wanted to prove them wrong and I believed it could be done. I did my sums with care.
*
I wasn’t very good at passing exams at school. I knew I would do better on my own in the world. My parents let me make that choice. They were behind me, whatever I did. So I left school when I was sixteen to work full time on ‘Student’.

Believe it can be done

Have Goals
Live Life to the Full
Never Give Up
Prepare Well
Have Faith in Yourself
Help Each Other

HAVE FUN!

Have Fun, Work Hard and Money Will Come
Don’t Waste Time – Grab Your Chances
Have a Positive Outlook on Life
When it’s Not Fun, Move On

People ask me what my secret is. How do I make money? What they really want to know is – how can they make money? Everyone wants to be a millionaire. I always tell them the same thing. I have no secret. There are no rules to follow in business. I just work hard and, as I always have done, believe I can do it. Most of all, though, I try to have fun.
*
At first, island hopping was a game. We didn’t mean to buy an island. I didn’t think I could afford one. But now I was excited. I wanted to own our place in paradise. I fell in love with Necker on the spot. I had another goal. ‘Three million pounds,’ the agent said. It was far beyond my reach. ‘I can offer 150,000 pounds,’ I replied. I was offering less than five percent of the asking price! I was serious but the agent wasn’t amused. ‘The price is three million pounds,’ he repeated.
*
As soon as something stops being fun, I think it’s time to move on. Life is too short to be unhappy. Waking up stressed and miserable is not a good way to live. I found this out years ago in my working relationship with my oldest friend, Nik Powell.

I didn’t set out to be rich. The fun and the challenge in life were what I wanted – and still do. I don’t deny that money is important. We are not cavemen and women. We can’t live just on roots and berries. We live in an era when we must have some money to survive.

BE BOLD

Calculate the Risks and Take Them
Believe in Yourself
Chase your Dreams and Goals
Have No Regrets
Be Bold
Keep Your Word

In 2004 I made a TV series, The Rebel Billionaire. The final episode had a twist at the end. I offered the prizewinner, Shawn Nelson, a cheque for one million dollars – but there was a catch. He could take the cheque or toss a coin for an even bigger mystery prize. If he lost the toss, he would lose it all. I held out the cheque. He took it and saw the long line of zeros. Then I took it back and put it in my hip pocket. I held out a silver coin. ‘Which one will it be?’ I said. ‘The coin or the cheque?’ Life is full of hard choices. Which one would he go for? Shawn looked shaken. It was a huge gamble. All or nothing. He asked me, ‘What would you do, Richard?’ ‘It’s up to you,’ I said. I could have told him, ‘I take risks, but they are calculated risks. I weigh up the odds in everything I do.’ Instead, I said nothing. He had to make up his own mind.
*
‘One of the things I try to do at Virgin is make people think about themselves and see themselves more positively. I firmly believe that anything is possible. I tell them, ‘Believe in yourself. You can do it.’ I also say, ‘Be bold, but don’t gamble.’
When Virgin Atlantic was launched in 1984, not one person thought it would survive for more than a year. The bosses of the big American airline companies said I’d fail. Now they are all out of business. I’m still there. I was bold, yes, but not foolish. I took a risk by starting up an airline. But the odds were good.’
*
My next big venture was starting Virgin Trains in 1996. I got the idea when I was in Japan. I was there to look for a site to build a new Megastore. When we took the bullet train, I thought it was great. It was like being on a plane. ‘Why can’t trains be like this in the UK?’ I thought. I jotted down some notes to remind me. It was fate. The next week the UK government said they would break up the old train system, British Rail, and let new business compete to run trains. I jumped in. The news hit the papers: VIRGIN TO GO INTO TRAINS. They said it was a bold move.

Some you win and some you lose. Be glad when you win. Don’t have regrets when you lose. Never look back. You can’t change the past. I try to learn from it. We can’t all run big airlines or trains. Many people have more modest goals. But whatever your dream is, go for it. Always beware if the risks are too random or too hard to predict, but remember, if you opt for a safe life, you will never know what it’s like to win.

CHALLENGE YOURSELF

Everyone needs something to aim for. You can call it a challenge, or you can call it a goal. It is what makes us human. It was challenges that took us from being cavemen to reaching for the stars.
*
One thing I couldn’t do very well was read. I always found lessons hard at school because I was mildly dyslexic. I hated to admit defeat, but however hard I struggled, as with many other people, reading and writing were hard for me. For some reason this made me want to be a reporter, a job where reading and writing are always needed. When I found that my school had an essay contest, I entered. I don’t know who was the most surprised when I won. I was the boy who was often caned for failing tests. But I had won an essay contest. I was thrilled. When I told Mom, she said, ‘I knew you could win, Ricky.’ Mom is one of those people who never says ‘can’t’. She believes anything is possible if you try.
*
‘I was so bone weary, I felt spaced out. When I saw strange, flickering lights in the glass dome, I thought they were spirits. I watched them as if in a dream, until I realized that burning lamps of gas were falling all around. It was minus 70 degrees outside. If a fireball hit the glass dome, it would explode. ‘Per!’ I yelled. ‘Wake up! We’re on fire!’ Per woke up fast. He knew at once what to do.’
If you challenge yourself, you will grow. Your life will change. Your outlook will be positive. It’s not always easy to reach your goals but that’s no reason to stop. Never say die. Say to yourself, ‘I can do it. I’ll keep on trying until I win.’

STAND ON YOUR OWN FEET

Rely on Yourself
Chase Your Dreams but Live in the Real World
Work Together

When I was four years old, Mom stopped the car a few miles from our house and told me to find my own way home across the fields. She made it a game, one I was happy to play. It was an early challenge. As I grew older, these lessons grew harder.
*
To some people this might sound harsh. But the members of my family love and care for each other very much. We are a close-knit unit. My parents wanted us to be strong and to rely on ourselves. Dad was always there for us, but Mom was the one who drove us to do our best. I learned about business and money from her. She would say things like, ‘The winner takes all’ and, ‘Chase your dreams’.

When I was born, Dad was just starting out in law and money was tight. Mom didn’t whine. She had two aims. One was to find useful tasks for me and my sisters. Being idle was frowned on. The other was to find ways to make money. At home, we talked business at dinner. I know some parents keep their work away from the kids. They won’t share their problems. But I believe their children never really learn the value of money. Sometimes when they get into the real world they can’t cope. We knew what the real world was about. My sister Lindi and I helped Mom with her projects. It was fun. It made for a great sense of teamwork within out family.
*
The day that Virgin became a private company again was like landing safely after a record attempt in a powerboat or a balloon. I felt nothing but relief. Once again, I was the captain of my ship and master of my fate. I believe in myself. I believe in the hands that work, in the brains that think, and in the hearts that love.

‘If you want milk, don’t sit on a stool in the middle of a field in the hope that the cow will back up to you.’ This old saying could have been one of my mother’s quotes. She would have added, ‘Go on Ricky. Don’t just sit around. Catch the cow.’

LIVE THE MOMENT

It was 1997. I was in a round the world hot-air balloon race. Before I left, I wrote a long letter to my children, in case I didn’t return. I said, ‘Dear Holly and Sam, Life can seem rather unreal at times. Alive and well and loving one day. No longer there the next. As you both know I always had the urge to live life to its full.’
*
As we drifted to earth I sat up on the glass roof of the capsule, watching the beauty of the golden dawn as it broke over the desert. This was a day I never thought I’d see and the rising sun and growing warmth of the day seemed precious. It made me aware that hard-won things are more valuable than those that come too easily. It reminded me to always enjoy the moment.
*
My grandmother lived life to the full. At the age of 89 she became the oldest person in Britain to pass the advanced Latin American ballroom dancing exam. She was ninety when she became the oldest person to hit a hole in one at golf. She never stopped learning. I her mid-90s she read Stephen Hawking’s book, ‘A Brief History of Time.’
Shortly before my grandmother’s death at the age of 99, she went on a cruise around the world. She laughed about it when she was left behind in Jamaica wearing only her swimsuit. Her attitude was that, ‘You’ve only got one go in life, so you should make the most of it.’

VALUE FAMILY AND FRIENDS

The idea of team work came from my childhood. Mom always tried to find something for us to do. If we tried to escape, she told us we were selfish. One Sunday at church, instead of sitting next to a boy who was staying with us, I slid into the seat next to my best friend, Nik. Mom was hopping mad. A guest was a guest, she said, and guests must be put first. She told Dad to beat me. He didn’t. Behind the closed door of his study he clapped his hands to make the right noise, and I howled loud enough for Mom to hear.
*
‘You can be best friends with someone and still not agree with them and, if you are close, you can get through it and remain friends. Nik left and we did remain friends. It was the first fight I had ever had with anyone. I was very upset that the fight was with my best friend. But, by facing it head on, I stopped it from getting worse. The lesson I learned was that it’s best to bring things out into the open. A dispute with a friend or a colleague can be sorted in a friendly way. ‘
Put Family and the Team First
Be Loyal
Face Problems Head On
Money is for Making Things Happen
Pick the Right People and Reward Talent

HAVE RESPECT

In the early days of Virgin Music, I talked to some Japanese businessmen. They were very polite to a young man in sweater and jeans who had no money. They taught me how important it was to always keep eyes and ears open and to be polite. They say that you never know who might hear or see you. People talk. Gossip has a habit of getting back to those you gossip about.
*
Respect is about how to treat everyone, not just those you want to impress. The Japanese can wait 200 years for a long term goal for their company. They don’t look for the quick buck. They want slow, solid growth.
One of the best lesson I ever learned was when I did something illegal. I got caught and paid for it. At the time, I thought was being a bit of a long-haired, hippie pirate. It even seemed a game. I was being bold – but I was also being foolish. Some risks just aren’t worth it.
*
It was a huge shock when I was thrown into prison. I couldn’t believe it. I thought that only criminals were arrested. And then it slowly dawned on me that I wasn’t a hippie pirate. This wasn’t a game. My headmaster’s words came back to me when I left school at sixteen, he had said, ‘Branson, I predict that you will either go to prison or become a millionaire.’ I wasn’t a millionaire – but I was in prison. My parents had always drummed into me that all we had in life was our good name. You could be rich, but if people didn’t trust you, it counted for nothing. I lay on a bare plastic mattress with just an old blanket and vowed that I would never do anything like this again. I would spend the rest of my life doing the right thing.
If you’re starting in business and ask me if I have a lesson for you, I’d say ‘Be fair in all your dealings. Don’t cheat – but aim to win.’ This rule should extend to your private life. ‘Never do anything if it means you can’t sleep at night.’

LAST LESSON: DO SOME GOOD

It’s said that money is the root of all evil. It doesn’t have to be. Money can be used for good. The biggest charities in the world were started by rich men and women, but some were begun with next to nothing. Harvard, the wealthiest college in America, is a charitable trust. IKEA started in a garden shed. Its parent company is a charitable trust. The man who dreamed up the Bic Mac started life selling paper cups. He was someone else who didn’t believe in wasting time. ‘If you have time to lean, you have time to clean,’ he always told his staff. Perhaps he was in a hurry because he didn’t get the idea for McDonald’s until he was aged 52. His company now gives $50 million a year to charity.
*
In Jordan yet again, I spent three days talking to King Hussein. He agreed that something must be done quickly before things got worse. I sat down and with a lot of care wrote a very polite letter to Saddam. I asked if he would release all the foreigners who were trapped in Iraq. To show goodwill I would fly in medical supplies that Iraq was short of. I signed it, ‘Yours respectfully, Richard Branson.’
*
I realized that as a businessman I could do a great deal of good. The rescue mission to Iraq had proved it. As a businessman, I met incredible people like Nelson Mandela, world leaders like the Russian premier, and people of vast wealth like Bill Gates, and co-founder Paul Allen. In fact, people in business and the very wealthy are in unique position. They can connect with everyone, whether high or low, in any country, through a network of good will.
*
In 2004 I brought myself closer to my vision of helping more people by setting up Virgin Unite. It is intended as a way of getting all the Virgin staff around the world to work together to help with tough social problems. I hope we can continue to make a difference.
I believe we should assess our life from time to time. Have we reached our goals? Are there things we can weed out that we don’t need? I’m not talking about throwing away old shoes or broken chairs. I mean we need to lose our bad habits or lazy ways that hold us back and clutter our minds.

HAVE FUN!

Have Fun, Work Hard and Money Will Come
Don’t Waste Time – Grab Your Chances
Have a Positive Outlook on Life
When it’s Not Fun, Move On

People ask me what my secret is. How do I make money? What they really want to know is – how can they make money? Everyone wants to be a millionaire. I always tell them the same thing. I have no secret. There are no rules to follow in business. I just work hard and, as I always have done, believe I can do it. Most of all, though, I try to have fun.
*
At first, island hopping was a game. We didn’t mean to buy an island. I didn’t think I could afford one. But now I was excited. I wanted to own our place in paradise. I fell in love with Necker on the spot. I had another goal. ‘Three million pounds,’ the agent said. It was far beyond my reach. ‘I can offer 150,000 pounds,’ I replied. I was offering less than five percent of the asking price! I was serious but the agent wasn’t amused. ‘The price is three million pounds,’ he repeated.
*
As soon as something stops being fun, I think it’s time to move on. Life is too short to be unhappy. Waking up stressed and miserable is not a good way to live. I found this out years ago in my working relationship with my oldest friend, Nik Powell.

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Comments
  1. At home, we talked business at dinner. I know some parents keep their work away from the kids. They won’t share their problems. But I believe their children never really learn the value of money. Sometimes when they get into the real world they can’t cope

  2. Immad Sada says:

    Truely inspiring….would like to read more of him..any such person.

  3. Thabang Tjale says:

    By reading this 1st page,i’m rich and i wont let anything to stop me going foward chasing my dreams. Not tomorrow but today,i will buy this book,so that i can have my own copy that i can read it day and night to push me not to give up when i’m facing challenges. Thank you very much Dr Richard Branson and media too,i’m going to live in a real world nw.

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