19 BRILLIANT LIFE LESSONS FROM RICHARD BRANSON

Richard Branson, one of the wisest, most successful, and wealthiest in the world, has dropped a whole bunch of solid advice bombs over the years. Well worth reading though all of this. Whether you're an entrepreneur, middle manager, entry-level employee, or running the whole company--you'll get a lot out of this.

1.) "THE BEST WAY TO LEARN ABOUT ANYTHING IS BY DOING."

2.) "REMEMBER TO LISTEN MORE AND TALK LESS. YOU’LL BE AMAZED AT THE OBSTACLES A LISTENING CULTURE CAN OVERCOME."

3.) "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."

4.) “ONE THING IS CERTAIN IN BUSINESS. YOU AND EVERYONE AROUND YOU WILL MAKE MISTAKES.”

5.) "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? AND DON’T GET SUCKERED INTO BLINDLY PURSUING PROFITS AND GROWTH. IF YOU STAY FOCUSED ON BEING THE BEST AT WHAT YOU DO, IT’S MORE LIKELY THAT THE REST WILL FOLLOW."

6.) “YOU DON'T LEARN TO WALK BY FOLLOWING RULES. YOU LEARN BY DOING, AND BY FALLING OVER.”

7.) “HUMOR, I THINK IS A VERY IMPORTANT PART OF BUILDING A BUSINESS, NOT TAKING YOURSELF TOO SERIOUSLY AND BEING WILLING TO HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR.”

8.) "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 PLAN FOR YOUR COMPANY’S FUTURE."

9.) "WHEN I STARTED VIRGIN FROM A BASEMENT IN WEST LONDON, THERE WAS NO GREAT PLAN OR STRATEGY. I DIDN'T SET OUT TO BUILD A BUSINESS EMPIRE ... FOR ME, BUILDING A BUSINESS IS ALL ABOUT DOING SOMETHING TO BE PROUD OF, BRINGING TALENTED PEOPLE TOGETHER AND CREATING SOMETHING THAT'S GOING TO MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE TO OTHER PEOPLE'S LIVES."

10.) “IT IS VITALLY IMPORTANT TO PRESENT A CLEAR, CONCISE PLAN THAT INVESTORS CAN EASILY UNDERSTAND AND REPEAT TO THEIR OWN PEOPLE. IN THE FIRST MEETING, AVOID OVERLY COMPLICATED, NUMBERS-LADEN PRESENTATIONS.”

11.) “IN BUSINESS, PROTECTING AGAINST THE DOWNSIDE IS CRITICAL.”

12.) "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."

13.) “I OFTEN COMPARE CREATING A BUSINESS TO CREATING A PAINTING. YOU’VE GOT A BLANK CANVAS, YOU’RE FILLING IN THAT CANVAS AND YOU’RE TRYING TO GET EVERY SINGLE LITTLE DETAIL RIGHT.”

14.) “IF YOU DO LOOK FOR THE BEST IN PEOPLE – YOUR LIFE IS SO MUCH RICHER FOR IT.”

15.) “I SOMETIMES THINK IN LIFE YOU’VE GOT TO DREAM BIG BY SETTING YOURSELF SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE CHALLENGES. YOU THEN HAVE TO CATCH UP WITH THEM. YOU CAN MAKE WHAT PEOPLE BELIEVE IS IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE IF YOU SET BIG ENOUGH TARGETS. FLYING FROM NEW YORK TO AUSTRALIA IN, SAY, TWO HOURS. CAN WE DO IT IN OUR LIFETIMES? I’M DETERMINED TO TRY. IF YOU DON’T DREAM, NOTHING HAPPENS. AND WE LIKE TO DREAM BIG.”

16.) “THE BEST WAY OF BECOMING A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS LEADER IS DEALING WITH PEOPLE FAIRLY AND WELL AND I LIKE TO THINK THAT’S HOW WE RUN VIRGIN.”

17.) “SIMPLICITY AND GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE WILL WIN EVERY TIME.”

18.) “A COMPANY IS SIMPLY A GROUP OF PEOPLE. AND AS A LEADER OF PEOPLE, YOU HAVE TO BE A GREAT LISTENER, YOU HAVE TO BE A GREAT MOTIVATOR, YOU HAVE TO BE VERY GOOD AT PRAISING AND LOOKING FOR THE BEST IN PEOPLE. PEOPLE ARE NO DIFFERENT FROM FLOWERS. IF YOU WATER FLOWERS, THEY FLOURISH. IF YOU PRAISE PEOPLE, THEY FLOURISH. THAT’S A CRITICAL ATTRIBUTE OF A LEADER.”

19.) "YOU WILL LIVE A MUCH BETTER LIFE IF YOU PURSUE YOUR PASSIONS. PEOPLE WHO WORK ON THE THINGS THAT THEY LOVE USUALLY ENJOY LIFE MORE THAN EVERYONE ELSE DOES SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY ARE CHASING THEIR DREAMS."