Richard Branson's Formula for Success.

Sir Richard Branson is one of the most famous and successful entrepreneurs in the world today. His projects and resources have gone from strength to strength over the years until now he is in the forefront of tourism in outer space -- a concept that was not even a daydream ten years ago. The man is open and generous with all who seek his help and advice, and he recently shared some specific suggestions on how to succeed as an entrepreneur with the general public.

Make it useful

Sir Branson says that anyone can come up with a seemingly good business idea that will make them some money -- but the one thing they forget is that there’s really no call for ideas that make money unless they also make useful things for others and can be a help to others. That’s why he’s not particularly interested in things like day-trading or cryptocurrency; they can become huge cash cows with the right strategy and cunning, but in the long run they really don’t contribute to the world’s welfare or leave behind anything of worth or true value. Branson calls them a ‘bubble.’ Only for the amusement of a few, not for the benefit of the many. Instead, Sir Richard suggests that entrepreneurs who have an idea to sell should ask themselves these questions first, before looking for support and seed money:

  • Who will benefit from this idea besides myself?
  • How many job opportunities will my idea create potentially?
  • Is my service/product based on a trend or on a basic human need?
  • If it fails, what kind of legacy will my efforts leave behind?

Keep branding and message as simple as possible

Sir Richard says that keeping things simple is an artform, right up there with sculpting and writing a novel. Most entrepreneurs want to include everything but the kitchen sink in their ideas and presentations -- throwing a huge variety of themes and activities at investors and consumers. No matter how brilliant a series of ideas may be, the average consumer will not take the time to break them down into their component parts to consider them carefully. That’s the job of the entrepreneur -- to simplify his or her message and idea until it can be explained in just a few sentences. During World War Two, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill demanded that his Chiefs of Staff submit battle plans to him on a single piece of paper, no more. He felt it made them think things through completely and eliminate the extraneous (and also saved him a good deal of time and probably saved his eyesight!) Consumers are growing more and more intelligent and discerning -- they will give interest, but only if they know it won’t take an inordinate amount of time.

Enjoy the heck out of it

Anyone can see that Sir Richard enjoys being in the limelight and is always enthused about each and every one of his projects. He says that if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you’re in the wrong business.