TALKING HEADS - ABC1 Monday, September 13, 2010 @ 6.30pm
Richard Branson was just 15-years-old when his headmaster predicted the young rule-breaker would either go to prison or become a millionaire. It was an astute observation. In less than a decade Branson would do both.
Branson’s high-risk tactics and his love of a challenge have got him into some sticky situations over the years. But at 60, he’s a multi-billionaire, the world’s greatest brand builder, and still very cool.
He tells TALKING HEAD’s Peter Thompson, he was encouraged by his parents from very early on to develop a strong independent streak.
My mother in particular would do things that you would get arrested for today…..she pushed me out of the car aged six on my way to my grandmother’s house, we were about seven miles from my grandmother’s house and she told me to make my own way there….it was very much you’ve got to stand on your own two feet
Aged only 16, Branson began his successful foray into business with a newspaper and then a mail order record venture. This was the start of the ‘Virgin’ brand and a global empire that now, four decades on, spans space travel, airlines, rail, health care, finance, telecommunications and entertainment.
His much publicised attempts to break boating and hot air balloon records along with some daredevil stunts to promote Virgin have made him one of the most recognised business leaders in the world.
In 1999 he was knighted for his contribution to entrepreneurship. Having recently turning 60, Sir Richard says he has no plans to retire. To celebrate his birthday he ordered 60 new planes, held a party on his privately owned island in the Caribbean and had a go at kite-surfing across the English Channel with his children Holly and Sam.
I have the most incredible life. You know I’m a very fortunate person all in all…I’ve got little to be stressed about, everything to live for.
Sir Richard Branson talks to Peter Thompson about his incredible life and about his less well-known initiatives to create a better world.