1871 Says: Our partners at Sage are gearing up for their annual Sage Summit, the largest gathering of small and medium-sized business in the world. The 1871 community can attend Sage Summit at a special rate using code 1871PROMO here. Ahead of the event, Sage has contributed a guest blog to the 1871 site, highlighting keynote speaker Sir Richard Branson's entrepreneurial journey. Learn more below:
If you want a great example of what it means to be an entrepreneur, you'll rarely find a better person than Sir Richard Branson. At age 18, he launched his first magazine, Student. He launched the Virgin Group in 1970 at age 20, running a mail order record-selling business above a shoe shop. It since grew to become a series of successful businesses in sectors including telecommunications, travel, financial services, entertainment and health care. Virgin represents more than 400 branded companies worldwide and employs more than 60,000 people across more than 50 countries. Companies include three award-winning airlines - Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia - and the newly opened Virgin Hotels Chicago. Alongside that, Branson launched several successful ventures both inside and outside the Virgin conglomerate.
One defining trait of entrepreneurship is ambition, and Branson's is relentless both inside and outside the business world. Consider all the world records he earned flying a hot-air balloon, kitesurfing and crossing the English Channel. He described Virgin Galactic, the world's first commercial space line, as "the greatest adventure of all." At the turn of the century, he received a knighthood for his entrepreneurial spirit. He's LinkedIn's most-followed person and the UK's number one Twitter user, all the while maintaining a daily blog with more than 28 million followers across six social networks. These achievements are a testament to being a business leader, making you wonder what his secret is.
Motivation the key
Branson is certainly the epitome of success, with a personal hand in more than 200 successful businesses and a series of world records worth noting. It makes you think about what makes such a man do so much in a short amount of time.
What keeps Branson going is simple: motivation. He often credits his success to the internal aspect of being that each person has, even though what it actually is varies from merely starting a business to winning a gold medal in the Olympics. He encourages people to understand and follow their motivation, despite what may happen.
"You may fall flat on your face," he said in an interview with Entrepreneur, "but pick yourself up and keep trying until you succeed."
Branson believes businesses don't make the entrepreneur, drive does. Every new endeavor, whether it's creating a new product or just jogging 5 miles every day, should be an extension of who you are. It should be what wakes you up in the morning and gets you out of bed.
Of course, these inspirations aren't the only ones that matter. Employees and partners are important as well, as they have their own reasons for joining an entrepreneur on his or her latest venture. Making yourself and your staff the core of your business is Branson's proven model of success.
Sir Richard Branson will speak at the 2016 Sage Summit this July at McCormick Place in Chicago. He'll be joining a well-rounded group of all-star presenters sharing their insights to help you succeed as an entrepreneur.