5 Life Lessons from Richard Branson

Last Updated Nov 29, 2010 8:52 AM EST

If you're a young person looking for someone to emulate in your career, you could do a lot worse than billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson. Not only has the British magnate pieced together an empire that's earned him a fortune and a knighthood, but he appears to have succeeded on a human level as well, overcoming early struggles with dyslexia and retaining a sense of fun and adventure despite what must be a pretty high-pressure position.

So what can Branson teach budding business tycoons about combining making millions with enjoying your life? Blog Dumb Little Man has rounded up ten exemplary quotes and offered a little commentary on each. Here are five of my favorites:
  • "Ridiculous yachts and private planes and big limousines won't make people enjoy life more." I suppose we all know deep down that money won't make us happy. Of course, money is nice -- it brings freedom and opportunities and can be a wonderful recourse. It can contribute to happiness, even. But happiness itself is another thing â€" it's independent of anything else.
  • "The majority of things that one could get stressed about, they're not worth getting stressed about." I read somewhere that the most common 'commandment' given in the bible is not to worry. Being stressed and worried about things is just a waste of energy â€" it never helps. I highly recommend Dale Carnegie's book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. It contains invaluable, practical advice for those of us inclined to worry about things.
  • "You can't be a good leader unless you generally like people. That is how you bring out the best in them." Obviously, we live in a social world, and it is almost impossible to physically cut yourself off from other people. But, how we interact with others is vitally important to our happiness and success. Getting along with people -- allowing them to be themselves, bringing out the best, encouraging them -- these are the hallmarks of good leaders and good friends.
  • "There is no one to follow, there is nothing to copy." Life is always fresh and new. We are always on the leading edge, and the successes of the future will not rely on old ways of doing things. Thinking outside the box, embracing change, innovating, taking risks -- these are the hallmarks of success in all facets of life.
  • "I can honestly say that I have never gone into any business purely to make money. If that is the sole motive, then I believe you are better off doing nothing." Money is a by-product. It is not a goal in itself. Those who simply chase money end up with nothing of true value, because money in itself does not add anything to life. Money cannot buy the things that matter most in people -- wisdom, serenity, leadership, happiness.
For more quotes, check out the complete Dumb Little Man post.
Read More on BNET: (Image courtesy of Flickr user San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives, CC 2.0)
  • Jessica Stillman On Twitter»

    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.

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