Close Ad

How Richard Branson Channeled This Negative Emotion Into a Billion-Dollar Empire
Richard Branson
Skills

How Richard Branson Channeled This Negative Emotion Into a Billion-Dollar Empire

People often credit ambition or confidence when starting a new business, but that’s not the only trait that can make the difference. It can go beyond passion and inspiration too.

According to Sir Richard Branson, founder of the multinational conglomerate Virgin Group, best known for Virgin Airlines and Virgin Records, the feeling that made all the difference for him is frustration.


"You often spot opportunities from personal frustration," Branson told the audience at the Qualtrics X4 Experience Management Summit last week. The origin of Virgin Atlantic was tied into this negative emotion, which was channeled in a positive way by Branson

"I was 28, in Puerto Rico, trying to get to the Virgin Islands, and the pilot announced we had to wait until the next day," the businessman with an estimated networth of $5 billion dollars recalled. This delay wasn't anything unusual: because the flight didn't have enough passengers, it was canceled.

Branson was frustrated, but it also gave him the seed of an idea.

“I had a beautiful lady waiting for me, and I was damned if I would wait till the next day," he recalled.

Rather than waiting, Branson hired chartered plane. This was back before Branson was a billionaire, and a chartered plane wasn’t really in his price range at the time. However, he didn’t care. He did it anyway.

"One of my favorite phrases is, 'Screw it, let's do it!'"

With this mantra in mind, Branson booked the the plane, borrowed a blackboard, wrote "Virgin Airlines, one-way Virgin Islands $39" on it, and went around to the other passengers of his canceled flight. "And I filled my first plane," he said.

That was the moment he started the company that changed everything.

Branson's next step was to buy an airplane -- secondhand, of course. He called a Boeing executive and said, "I'm Richard Branson, will you sell me a 747?"

"He said, 'Who are you?'" Branson recalled.

"I said, 'I have Virgin Records and the Sex

Pistols.'"

"He said, 'As long as you don't call it Virgin, because

people will assume your airline won't go the whole way.'"

We all know the way this frustrating story ended: with Virgin Group and massive success.

So, there you have it. If something's frustrating you, channel your frustration into finding a solution, and turn that negative emotion into something amazing. You may end up as the next Richard Branson, or -- more importantly-- the first you!

Hot Stories

Pamela Anderson Opens Up About Her 9 Disastrous Weddings
Why Pamela Anderson Can't Stop Getting Married

Pamela Anderson has it all: beauty, fame and success. So why can’t the most famous blonde find her fairytale ending? Why is Pamela so unlucky in love and what dark secrets lie behind her seemingly glamorous life?

Keep ReadingShow less
Life Stories
Man wearing a white hoodie and a man sitting with a service dog outside.

Legally Blind Man Faces Discrimination at Seattle Restaurant

TikTok/ @matthewandpaul and YouTube/ KING 5 Seattle

Navigating life with a disability is challenging enough without encountering discrimination. Yet, this is precisely what happened to a legally blind man and his service dog in Seattle, as they faced disbelief and hostility in a restaurant.

Keep ReadingShow less
Stories
Musician Jelly Roll speaking into a mic and a teen wearing a cowboy hat looking shocked.

Jelly Roll Vows to Pay for Bullied Fan's Tuition at Concert

TikTok/ @officialbrooksmedia and Facebook/ WKRN Stephanie Langston

Country-rap artist Jelly Roll (real name Jason DeFord) may be on top of the world right now but he had to spend a lot of time in the hole before he got there. Notoriously jailed 40 times, he spent a decade drifting in and out of jail on various drug charges.

It wasn't until a prison guard told him he was the father of a baby girl in 2008 that he finally got the motivation to do whatever it took to get out of jail and stay out.

He completely changed his life. And now? He's paying it forward and doing the same for others.

Keep ReadingShow less
Uplifting News