It’s not every day that you get the chance to hear the wise words of Sir Richard Branson, so when he was a keynote speaker at the World Business Forum in Sydney yesterday, B&T was in full attendance.
And while we could document every word and story and joke he said, we’re literally too hungover from our cracker of a party, 30 Under 30, last night. This is the best we’ve got today folks.
Here’s the top tips every entrepreneur should know, according to Sir Branson.
1. “To be a really good leader, you have to listen, listen, listen. Only then will you get good and honest feedback.”
2. “If you’re true entrepreneur you need to delegate. I would set up a company, then go back to my houseboat and make sure someone else was there to run it and make sure all goes well.”
3. “I would recommend if you want to have a decent life, every entrepreneur should try and put themselves out of business. Find someone better than you to run your company. Step out of the building and you can find time to take company forward to new areas, and not get bogged down with the minutiae of running a company.”
4. “Try to promote from within if you can.”
5. “You need to take the mickey out of your biggest competitors.” In this case, Branson used the example of when the British Airways-sponsored London Eye was suffering technical difficulties, and Branson knew the world press would be there and it was his duty to give them something to look at. What he did made sure Virgin ended up on the front pages of newspapers instead.
6. “Give where give is due and take where take is due.”
7. “Parties are important. It’s completely fine for a company to take staff out and give them a party.”
8. “Design is incredibly important and a lot of companies don’t spend enough effort on design. When we designed the spaceships we made them sexy. If you’re going to spend all that time getting there you may as well travel on something sexy that looks good and feels good.”
9. “If you’re a small business take a look at your community and help those who are struggling. If you’re a slightly bigger business maybe help on a national scale. If you’re bigger again, go global.”
10. “I recently tweeted my grandchildren learning to walk, and they were walking and falling over and getting up and walking again. This is not dissimilar to entrepreneurship. You just walk, and if you fall over, you pick yourself up and keep going.”
11. “Screw it just do it.”