Billionaire Richard Branson's definition of success has nothing to do with money

Richard Branson
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Richard Branson earned his first million at the ripe age of 23. Today, the Virgin Group founder and chairman is worth an estimated $5.1 billion.

But when it comes to defining success, the business magnate says wealth has nothing to do with it.

"Too many people measure how successful they are by how much money they make or the people that they associate with," Branson wrote on LinkedIn. "In my opinion, true success should be measured by how happy you are."

"It's a common misconception that money is every entrepreneur's metric for success," he continued. "It's not, and nor should it be."

In fact, Branson never starts a company with the primary objective of making a lot of money: "I've never gone into business to make money. Every Virgin product and service has been made into a reality to make a positive difference in people's lives. And by focusing on the happiness of our customers, we have been able to build a successful group of companies."

Happiness isn't just a metric to measure his level of success — it's also the key to it, he emphasized: "Most people would assume my business success, and the wealth that comes with it, have brought me happiness. But I know I am successful, wealthy and connected because I am happy."

Branson isn't the only billionaire whose definition of success has nothing to do with money. Take Warren Buffett, the third richest man in the world, who measures success by how many people love him.

"Basically, when you get to my age, you'll really measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you," he said while addressing students at Georgia Tech. "If you get to my age in life and nobody thinks well of you, I don't care how big your bank account is, your life is a disaster. That's the ultimate test of how you have lived your life."