Entrepreneurs

Billionaires Richard Branson and Tilman Fertitta: Successful entrepreneurs share one critical skill

Richard Branson
Getty Images

To make it in the entrepreneurial world, you need to "listen more than you talk," says self-made billionaire Richard Branson.

"Nobody learned anything by hearing themselves speak," the Virgin Group founder writes in a LinkedIn post.

"Wherever I go, I try to spend as much time as possible listening to the people I meet. … I am endlessly surprised by what new and useful information I can gather just by keeping my ears open."

Branson isn't the only billionaire who says the most successful entrepreneurs have excellent listening skills.

CNBC's "Billion Dollar Buyer " host Tilman Fertitta agrees.

Tilman Fertitta, entrepreneur and host of Billion Dollar Buyer.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

When asked about the specific qualities he looks for in young entrepreneurs, the CEO and sole shareholder of Landry's tells CNBC: "You look for people, believe it or not, that will also listen."

Developing this skill ensures you won't repeat the same mistakes, Fertitta explains: "There's nothing like history. I don't make mistakes today that I made many years ago, because I've already made them."

So the next time you're in a meeting or conversation, try jotting down notes instead of dominating the conversation, Branson suggests.

After all, "if you aren't listening, you are missing out," he says.

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Richard Branson
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