Entrepreneurs

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

Richard Branson
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Richard Branson

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
Tilman Fertitta, entrepreneur and host of Billion Dollar Buyer.

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.