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How Richard Branson’s mother turned the entrepreneur into an adventurer from a very early age

British billionaire Richard Branson sprays the mothership with champagne as his Mother Eve Branson ducks.
Al Seib | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images
British billionaire Richard Branson sprays the mothership with champagne as his Mother Eve Branson ducks.

From crossing the Pacific Ocean in a hot air balloon to setting various world records, it's hard not to associate adventure with billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson.

Branson's adventurous spirit, however, wasn't just a quality he picked up in adulthood, but dates back to his upbringing.

"My mum is a very adventurous person. She very much felt that she wanted us to stand on our own two feet and not to be 'mollycoddled,' as she would call it," the founder of Virgin Group told CNBC's "The Brave Ones."

"And there was the moment when I was four that we were going to Granny's house in Devon," Branson recalled. "About three miles before we got there — I think I must have been misbehaving or something in the back of it — she just pushed me out of the car and said, 'Right, you make your own way there.'"

Not only is Eve Branson the billionaire entrepreneur's mother, she is also an author and founder of the Eve Branson Foundation, a nonprofit organization that offers training and income-producing projects to local Moroccan communities.

According to Eve's foundation website, even though her philanthropic adventure began when Richard attempted to fly from Morocco to France in a hot air balloon during the 1990s, she always looked for adventure from a young age, including enlisting in the Women's Royal Naval Service (WRENS) to provide help during World War II.

Richard Branson (L) and honoree Eve Branson attend the AltaMed Power Up, We Are The Future Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on May 12, 2016
Michael Kovac | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images
Richard Branson (L) and honoree Eve Branson attend the AltaMed Power Up, We Are The Future Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on May 12, 2016

Her son Richard also embarked on his own adventures at an early age.

As a teenager, Branson decided to leave school and pursue a dream of setting up his own magazine "Student," before going on to found Virgin Records in the early 1970s and the Virgin Atlantic airline group in 1984.

"His headmaster said when he left school: 'Branson, you're either going to become a millionaire or go to jail,'" said Will Whitehorn, former president of Virgin Galactic.

"Right from a very early age, (Branson) was classic schoolboy adventurer and would go places where others would fear to tread," said Nik Powell, co-founder of Virgin Group.

And it seems that this notion of being an adventurer from a young age is something instilled in Branson's own beliefs. In a recent blogpost uploaded onto the Virgin website, Branson wrote that it doesn't matter how old a person is, if they have an idea they can "turn it into a reality with hard work."

"I was so utterly determined to do my own thing," wrote Branson earlier this month in an article called "Starting Young," adding that he was "extremely fortunate that my parents nurtured my entrepreneurial spark and supported my dreams, whatever they were."

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