Leadership

Billionaire Richard Branson reveals why he's such a huge fan of always saying 'yes'

Self-made billionaire Richard Branson is adventurous both in his personal life and in business. That's why he's a big fan of saying "yes."

"Even if I have no idea where I'm going or how to get there, I prefer to say yes, instead of no," he writes on his blog. "Opportunity favours the bold."

This is a lesson that he learned early in his career, he says, and he has used this risk-taking mentality to build Virgin.

"If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!" Branson writes.

The entrepreneur adds that he's a doer and not a talker. "I've never been one to stand around and talk about doing things, I want to get on and do them," he says. "This restlessness has seen me land in the right place at the right time, and brought me great success."

A prime example of Branson saying "yes" and taking a risk is Virgin Australia Airlines, which started from a simple conversation with one of his employees.

In his autobiography, "Finding my Virginity," the entrepreneur says that the chief financial officer for their European carrier, Virgin Express, decided to resign so he could move back to his home country of Australia with his wife and kids.

Although Branson was disappointed, he understood the former CFO's decision to put his family first.

Before ending the phone call, Branson said, "If you want to do anything in Australia, let me know and we'll see what we can do."

The Virgin employee, Brett Godfrey, began to tell Branson about his idea for a low-cost airline in Australia. Branson immediately liked the idea so he requested that Godfrey shoot over a more detailed plan for what would soon become Virgin Australia.

"Brett's plan was delivered to my door the next morning," writes Branson in his book. "I've always liked people who move fast."

The businessman admits that saying "yes" can be a risk but that it's often well worth the reward. "I've probably said yes too many times in my life, but I don't regret a thing," he explains.

"Life is a lot more fun when you say yes!" Branson continues. "It's amazing how that one little word can lead you on an incredible adventure."

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