Leadership

Self-made billionaire Richard Branson: 5 things you can do to make every day a success

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson has been doing things his own way since he was just a toddler, according to his mother. By the time he was 16, he decided to drop out of school and start his very first business, Student magazine. Today, Branson's business interests range from ocean exploration to space flight.

At Virgin, Branson says he juggles different business focuses on a daily basis and is often asked how he is successful in all of them.

"I love life – and after 67 years of it I've worked out some of the things that help me manage my workload and have fun at the same time," Branson recently writes on his blog. "I don't really separate work and play – it's all living. This doesn't mean I'm always working, it means I've learned the art of balance."

To replicate Branson's method of making each day count, here are five things he recommends you do:

Have a positive impact on people around you

Being generous at work can be good for you both professionally and personally.

"Most people feel the most fulfilled and happiest when they are having a positive impact on those around them," Branson writes.

Branson adds that his family inspires him to get involved with issues related to climate change, human rights and drug policy.

"I want my grandchildren to grow up in a safe, secure world without the threat of climate change catastrophes or conflict," he writes.

At work, generosity can be as simple as having fun with your peers at work. Leadership advisor and happiness expert Annie McKee says keeping your promises, giving or sharing credit when it's due and giving more compliments and "thank yous" can help build trust and create mood-boosting friendships with coworkers.

Take a breather from time to time

Taking breaks to rest your mind can help prevent you from burning out, Branson writes.

"It's so important to carve a little time for yourself to breathe," according to Branson.

Throughout the day, the billionaire drinks about 20 cups of tea, not only to stay energized, but to also reflect.

"Having a cup of tea is not only tasty and refreshing, it gives me a moment to stop and think without being distracted, and a chance to chat with friends, think through ideas, or sit for a second and simply be," he writes in a separate post.

These breaks also prevent Branson from giving up.

"Often this time sparks new ideas as your mind wanders, or helps you find solutions to problems that have been bugging you," he adds.

Write down short-term and long-term goals

Branson is a firm believer that taking notes, whether on a smart device or written with pen and paper, is the key to success. Throughout the day, the entrepreneur makes sure to jot down what he wants to accomplish for himself and his companies.

"You should always be looking for ways to make things better – including yourself. You can never know it all, and it's so important to always be learning and developing," Branson says.

To reach those improvements, Branson sets both short-term and long-term goals. The short-term successes help keep his morale up and encourage him to pursue his long-term goals.

"By writing them down, you can work through your list and tick them off. Writing things down keeps you focused and makes sure you don't forget great ideas," Branson writes.

Be brave

Branson has a word of advice to those who really want something to happen: "Don't just sit around waiting for it."

"Work hard, take your chances, and seize opportunities when they present themselves," Branson writes.

It was this mentality that allowed him to create Student magazine and Virgin Records.

"Don't give in to the fear and self-doubt and instead find ways to make it happen. Those who are bold have a higher chance of being rewarded," he says.

Start your day by having fun

Whether he is at home or traveling for business, Branson starts each day by either playing tennis or kitesurfing for an hour.

"It gets the blood pumping and makes you feel like you've achieved something before you've even started working," Branson says.

Another perk to working out in the morning is that it releases endorphins, also known as "happy hormones" because of their ability to trigger a positive feeling and reduce stress.

"I hear people say they don't have time for fitness, which is true. You don't have time for it, you make time for it. There is nothing more important than your health," Branson writes.

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