Richard Branson: Money Shouldn’t Be Sole Measure of Success

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In a recent interview with CNBC Make It, Richard Branson, the co-founder of Virgin Group, shared that he’s bothered when people only see him as “the billionaire Richard Branson” rather than recognizing his business achievements. He believes it’s wrong to measure success purely by money and thinks it’s “sad” when that’s all people care about in life.

Maybe in America, ‘billionaire’ is a sign of success, but that rankles me. I think that your reputation is what you create.

– Richard Branson

Branson told CNBC Make it:

  • “Your reputation is [whether] your team of people who work with you are proud of what they’ve created. Paying the bills at the end of the year is important, but what entrepreneurs are doing all over the world today — and the only reason they’re succeeding — is that they’re making a difference in other people’s lives. And that’s all that really matters.
  • Citing Virgin Atlantic in 1984 and Virgin Mobile in 1999 — he asks himself two questions:
    • If I create this, can it be better than what everybody else is doing?
    • Can it make a real difference in the world?
  • Financial success has often followed, but Branson is adamant that money has never been his chief motivating force.

Branson advises the following for becoming successful:

  • Seek out opportunities that genuinely excite and interest you.
  • Emphasizes that this approach leads to greater happiness and higher chances of success compared to focusing solely on money.
  • Stresses the importance of finding fulfillment in work beyond just earning a paycheck.
  • Notes that we only have one life to live. “We only have one life. We spend a lot of time at work and it’d be sad if we’re only doing it for our paychecks.”
  • He, acknowledges that success isn’t guaranteed even if you follow your passions.
  • Requires factors like talent and perseverance.

Mark Cuban, other US Billionaire’s perspective:

  • Defines success as setting goals that make you proud. “Success isn’t necessarily how much money you have. Success is just setting a goal and being able to wake up every morning feeling really good about what you’ve accomplished,” ” serial entrepreneur and investor Mark Cuban told LinkedIn’s “The Path” podcast last year.
  • Believes success isn’t solely measured by wealth accumulation.
  • Values personal freedom and autonomy in career choices.
  • Emphasizes the importance of time and being able to control one’s own schedule. “Time is the one asset you can never get back. You can never truly own [it]. I wanted to be … in a position where I get to call my own shots [and] spend time the way I wanted to spend time. That was always my motivating factor,” Cuban told SXSW in March.