This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 6

I’ve been blessed to be mentored by some really amazing entrepreneurs. And there are many I admire for their various accomplishments. Natalie’s been one for a very long time… I’ve watched her grow her business since it was called WomanzWorld 😉

The One

But if I had to choose the ONE person whose business I most admire and who is living the life I’d most like to have, it would be Richard Branson.

I’m a multi-passionate entrepreneur and I see him as the ultimate multi-passionate entrepreneur, so I find him incredibly inspiring.

He’s a self-made billionaire with a passion for business and a passion for life. He successfully runs Virgin Group, a multi-national conglomerate of 400+ companies across a wide variety of industries.

As someone on a mission to change the way the world does business, I greatly admire the Virgin culture, the way he treats employees like family. He’s the perfect proof that you can do things honorably and still succeed beyond your wildest dreams.

He is the kind of leader I was in my medical career and always intend to be in my own business. He listens. He cares.

Necker Island is a perfect example of the dream I’m trying to create… to live in my favorite place (Hawaii) and run retreats for entrepreneurs, allowing me to meet interesting people and make new friends on a regular basis.

He has a charitable foundation called Virgin Unite. I LOVE his philosophy of business as a force for good.

More Philosophies I Admire

It’s no secret around here that I have a thing for quotes. So I’m going to share some quotes of his that will not only show why I think so highly of him, but also give you valuable food for thought.

“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”

“Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”

“A company is people. Employees want to know – am I being listened to or am I a cog in the wheel? People really need to feel wanted.”

“Be a good leader, treat people well, motivate them well, and do not try to second-guess everything they do.”

“If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you’re not sure how to do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.”

“I don’t think of work as work and play as play. It’s all living.”

“If your dreams don’t scare you, they are too small.”

“If you aren’t making a difference in other people’s lives, you shouldn’t be in business – it’s that simple.”

“Succeeding in business is all about making connections.”

“To launch a business means successfully solving problems. Solving problems means listening.”

“A business is simply an idea to make other people’s lives better.”

“An entrepreneur is an innovator, a job creator, a game-changer, a business leader, a disruptor, an adventurer.”

“Try to keep bureaucracy to a minimum, and remind your teams that business, as well as life, should be fun.”

“One thing is certain in business: you will make mistakes. When you are pushing the boundaries, mistakes are inevitable – how you react is important.”

“You don’t learn to walk by following the rules. You learn by doing and falling over.”

“The key is to set realistic customer expectations, and then not to just meet them, but to exceed them – preferably in unexpected and helpful ways.”

“I’ve had great fun turning quite a lot of different industries on their head and making sure those industries will never be the same again, because Virgin went in and took them on.”

“The story of every successful person is a story of second chances (not to mention third, fourth, fifth and sixth chances!). Nobody gets everything right the first time, and it is how we learn from our mistakes that defines us.”

“Never go into business to make money. If that’s the motive, you’re better off doing nothing.”

“The brands that will thrive in the coming years are those that have a purpose beyond profit.”

“It’s time to turn capitalism upside down – to shift our values from an exclusive focus on profit to also caring for people, communities and the planet.”

“It’s a vibrant and definite sea change from the way business was always done, when financial profit was a driving force. Today, people aren’t afraid to say, Screw business as usual! – and show they mean it.”

“My message is a simple one: business as usual isn’t working. In fact, business as usual is wrecking this planet. Resources are being used up; the air, the sea, the land are all heavily polluted. The poor are getting poorer. Many are dying of starvation or because they can’t afford a dollar a day for lifesaving medicine.”

“I think business can help fix things and create a more prosperous world for everyone. I happen to believe in business because I believe that business is a force for good. By that I mean that doing good is good for business. Doing the right thing can be profitable… ‘Do good, have fun and the money will come.'”

Popping the Question

And the one question I would ask… Could I shadow you for a week with a notebook? HUGE ask no doubt, but OMG just imagine how much I could learn if I just followed him around, listened carefully and observed astutely! It would be watching brilliance in action. He is hands down the most brilliant business mind ever.

Your Turn…

So, who do you most admire? Who would you choose as a mentor if you could? Tell me in the comments below.