Sir Richard Branson is the creator of the Virgin brand of businesses – an empire of 400 businesses including four of his most famous businesses, Virgin Atlantic Airlines, Virgin Records, Virgin Mobile, and Virgin Galactic.
Branson started his first business when he was 16 years old. Today, at the age of 52, he is worth over $4 billion dollars and is the 254th richest person in the world (according to Forbes).
I had the privilege of meeting him last year and he is definitely a larger-than-life icon – he's practically a brand himself! Here he is, pictured with Deena and The DM (I'm looking very dashing, if I do say so myself!)
Here are 3 lessons that real estate investors can learn from Sir Richard Branson
Lesson 1: Don't wait for something to happen, start building your business right away.
When Branson started his business, he didn't start all 400 Virgin brands. His first business, started at the age of 16, was a magazine for students. After the magazine got off the ground, he started a record store. Then expanded that to a chain of record stores. Then he started a recording label. Then he got into TV. Then he got into an airline. You see what he did here? He started and didn't expect success immediately. He worked hard and kept moving forward... He just took action every day!.
I see so many real estate investors who are sitting in the sidelines, waiting for something to happen. Maybe they're waiting for "the perfect deal" or they're waiting for the economy to turn around or they're waiting for buyers to land on their lap. If that's you, learn from Sir Richard Branson and start something right now.
Lesson 2: Find your strengths and overcome obstacles.
Sir Richard Branson may have a ton of cash but he is not perfect. He has dyslexia, he wasn't great in school, he's had several failed businesses, he got into some tax trouble in his record store business… just to name a few of his faults. But I don't list these things to criticize him. Rather, I'm pointing them out to say that we all have faults and challenges and obstacles but the truly great success stories don't let those things stand in their way. Branson has many strengths and none of them are the result of the money in his bank account: He is personable and innovative and aggressive and outspoken and controversial. What's more, he has used these strengths to his advantage to help him overcome his weaknesses.
If you are trying to break into real estate investing you might feel that you're held back by various obstacles and challenges. Believe me, I felt that way too when I first started! I had barely any money when I first started! But that didn't stop me. I used my Deal-Maker strengths to overcome my lack of cash by finding buyers and matching the up to deals. What obstacles are holding you back? And, what strengths can you use to move forward?
Lesson 3: Be relentless and try different things
Branson's first business was a magazine. But today, when someone mentions Branson in a conversation, no one thinks of him as a magazine publisher. Nor do we think of the mediocre success he had with Virgin Vodka or some of his other less-than-successful brands. Instead, we know him for his massive success in several businesses. He is so successful because he is relentless at trying new things and sticking with the things that work.
Real estate investors have a lot of opportunity here! You can try new places to find buyers, new places to find deals, new types of deals (i.e. residential, commercial, multiplex, ugly houses, properties in different areas around the country, etc.). Heck, maybe there's even an opportunity that you can think of that I can't even imagine: Maybe you end up not investing in properties yourself but you find success in being a bird dog or a hard money lender or helping real estate investors find buyers. Whatever. This business provides so many different avenues to success, you just need to pick one and run with it. Then later, add something else into the mix.
Deena and I had a great time meeting Sir Richard Branson! I hope his success inspires you!
Your friend and mentor,
Mark Evans DM,DN