“Screw It, Let’s Do It” – Sir Richard Branson, Entrepreneur
Branded as stupid and lazy by his teachers, Virgin Chairman Sir Richard Branson dropped out of school aged 16, without ever being diagnosed as dyslexic.
Not one to ever follow by the rules, Richard Branson has learned many lessons the hard way. As he grew older and his business empire soared, Richard adapted his disability, realising that dyslexia was an asset; in the form of communication, and delegation.
Keeping things simple for himself, he credits his dyslexia with a lifetime habit of “taking notes”. A habit he learned in early childhood, that if he ever had a chance at remembering anything, then he would need to write it down. Knowing his weaknesses, Richard Branson was never the type of leader who wanted to micro-manage his empire. With his learning disability, he became a very good delegator allowing him the ability to grow a group of companies like Virgin Cars. Virgin Cars Ltd was an internet automobile retailer, established by Sir Richard Branson in May 2000. The speed at which the company was launched, was perhaps the most startling aspect. It went from drawing board to fully fledged company, with logistics, purchase, finance, administration and web based sales operations, all being set up between December 1999 and May 2000. Branson predicted the company would sell 24,000 cars in the first year, with an estimated £300m turnover.
By October 2000, the company had sold over 2000 cars, generating £30 million.
In July 2001, the company started a subsidiary, Virgin Bikes. By 2003, the company only managed to sell 12,000 cars in total.
In December 2005, the company stopped all operations and trading…
Today, Richard Branson confesses he is still learning! His staff at Virgin nicknamed him ‘Dr Yes’ because he won’t say no. In his vocabulary that little word can’t doesn’t exist.