Richard Branson on dealing with setbacks

Richard Branson

Virgin’s visionary founder opens up about taking chances, making mistakes and why stumbling is an essential part of entrepreneurship.

For many around the world, Sir Richard Branson has become the puckish face of entrepreneurship - a high-flying daredevil who takes about as many risks in business as he does kitesurfing across the English Channel or attempting to circle the globe in a hot-air balloon.

Yet, when you see the iconic founder of Virgin Group sitting with his feet up, in a First Class seat on one of the many airliners in his global fleet, it’s easy to forget that those same risks have resulted in a number of near-disastrous setbacks along the way.

Virgin Records may be part of entrepreneurial lore, but who remembers Virgin Brides? (No, it’s not what you’re thinking — Branson launched a since-shuddered chain of bridal shops in the mid-1990s.) And, of course, there’s Virgin Cola, the billionaire’s attempt to dethrone Coca-Cola – for which he famously drove a tank into Times Square to announce – that he admits is perhaps his biggest business stumble.

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