James Altucher Show: Richard Branson Podcast Notes (#269)

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On Episode 269 of the James Altucher Show, Richard Branson talks about starting businesses, staying in business, staying fit, delegating, and enjoying life.

Sir Richard Branson (@richardbranson) is a British Business Magnate, Investor, Philanthropist, and Author. He is the founder of the Virgin Group which has over 400 businesses under its brand. Richard Branson lives with his family on his private island, Necker Island.

Enjoy the wisdom and action-packed James Altucher Show Richard Branson Podcast Notes.


  • Richard Branson considers his dyslexia enables him to delegate duties more to others and is one of the key reasons for his success
  • Richard believes in his conviction while starting new businesses
  • He loves challenges, sees new opportunities everywhere and jumps in where he feels that he can add value to people’s lives.
  • There are over 400 businesses under the Virgin brand
  • Richard convinced Boeing to lend him a second-hand Boeing 747 aircraft to start Virgin Atlantic
  • He prioritizes physical activity and says that everything else flows from it. Richard Branson loves playing tennis in the morning and evening.
  • He advises people to delegate a bit more, and trust others more to free up more time which opens up a world of new possibilities.
  • His slogan is “Screw it, Let’s do it.”
  • In the Richard Branson Book, Finding My Virginity, Richard mentions 75 times when he had near-death experiences when he came close to losing his life.
  • He says that not many things that are enjoyable cost much
  • He wants people to be positive and happy since people don’t like people who are negative


  • “If I haven’t reinvented myself, I wouldn’t be in business 50 years after our first venture.”
  • “I love a challenge, I see opportunities everywhere, I see situations where I feel we can do things better. And, I like to jump in with open feet.
  • “If you’re fit and healthy, everything else flows from that.”
  • “People love people who are positive in life. People love people who are not negative in life. People love people who look for the best in life and look for the best in other people. People love people who avoid gossiping negatively about other people. People love people who praise you and say kind things.”


  • Richard Branson has reinvented himself throughout the years to stay in business for close to 50 years
  • Richard loves challenges and he sees business opportunities everywhere
  • Richard Branson doesn’t always consult an accounting firm before starting a business because in any case, there will be a few accounting firms that will think starting that particular business at that particular time will not be a good idea.


  • During a trip to Puerto Rico, his flight being cancelled, Richard Branson chartered his own plane and boarded the passengers of the cancelled flight to cover the cost. This experience gave him the idea of going into the airline industry.
  • He called Boeing and asked for a second-hand Boeing 747 aircraft. He made a deal whereby he could return the plane by the end of 12 months if things did not work out well.
  • The Richard Branson Airline, Virgin Atlantic provided a richer passenger experience compared to traditional airlines like British Airways which made it popular.


  • Richard Branson keeps himself fit by playing tennis every day. He recommends people keep themselves fit as he believes that every good thing flows from being fit.
  • He also goes kite surfing on the waters around his island


  • Richard Branson has dyslexia and finds it easier to delegate to other people which has freed his time to do more
  • The common problem with many business leaders is that they try to do everything themselves and not delegate more. Richard recommends people delegate and trust other people a little bit more.
  • Richard Branson’s slogan is “Screw it. Let’s do it.” He wants people to go beyond the comfort zone and surprise themselves. They might succeed or fall flat on their face but will learn a lot from the experience.


  • Richard Branson says that many enjoyable things in life don’t cost a lot of money. Kite Surfing, for example, needs a kite and a board and nothing much.
  • He sets challenges as a family every year where he and his entire family go out on an adventure and enjoy the time together.


  • Richard Branson’s parents were happily married and there was a lot of fun and humour in his family
  • He himself is married to his wife for over 40 years and loves his family
  • Richard says that with humour in the family and a loving and long relationship there is no reason for one to be unhappy
  • Richard Branson wants people to remove the negativity from them and be positive. He says that people love people who are positive in life and say kind things.


  • Richard Branson believes that one must not cash in all the chips on a new business. It is important to know the downsides and start a new business while keeping the old business on its feet.
  • He attributes the failure of Virgin Cola to the fact that it was not a big difference to Coca Cola that allowed Coca Cola with its massive resources to crush Virgin Cola. However, in Virgin Atlantic, there was a better product when compared to British Airways that resulted in success.
  • Richard Branson says that there have been more successes than failures and mentions that the Virgin Group is not afraid to cut a business during the initial stages if there is no potential.