Richard Branson has just released an excellent documentary; aptly titled “Don’t Look Down”. It chronicles his adventures in the voyages across the oceans in a hot air balloon. The documentary says more about Branson than any other biographical piece. When asked how he has implicit trust in Per Lindstrand, the co-pilot in his transoceanic adventures, Branson said that it was partly due to his own adventurous nature and his reasoning that Lindstrand will take precautions since the latter is a family man. It also helped that the co-pilot is an experienced hand in guiding balloons.
Entrepreneurship and dyslexia
When asked about his ability to think clearly during a crisis, Branson attributed this ability to being an entrepreneur from an extremely early age. He began his business at an extremely young age of 15 years. His transoceanic ballooning adventure first happened during his early thirties. The possibility of death during that journey could have unfazed any person- but not Branson.
In its own way, being dyslexic also helped. If he was not affected by this condition, he said that his choices would have been similar to what normal people select in everyday life and in special, challenging situations. The combination of dyslexia and the struggle of facing life as an entrepreneur with the stress of being calm under any situation, helped him to achieve success. Branson believes him being dyslexic compelled him to question his own actions. It stopped him from being overly too confident. It also forced him to analyze every situation carefully.
Adventure in life and in business
The Briton sees the creation of startups and building them from the ground up as a kind of adventure. It also helped that his business venture segued perfectly with his adventurous nature. Being the owner of an airline company, it seemed natural to embark on a transoceanic journey perched from a balloon. Branson insisted that he would have done it even if he did not own the airline company. It just happened that his personal achievements made excellent PR material for his own company.
Branson sees his companies as challenger brands. He went into a number of sectors and shook the then leaders from their slumber and took away their market leadership positions. His companies have always delivered better services and better products. They also won a greater number of awards- thus pushing up the value of the Virgin brand.