by Donna Martinez
Former Senior Writer and Editor, John Locke Foundation
I’m drawn to people who see things differently. Who look past — and around — what everyone else sees. People who see opportunity. People who prefer to try new ways of doing things rather than being smothered by those who defend the same old thing. CNBC asked five very wealthy and successful entrepreneurs what they would do if they had to start all over again. Check out Richard Branson’s response.
If the 67-year-old billionaire entrepreneur had to reboot, he knows exactly what he would do: Launch a new business he hasn’t tried yet. A devoted note taker, Branson would “go through all my notebooks, find the best ideas that had fallen through the cracks and start them up,” he writes in his autobiography, “Finding My Virginity.”
While a lot has changed in the business world over the past several decades, the fundamentals of building a strong business have not, he says: “Once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur. I know I’d find a gap in the market somewhere.”
Bingo. I have no doubt Mr. Branson would find the need and fill it. Ten times over. I have no doubt he would again become a billionaire. And there’s a reason. He’s not afraid to see things differently and look past the crowd. There’s a lesson here for all of us. Do you see it?