Richard Branson lives a life many hanker after: as a billionaire who resides on his own privately-owned island and the head of global corporation Virgin, it’s not hard to see why. And he managed to achieve all this in spite of leaving school early.
Time and again, Branson encourages young people to stay faithful to themselves in the face of all odds. After all, he’s living proof that anything is possible — as a child, he struggled greatly with dyslexia. No one ever dreamed that he would pioneer a global music and video game company, an airline and a space project.
There’s a secret to Bransons’ success, and it’s very simple
He has one piece of advice for anyone still at the beginning of their careers: don’t give up. On Virgin’s website, he said:
“There have been so many times in my career where my ideas were overlooked. Friends, family members, people I looked up to, and the banks – not everyone always saw the potential I saw. But that didn’t deter me. Just because others don’t believe in your ideas from the get-go doesn’t mean that they are worthless. In my case, it drove me to want to succeed even more.”
He believes there’s always a second chance in life, for everything — and that if you give up, you never know what you would have achieved in the end.
“Imagine where J.K. Rowling would be if she didn’t keep persevering when others didn’t recognise the greatness of her books,” he said. “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was rejected 12 times and she was told not to quit her day job! Thomas Edison failed thousands of times to invent the lightbulb — if he’d given up, we’d all be in the dark. ”
Branson also learned from his mistakes
After Branson failed at school, he could have accepted his fate. Yet, instead, he made his greatest weakness his greatest strength: he learned to love everything simple through dyslexia, which later became the business principle when he founded Virgin.
Richard Branson is convinced everyone can write their own future
“Nobody gets everything right first time, and it is how we learn from our mistakes that defines us. We all deserve a second chance.”
This article originally appeared on BusinessInsider.com.