Business Advice, Startup Advice

Four ways to dream big from Virgin founder Richard Branson

Dominic Powell /

Many successful business ideas have been born from big ideas, and Richard Branson’s Virgin Airlines is no exception, with the famous businessman dropping out of school at age 16 to pursue a life of entrepreneurship that would lead him to launching the iconic brand.

In a blog post on his website, Branson took some time — perhaps 15 minutes — to outline why he thinks business owners should never stop dreaming big, and how doing so will often help them become leaders who can “make the impossible possible”.

“Dreaming champions aspiration, spurs innovation, leads to change, and propels the world forward. Dream big and you will be rewarded … trust me,” Branson writes.

Here are four tips from Branson on how to keep dreaming big every day.

1. Schedule time

Echoing his recent advice for entrepreneurs to ensure they make space every day for “you time”, Branson believes part of an entrepreneur’s time should be dedicated “just to dream”. He says this time should be scheduled just like any meeting.

“Far too many people get weighed down in doing, and never take the time to think and feel. Take five minutes, an hour, a day, or even a holiday,” he writes.

“If you free up some time to think freely, you’ll be able to see the bigger picture much easier.”

2. Don’t think to dream big is silly

Though the concept of marking out time to tackle the somewhat undefined task of “dreaming big” might feel somewhat ridiculous to some entrepreneur owners, Branson emphasises it’s important to keep yourself from feeling self-conscious.

“Don’t be self-conscious about dreaming, or about people thinking you’re too idealistic, and not serious enough. Don’t allow your self talk to be judgmental. And don’t betray your dreams for the sake of fitting in,” he says.

“Look at the world with wide-eyed enthusiasm, believe you are more powerful than the problems that confront you.”

3. “Be scared but not scared off”

“If your dreams don’t scare you they are too small. Dreaming comes with some level of risk, and the biggest and best dreams come with a lot of risk — failure, criticism or loss of hope,” he says.

“But those who achieve great things are the ones willing to be scared but not scared off. Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.”

4. Ask for help if you need it

Finally, Branson says it’s important not to shut others out of your dreaming, as he believes “a great dream can drive wonderfully innovative collaboration”.

“If you share your dream with like-minded people who share your passion, you could take your dream places you never imagined going,” Branson writes.

“Very few people ever made a great idea come to life without a lot of help.”

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Dominic Powell

Dominic Powell is the lead reporter at StartupSmart.

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