” Outside the comfort zone “
Who am I doing : Sir Richard Branson
Intro : There are times when we are faced with fears and its only once we step out of our comfort-zones we begin to achieve the once thought impossible. Today I am going to be talking to you about Sir Richard Branson who wouldn’t be where he is today if it wasn’t for stepping out of his comfort zone. I will be talking about his early life, achievements, and stepping outside of the comfort-zone.
Body : Sir Richard Branson, aged 67 was born on the 18th of July 1950 in Blackheath London, he is the oldest of three children. Eve Branson, Richards mother was an airline hostess for British South American Airways and his father a barrister. Richard went to an all-boys Scaitcliffe School and attended until the age of 13. What you may not know is that he struggled with dyslexia and was failing academically, He then transferred to a boarding school in Stowe, Buckinghamshire, England, which he attended for a couple of years before dropping out at the age of 16 and on his last day at school, his headmaster told him he would either end up in prison or become a millionaire. Who would have thought that principles would have such a say into what we could become. Richard could have just given up on trying to achieve anything but instead it was at this time that he began his many achievements.
Richard created a youth culture magazine at the age of 16 which he called student, it was a huge success. He created the magazine to challenge the perceptions of the youth culture. The fact that Richard was only 16 when he decided to do this shows that he wanted the youth to have a voice, can you imagine yourself stepping up and creating a magazine that gave your year level a voice. He states that he wouldn’t be where he is today if he wasn’t dyslexic, he wouldn’t have struggled and dropped out of school to start the Student magazine. Some of you if not most of you would be able to understand how Richard would have felt struggling with school at this point, as there are some of us that struggle with school every day whether its with writing, reading or study. Richard then went on to create a record company called virgin records, he signed aspiring musical groups to the label such as the rolling stones, this helped to make virgin music one of the top 6 recording companies in the world. Ten successful years later, Richard started his biggest and most successful business venture, the ‘Virgin Atlantic Airways’ in 1984. Slowly, the airlines took over the world, as Virgin Express in the rest of the Europe, as the Virgin America in the USA, and as Virgin Australia. They were the first airline to introduce TV’s in the back of the seats, the first ever double beds in the air travelling business class and the first ever inflight bars. However in 1992 Richard had to sell his virgin records company in order to keep his airline company afloat. Determined to stay in the music business.The Virgin Group eventually reached 35 countries around the world, with nearly 70,000 employees handling business in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Canada, Asia, Europe, South Africa. Could you believe this is the same man who is dyslexic and dropped out of school. The Virgin group didn’t just stop at airlines. Virgin trains followed and then came the popular Virgin Galactic, a space tourism company. There was a whole other array of companies that Richard created with his Virgin group. Such as Virgin fuels, Virgin vodka, Virgin mobile, Virgin comics, Virgin media, Virgin health bank, Virgin money and whole lot of other Virgin industries were all founded by him. Richard made several world record-breaking attempts after 1985, when he attempted to make the fastest atlantic crossing in a boat called the Virgin Atlantic Challenger, but he ended up capsizing and had to be rescued. He then tried and failed to cross the same ocean in a hot air balloon in 1987. We could all relate to the way Richard would have felt when he failed as we have all been in experiences where we have failed. In the New Years Honours list, Elizabeth II signified her intention to confer the honour of Knight Bachelor on him for his “services to entrepreneurship” He was knighted by Charles, Prince of Wales on 30th of March 2000 at an investiture in Buckingham Palace.
Richard has achieved many significant things and is still going today however all his achievements so far would not have been possible if he didn’t step outside of his comfort zone. Being dyslexic was a major set back for him as when he was going to school in the 1960’s where no one knew what it was, all the teachers just thought that he was being lazy. However these days Richard believes that in the real world dyslexia can be a huge advantage. This is backed up by the amount of successful entrepreneurs, inventors, writers and leaders who have dyslexia and have gone on to achieve incredible things.
Conclusion : We are faced with challenges almost every second of the day its how we over come them that makes them significant. Today I have presented to you what Sir Richard Branson achieved through out his life time and how he was faced with challenges that could have stopped him but instead he pushed through them to have amazing outcomes. I talked to you about his early life, achievements and stepping outside of the comfort zone. What we can learn from what Richard has achieved is that its ok to be failing or struggling at school as long as you don’t give up and keep continuing to step out of your comfort zone you can achieve anything.