In his 20s, he was in Puerto Rico, and hadn’t seen his girlfriend for 3 weeks. He was at the airport, around 6PM, and was about to fly to the Virgin Islands. American Airlines announced they were moving the flight to the next morning, because they didn’t have enough passengers, and Richard didn’t want to wait. So, Richard uses his credit card to rent a plane, and used a blackboard writing, “Virgin Airlines – One Way $29” to promote a flight to the British Virgin Islands – SIMPLIFY: What would chartering a flight look like if it were easy?
The next morning, he called Boeing, and inquired about buying a second hand 747 plane. At this point, he had a bit of money from Virgin Records.
Richard thought about everything, but realized he wanted to cap the downside
He planned to only buy the plane if Boeing would let him give back the plane at the end of the first year if things didn’t go according to plan – mitigate risk
He didn’t need to, and Virgin Atlantic was born
How did he convince Boeing to allow him to return the plane if things didn’t work out?
Richard was friendly, and let his past successes in the entertainment business be known
His plan was to make air travel entertaining
How would Richard train someone, or what he recommend they do/read to become a better negotiator?
“Nothing beats personal experience”
“You’ll come across the same people time and time again in life, so your reputation is everything”
Make sure you’re negotiating a deal you won’t be unhappy with, and make sure you’re negotiating how you might be able to get out if something goes wrong
Adventures and the art of promotion
Richard has driven a tank down 5th Avenue, crossed the English Channel in an amphibious car, took a 407 ft. jump off the Palms Casino in Las Vegas, and gone from Morocco to Hawaii in a hot air balloon
What principles are helpful to Richard in launching a new company/product?
If Richard’s team is going to work really hard to develop an idea, he feels he owes it to them to put it on the map, even if that means using himself to market it
He tries to promote businesses in a way that makes people smile
Richard’s new book
Why write it now?
“Everybody should write a book about their lives”
He was very young when he wrote Losing My Virginity – Tim HIGHLY recommends this book (also another autobiography he loves – Open by Andre Agassi)
Everyone lives an interesting life. Your grandchildren and children will be fascinated by the life you lived.
How does Richard keep his energy level as high as it is?
“Looking after yourself is they key to everything else”
Richard starts every day by playing tennis against someone who is better than him
He then goes kite surfing
After that, he settles down for breakfast
He’s currently in Morocco, and plans to climb Mount Toubkal, the highest mountain in North Africa
He really values being active, and going on adventures with his family