At a certain point, ignore the naysayers and just act. That’s what Sir Branson did-at age 15.
Long before Richard Branson launched a record company, a mobile-phone company, an airline, or any of the other 400 or so companies he has created, he was dropping out of school to start a magazine. Fortunately for Branson, he had an understanding father.
Like a lot of entrepreneurs, I had no interest in being a businessman. I was a young man and the Vietnam War was raging, a war I thought never should have been started. A lot of us young people felt very strongly it should be stopped. I thought that maybe by giving us a voice, I could help stop the war. So I set about launching a magazine for young people called Student.
Of course, I didn’t have any money. So I worked out of my boarding school, ringing up Coca-Cola and Pepsi and National Westminster Bank, playing them off one another to buy advertising. I had no idea what I was doing, but somehow my enthusiasm managed to land me $6,000 worth of advertising, enough to print 50,000 copies. I wrote my headmaster a note that said, “I’m off! But thank you very much,” and I left school to launch the magazine.
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