Richard Branson’s Advice to Find the Right Investment
By James Mills, Mentorship Coach & Associate Partner, Lighthouse International
“Right now, investors might seem like they are the gatekeepers between you and your dream, but the one person who can make your business succeed is not an investor, or even a mentor. It is you.”
- Richard Branson
How many of us have had business ideas but not moved forward because of a lack of resources to turn a concept into a reality? Richard Branson was recently asked about the best way to go about funding a business and he offered the following pieces of advice:
1. Be Honest With Yourself
Branson says that the quest for funding all starts with thorough discovery, not just in terms of the amount of finance you need, but also your commitment to your ideas and capabilities.
2. Find the Right Mentor, Be Open to Challenge and Build a Relationship for the Long Term
Mentoring is cited by Branson as something that has been critical to his success. He recommends that we should be equally thorough in finding the right mentor based on their industry expertise and interests as well as mentoring experience. He says the real value of mentoring is dependent on what we invest into the relationship as a means to learn lessons and avoid potential failure. He warns against ignoring advice, which may involve challenging the way we’ve always done things.
3. Build Your Network Offline and Online
Expanding your network is key when looking for funding - especially since any investment doesn’t have to come from just one investor. As suggested in his proposal for developing entrepreneurs in Higher Education he says that building the right relationships will make a big difference in being introduced to potential investors when funding is needed.
4. Listen to Others Before Presenting Your Idea
When going out to meet people, Branson highlights the importance of listening to people rather than simply jumping into a sales pitch of your idea. If we believe we can do everything by ourselves, then we are limited as to what we can achieve!
5. Success Starts With You!
Finally, Branson says that although building a network is crucial to finding the right funding, the ultimate determiner of our success is us! If we aren’t committed to our success, then we can’t expect others to be.
For more details on Branson’s advice, check out this article on the Virgin blog and Branson’s original answer to a question from a young aspiring entrepreneur.
What ideas would you like to make happen if you knew enough of the right people and had access to all the resources you needed?
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If I had the investment I require & the right mentor, I would firstly fast track my existing business of providing Floating Homes in UK . Providing affordable homes on water for aspiring young people & others who might not otherwise be able to afford a home. I would approach govt to make available flood plains which are otherwise useless & create artificial lakes on them & have entire floating villages. With more & more cities in the UK getting flooded, this is the right time to further develop my business & try to change/influence policies of the govt & environment agency to be more receptive to houses on water.
The second stage of my business plan is that once I have been successful in UK, I would then like to reach out to other poorer countries like Bangladesh & try to create Floating Villages or cities that can withstand floods & not devastate communities year after year.
Climate change is affecting the world & even in India due to bad planning mangroves are being built on thereby creating devastating floods like the one in Chennai recently. I would like to educate Real Estate companies & govt in India to have these sustainable floating villages which would not cause flooding problems. A major part of the world is underwater & why not utilize this creatively. Yes, I would like to be an AQUA ENTREPRENEUR.