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Notes by EMA: Seven Principles of Richard Branson

Dear All,

We do not share enough of what we run into the world that is not ordinary and never mind the extraordinary. If we do not have enough to share then perhaps Richard Branson’s example of assessing how the highs , lows and the unexpected have shaped his life are something to learn from. Of the financially successful people in this, our time, Branson has to stand out at the very peak of the Apex.

Interrogating the principles one stands by has to be up there in things to learn. Every 20 years I guess it is necessary to interrogate your choices and the principles that drive them. I find this very powerful. Principal over principle – principal invariably wins and it really should not.

One thing is breaking the rules. It is altogether different from embarking on fresh adventures where there are no rules. I reflect on this and tell myself that it is easy to bend rules, it is easy to break rules but to come about to building new rules for new adventures must be on its own, altogether another journey completely.

Yes, Yes, Yes and continuing to reach for the stars is so well put. It is simple yet so inspiring and challenging.

Let me share with you this New Years letter from Richard Branson.

All the Best,



New Year’s Message of Richard Branson to the Future Astronaut community:

2017 has been a year I will never forget. From a new arrival in our family to the devastation of Hurricane Irma, there have been more highs than lows than usual Рeven for me! The birth of our fourth grandchild, Bluey, was an absolute delight for the family, and I am happy to report that my grand-dude duties are growing by the day. It has also been a year of topsy-turvy business adventures, from the poignant merger of Virgin America, to the exhilarating creation of Virgin Hyperloop One.

The British Virgin Islands and the wider Caribbean are still recovering from the destruction of Hurricane Irma – and will be for some time. While we have the resources to rebuild Necker and Moskito, our focus remains on supporting the communities in the BVI to get back on their feet after the strongest hurricane ever recorded over the Atlantic. But recover we will and a big thank you to everyone who has shared words and actions of support during such a difficult period.

So it is fair to say that 2017 has been unusual, although also true that ut has featured many of the characteristics, the highsm the lows and the totally unexpected, that have shaped my life over the past decades. The process of writing Finding My Virginity has given me the opportunity to really examine myself and my choices – particularly over the last 20 years. Happily, many of the principles I live by stood firm to this interrogation – especially that one should never lose the thrill of trying things for the first time.

I have always loved taking on new challenges and embarking upon fresh adventures, especially when they veer into Virgin territory – where nobody has gone before. That is what Finding My Virginity is all about: my attempts to push boundaries, break rules and seek new frontiers. Fifty years after starting my first company, my autobiography tells the stories behind expanding the Virgin brand into all corners of the globe; building businesses in a wide variety of industries – and having a hell of a lot of fun along the way.

It is the story of saying yes, yes, yes and, of course, of continuing to reach for the stars. Finding My Virginity shares my personal story of Virgin Galactic, a business adventure that means so much to us all. From my childhood memories of staring at a black and white screen marvelling at the moon landing, to the halcyon days of SpaceShipOne. From the roots of Virgin Galactic through the tragic setbacks we have endured. From the support you all showed me through that difficult period, to the resilience it gave the team and me to persevere through the rollout of our beautiful VSS Unity and her steady progression through the flight test programme.

We are all witnesses and contributors to the thrilling development of the world’s first commercial spaceline. We have all taken a risk and leap of faith, even by my standards! But in 2018, which is shaping up to be the most exciting year yet for Virgin Galactic, I truly believe we could see our collective dream realized. It’s been wonderful seeing the progress this year, from a series of successful tests on the ground and in the air, to the continuing development of our team culture and leadership. I’m now, with you, looking forward to seeing powered flights in the new year leading to the momentous first spaceflight and onwards towards the launch of the spaceline itself. If that wasn’t enough, New Mexico is currently preparing to welcome our team and vehicles in 2018, as they transition from Mojave to their new permanent home at Spaceport America.

So, while recognizing that we are still involved in experimental aerospace testing with all its uncertainties, and that safety will always be of paramount importance, I do think there is a good likelihood that my own flight to space  an take place in 2018. That in turn will kick off the start of a full commercial service which of course will make for the best new chapter of all.

None of this would be possible without your steadfast support and commitment. I often reflect how unique the Future Astronaut community is – there really is nothing else quite like it. You are pioneers, our best ambassadors and of course, fantastically loyal! Thank you for the important role you play and the vision you are helping make a reality. In the meantime, keep enjoying this wonderful community as I know the team have some exciting plans for you all next year. Until then – the very best festive wishes to you and yours, and here’s to a truly exciting new year.

All the best,

Richard Branson


Seven Principles of Richard Branson

7.Minimize your weaknesses!

6.Always be bold!

5.Do the opposite!

4.Nothing is ever too big!

3.Get inspiration from others! In the case of Branson, it was Mandela.

2.Don’t forget to have fun and not just business!

1.Do it right!

Notes by EMA: 8 paradoxical habits of wildly successful people