Sir Richard Branson is hailed as a success icon all over the world but, like everyone else, there were things that didn’t always come easily to him. One was reading. Mildly dyslexic at a time when very little was understood about the learning disability, Branson was often caned for failing tests at school. Instead of developing a complex and allowing his self-esteem to suffer, Branson became determined to overcome his particular challenge.
“However hard I struggled, reading and writing were hard for me. For some reason this made me want to become a reporter,” he writes in Screw it, Let’s Do It. Taking the bull by the horns he entered – and won – a school essay contest. “From then on, my school work improved. I learned to focus on hard words and my spelling got better,” he says. Branson went on to start Student magazine and today is author of many best-sellers.
“I think this shows you can achieve almost anything – but you have to make the effort,” he says. His ‘Just Do It’ philosophy includes:
- Believe it can be done
- Never give up
- Have faith in yourself
- Aim high
- Challenge yourself
- Always try
Branson has continued to apply this simple philosophy which has paid dividends throughout his career.