Branson maintained this childlike sensibility when launching his Virgin Records label in 1973, Virgin Records, and Virgin Atlantic airline in 1984. “None of us really knew what we were doing,” he says of those endeavors. “But, like children, unaware of the rules, we pushed through and achieved what others deemed to be impossible.”

His inexperience ended up being a blessing: “With no preconceptions and no idea of what would work and what wouldn’t, we did things differently and paved our own path to success.”

Today, Branson learns by observing his young grandchildren. “I have particularly enjoyed watching them learn to walk,” he writes. “They have each had so many spills and tumbles, yet, while they have bumped and grazed themselves time and time again, their egos have not been bruised nor has their willingness to try been diminished.”

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