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Branson: “In it for fun, not just money”

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Richard Branson wrote an excellent blog yesterday about how people start businesses for fun, rather than just for the money.

Richard Branson makes a salient point: time and time again, when speaking with entrepreneurs, it’s the passion for their business and their total belief that they are going to make a difference or change the market that they tell us about.

This is a hot topic for all enterprising people. Do you do what you do because you want to make money, or do you do it for another reason?

I suspect it’s a bit of both. You can be passionate about the journey – and thoroughly relish the hard work and long hours – but the money often plays the role of the carrot.

Read Richard Branson’s piece below, and leave us your thoughts. We’re keen to hear why you’re in business.

In it for fun, not just money

I don’t think that many businesspeople start their business with the idea that they can make a lot of money. Most people feel that they can create something that is going to make a difference to other people’s lives – that is how they start their businesses.

I started Student magazine as a teenager, nothing to do with being a businessman, I just wanted to run a magazine, have fun doing it and try to help campaign to stop the Vietnamese war. I wanted to do something that I thought would be entertaining and fun. 

If it paid the bills at the end of the year, that was the detail, it wasn’t something that interested me that much.

When we went into the airline business, we certainly didn’t think we could make a lot of money from it.

We went into it because we hated flying other people’s airlines, we thought we could create the kind of airline that I would like to fly, something to be proud of and that the people who work for the airline would be proud of. Something where people who flew on it could enjoy the experience.

The business aspect was important just to make sure we made more money than we lost and could carry on to the next year.

I actually think the most successful businesses are the ones where people think like that.

If you think, “where is the gap in the market for me to make a lot of money?”, and spend your life like that, the chances are you’ll fall flat on your face. You have got to have a passion for what you are doing.

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