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Q&A: Richard Branson on Richard Branson

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Richard Branson took part in a wide-ranging Q&A session at the American Express OPEN Forum last weekend.

Entrepreneurs are innately curious people, so it’s no wonder that Richard Branson was quizzed about so many different areas of his life.

Answering both mundane questions (What’s his favourite restaurant? What’s has been his most embarassing moment?) and more business-related questions (What motivates him? What’s the key to success? If he had $50 to start a new business, how would he do it?), Richard Branson didn’t hold back in his answers. All 58 of ’em.

We’ve reproduced the Q&A with Richard Branson below, over three pages:

Q: What’s the first thing you think of when you wake up?

A: Like most people, I think about the time!

Q: Which single word gets you out of bed in the morning?

A: “No,” in my wife’s Glaswegian accent.

Q: What do you have for breakfast?

A: I have a fruit salad and muesli. When I spoil myself I have kippers.

Q: Marmite! Love it or hate it?

A: I love Marmite! I recommend it as a drink made with hot water.

Q: Favorite television program?

A: I love anything to do with nature, things like “Planet Earth.”

Q: Which is your favorite band?

A: It has to be the Sex Pistols. They made a big difference for Virgin.

Q: Which was the first record you bought?

A: Vey embarrassingly, I think it was Cliff Richard’s “Summer Holiday.”

Q: Appetizer or dessert?

A: It’s not very healthy, but I’d have to go for dessert.

Q: Best meal ever?

A: I love a Greek restaurant called Halepi in Notting Hill Gate. Great atmosphere.

Q: Best country you have visited?

A: Australia. Love the people – a wonderful, vibrant country.

Q: Favorite country?

A: Great Britain. It’s been kind to me over the years. I’ve got lots and lots of friends here.

Q: Any place left that you’d like to visit?

A: South America. Brazil and Argentina sound wonderful.

Q: Three most adventurous things you have done so far?

A: Boating, ballooning and kite surfing. Space adventures to come!

Q: If you could meet a legend dead or alive, who would it be?

A: Sir Francis Drake. I’d love to have been an explorer of that caliber.

Q: Who is your mentor?

A: My parents. They’ve been a tremendously positive influence.

Q: What is the greatest piece of wisdom you’ve ever heard?

A: To look for the best in people.

The Branson Q&A continues on page two.

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