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“If you aren’t making a difference in other people’s lives, you shouldn’t be in business – it’s that simple.” – Richard Branson
Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has imparted many of his success “secrets” along the years, making him one of the most quotable businessmen in the modern age. He helped changed the way people view success and inspired more people to take risks and to think differently.
In this age of technology, businesses sprout overmight like mushrooms, yet a whooping 90% of them dissolve as rapidly. Fortune magazine looked into their mistakes and found that the top reason why they drowned was because “they make products no one wants.” As Branson would have said, they aren’t making enough difference in other people’s lives.
Making a difference in other people lives does not solely rely on the product you make or the service you offer, but also on how your business affect the community. Branson emphasizes that relevant thought in his 2011 book, “Screw Business As Usual,” where he fundamentally recognizes that businesses can be a force of good and inspiration to the people. Inspired by philanthropy, he now tries to instill social conscience into his new ventures and encourages other businesses to follow suit.
Making a social conscious business also benefits the company as employees are motivated by the difference they make. Branson contends that it ultimately drives higher profits, increases productivity, and be more satisfying than the prospect of wealth.
To quote Branson: “Doing good can help improve your prospects, your profits, and your business; and it can change the world.”