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Richard Branson - Poster Child For ADHD and Davincis

Updated on August 12, 2013
ladydeonne profile image

Deonne Anderson is a retired Child and Family Therapist, Free Lance Writer, and Motivational Speaker who lives in Florence, SC.

Richard Branson - The World's Greatest Da Vinci

entrepreneur, visionary, sportsman, humanitarian, conservationist,etc.
entrepreneur, visionary, sportsman, humanitarian, conservationist,etc. | Source

Richard Branson - Founder - Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic soars through the air
Virgin Atlantic soars through the air | Source

Richard Branson - Member of Virgin's Crew?

Wow!What a beauty!  Check out that beard! Richard........REALLY?
Wow!What a beauty! Check out that beard! Richard........REALLY? | Source

Virgin Atlantic - Interior

very spacious and comfortable seating
very spacious and comfortable seating | Source

Richard Branson's Early Years

Richard Branson is known world wide for his entrepreneurship and adventuresome personna. He definitely fits our definition of a Da Vinci and is a model for those of us who are challenged with ADHD and Dyslexia. This article is a tribute to the world's most adventurous and risk taking man. Learn here how he built a billion dollar empire despite or more accurately because of his ADHD and Dyslexia traits.

If this is your first time hearing or reading about adults with ADHD or Da Vincis, please see these before starting with the profile of Richard Branson.,

Richard Branson was born in Surrey, England on July 18, 1950. His father was a barrister, his mother, an airline stewardess. In response to the question, "Didn't...weren't you just terrible at school?" posed in an interview with Chris Anderson of Ted Talks in May of 2008, Branson said:

"I was Dyslexic. I had no understanding whatsoever. I certainly would have failed IQ Tests. And it was one of the reasons I left school when I was fifteen years old. And if I... I'm not interested in something, I don't grasp it. As somebody who's Dyslexic, you also have some quite bizarre situations. I mean, for instance, I've had to, you know, I've been running the largest group of private companies in Europe, but haven't been able to know the difference between net and gross. And so the board meetings have been fascinating...and so it's like, good news or bad news. And generally the people would say, oh well, that's bad news."

He has confessed that while in school, "I was misbehaved at school, got in lots of trouble - was hopeless at class, a bit of a rebel, didn't like the way we were being taught and started my own magazine so I could campaign for things they (students) want."

It was the success with his magazine, The Student, that started him on the road to entrepreneurship, fame and fortune. It was a youth culture magazine that was for and managed by students. The magazine sold $8,000 in advertising it's first edition. Richard Branson gave away 50,000 copies after he covered his advertising cost. So even though he didn't understand the difference between net and gross, he was great at marketing and public relations.

With the money he made from his magazine, Branson was able to start a record business that he ran out of the same church from which he ran his magazine business. He advertised popular music in The Student and it was a big success. He did business under the name "Virgin" and sold records far more cheaper than his competitors. His company was named by an employee who cited the fact that all those involved including Richard Branson were virgins at doing business.

From the profits made in the record store, he launched Virgin Records and bought a country home complete with a recording studio. His first project was with a multi-instrumentalist , Mike Oldfield, whose debut album "Tuber Bells," stayed on the UK's top music charts for (247) weeks.

Richard Branson signed on such groups as Sex Pistols, The Rolling Stones, Genesis, and my favorite, Culture Club with Boy George. Richard Branson signed on groups that other companies shied away from. His music appealed to the youth culture and was more avant garde.

America Flies Virgin

virgin america
virgin america | Source

Virgin Galactic - FIRE!

All fired up and ready to go!
All fired up and ready to go! | Source

Virgin Galactic Spaceship II

Beautiful Skies
Beautiful Skies | Source

Richard Branson as Entrepreneur

Richard Branson is a world-renowned and gifted entrepreneur. He is most known for his ownership of Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Records, Virgin Mobile, and Virgin Galactic. He heads a conglomerate of over (400) companies, all under the Virgin Group umbrella. According to Forbes 2012 magazine, his net worth is $4.6 billion. Not too shabby for an ADHD/Dyslexic high school drop-out, huh?

While publishing The Student, Branson lived in a commune alongside musicians and drug users as was part of the youth culture back then. While there, he started a mail order business to help pay for his magazine expenses. With his profits, he opened a record shop and with that shop's success, he built a recording studio in his newly acquired country estate.

His first artist was Mike Oldfield whose recording "Tubular Bells" was a smash hit, and stayed on the UK charts for (247) weeks. Richard Branson signed the Sex Pistols, Culture Club, The Rolling Stones, and Genesis. Under his leadership Virgin Records became one of the top six recording companies in the world.

Branson formed Virgin Air in 1984, Virgin Mobile in 1999 and Virgin Blue in Australia in 2000. He entered the railway Business in 1993. His acquisitions are too numerous to mention in the scope of this article.

Richard Branson is the fourth richest man in the UK and according to Forbes is worth 4.6 billion dollars. He has accomplished much for a man who, for years. did not understand the difference between NET and PROFIT.

When interviewed by three student reporters in May of 2008 he talked about how he was finally able to understand the two concepts. "When I was in school they'd never heard of Dyslexia. Because I was Dyslexic, I left at (15) because I was Dyslexic and started a magazine....Over the years, I've had to find good people to do the things I'm not good at. It wasn't until (10) years ago that I learned the difference between net and gross. So, I've gotten quite good at choosing people around me."

Those of you who read the post on Kinko's Orfalea, will recognize some similarities. They both did poorly in school. Orfalea managed to graduate from college, but only because his father's secretary researched and completed his papers .When he graduated from college, he still could not read or write.

Branson and Orfalea realized the value of having people around them who are good at those things they were bad at, freeing them to do the many things they can do well. They both were challenged with Dyslexia and ADHD at a time when Educators and Mental Health Practitioners had never researched and labeled these conditions and thus had no idea of how to treat or deal with students who were exhibiting the symptoms of what we know today is Dyslexia and ADHD.

They both highly value customer service and treating their employees well. Above is a picture of Richard Branson dressed as a stewardess in full attire. He often flew as a passenger or a member of the crew on his airlines .He wanted to see first hand how his staff treated each other as well as their customers how well his business operated. He has a great sense of humor and is very charismatic.

Virgin Galactic Leaving Planet Earth


Inside the Virgin Galactic Spaceship II

ooooh! Roomy and Comfy!
ooooh! Roomy and Comfy! | Source

Richard Branson - The Daredevil

In addition to his entrepreneurial pursuits, Richard Branson is an avid sportsman. He gets a kick out of breaking records and is highly competitive.

  • In (1986) he headed a record breaking Atlantic crossing in the Virgin Atlantic Challenger.
  • In (1987) he did the first crossing by hot air balloon of the Atlantic Ocean
  • In 1991 he did the first crossing of the Pacific Ocean in an hot air balloon.

Richard Branson's Commercial Space Ship

Richard Branson's biggest and most risky adventure is the partnering with Scaled Composites to form the Space Ship Company, Virgin Galactic. The project involves developing a suborbital space plan that will transport individuals into outer space on the Space Ship II. A test flight completed in April of 2013 was a success and it is Branson's expectations that the testing phase of the space ship will end by December of 2013.

As of April 2013, over (500) individuals have paid their deposits or bought their tickets that are going for $200,000. If you would like to sign up and buy your ticket you will need to pay a deposit of $25,000. Go here: to learn all about Virgin Atlantic and the flight planned for late December or early 2014. If I am able to manifest the $200,000 by the end of August, I will certainly be joining many of my fellow Da Vincis on the virgin voyage. Hope to see you at the launch pad!

Virgin Galactic Space Ship II

World's First Commercial Space Ship
World's First Commercial Space Ship | Source

Richard Branson- The Greatest Living Da Vinci

If you are an educator, a school counselor, or the parent of a child who is Dyslexic or has ADHD, you owe it to your child to learn all that you can about the conditions and about the individuals who have managed to build on their strengths and to do great things despite their mental challenges.

Before we began profiling Da Vincis, we defined who these individuals are and provided some characteristics or personality traits unique to them. Da Vinci's are the change agents of society. Da Vincis are the world's greatest leaders, artists, entrepreneurs, inventors, writers, revolutionaries, and rock stars. Da Vincis are light bearers and leaders. Da Vincis are often the most sensitive of our population, the most creative....Da Vincis share a common polymorphism, the DRD4 exon III, 7 repeat allele. This gene supports risk taking, novelty seeking...ADHD and Bipolar, propensity for genius level problem solving and creativity and gives one what it takes to be a charismatic political leader, rock star, inventor, movie star, artist, writer, or rebel billionaire.

Does these words not describe Richard Branson? Think about it. Branson can barely read and write. He had no understanding of the concepts NET and GROSS until he was age (50), yet, he was the CEO of several companies worth billions and billions of dollars in Europe.

How will history see Richard Branson? In answer to the question, "How much do you think about legacy, and what would you like your legacy to be?" he responded, "I don't think much about legacy. I mean, I like know, my grandmother lived to (101), so hopefully I've got (30) or (40) more years to go. I just want to live life to the full. You know, if I can make a difference...I hope to be able to make a difference..."

Richard Branson is a risk taker, he thinks outside the box, he is a rebel. he is a non comformer,he is a leader, he is an entrepreneur, he is very sensitive, he is very charismatic, he lives his life to the fullest, he puts his whole heart into whatever he does, he is the greatest living Da Vinci of all times.

For me it is inspirational and motivating that Branson so willingly takes on the responsibility, because he has the resources, to change and to make the planet earth a better place for us and for the many generations to come. Richard Branson - The greatest living Da Vinci of our time. I salute you.

Having my say


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Richard Branson will certainly go down in history


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    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 

      4 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      What a great article on Richard Branson who I know is also a dyslectic. I just published my hub: The world of a Dyslectic when I saw that there are many hubs on this topic. Thank goodness that today children do not have to go through the traumas I experienced, due to people like him.

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Dr Abby Campbell 

      5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Awesome read on Richard Branson. Thank you for sharing this. I had no idea that he had ADHD, but I have read that most people with ADHD have a unique gift... have the entrepreneurship spirit. It's interesting to say the least, and Mr. Brandson is proof of that. :-)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I really enjoyed reading about Richard Branson. What a shame that his learning disabilities were unknown while attending school, although, i can't see how he could've done any better. I totally agree with your last comment. One shoe doesn't fit all. Thank you for sharing....

    • ladydeonne profile imageAUTHOR

      Deonne Anderson 

      5 years ago from Florence, SC


      Richard Branson is loved by people all over the world. He truly is a genius and a very humble man. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Ralph Deeds,

      I agree, Branson is the coolest dude on the planet. Thanks for reading my post and commenting.

      Thanks billybuc,

      I love nothing more than spreading the word about the contributions individuals with ADHD and learning disabilities make to our society and to our planet. What our school systems have to do is figure out a way to help these children find their "genius" and enable them to use and develop their God given talents. Thanks for supporting me. I have missed reading your recent posts because I have been in the hospital. Hope to catch up soon!

    • whonunuwho profile image


      5 years ago from United States

      Mr. Richard Branson is a great representative of the strength of the human spirit, and of the numerous others who had debilitating conditions in life, yet went on to be the grandest and best that they could possibly be, despite their limitations and were fantastically successful and set a beautiful standard that"We can be all that we want to be, if we just give it our best." Very nice work my friend. whonu

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Caught my eye and well worth the read. Well done.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      The title was classic.....very interesting article. Nicely done and informative to boot.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 

      5 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Nice Hub. Branson is a cool dude.

    • LongTimeMother profile image


      5 years ago from Australia

      I am a great fan of Richard Branson. His autobiography made excellent reading and I recommend it to everyone with children. Don't expect to see me at the launch pad, though. I admire the view of space from earth. That's good enough for me. :)

    • ladydeonne profile imageAUTHOR

      Deonne Anderson 

      5 years ago from Florence, SC


      Thanks for reading and commenting om my hub.


      I truly love and admire Richard Branson. He is my favorite Da Vinci.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Really enjoyed reading this tribute to one of my favorite people. Well done!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      5 years ago from San Francisco

      Outstanding article. Congratulations


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