Fulfilment does not come from material possessions, billionaire Richard Branson said in a new blogpost, claiming he “never set out to make money.”
“I truly believe that ‘stuff’ really does not bring happiness,” he said in a post published Monday. “Family, friends, good health and the satisfaction that comes from making a positive difference are what really matters.”
Branson, whose net worth is $4 billion, according to Forbes, said his intention was never to get rich — instead, his ambition was to have a positive impact on the world through his business.
“From the very beginning, we set out to create things that we could be proud of and to try to make a difference at Virgin,” he claimed. “From founding Student magazine to give young people in the 1960s a voice on issues such as the Vietnam War to creating Virgin Galactic to explore space, we have always tried to do things a little differently and challenge convention.”
The tycoon said his various companies became successful simply because the public liked what Virgin created — and as his ventures prospered, the firm reinvested to set up new endeavors as well as a non-profit foundation.
Branson also noted that his children share his values when it came to what truly matters.
“Fortunately, early on in my life I realized that personal ‘stuff’ really didn’t matter,” he continued, recalling a time when he and his wife Joan lived on a houseboat which sank with their possessions.
“We realized that we missed nothing except our treasured photo albums,” he said.
Branson also shared anecdotes of his former London home being destroyed by a fire, and his home in the British Virgin Islands being “completely gutted” after a lightning strike.
“Times like these really remind you what is truly important in life,” he said, noting that his approach to business prioritized people and the planet.
“Investing in solutions to (world) issues and time with my family makes me happier and more satisfied than monetary investments or ‘stuff’ ever could,” Branson added.