While there's no magic bullet to Richard Branson's success (or anyone's for that matter), he does drop hints here and there about which routines and ideologies led him to becoming a man of $5 billion wealth. Now here's one more.
In an interview with Thrive Global, a platform led by Arianna Huffington focused on wellness and productivity, Branson shares the book he says changed his life. It's a popular children's book, which shouldn't come as a surprise for those who are familiar with the entrepreneur's penchant for adventure and playfulness.
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The Millionaire Next Door
"The Millionaire Next Door is my go to finance book. It’s a great book to get your thinking differently about your money, and find out how others have been successful building wealth." -Debt Discipline
"The Millionaire Next Door is an explanation of how average people with average incomes have been able to attain millionaire status. If you don't think you're ever going to become wealthy, this book is here to prove you wrong!" -Financial Fanny Pack
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"Ramit is amazing at explaining boring and complicated personal finance topics in a conversational, fun, and easy to understand way. This book totally covers everything you need to do for healthy finances and dissects it into simple, actionable steps you can start on immediately. Recommended for anyone who wants to get their money matters in order!" -InvestmentZen
"This book offers unique perspectives on personal finance, including challenging the reader to consider how many hours were spent working towards items they've purchased, rather than just the price. If you're looking to transform your finances, this is a great resource." -Mystery Money Man
"This book explains how powerful scarcity can be, whether it’s a lack of time or money. It’s not exactly a personal finance book--it’s more about psychology and poverty, but it’s one of the most interesting “finance” books I’ve read." -The Wild Wong
"The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins. Most people over complicate personal finance. This is one of the easiest books I've read about getting your finances in order and investing in your future." -The Jenny Pincher
"Rich Dad Poor Dad focuses on stories from the author's life to reveal the differences in how the "rich" and the "poor" think about money. Kiyosaki's explanations are easy to follow and can be a good starting point for some basic financial ideas that anyone to use." -Financial Fanny Pack
"This book has inspired millions to turn around their finances and get out of debt. The information is straightforward and understandable and would be a great gift for anyone from college student to the soon-to-be-retired." -Hope + Cents
"Dave Ramsey provides 7 easy to follow "baby steps" that lead people to financial prosperity. This book helped me to become debt free and create a plan to pay off my mortgage by age 35." -Marriage, Kids and Money
"The Richest Man in Babylon's collection of short stories cuts out a lot of today's financial jargon in order to get back to the basics. This book offers simple and actionable strategies that can, and should, be used by financial experts, complete beginners, and everyone in between." -Financial Fanny Pack
"This book would make for a great gift, because it’s not your run-of-the-mill, dry finance book. It focuses on real-life experiences with practical solutions to get out of sticky money situations. I devoured this book and it’s my go-to recommendation whenever a friend or family member asks me for one." -Jessica Moorhouse
"In The Wealthy Barber Returns, David Chilton mixes great financial advice and laugh out loud humor. A few chapters are geared towards Canadian readers, but anyone interested in personal finance would find this a great read!" -Mystery Money Man
"Scott Alan Turner pens this no-nonsense book focused on reducing your stress when it comes to investing and retirement. It opened my eyes to hidden broker fees and the simplicity of an index fund-based investment portfolio." -Marriage, Kids and Money
"If you're going to make any money or be successful in this world, you need to understand yourself and get clear on what you want. There is no better book out there for accomplishing your goals." -Jiu-Jitsu Finance
Here's a hint: Remember he's the CEO of Virgin Airlines and spearheaded Virgin Galactic, which describes itself as "the world's first commercial spaceline." The guy likes to fly.
Branson says Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie was a book that heavily influenced his career. "Ever since reading it as a child, Peter Pan has been my favourite character," he told Thrive Global. "I've drawn a lot of inspiration from the book. I've never really wanted to grow up and I've always wanted to fly!"
You can see why Branson would identify with the pirate-fighting and adventure-seeking mischievous character of magical Neverland fame.
The character Peter Pan first appeared in an adult book J.M. Barrie wrote in 1902. A couple years later, Barrie made Pan the main character in a play titled Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up. The play was then adapted and expanded into a novel, Peter and Wendy, which was published in 1911.
Barrie never fully described Peter's appearance or gave the character an exact age. He left it up to the reader's imagination. Most adaptations settle on a boy aged 13-14, sporting tights and dressed in green as he flies across the sky between London and the island of Neverland. Or, Pan could be 66-year-old billionaire who loves air travel and owns an island in the Caribbean.