We Got Richard Branson, One Of The World’s Richest Men, To Reveal His Bucket List
When thinking about being a better man, Sir Richard Branson is one of the primary role models that comes to mind. He’s successful, innovative and constantly pushing the boundaries. He strives for the stars but is down-to-earth with an air of humility that so many of the rich and famous lack.
One of the world’s richest men, Branson has found success with everything from mobile phone companies to airlines to music festivals, and now he’s added a new venture to the mix: Virgin Sport. The goal of these Festivals of Fitness is to get people up out of those office chairs and active – in a fun way.
We caught up with to icon talk about everything from entrepreneurship to exercise, and bucket lists in between.
AskMen (AM): What advice do you have for men about creating a bucket list?
Richard Branson (RB): Coming up with the list is the easy part, but ticking off the list is the challenge. I love a good challenge, which is why I strongly advise everyone to come up with a bucket list. It doesn’t have to contain out of this world tasks (although going to space is on mine). But once you have written down the list, screw it, just do it!
AM: Based on your experiences, what do you think all men should have on their bucket list?
RB: Travel the world and meet people. I’ve been fortunate enough to see so much of the world, and being able to do so has brought me so many wonderful friends and experiences. There is no better way to learn than exploring new places.
AM: You’re often pushing your boundaries. What advice do you have for men who live conservatively and are sometimes afraid to push themselves?
RB: I am constantly pushing myself and my own expectations and have always found that I’ve always come out better for it. Fear is human nature, but turning fear into opportunity is what will make a difference. I would much rather look back at my life saying “I can’t believe I did that,” than, “What if I had done that?”
AM: Nowadays, when people get busy (as we all do), exercise is one of the first things to get cut out to make more time. For you, it’s a priority no matter what. How did develop this mindset?
RB: I doubt that I would have been successful in my career (and happy in my personal life) if I hadn’t prioritized health and fitness. Staying active ensures mental preparedness and the courage to try new things. It helped me to stay focused on work but also to have fun and try new approaches and explore new places. That’s the spirit behind Virgin Sport – we wanted to introduce fitness activities that are enjoyable, accessible and part of your overall lifestyle.
AM: You fit in your exercises early in the morning. Why do you recommend that time?
RB: No matter where my travels take me, my day starts with a good work out, preferably kitesurfing or tennis. Exercise puts me in the right state of mind for the day. Dedicating time in the morning to exercise your body will make a big difference when you have to focus your mind on the day’s work.
AM: I’ve read that you drink a lot of tea. Is that for workouts, work or both?
RB: Both. Tea keeps me energized throughout the day. Sometimes I’ve been known to drink up to 20 cups!
AM: What advice do you have for men in terms of diet, fitness and nutrition as they get older?
RB: Get moving. Whether your sport of choice is running, cycling, kite surfing, etc. start moving and stay moving! It will give you energy and help you stay young. This is the foundation of Virgin Sport: we created a series of fitness festivals to move the world through sport.
AM: Tell us a little bit about your nutrition – what’s your diet like?
RB: All my exercise through sports like tennis and kitesurfing would not be effective without a balanced diet, so I try to eat as healthy as I possibly can. Although I indulge in my favorite chocolates every now and then, fruits and nuts are my preferred snack.
For health and environmental reasons, beef is no longer part of my diet; there are plenty of delicious alternatives that keep me satisfied. For breakfast, I enjoy fresh fruit and muesli.
AM: Do you have a strict regimen? It seems you are more into sports activities like kitesurfing rather than doing a specific routine in a gym.
RB: Kitesurfing is one of the greatest sports in the world. I highly recommend this to anyone who has access to the ocean. There is nothing more freeing than being out there and kitesurfing. When my schedule permits, it’s the first thing I do in the morning, before I have breakfast. Tennis is also fun, especially against someone far better at the sport than I am.
AM: When you exercise, are there brands you prefer for shoes, gear etc.?
RB: In terms of clothing and shoes, ASICS is the brand the Virgin Sport picked for our first US fitness festival in San Francisco. ASICS is a true leader in the footwear and sportswear industry, especially for running.