In many ways, Richard Branson is the prototypical entrepreneur.
Since starting the Virgin Group 46 years ago, he’s overseen hundreds of companies around the world, in a wide range of industries, bearing the Virgin name.
There’s no difference between the way he approaches risks in both his professional and personal lives, which is made clear in the new documentary “Don’t Look Down.” The film highlights footage of both his record-breaking hot-air balloon voyages, transatlantic in 1987 and transpacific in 1991.
Business Insider recently sat down with Branson to discuss the film, and how it reveals insight into his entrepreneurial philosophy. We asked him for the most common advice he gives to the entrepreneurs he hosts at conferences on his private island.
“When somebody comes to me who’s interested in starting a business, I think my first question is, ‘Do you have an idea that’s going to make other people’s lives better?’ If you do, you have a business,” he said.
“And my second bit of advice would be, ‘Screw it, just get on and do it.'” As Branson told Fortune in May, “I’m a great believer in just getting out there and trying. Sometimes you fall flat on your face; sometimes you succeed.”
Branson has also consistently explained over the years that entrepreneurs need to set aside their egos and hire people who are better than they are in certain areas, and to make sure — despite the ups and downs of building a business — everyone’s having fun at the end of the day.
“Surround yourself with great people,” Branson told us. “Make sure you have a lot of fun in the process. Make sure you find time for yourself. And just get on with it.”
NOW WATCH: RICHARD BRANSON: We’ve just ‘got to give Donald Trump and his team three months, six months’
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.