Richard Branson, Take Note

Sir Richard Branson takes notes. A lot of them. Since his first business venture (a magazine called Student at the age of 16), he’s been an avid notetaker & letter writer.

What makes his handwriting habit all the more interesting is that he’s one of the world’s most successful letter writers, while also being one of its most prominent dyslexics.

Dyslexia, while commonly referred to as a “learning difficulty which makes it harder for people to read & write”; has not held Branson back. In fact, he’s using his status as a role model to inspire young people to thrive in spite of its challenges.

As an example, in May ’15 Sir Richard received the following handwritten letter from a nine-year-old girl named Honor Smith who, like himself, suffers from dyslexia.

Honor Smith’s letter (left) | Sir Richard’s response (right)

The billionaire took time out of his busy schedule to respond using his own personalized stationery, telling the young girl:

“Don’t ever let people put you down for being dyslexic. Being dyslexic is actually an advantage and has helped me greatly in life.”

Below, you’ll find a photo of Sir Richard in the process of responding &, subsequently, his published 2-page handwritten response …

Sir Richard in the process of responding …

Sir Richard’s handwritten response to Honor Smith (Page 1)

Sir Richard’s handwritten response to Honor Smith (Page 2)

From Petrolhead to Letterhead

Another example of Branson’s love for letter writing came during the #ChallengeRichard series. This was essentially a bucket list of 65 tasks (for his 65th birthday year), as suggested by his online followers.

Not one to shy away from a challenge, Sir Richard enthusiastically accepted. Five of the most intriguing challenges consisted of writing letters to his 10, 25, 50, 65 & 85-year-old self. No easy task!

Sir Richard writing to himself

Another interesting handwriting challenge was task 7, where Sir Richard had to write a poem of 16 lines for entrepreneurs. His creation, titled ‘A poem for all entrepreneurs‘, was written in rhyming couplets as a tribute to Dr. Seuss.

Sir Richard writing:  ‘A poem for all entrepreneurs

Take Note

The final part of Sir Richard’s love of handwriting manifests itself in the form of notetaking. So much so that at a 2015 dinner-table conversation with 30 chief executives about closing the gender gap, the New York Times reported that the “(only) person who took notes the entire time was the founder of the Virgin Group, Richard Branson.”

Sir Richard taking notes (event)

Sir Richard taking notes (home)

Sir Richard’s ‘One tip for 2017 … WRITE IT DOWN!’