By Richard Branson
In 1967, when I quit high school at age 17, I knew what my next project would be: founding Student magazine. But I did not know what I wanted to do in the long term. The headmaster’s parting words to me were, ‘Congratulations, Branson, I predict that you will either go to prison or be a millionaire.’ I am not sure whether that could be classed as career advice or not, but it did give me the impetus to prove him wrong on the first point.
When I set up Student magazine, I wanted to work as a journalist; however we needed to keep the magazine afloat financially and soon I had to stop reporting and focus on production and financing instead. I stayed involved in the editorial side by landing some of our most important interviews, but for the most part, during Student’s early days I honed my skills at business, negotiating and management – all of which would later prove useful as we built the Virgin group.