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Richard Branson: To get to the top, hustle like an underdog

Catherine Clifford

If you get complacent as a leader, you're an easy target for hungry, hustling up-and-comers.

That's why self-made billionaire Richard Branson operates with an underdog mentality, despite his countless successes.

"Every business we have was set up to disrupt a market with products or services that make a real difference to people's lives," says Branson in a blog post published Tuesday.

"We will always pride ourselves in being a challenger brand, and retain our entrepreneurial spirit."

With a net worth of $5 billion, Branson isn't hard up, and nor are his business ventures. Virgin Group includes more than 60 businesses that serve over 60 million customers worldwide and pull in more than $24 billion in annual revenue.

The entrepreneur started what would become the Virgin empire as a single record store in London and he thinks it's still important to take the scrappy upstart approach.

"We never considered Virgin to be 'big business.' We've always seen ourselves as the underdog," says Branson. "And we quite like it that way."

See also:

Why Richard Branson had tears streaming down his face when he sold Virgin Records for a billion dollars

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What Richard Branson learned when Coke put Virgin Cola out of business