An Open Letter To Sir Richard Branson

English: Industrialist Richard Branson at the ...

English: Industrialist Richard Branson at the Time 100 Gala, May 3, 2010. Photo by David Shankbone. This photos is licensed under the Attribution 3.0 license, which means it can be used and modified for any purpose only if the author is properly credited where it is used. Category: Richard Branson Category:Time 100 Gala (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Sir Richard,

We haven’t had the pleasure of meeting each other yet but you never know what will come in the future.

You are a well known businessman who has a long list of accomplishments that have generated worldwide notoriety and a substantial bank account, not to mention a title.

I on the other hand don’t have your list of accomplishments nor have anything close to your bank account but I do have children who think I am much cooler than you are and that is worth quite a bit.

The Reality We Live in and The One We Want

Three hours I ago I told a friend about this letter and he asked me if I thought you had any chance of reading this and what I hoped to achieve by writing this note. I smiled and told him that most people consider it bad form to try to stab someone with a butter knife. It is not very effective and it is hard work.

I am sure he thought it was gibberish or some sort of  non sequitur but I didn’t care. The world is a place of wonders and more than a few people have trouble seeing that. He has his dreams and I have mine.

You are to blame for some of this. I read your essay with great interest and found it thoroughly enjoyable. There were several sections that resonated with me, but here is where my eyes kept landing:

“I love doing adventurous things and attempting to break world records. Trying things—even if you fall flat on your face—is more important than not trying at all. And if you do fail at something, you should pick yourself up and keep trying until you succeed. At Virgin, even if we fail the first time, we do try to succeed the second or the third time. We don’t give up.”

The willingness to keep trying, to take chances and to see failure as an opportunity to learn is something I believe in. It is not just because I am a father and I teach my children to never give up, but because I have been there. Some might even argue that at the moment I am there.

It is a frustrating moment in time for me and there have been more than a few moments where I have wanted to just go back to sleep, but what would be the point. There is the world we live in and the world we want to live in.

Let’s Have Dinner

Thirteen or so years ago I tried to schedule an interview with Bill Gates and was told I was number 678 on the list. When I inquired what I could do to move up I was told there wasn’t anything I could other than be patient and wait for my opportunity.

Well this isn’t going to be one of those heartwarming tales where I explain how one day I got my shot because it didn’t happen. It wasn’t for lack of effort either, but I am not upset about it.

That is because I have always felt that at some point in the future one of my writing gigs would provide the chance to meet him. I also saw it as a learning experience and one that has had yielded great benefits.

I suppose it is a long winded way of saying that I would like meet you too. You are a very interesting man and I would like to interview you in person.

Some might argue that I haven’t provided a compelling argument for us to meet, but sometimes simple is best.


One of my goals is to interview a number of business people from all walks of life. A man like yourself is high on my list and I don’t know what it will take to make that happen. I expect your schedule is quite busy and there might be some challenges, but no challenge was overcome by running from it.

So I encourage you to hop on the next Virgin flight to Los Angeles and let’s grab a bite to eat. Alternatively we can always use Skype or engage in a Google Hangout, whichever is most convenient.

I appreciate your time. See you around cyberspace.


Josh Wilner

(Visited 323 times, 1 visits today)


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please enter an e-mail address

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You may also like
%d bloggers like this: