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I wanted to be an editor or a journalist, I wasn`t really interested in being an entrepreneur, but I soon found I had to become an entrepreneur in order to keep my magazine going.

And you know, I`ve had great fun turning quite a lot of different industries on their head and making sure those industries will never be the same again, because v*rgin went in and took them on.

The music industry is a strange combination of having real and intangible assets: pop bands are brand names in themselves, and at a given stage in their careers their name alone can practically gaurantee hit records.

I don`t think so, in that v*rgin is already a global brand. Brands like Amazon have had to spend hundreds of millions of pounds you know, building their brands, whereas v*rgin is already well-known around the world.

Well, we know that people in Australia love the idea of both Impulse and v*rgin Blue getting up and adding a bit of competition, and it`s fun to be able to deliver it.

And obviously, from our own personal point of view, the principal challenge is a personal challenge.

For a successful entrepreneur it can mean extreme wealth. But with extreme wealth comes extreme responsibility. And the responsibility for me is to invest in creating new businesses, create jobs, employ people, and to put money aside to tackle issues where we can make a difference.

The balloons only have one life and the only way of finding out whether they work is to attempt to fly around the world.

I believe in benevolent dictatorship provided I am the dictator.

My mother was determined to make us independent. When I was four years old, she stopped the car a few miles from our house and made me find my own way home across the fields. I got hopelessly lost.

A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.

If you`re embarking around the world in a hot-air balloon, don`t forget the toilet paper.

Ridiculous yachts and private planes and big limousines won`t make people enjoy life more, and it sends out terrible messages to the people who work for them. It would be so much better if that money was spent in Africa - and it`s about getting a balance.

We`re introducing separate rooms with double beds in all of our planes so people can actually go with their partner and have a proper night`s sleep.

Business opportunities are like buses, there`s always another one coming.

Well, the odds must be against anybody being able to fly around the world in a balloon on the first attempt. All of us who are attempting to go around the world in balloons are effectively flying in experimental craft because these craft cannot be tested.

We`ve always had a pretty competitive and pretty ferocious battle with British Airways... It`s lasted now about 14 years, and we`re very pleased to have survived it.

I love the freedom of movement that my phone gives me. That has definitely transformed my life.

Like getting into a bleeding competition with a blood bank.

Lightning is something which, again, we would rather avoid.

I`m a bit like the Queen in that I don`t carry much cash.

The jet stream is a very strong force and pushing a balloon into it is like pushing up against a brick wall, but once we got into it, we found that, remarkably, the balloon went whatever speed the wind went.

I never get the accountants in before I start up a business. It`s done on gut feeling, especially if I can see that they are taking the mickey out of the consumer.

Fortunately we`re not a public company - we`re a private group of companies, and I can do what I want.

Right now I`m just delighted to be alive and to have had a nice long bath.

With the casino and the beds, our passengers will have at least two ways to get lucky on one of our flights.

A generation ago, the image was that you had to trample everyone else down to succeed - but I don`t believe that makes good business sense. If you`re the kind of person that jumps down the throat of people, you`re not going to be successful.

We believe that within five years, 96 percent of British consumers will have access to the Internet, whether it be through a personal computer, a set-top box or a mobile phone.

The funny thing is people won`t let me pay for things. I`ll be in a restaurant and the manager will say: `Oh no, it`s on the house.`

You never know with these things when you`re trying something new what can happen. This is all experimental.

I cannot remember a moment in my life when I have not felt the love of my family. We were a family that would have killed for each other - and we still are.


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