- Business Insider 17:23January 17, 2020I spent a day on Richard Branson's private island in the Caribbean. It was as spectacular as you can imagine.Meagan Drillinger for Business Insider I recently had the chance to visit Richard Branson's Necker Island.
The 74-acre Caribbean island was destroyed by Hurricane Irma in 2017 and had to undergo more than a year of renovations.
It was the first time I had ever been on a private island, and I must say — it'll be hard for any other island to compete.
Here's what it's like to visit the billionaire entrepreneur's island, from a seemingly endless flow of Champagne to a sushi lunch that was delivered to me via wooden kayak.
Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. I've traveled a lot, but I've never traveled to a private island owned by a British billionaire. In fact, come to think of it, I've never traveled to a private island at all.
So when I heard that I'd be part of the first group of media since 2016 to set foot on Richard Branson's Necker Island, I honestly had no idea what to expect.
Some background: Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson, who founded the Virgin Group and has a $4 billion net worth, bought the 74-acre island for $180,000 back in 1978. In September 2017, the Caribbean island suffered extensive damage in the path of Hurricane Irma. Several buildings on site were destroyed, and the resort was closed for months. Repairs started in December 2017, Travel + Leisure reported at the time, and have been ongoing.
About a year later, in October 2018, it was officially back in business. And this past November, I got to spend a day on the island.
Spoiler alert: It was one of the top experiences of my entire life.Necker Island is the privately owned island where Sir Richard Branson (of Virgin Group fame) has built an ultra luxurious, idyllic playground for the most exclusive of travelers.
Meagan Drillinger for Business Insider
The island is part of the British Virgin Islands, just off the coast of Virgin Gorda. Typically, Necker Island is booked exclusively for private groups, with a max capacity of 22 of your closest friends and family.
Since the retreat is usually booked year-round, it has been impossible for media to get there in the last few years. But by a stroke of luck, I was able to find a window to get there.
In 2017, Hurricanes Maria and Irma wreaked havoc on many of the British Virgin Islands, including Necker Island. The island has been under construction since; it's slated to be wrapped by this summer.
Meagan Drillinger for Business Insider
At one point during the 2017 hurricane, the island was directly in the eye of the storm. A NASA photograph hung in the Great House bathroom on Necker Island shows the island smack dab in the center of the storm. Needless to say, Necker Island suffered a great deal of damage. And while much of the island is reopened and back in business, the reservation calendar isn't quite full yet.
The island is using the opportunity to rebuild and improve many of its facilities, including the newly rebuilt Bali High complex, which has an extended pool and outdoor lounge. Private plunge pools have been added to each individual house, as well.
And, according to the Virgin Group's website, Branson's goal for 2020 is to power the island using clean energy. In a blog post in late 2019, Branson wrote that there are now three wind turbines on the island that, along with the island's solar farm and battery system, power Necker Island without generators for about 90% of the day.
I recently had the chance to spend a day on the island.
Meagan Drillinger for Business Insider
I've been treated to massages in the dewy rainforests of Bali, have found myself sipping Champagne from a bar carved into a seaside cliff in Mexico, and have flown in a private jet through the Swiss Alps. So when I say Necker Island is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, I mean it.
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:A new lawsuit says Jeffrey Epstein trafficked and sexually abused dozens of young girls on one of his private islands in the Caribbean. Here's an inside look at the islands.A high school teacher bought a 'trashed' home in Detroit for $2,600 and got it into livable condition in less than 2 years. Here's how she did it.The most expensive watches worn by the British royal familySEE ALSO: I waited my whole life to go to Bali. Now I wish I had kept waiting.
NOW READ: I spent 3 nights in a hidden resort in Mexico that's beloved by wealthy bohemians and has an invite-only festival comparable to Burning Man. It was almost too wild to believe.
< Features, Arts & Culture, BI Select, Necker Island, Richard Branson, Carribean, Private Island, Vacation, BI-freelancer, >
- Business Insider 19:06January 14, 2020What it's like to travel on Flybe, the budget airline used by the royals that's fighting to stay in businessimrankhan1504 via Shutterstock and Scott 05 / Flight-Report Budget airline Flybe is on the brink of bankruptcy, outlets such as Sky News are reporting, though the airline said in a statement on Sunday that "we don't comment on rumor or speculation."
It is the largest regional airline in the UK, handling about 40% of domestic traffic.
The airline appears to be a favorite of the royals, too — Kate Middleton, Prince William, and their children flew on Flybe in August.
Users of the airline review website Flight-Report have praised it for being affordable, and also for good service.
However, reviews on TripAdvisor say entertainment and food options are limited. Flybe's bag policy has also been slammed on sites such as Trustpilot and Skytrax.
Here's what it's really like to travel with Flybe.
Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. British budget airline Flybe is on the verge of collapse, multiple outlets including Sky News are reporting, with the UK government considering reducing air passenger duty (APD) in order to save it.
Flybe employs around 2,000 people, and is Britain's largest regional airline, operating 189 routes across 12 countries in the UK and Europe.
It's known for its stringent bag policy, short flights (it has an average flight time of 55 minutes), and purple lights.
The royals also appear to be fans of the airline — in August 2019, Kate Middleton, her husband Prince William, and their children flew on Flybe from Norwich in England to the Scottish city of Aberdeen for around $89 each.
Despite the reports, Flybe has denied it's in trouble, saying in a statement on Monday: "Flybe continues to focus on providing great service and connectivity for our customers, to ensure that they can continue to travel as planned. We don't comment on rumor or speculation."
Using information from bloggers and websites including Flight-Report, TripAdvisor, Trustpilot, and Skytrax, Insider took a look at what it's really like to fly on the budget airline.Flybe operates numerous routes throughout the UK and Europe.
According to Flybe's website, the airline currently flies to more than 80 airports throughout Europe, with an emphasis on destinations in the United Kingdom.
It also handles almost 40% of domestic UK air traffic.
Geography Photos / Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Flybe's website says the airline flew about eight million passengers in 2019. It also reports that the airline offers 189 routes across 12 countries, making it the largest regional airline in Europe.
The bulk of its fleet is made up of Bombardier Q400 Dash 8 planes, which seat 78 people.
According to the aviation blog Planespotters, there are currently 71 planes in Flybe's fleet. Most of those (54) are twin-propelled Bombardier Q400 Dash 8s.
Flybe also used to fly Boeing 737-300s, according to Planespotters, but stopped using them in 2006.
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:A pilot made history by becoming the first HIV positive person to fly a commercial plane after challenging a discriminatory banPrince Harry and Prince William made a rare joint statement denying that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were 'bullied' out of the royal familyPrince Harry and Meghan Markle are at war with the media — and their split from the Royal family shows they are fighting to win
< Features, Lifestyle UK, Flybe, Airline, Business, Money, Travel, kate middleton, Prince William, royals, UK, Britain, Europe, Bankruptcy, Aviation, Transportation, Richard Branson, Virgin, Virgin Atlantic, >
- Business Insider 18:34January 3, 2020Richard Branson on the 'million-dollar lesson they don't teach in business school' — and 12 other secrets from highly successful peopleGetty Images Dr. Travis Bradberry is co-author of the bestselling book Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and the cofounder of TalentSmart.
He writes that there are 13 things that extremely successful people do differently than most other people — and we should all pay attention.
For instance, Warren Buffett once said he says the word "no" a lot, and Richard Branson has revealed that he carries a notebook with him everywhere he goes.
Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Dr. Travis Bradberry published this post originally on LinkedIn.
Having close access to ultra-successful people can yield some pretty incredible information about who they really are, what makes them tick, and, most importantly, what makes them so successful and productive.
Kevin Kruse is one such person. He recently interviewed over 200 ultra-successful people, including 7 billionaires, 13 Olympians, and a host of accomplished entrepreneurs. One of his most revealing sources of information came from their answers to a simple open-ended question: What is your number one secret to productivity?
In analyzing their responses, Kruse coded the answers to yield some fascinating suggestions. What follows are some of my favorites from Kevin's findings.
1. They focus on minutes, not hours
Most people default to hour and half-hour blocks on their calendar; highly successful people know that there are 1,440 minutes in every day and that there is nothing more valuable than time. Money can be lost and made again, but time spent can never be reclaimed. As legendary Olympic gymnast Shannon Miller told Kevin, "To this day, I keep a schedule that is almost minute by minute." You must master your minutes to master your life.
2. They focus on only one thing
Ultra-productive people know what their "most important task" is and work on it for one to two hours each morning, without interruptions. What task will have the biggest impact on reaching your goals? What accomplishment will get you promoted at work? That's what you should dedicate your mornings to every day.
3. They don’t use to-do lists
Throw away your to-do list; instead schedule everything on your calendar. It turns out that only 41% of items on to-do lists ever get done. All those undone items lead to stress and insomnia because of the Zeigarnik effect, which, in essence, means that uncompleted tasks will stay on your mind until you finish them. Highly productive people put everything on their calendar and then work and live by that calendar.
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:9 hiring trends to look out for in 2020, according to workplace experts10 powerful habits successful people have, and how to start themJay Leno, Tony Hawk, and 8 other millionaires share the advice they'd give themselves in their 20sSEE ALSO: 10 harmless mind tricks that make people like you more
< LinkedIn, Travis Bradberry, Contributor, contributor 2019, Successful People, Features, Richard Branson, Success, >
- Business Insider 20:34November 15, 2019Virgin Airlines owner Richard Branson said air travel has to exist or 'we go back to the Dark Ages' when asked about the climate crisisGetty Virgin Group founder Richard Branson said that there is "no question that air travel has to exist," when asked how he felt about the increasing rise of "flight guilt."
Branson put the spotlight on aviation companies, saying it was up to them to "get our footprint down and down and down so people don't feel guilty."
The billionaire also highlighted that the number one priority not just for airlines but for any company is to "get your sustainability right."
The Virgin Group is also looking at taking on Qantas' ultra-long-haul flights, with Branson saying that they might "give them a run for their money."
Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. In the face of climate change, have you ever felt guilty for taking a flight?
On Thursday, Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson announced Virgin Australia's new service from Brisbane to Haneda, Tokyo.See the rest of the story at Business InsiderNOW WATCH: Most maps of Louisiana aren't entirely right. Here's what the state really looks like.See Also:Meet Roger Stone: One of Donald Trump's most loyal supporters, who was found guilty of obstructing the Russia investigationTwo students were killed in a school shooting in Los Angeles on Thursday — here are 5 countries that have taken radical steps to eliminate firearm deathsSmartphones are getting weird again, and it could be a sign that the industry is on the brink of another huge changeSEE ALSO: Billionaire Richard Branson has some simple advice for those who want to succeed
< BITranspo, Virgin Atlantic, Richard Branson, News, Travel, Sustainability, Business Insider Singapore, >
- Business Insider 18:35October 31, 2019Hondas, Toyotas, and a Morris Minor: These are the surprisingly modest car choices of the world's top tech billionairesAlex Wong/Getty; Getty Heritage Images; Taryn Colbert/Business Insider Some of the world's richest people in tech have a fairly modest taste when it comes to cars.
Find out what Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musk are driving.
Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Some of the world's most successful tech moguls have a fairly modest taste when it comes to picking cars to drive.
In fact, the world's richest man, the CEO and founder of Amazon – Jeff Bezos – was seen driving a Honda Accord as recently as 2013.
With this in mind, we decided to find out what the vehicle of choice is for some of the other big names in tech. Scroll on to find out what the tech titans are driving:Mark Zuckerberg
Christophe Morin/IP3/Getty Images; Getty SOPA Images
Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg is worth $72.3 billion which makes him the fifth richest person in the world.
Despite this, Zuckerberg has far from extravagant tastes when it comes to cars, clothes, and travel.
He's been seen in a black Acura TSX, a Volkswagen hatchback, and a Honda Fit, all of which are valued at or under $30,000.
Joshua Roberts/Reuters; Getty Heritage Images
Bezos, Amazon's founder and CEO, is currently the richest person in the world yet he doesn't seem to be too fussed about splashing out on expensive cars.
According to the book "The Everything Store," Bezos was still driving a Honda Accord as recently as 2013. That said, Bezos does own a $65 million Gulfstream G650ER private jet.
Read more: A day in the life of the richest person in the world, Jeff Bezos — who runs the second US company to join the $1 trillion club and still washes the dishes after dinner
Lucy Nicholson/Reuters; Tesla
As CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk's choice of wheels won't be a huge surprise.
In a recent tweet, Musk revealed that he does have favorites and mostly drives the Tesla Model S Performance, which costs around $90,000 and was recently awarded the best car among a selection of "cars of the year."
He also said he occasionally drives Tesla's Model 3 Performance and Model X when he's with his kids.
Tweet Embed: //twitter.com/mims/statuses/1151929232030720001?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw I mostly drive Model S Performance with dev version of FSD computer. Our new Raven powertain & adaptive damping suspension is great! Next is Model 3P & then X if driving with my kids. Acceleration is fun on tap!
In addition to driving Teslas, Musk also drives and owns a Ford Model T and a Jaguar E-Type Series 1 Roadster.
But perhaps his most impressive car is the 1976 Lotus Esprit submarine car, which was used in the 1977 James Bond movie film, "The Spy Who Loved Me," which he bought at auction in London for $997,000.
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:Elon Musk said he wishes Tesla's Model 3 were cheaper, even though customers weren't that interested in its least expensive versionThis photo of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gesticulating as she grills Mark Zuckerberg has spawned an Italian memeAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Elizabeth Warren got behind the Facebook employees slamming Mark Zuckerberg for allowing lies in political adsSEE ALSO: The 35 celebrities and athletes who make the most money per Instagram post, ranked
< Features, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Evan Spiegel, Richard Branson, Michael Dell, Larry Ellison, Jack Ma, Travis Kalanick, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, BI Graphics, >
- Business Insider 20:39October 29, 20195 billionaires who never graduated from high schoolPaul A. Hebert/AP There are many stories about prominent college dropouts who later became billionaires, but fewer about ultra-wealthy people who dropped out of high school before making their fortunes.
Billionaires who found fame and wealth after dropping out are in industries including fashion, tech, and music.
Jay-Z, hip-hop's first billionaire, never graduated from high school. The rapper does, however, publicly encourage people to value education.
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson quit school at 16. Soon after dropping out, he started his first company, which later became Virgin Records.
Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Entrepreneurs like Richard Branson and rapper Jay-Z have two things in common: Both are wildly successful billionaires, and both never graduated from high school.
But they aren't the only billionaires who never picked up a high school diploma. While a number of prominent college dropouts later became ultra-wealthy — particularly tech titans like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates — it's generally rarer for high school dropouts to become among the richest people in the world. But still, it does happen from time to time.
Keep reading to learn more about five of the most prominent billionaires who also happen to be high school dropouts.Zhou Qunfei dropped out of high school at 16 to work in a watch lens factory.
Attending accounting classes at night, she saved up nearly 20,000 HK$ (about $2,500) and eventually opened up her own watch lens company, run by herself and her family members.
She is now the CEO of Lens Technology, which manufactures glass for brands such as Apple, Samsung and Tesla. In 2015, the company went public and Zhou's stake in the business was worth $7.2 billion, the New York Times reported that year.
"I have encountered many difficulties and setbacks as an entrepreneur," she said in an interview with CNBC Make It. "But the key to success is to persevere, especially during the most difficult times."
The self-made billionaire is currently worth about $6 billion, per Forbes.
Source: CNBC, Forbes, New York Times
Amancio Ortega dropped out of school at 14 to begin running errands for local shopkeepers.
AP Photo/Iago Lopez
Years later, Ortega founded the retail chain Zara in his native Spain; the company has since expanded globally. Today, he is the second richest man in Europe (behind only LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault), with a staggering net worth of $70.4 billion.
Source: Entrepreneur, Forbes, CNBC
Francois Pinault, founder of the luxury group Kering, dropped out of school when he was 11 years old to work in his father's lumber mill.
According to Forbes, Pinault dropped out because his peers used to make fun of his "poor background." Today, he has a net worth of $33.2 billion, also per Forbes.
Source: Business Insider, Forbes, Forbes
See the rest of the story at Business InsiderSee Also:Meet Amancio Ortega, the fiercely private Zara founder who's worth $68.5 billion and owns properties in Madrid, London, and New York CityBill Gates is celebrating his 64th birthday today in a 20-year-old hat. Here's how he spends his $108 billion fortune, from a luxury-car collection to incredible real estate.Bernard Arnault is the world's third-richest person and CEO of LVMH, which just offered to buy Tiffany. Here's how the French billionaire makes and spends his $102 billion fortune.SEE ALSO: Beyoncé is worth $400 million. Here's how she spends her fortune, from lavish mansions and yachting vacations to a private jet for Jay-Z.
DON'T MISS: Meet the 15 youngest, richest American billionaires
< Features, Arts & Culture, Music, Fashion, Billionaires, Finance, Luxury, Tech, BI Select, Jay Z, Richard Branson, Zhou Qunfei, Francois Pinault, Amancio Ortega, >
- Business Insider 19:06October 24, 2019Virgin Galactic will become the first space-tourism company to list on the New York Stock Exchange next weekVirgin Galactic Virgin Galactic will list on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, October 28 under the ticker "SPCE."
To go public, the space-tourism company merged with Social Capital Hedosophia, a venture capital firm. The merger was approved by shareholders Wednesday, according to an SEC filing.
Virgin Galactic has a waitlist of more than 600 people ready to be among the first space tourists.
Read more on Business Insider. Starting Monday, investors can trade space tourism on the New York Stock Exchange for the first time ever, thanks to Virgin Galactic.
The space-tourism company run by billionaire Sir Richard Branson has been approved to merge with Social Capital Hedosophia, a venture capital firm that helps technology companies list on public markets, according to a Wednesday SEC filing from the company. See the rest of the story at Business InsiderNOW WATCH: Here's why flight attendants avoid drinking tap water on airplanesSee Also:A lawyer reveals a legal nightmare you can face on a cruise shipThe first thing 14 lottery winners have bought after finding out they were richThe best electric kettles
< Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson, Space Tourism, >
- Breaking Defense 19:35September 16, 2019Branson: Virgin Launch Of USAF Sat By End Of YearVirgin founder Sir Richard Branson hopes that his LauncherOne airborne launch system’s capability to rapidly launch smallsats “will be a deterrent to an enemy state, that is to not attack satellites in the first place.”
< Air Warfare, space, AFA 2019, Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Richard Branson, small satellites, space test program, Virgin Orbit, VOX Space >