If the maxim “work hard, play hard” has any bearing on reality, we can only assume that these giants of the business world know a thing or two about having fun. Here we take a whistle-stop tour through the pastimes of some of our leading lights of enterprise, from extreme adventures around the world all the way to classic casino games such as those listed on sites like oddschecker.
So, let’s seek to uncover whether these hobbies hold the secrets, or lessons, of their success.
Dana White, the head honcho of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, started his professional career as a Boxercise coach. It wasn’t until his move to Las Vegas that he began to move into fight event management and promotion, slowly culminating in his building up the UFC brand into the global mixed martial arts phenomenon it is today. But White, valued at $500 million, has one true love outside of fight sports.
White is a very highly skilled and experienced blackjack player. In his time living in Las Vegas, this has made him infamous among the establishments on the strip. It is said that White has won more than $7 million in total from playing blackjack over the past decade.
This has led to him even getting banned from certain casinos who were no longer able to bankroll his winning streaks. In a wonderful sign of defeat, the Palms hotel casino even mocked up a championship belt for White and presented it to him after he won $1 million in a single night at their venue.
Nowadays, blackjack is the most widely played casino game in the world. This classic card has in recent years been experiencing a renaissance in online spaces thanks to the modern digital variants offered by entertainment platforms, meaning you can now emulate White’s aficionado status at home or on the go.
But if there’s one lesson you should take away from White’s history at the blackjack table, it’s that sometimes your success is going to be challenged by the instructions that make it possible, and that a strong determination is required in business and life in general, if one is to ensure success in one’s endeavors.
Richard Branson is one of the most storied billionaire businesspeople on earth. His self-made fortune, under the Virgin Group umbrella, started out as a mail-order record store before expanding into a huge portfolio that includes wine, transportation, banking, and now space flight. All of this results in Branson sitting on a net worth of over $4.2 billion.
Outside of the boardroom, Branson has a second life as a modern-day adventurer, set on breaking world records through feats of endurance and daring. In 1986, Branson sailed across the Atlantic in record time after failing to achieve this the previous year. In 1987 he crossed the Atlantic once again, but this time in a hot air balloon.
Following this were further balloon exploits when in 1991 he became the fastest to cross the pacific ocean from Japan to Canada in a hot air balloon. Through the 90s Branson tried numerous times with other adventurers to successfully orbit the globe by hot air balloon. He ultimately missed out on this accolade when rival balloonists Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones pulled off the feat in 1999.
But wait, there’s more: Richard then sought to break the record for crossing from Dover to Calais in an amphibious vehicle, which he succeeded at in 2004. In 2008, Branson and his children attempted to make an eastbound crossing of the globe by sailboat but were beaten back by harsh winds and weather.
Nowadays Branson has his eyes firmly set on the future of commercial space flight and is actively jockeying with Amazon boss Jeff Bezos and Space X/Tesla mogul Elon Musk for publicity and records in the realm of near-earth-orbit spaceflight. If there’s one thing we can draw out from how Branson chooses to spend his free time, it’s that for people like him, the sky is never the limit!