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This Entrepreneur's Mortifying Behavior at Richard Branson's Mansion Was a Wake-Up Call: 'I Had Said Something Very Inappropriate'

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Growing up as a young, aspiring entrepreneur, Richard Branson was my idol. In a Record of Achievement note from my school, my media-studies teacher wrote, "Simon could well be the Richard Branson of the future" after we'd managed to get our computer fanzine onto television. I never knew that the opportunity would come up to meet him, let alone on Necker Island, Branson's luxury private island.

After being $50,000 in debt (with nothing to show for it) and then turning my business around, my company hit its first million dollars in revenue in 2015, and my mindset was always to keep investing.

I hired mentors and coaches and joined different high-level groups, and finally, the opportunity came up to spend time with Richard Branson himself.

A huge part of my company's growth came from the decision to change my environment. I had spent many years in my home city of Exeter, U.K. around a lot of toxicity. I packed my bags and took myself to a new city, which freed up a lot of space and energy for me to get my life back on track. It helped, but there was still a lot of work to do.

I had already made the decision to take about 20 percent of what I made and put it back into my own personal and professional growth. This led me to work closely with some of the best minds in the world. I was aware that making a lot of money without changing my destructive behaviors could only end badly, but it took a trip to Necker for me to finally learn my biggest lesson, the hard way.

Related: What Richard Branson Learned From His 7 Biggest Failures

I arrived on the island, where I was welcomed with champagne. Only once we headed to the main house did it start to sink in that this was real. The sight was amazing, and it felt like a........

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