Friday Book in a Page: Losing my Virginity


 Losing my Virginity by Richard Branson 

If kicking it into survival mode is what gets your creative juices flowing then picking up some business ideas from Richard Branson’s autobiography might be for you.  Losing my Virginity is the exciting and adventurous story of how Richard Branson went from dyslexic drop out student to self-made billionaire and had a lot of fun along the way.  However, despite being couched in a page-turning story written in frank and direct language, there are some solid entrepreneurial business messages.

Key Messages of the Book:

  1. Be bold.  When you are the driving force behind an entrepreneurial business you need to adopt the mantra of ‘If not you, who and if not now, when’.  Boldly step into it.
  2. Think big.  If you are going to cover a political event, go to Vietnam.  If you are going to interview a musician, call Kieth Richards.
  3. Be aware.  Do you see a company doing very well in an industry with little competition.  Can you offer the same value (or more!) to their customers at a lower price?
  4. Be calculated with risks.  Virgin Records launched their record mail order business by collecting their customers’ money before they shipped the records - thereby allowing them to raise the capital before they had to outlay it.
  5. Be attuned to your customers.  If you really know your customers and cater to them, you begin selling them the feeling of being understood rather than just the product or service.
  6. Be lean.  Can you cut out suppliers and middle men and own those parts of the business too.
  7. Seize opportunities.  When Branson’s flight to Puerto Rico was cancelled, he chartered a private plane for $2000 and put up a blackboard that read ‘$39 single flight to Puerto Rico’ and Virgin Airlines was born.
  8. Ask ‘How Can I be of Service’.  Branson’s role in getting hostages out, saving sick children and flying in medical supplies during the Kuwait war is worth the read.

Lasting Message: To be successful, you have to be out there, you have to hit the ground running

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