If you know me and following me on my Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, you should know that I have given myself a monthly challenge to read ( or Listen) at least one book in a month and which was started from August 2017 this year after following up to my previous year challenge of staying fit and doing regular workout (at least 15 days a month). This month (which is November 17), I picked up “Finding My Virginity – an autobiography of Richard Branson” which is as awesome as its title.
“Finding My Virginity” A tell of adventures and visionary entrepreneur and incredible family man – Richard Branson. One of the longest book (16 hours 32 mins on Audible) I have ever read after “Steve Jobs” Autobiography (25 hours 17 mins on Audible) and every single minute was worth. This book has not only ignited my entrepreneurial fire but taught me some of the true entrepreneurial mindset, skills and values to acquire and admire.
There were plenty of incidents and stories in the book that made me laugh and learn and here I would like to share few of them.
- Our guts are true sometimes than the facts and figures. Richard has listened and acted upon his inner voice several times despite the facts, figures and his top executives and people were against him. And he proved his guts right by “demanding a review of West Coast main line dispute between Virgin Trains and the government” and many such situations.
- Art of delegation is the true entrepreneurial skill. He has found and funded hundreds of ventures successfully with his expectational art of Delegation and putting the right people at the right place in his business.
- The true leadership is to find the best in your people and promote the good in them.
- Employee (People) First – In several tough situations where he had to take “die-hard” business decisions he put his people and interest of the people first and never regretted the decisions. As much as I know he is one of those business leaders who have the “Employee First” mindset.
- Reflecting our thoughts, ideas, learnings and opinions through writing is a very good habit for entrepreneurs. He mentioned, how reading and writing has helped him to be better person and entrepreneur and couldn’t stop recommending it. Writing his blog, journal and this book has helped him to reflect his thoughts, opinions and views with wider audiences. I am very bad at writing and reflecting my thoughts and ideas but this is something I am planning to put in my next year’s (2018) challenge. Stay tuned! 😀
- Do what you believe is the right and is the most important thing to do as entrepreneurs. He encounters many many situations in his business and life with a choice to either act or to ignore. He always preferred to act on what he believed is the right thing to do for his business, family and the community. Whether it was standing against Brexit, turning down the Singapore Airline’s offer to buy majority stocks of Virgin Blue (now Virgin Australia), giving a strong fight to UK government for the Virgin Rail Franchise Dispute and much more.
- Think Big and Act Bold – From Virgin Music Records to Virgin Galactic (Space Mission) his ability to think big in business and acting upon it is something which is extraordinary and inspiring.
- Push your limits, give yourself a challenge – Richard Branson is very well known for setting up a lot of world records by taking (and giving ) difficult challenges. In his entire life, he has been as adventurous as he has been entrepreneurial. Taking a challenge to complete the first transatlantic crossing around the world on hot-air-ballon, kiteboarding the English Channel and getting awarded a Guinness World Record and many more here.
- Execution is bigger than the Idea – It’s funny and surprising to know from the book that how “Richard’s April fool prank in 1986 about revolutionising the music industry by launching a Music Box has been made the reality by Steve Jobs after a launch of iPod and iTunes“. I would have never known that it was Richard’s idea which he made a joke of and then legendary Steve Jobs has executed it and revolutionised the Music industry. Your ability and commitment to make your idea a reality is the key real innovation and success. I could never disagree with this.
- Do Good – No matter how small and big are you? Doing good is always rewarding and satisfying. Richard worked highly on causes like Drug reforms, Death Penalty, AIDS & HIV, Global Warming and much more.
Though, it’s early in the month. I managed to finish this book and decided to pick another one – “The one thing” and will post my review as soon as I finished listening to it. I am always looking forward to the book recommendation for next read. Share your recommendations in a comment below.