Interesting title, haha
Some points to note:
1. Branson seems to have a born strong business sense. His mother’s entrepreneurship may partly contribute to this. His way of developing the company is interesting. When he set up a first record shop, he then purchased a recording studio, then built his own music label. Even when he was struggling with money ( the motive to have record shop was to get through cash crisis, or they would go bankrupt), he always thought big. He was willing to take risks and never play safe. With every penny he made, he tried to make more out of it. Invest instead of staying safe. Always on the lookout for opportunities.
2. He is a natural leader. He knows other people’s strengths and shortcomings. For instance, he knew Simon had a good taste in music. Even when they first didn’t make any money, he still believed in Simon and supported him when Simon was confronted by other partners. Eventually, this paid off. Some of the musicians they signed became big names, like The Sex Pistols, Sting, etc. Please remember Virgin Music at that time was still very small that didn’t even afford 4 million pounds.
He always has vision and welcomes challenges. In many ways, he is unorthodox. Being a player in music industry, he opened up an airline, which the company became famous for. It’s hard to say which industry Virgin falls into nowadays. Industry barriers, hesitation on entering new areas never seemed to bother him. He believed on guts. Luckily for him and his employees, he is blessed with clear judgment.
3. He is very unorthodox in many ways. I have mentioned his business part in the paragraph above. Aside from that, it is also showcased in how he won his two wives. He fell in love at first sight with his first wife, who at that time had a boyfriend. However, he gradually attracted her and by stealing her belongings at her boyfriend’s, they moved in together. His second wife was still married when they went out. He is not a goodie-googie boy and he didn’t even try to hide that. He has no problem to reveal his past history, though some of it might seem inappropriate to some people. For instance, when one of his girlfriends got pregnant, they chose abortion. To me, successful people have a general tendency to hide their past, and set up a glorious image in front of the world, like they have some saintly qualities. This makes them unapproachable. Branson didn’t have this problem. He is candid. He wrote the autobiography on his own life and that’s it. Good or bad, it’s part of him and made the person he is today. For this, I salute him.
4. A loving, supporting family is very important. I hope one day I could do the same for my children.
5. The book was written in such a way that you can just feel his enthusiasm to life and work. He wants to live life to the full and he was, is and I believe, will be doing it.
Live life to the fullest as you only have one chance.