Its not just a memoir of Richard Branson the business tycoon but an inspirational buisiness guide ..Every page tells you to be tough when the going gets tougher..Its all about his personal philosophy that he lived by which took him to heights..Glimpses of his childhood the family's support their unconditional love, the way he was brought up where he was taught to believe in oneself .. I wish the the first chapter about his mad passion for adventure,his experience about balloon flight that he took was added to the last or in the middle, I felt it to be tad long and it was my sheer patience that kept me reading had I given up, I would have regreted real bad, because the rest of the memoir is fast paced, cool sprinter than a marathon..Didn't feel I read 573 (few more to index and other notes) pages...Writing is witty and crisp ..A lot of credit to his unorthodox upbringing of his family , especially his mother who was determined to make her children independent..which he aptly puts " Our challenges tended to be more physical than academic" he was sent on a 50 mile cycle ride by himself when he was under twelve..Even his aunt encouraged him with money as price, to learn to swim by a fortnight..The rebellious streak was instilled by his parents..His adventurous spirit is quite predictable as we read his memoir about his parents who were adventurous themselves, but one that stood out in my mind is about his mother Eve who pretended to be a boy to follow her dreams to be a pilot for in those days girls were not allowed to fly..He is dyslexic and he says he still has problem while remembering long speeches and how he copes up yet managed to put that aside to become such a brilliant CEO inspiring his team ..
His first attempt in buisiness was a student magazine which couldn't fetch him any great fortune yet it taught him the basics of buisiness letting him explore his own horizon and how to push hard to achieve his goal whatever might it be..Then he moved to record sales , he reinvested his profit from the mail orders to open stores one after another..His first break was the success of Tubular bells by Oldfield which let him built a grand base for further buisiness proposals.. He even got on Janet Jackson to his side..Through every endevour one thing that come across is his marketing skills, he is a marketing wizard and he pens it down beautifully the art of marketing throughout his personal experiences while setting up various businesslike.. There were many set backs all along but he just stuck to what he believed in and went on to any extremes and hardship to see his dream fullfilled may what come..An example is selling car which was his wedding gift in order to complete a deal..He is a man of his own philosophy living by the rules he has set for himself and he takes decisions guided by instincts and not by theory...
From nothing to fortune worth almost 25 million isn't that itself speak for itself..From Virgin Atlantic Airways , Virgin records, V2, Virgin cola and Virgin Megastores he has extended himself to all arenas making his mark felt..
I loved especially this quote from the book "A buisiness has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instinct"..
No better way then he puts it himself "Losing My Virginity:How I've survived, had fun,and made a fortune doing business my way".