Monday, September 24, 2007

Losing My Virginity

I just finished the Richard Branson autobiography, Losing My Virginity. I can't remember who exactly recommended the book to me. I think I might have read a blog post about it somewhere - so apologies to the forgotten source!

Bottom line, an interesting read. Are you going to learn Richard Branson's secrets from this book? Does he reveal the reason behind the seeming madness of his professional life? Are you going to come away with the knowledge to build a global brand in disparate industries? No, no, no and no.

But you will find out a lot about how the Virgin empire was built and even more about the remarkable life Mr Branson has lead. I think he should be the ultimate inspiration to all entrepreneurs. His belief in his own instincts is only surpassed by the belief he has in others - and the love, yes love, he has for everyone who works for him. His impeccable business ethics. His love for his family and children. His dedication to social causes and his adoration for small furry creatures everywhere.

Ok, that was one was laying it on a bit thick. My point is that yes, he seems like a pretty nice guy from this book, but maybe a bit too nice. No one can be that perfect. Although maybe he comes close? I really don't know, having never met him I don't want to pass judgment. But he is now in the top ten people I want to meet before I die.

He fascinates me now largely because I know there is some serious complexity there - you can read it between the lines of every paragraph. But none of it emerges in the book. His hopes, fears, desires, etc, are all there, just never explicitly addressed. It's like reading about a biblical character in the actual bible - you get their story, but only as part of a larger narrative, never as a personal journey. And no, I am not comparing Richard Branson to Jesus Christ, although they have both laid claims to the Virgin Births name at various times in the past.

Bottom line, an interesting read. Definitely recommend.

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