“Congratulations Branson. One of two, either you will go to jail or you will be a millionaire. ” With this phrase, the head of the Stowe School in the United Kingdom fired Virgin Group founder Richard Branson when he finished high school at 15 years old.
At that age, the unique and quirky personality of Richard Branson had already flourished, who has managed to amass a great fortune with businesses as diverse as aviation, music, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, telephone and travel agencies.
In his book ” Losing Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made Money Doing Business My Way “, Richard Branson gives an overview of his life, from the strange challenges to which his mother was subjected, such as walking 80 kilometers in the forest as a child, until the foundation of his main companies and what motivated him to do so.
It is not just an autobiography, it is a book in which he shares his philosophy in life and in business.
Here are some of Richard Branson’s premises and tips for losing your virginity in business :
1. Don’t do it to make money
“Above all, you want to create something you can be proud of. That has always been my philosophy in business. I can honestly say that I have never gotten into any business just to make money. If that is the only reason I think it is better not to. You have to be involved in a business, you have to have fun, you have to bring your creative instincts into play. ”
2. Have fun
“Fun is at the base of my way of doing business and it has been the key to everything I have accomplished from the beginning. More than any other element, fun is the secret to Virgin’s success. I am aware that the idea that business is fun and creative runs counter to all conventions, and it is certainly not what they teach in some business schools, where business means a lot of work, discounted cash flows, and net present values. ”
3. Don’t just take a model
“I don’t think it’s something that can be taught as a recipe. There are no ingredients and techniques that guarantee success. There are some parameters that, well applied, guarantee the continuity of a business, but you cannot clearly define our success in business and then bottle it as if it were a perfume. It is not so simple: to be successful you must go out, put everything on your side; And if you have a good team around you and a good dose of luck, maybe you can make something happen. But you certainly can’t guarantee it simply by following someone else’s formula. ”
“Conventionally, what you should do when you run a company is to focus on what you are doing and in no case move away from it beyond a reasonable distance. However, that is something that not only seems oppressive to me but also dangerous. If you only have record stores and you refuse to make changes to your business, when something new appears, such as the Internet or MP3, you will lose your sales for the benefit of the person who knows how to use that new medium. ”
5. Virginity according to Richard Branson
At the end of the book, Richard Branson summarizes his life, from the founding of Student magazine, in his teens, to his last companies, well into the 21st century: “each of these initiatives was a step into the unknown for company, kind of like losing your virginity. But, unlike what happens with real virginity, in the worlds that you create you can continue throwing yourself into the arms of the new and the different again and again. This is the philosophy that I have always wanted for this company; and whether success was the result of luck or good work, I would not have wanted it in any other way ”.