For some reason, I never got around to reading it… Maybe it was because I was focused a lot more on my technical reading, maybe it’s because I didn’t feel like I needed “inspiration”.
Whatever the reason, leaving it on my bookshelf was a big mistake.
Once I started reading this, I couldn’t put it down – I thoroughly enjoyed this book from so many different angles.
The “Feel Good” Factor
I was overwhelmed by the “feel good” factor that Sir Richard creates when he talks about ventures current and past in the book. You can almost imagine him sat opposite you, with that trademark big smile on his face, talking you through them.
I didn’t feel like there was any “BS” factor, “edited for public viewing” or anything like that. I felt the highs and the (few) lows in the book were written “straight from the heart”. Something that takes real courage. Often in books like these you read a lot of “success”, yet the best lessons in life are learned from our failings.
Everything Richard talks about in this book actually happened. These are actual “tales from the trenches”, making the advice based on them 100% dy-no-mite. The advice given is timeless as well as transferrable to whatever challenges you face.
It’s a Role Model Worth Having
This isn’t some cheesy “get rich quick” book by some maverick who basically doesn’t give a crap about anything but money and only got where they are by treading on people. This book is by someone who:
a) Gives a crap about everything they do and the people they effect.
b) Has a real passion for creating change (for the better).
c) Spots opportunities and takes them.
If I was to be a hot shot billionaire, I would want to get there with Branson’s style, charisma and compassion.
It’s a Nice “See the Roots” Experience
One of the key aspects of the book that I really enjoyed was Richard talking about his family life and his upbringing. Richard obviously had some parents that did a fantastic job of supporting and raising him and there is clearly a lot of respect there.
I also really enjoyed reading about his “laddish” antics in his younger days, but how he has not lost his humour and style as he has aged (well!). :)
Once I finished the book, I came away really energised. Completely re-thinking my strategy, my attitude, everything. In short, I distilled it down in to one “theme”:
If I think “that’s a good idea” – how do I make it happen?
Note, I don’t say “check my bank balance and see if I can make it happen” (a common answer).
As an example, Richard got the idea for Virgin Atlantic due to a cancelled flight - he then chartered his own flight and offered seats to other stranded passengers to cover the costs. At that point in time, there was no way he could start an airline. Decades later, he has one of the best airlines in the world. All the while, people were against the idea. Food for thought..
I couldn’t stop raving about this book and immediately lent it to a friend once I was done. Grab yourself a copy here…