Marketing & Tech Book Club: Finding My Virginity by Richard Branson
by Rachael, on 11 June, 2019
There aren’t many people out there who have led a life big enough to fill two autobiographies – but then again, there aren’t many people like Richard Branson. The serial over-achiever has gone and released another weighty tome chronicling a life us mere mortals can only imagine in our wildest of dreams.
Picking up where his first memoir-esque autobiography left off, Finding My Virginity offers accounts of, friends, family, fortune and failure from the last two decades of the 68-year olds colourful life.
Why We Loved It
Besides the fact we’re absolute Branson stans? The man quite literally reminds you to shoot for the stars – on the cusp of realising his commercial space exploration dreams Sir Richard Branson is a beacon for the ambitious entrepreneur.
He invites you into his world with honesty and openness, not flinching away from detailing the failures, embarrassments and conflicts from the last 20 of his 50-odd year career.
It’s refreshing to remember the man behind the monolithic Virgin brand is so inherently human.
Interview with Richard Branson
Branson’s name is synonymous with iconoclastic entrepreneurship so you can bet your bottom dollar that we were itching to get our mits on a copy and wax lyrical about it for the Marketing & Tech Book Club. But would we, could we, should we dare to dream that the prolific billionaire would consider agreeing to an interview with these humble book enthusiasts?
Spurred on by the ‘go hard or go home’ message of Richard’s own books we asked….and hot-diggity-dog he replied.
Sir Richard👏mother👏flippin👏Branson in the house.
So excuse us while we go ahead and announce our retirement because we have reached peak career up in here and there is nothing in life left to achieve.
Lol jokes…we still got bills to pay.
Carlos Doughty: The Virgin name has transcended a whole multitude of products and services and developed into one of the most powerful brands in the world. What do you understand about branding other companies possibly miss?
Richard Branson: At Virgin we believe in being disruptive and we won’t go into a new business unless we believe we can offer something that is distinct from what already exists. From our first ventures, like our music stores and record label, to some of our flagship businesses today, including our airlines and space companies, we have approached business development proactively and opportunistically, looking for openings where we can surprise and delight customers by offering something truly different. In a nutshell, my three fundamental tips for creating a knockout brand are to: focus on your business name, tell great stories that help people associate with your brand values, and make purpose and your people part of your plan from the very beginning.
Carlos Doughty: What do you look for when hiring people to the Virgin group? And equally if investing in a new business?
Richard Branson: Attitude is everything. It’s the people at Virgin who really make a difference. When you boil it right down, a company is simply the people who work for it – nothing more, nothing less. If you hire brilliant people, you have a far better chance of building a brilliant business. I look for people who have expertise and experience – but above all, I look for people who are passionate and wearing their smiles. Passion, like a smile, is contagious. It rubs off on everyone around you and attracts enthusiasm and innovation.
Carlos Doughty: Finding my Virginity showcases your never-ending quest to push boundaries and seek new frontiers, what do you have next on the agenda? What can be left!
Richard Branson: The job is never done for an entrepreneur. There are the daily challenges of keeping businesses moving forwards; the big picture projects; and the need to innovate and improve constantly, changing your offering as the market does. The next big thing on the horizon for me is going to space. The last few months have been a remarkable period of achievement for our space companies. Virgin Galactic are flying higher and faster towards the dream of creating thousands of private astronauts from every corner of the globe. I have been dreaming of space travel ever since I watched the moon landings as a young boy. It was one of the proudest moments in my life when Virgin Galactic’s spaceship, VSS Unity, built to carry private paying passengers, reached space for the first time in December 2018. We’re all looking forward to further test flights in the near future as we move steadily towards a full commercial passenger service from Spaceport America, New Mexico.