Today we are increasingly aware of the effects of our actions on the environment, and I strongly believe that we each have a responsibility, as individuals and organisations, to do no harm. I will draw on Gaia Capitalism to explain why we need to take stock of how we may be damaging the environment, and why it is up to big companies like Virgin to lead the way in a more holistic approach to business.
In Screw It, Let's Do It I'll be looking forwards to the future. A lot has changed since I founded Virgin in 1968, and I'll explain how I intend to take my business and my ideas to the next level and the new and exciting areas - such as launching Virgin Fuels - into which Virgin is currently moving.
But I have also brought together all the important lessons, good advice and inspirational adages that have helped me along the road to success.
Ironically, I have never been one to do things by the book, but I have been inspired and influenced by many remarkable people. I hope that you too might find a little inspiration between these pages.
In little more than twenty-five years, Richard Branson spawned nearly a hundred successful ventures. From the airline business (Virgin Atlantic Airways), to music (Virgin Records and V2), to cola (Virgin Cola), and others ranging from financial services to bridal wear, Branson has a track record second to none. Many of his companies were started in the face of entrenched competition. The experts said, "Don't do it." But Branson found golden opportunities in markets in which customers have been ripped off or underserved, where confusion reigns, and the competition is complacent.
In this stressed-out, overworked age, Richard Branson gives us a new model: a dynamic, hardworking, successful entrepreneur who lives life to the fullest. Branson has written his own "rules" for success, creating a group of companies with a global presence, but no central headquarters, no management hierarchy, and minimal bureaucracy. Family, friends, fun, and adventure are equally important as business in his life. Losing My Virginity is a portrait of a productive, sane, balanced life, filled with rich and colorful stories, including:
- Crash-landing his hot-air balloon in the Algerian desert, yet remaining determined to have another go at being the first to circle the globe
- Signing the Sex Pistols, Janet Jackson, the Rolling Stones, Boy George, and Phil Collins
- Fighting back when British Airways took on Virgin Atlantic and successfully suing this pillar of the British business establishment
- Swimming two miles to safety during a violent storm off the coast of Mexico
- Staging a rescue flight into Baghdad before the start of the Gulf War
And much more. Losing My Virginity is the ultimate tale of personal and business survival from a man who combines the business prowess of Bill Gates and the promotional instincts of P. T. Barnum.
Whether you’re interested in starting your own business, improving your leadership skills, or simply looking for inspiration from one of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time, Richard Branson has the answers.
Like a Virgin brings together some of his best advice, distilling the experiences and insights that have made him one of the world’s most recognized and respected business leaders.
In his trademark thoughtful and encouraging voice, Branson shares his knowledge like a close friend. He’ll teach you how to be more innovative, how to lead by listening, how to enjoy your work, and much more.
In hindsight, Branson is thankful he never went to business school. Had he conformed to the conventional dos and don’ts of starting a business, would there have been a Virgin Records? A Virgin Atlantic? So many of Branson’s achievements are due to his unyielding determination to break the rules and rewrite them himself. Here’s how he does it.
While building the Virgin Group over the course of forty years, Richard Branson has never shied away from tackling seemingly outlandish challenges that others (including his own colleagues on many occasions) considered sheer lunacy. He has taken on giants like British Airways and won, and monsters like Coca-Cola and lost.
Now Branson gives an inside look at his strikingly different, swashbuckling style of leadership. Learn how fun, family, passion, and the dying art of listening are key components to what his extended family of employees around the world has always dubbed (with a wink) "the Virgin Way."
This unique perspective comes from a man who dropped out of school at sixteen, suffers from dyslexia, and has never worked for anyone but himself. He may be famous for thinking outside the box—an expression he despises—but Branson asserts that "you’ll never have to think outside the box if you refuse to let anyone build one around you."
From the Trade Paperback edition.
As he writes:
"It's a vibrant and definite sea change from the way business was always done, when financial profit was a driving force. Today, people aren't afraid to say, Screw business as usual!-and show they mean it.
"It's amazing how I keep coming across the same message, from bustling global cities to the townships of South Africa to small villages in India to G8 climate conferences.
"It's no coincidence that so many people are talking about the same thing. There's a real buzz in the air. Change is happening.
"People often associate me with challenges, with trying to break records while sailing the Atlantic or flying in a jet stream in a balloon or going into space with Virgin Galactic. But this book isn't just about fun and adventure and exceeding one's wildest dreams. It's a different kind of business book. It's about revolution. My message is a simple one: business as usual isn't working. In fact, business as usual is wrecking this planet. Resources are being used up; the air, the sea, the land are all heavily polluted. The poor are getting poorer. Many are dying of starvation or because they can't afford a dollar a day for lifesaving medicine.
"But my message is not all doom and gloom. I will describe how I think business can help fix things and create a more prosperous world for everyone. I happen to believe in business because I believe that business is a force for good. By that I mean that doing good is good for business.
"Doing the right thing can be profitable. I will show how this works step by step in the following pages. It's the core message of this book. I often say, 'Have fun and the money will come.' I still believe that, but now I am saying, 'Do good, have fun and the money will come.'"
From the Hardcover edition.
Richard Branson’s Losing My Virginity shared the outrageous tale of how he built Virgin from a student magazine into one of the greatest brands in history. No challenge was too daunting, no opportunity too outlandish to pursue. And each new adventure started with five simple words: “Screw it, let’s do it.”
Now, fifty years after starting his first business, Branson shares the candid details of a lifetime of triumphs and failures and what he really thinks about his unique life and career. Finding My Virginity is an intimate look at his never-ending quest to push boundaries, break rules, and seek new frontiers—even after launching a dozen billion-dollar businesses and hundreds of other companies.
As he led Virgin into the new millennium, Branson fearlessly expanded the brand into new categories such as mobile, media, fitness, and banking and into every corner of the globe—all while preserving its iconoclastic, scrappy spirit. He even brought Virgin into space with Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceline. Finding My Virginity takes us behind the scenes of the incredible brains, heart, and sacrifices that have gone into making private spaceflight an imminent reality—even after the biggest crisis Branson has ever faced.
But this book is much more than a series of business adventures. It’s also the story of Branson’s evolution from hotshot entrepreneur to passionate philanthropist and public servant, via Virgin Unite’s environmental and health initiatives and through the Elders, a council of influential global leaders. And it’s the story of his personal quest to become a better son, husband, father, and “grand-dude” to his four grandchildren.
Featuring a supporting cast that includes everyone from Bill Gates to Kate Moss, Nelson Mandela to Barack Obama, this is the gripping account of a man who will never stop reaching for the stars, in more ways than one. Find out how Branson did it for the first time—all over again.
Richard Branson is an iconic entrepreneur and the founder of Virgin Airways, Virgin Records, and many other Virgin businesses around the world. Now he shares the inside track on his life in business and reveals the incredible truth about his most risky, brilliant, and audacious deals. Combining invaluable advice with remarkable, and candid stories of Virgin's greatest achievements, as well as some of its setbacks, this is a dynamic, inspirational, and truly original guide.
Whether you are an executive, an entrepreneur, or are just starting out, Branson strips business down to show how you can succeed and make a difference.
Richard reveals the new and exciting areas into which Virgin is currently moving, including biofuels and space travel, and brings together all the important lessons, good advice and inspirational adages that have helped him along the road to success. This is a fantastic motivational business book that will help every reader achieve their own dreams.
Bestselling author and billionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson has always been obsessed with the skies. To promote a new Virgin Airlines route, he became the first man to water ski behind a blimp. His Virgin Galactic venture will soon offer ordinary people the opportunity to experience spaceflight aboard the first commercial spaceliner, SpaceShipTwo.
In Reach for the Skies, Branson examines the history of aviation over the last two hundred years, putting the spotlight on trailblazers such as:
*Tony Jannus, who made the first ever commercial flight over Tampa Bay, Florida, in 1914.
*Leo Valentin, the "bird man" who jumped from 9,000 feet wearing a pair of wooden wings in the 1950s.
*Steve Fossett, who broke 130 world records in planes, balloons, and airships.
The pioneers of flight-not just the world-famous Wright Brothers, but also lesser known visionaries and dreamers-made it possible for any of us with the desire and the commitment to reach for the skies ourselves.