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Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way Paperback – June 7, 2011
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“Richard is good-looking and very smart, which is sexy to start with. He also makes a billion dollars before breakfast—and still knows how to have fun."
-- Ivana Trump
“Few people in contemporary business are as colorful, shrewd, and irreverent, and probably no one’s nearly as much fun to be around. . . . Branson embodies America’s cherished mythology of the iconoclastic, swashbuckling entrepreneur."
“Branson wears his fame and money exceedingly well: no necktie, no chauffeur, no snooty clubs. . . . What continues to set Branson apart is the unique -- and, to some, baffling -- nature of his ambition. . . . He isn’t interested in power in the usual sense of influencing other people. . . . Boiled down to its singular essence, Richard Branson just wants to have fun.”
“Branson, a self-described ‘adventure capitalist,’ is a business-creation engine who was clearly born in the wrong place. . . . Those business instincts are matched by an ability to motivate people who work for him. And who wouldn’t want to -- Branson seems hell-bent on making sure that everybody, but everybody, is having as much fun as he is.”
“Richard Branson . . . is dressed to the nines: in a $10,000 white silk bridal gown with a traditional veil and train and acres of lace. . . . Branson is expected to do the unexpected, even the bizarre -- anything to publicize his latest venture. . . . The fact is, Branson’s widely reported stunts seem almost staid compared to the unconventional way he manages his burgeoning empire.”
-- Forbes ASAP
About the Author
Richard Branson, the founder and chairman of the Virgin Group of Companies, was born in 1950 and started his first business, a magazine called Student, when he was sixteen. Virgin began in 1970 as a mail-order record company and has since expanded into over a hundred businesses in areas as diverse as travel, entertainment, retailing, media, financial services, and publishing. He lives in London and Oxfordshire with his wife, Joan, and their children, Holly and Sam.
From the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
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First - he acknowledges * early and often * his parents for their suport and for instilling his NEVER GIVE UP attitude. His aunt actually mortgaged her home to provide him seed funds for one of his early businesses.
As a real estate professional, I L'VE how he started locating his VIRGIN music stores in heavy foot traffic areas of large cities in the UK. Most of those buildings in the 70s and 80s were owned by the ground floor shop keepers and the second floor space was vacant. He and his team, asked to occupy the second floor FREE until the shopkeeper/building owner could locate another PAYING tenant. The additional business brought in by the music stores to the ground floor shops allowed his stores to remain with NO rent for several years.
He started his first business * a newspaper for students called STUDENT * when he was 16 and has never looked back....and then he started his VIRGIN enterprises that now number over 400 and BRANDED the "brand" so well, so that when the much LARGER Thorn EMI * think Beatles * bought it for $1B in the early 80s, Branson signed a 5 year non-compete agreement AND EMI got to use the VIRGIN name which was calculated in the purchase price.
I wish I had been able to listen to the book on CDs spoken by Branson. Unfortunately, the book is not offered in this format so I elected the larger, soft cover edition with the 2 additional chapters for his current exploits.
YES! There are SEX, small LIES and MANY photos v video tapes....the photo of his arrival at his wedding to his wife, Joan, on his Necker Island, hanging from a helicopter with a box of chocolates in his mouth is sweet.
While looking for photos of this event, the hundreds of him almost ALWAYS show him smiling and HAVING FUN.
If you know someone who suffers from Dyslexia * tell them about Richard Branson * who overcame the syndrome and has flourished and effected and changed the lives of many around the world....and had FUN!
Richard has a blog on the VIRGIN website....[...]
My husband and I were recently shopping in New York City for things we’d need in preparation for our upcoming move across the country. We stopped at a bookstore on Fifth Avenue, and he picked up a book entitled “Losing My Virginity”. As he flipped through the pages, I became curious and asked what had caused the sudden interest. His answer surprised me. He said it was written by you – Richard Branson – the man who would be his new boss!
We didn’t buy it that day, but when my husband came home from his first day of work at the Virgin Galactic Company, he had the book in his hands.
I was fascinated. I found myself reading your book every time my husband would put it down. After finishing, I couldn’t resist writing an essay about it for Wenxuecity, the largest website for Chinese living outside of China.
On page 58, you really captured my attention, when you wrote this exciting idea: “A business has to be involving; it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.”
After posting my review on the book forum at Wenxuecity, the piece received more than 6,972 click-through’s – it obviously generated a great deal of interest.
To get to know you better, I signed up on Twitter to be one of your followers, and in the process discovered that you’d like to get 65 challenges in this year.
Here is my challenge for you: Using exactly 65 words, I would like you to write a fun-to-read, true story, describing that business you talked about on page 58 of your book. I will then post it on the same website as my book review, so people can see directly what you have done. I’ve learned that you have already finished more than 40 challenges, but this one may be more difficult if you challenge yourself by writing it in Chinese!
Creating the magazine “Student” was the starting point of your successful career. Now there are more than one hundred companies under your Virgin group. The marketing experiences that you used in “Student” undoubtedly influenced your subsequent success.
Honoring that success and recalling the skills and enthusiasm you found when you were younger, I think it would be fun if you could mail a book to each of the five individuals below and convince them to read it.
The first one is an architect who lives in Beijing China. He designed the Colombo Lotus Tower in Colombo, Sri Lanka, which is 350 meters high and presently under construction. He will marry a beautiful, talented girl. Could you tell him what he can learn from it about love and family?
The second one graduated from the Wharton School and is very creative with lots of new ideas. He gave up working on Wall Street as he is looking for a new direction for his life. Please help him exercise his creative instinct throughout his career.
The third one is a software developer who works in New York. She has a free spirit, loves adventure, and enjoys life as much as she can. Mailing her a book will give her the incentive to explore new ideas for both her work and her life.
The fourth one is a graduate student at Imperial College in London, who has a strong urge to do marketing, but his major is health administration. Reading your book will increase his interest in marketing, and might help him decide to make a career change.
The fifth one is also a student, but she will graduate from Oxford this year. Her major is experimental psychology. Mailing a copy of your book to her is probably the best graduation gift she will receive, for it will help her plan her life after college.
In writing to all five, use the language you used as a sixteen-year-old including your persuasive skills.
Have you ever heard the Chinese folk story about the Soup of Pearl, Emerald, and White Jade? This story will help you to understand why I challenge you this way. The challenges will help you recall the feelings you had when you founded the “Student”
I believe that all five individuals will benefit by reading your book, but if I am the one sending it, they won’t be as interested. They will benefit by receiving your book as it describes the instincts you so carefully describe, and it has your famous name.