In Finding My Virginity, the sequel to his earlier autobiography, Losing My Virginity, Sir Richard Branson, the renowned British entrepreneur and serial founder of businesses under the Virgin brand, narrates the highs and lows of his life especially since 1998.
What we learn is that although success as an entrepreneur cannot always be guaranteed or predicted, courage, boldness and the ability to seize the moment and act quickly can certainly make a difference. Sir Richard's account of the birth of Virgin Active, Virgin Rail, Virgin Galactic and Virgin Media definitely stand out in this regard.
The reader comes away with a clear understanding of what makes Sir Richard who he is. His love of family and abiding loyalty to Virgin staff as well as his commitment to sustainable development through the championing of subjects such as climate change reduction, which have now entered into the mainstream of public discourse.
Equally evident is his extensive philanthropic endeavours in support of entrepreneurship development, nature conservation and prison and drug reforms.
For the Nigerian entrepreneur, the key take-away from this book must surely be the insights into how to create and sustain an effective and enduring brand. The author's overriding philosophy is captured as follows: "It has never been just a business to me. Virgin has always wanted to make a difference."
Other helpful advice in the words of Sir Richard:
"The best ideas don't always need to have detailed financial projections and complicated business proposals behind them."
"It's one thing being bold; it's another altogether risking your future on pure chance."
"Reputation is everything."
"Keep it simple."
"Entrepreneurship has helped create many of the wonders of the world today, and it can help us overcome many of our challenges for a better tomorrow." From Sir Richard Branson's Finding My Virginity