Like A Virgin: Secrets They Won’t Tell You At Business School, is a compilation of business notes, tips, and replies to letters, by Richard Branson, the well known UK entrepreneur who has over 45 years experience in business.
Within his book, Richard covers a wide range of topics, including goal setting, raising standards, customer service, promoting your business, and how to achieve a work-life balance. I’m interested in all of things, and once I started reading this book, I found it hard to put down.
Richard often promotes himself as a rebel and risk taker, performing stunts when launching new businesses and initiatives, setting adventurous goals which help promote the Virgin brand, and disrupting the markets his businesses enter.
What I found interesting, was that despite all the talk of risk taking and his accounts of bravado, he comes across as being quite grounded. When taking risks, he advises readers to ‘protect the downside’ and ‘have an escape hatch’ so if things don’t go their way, they are not ruined. Richard distinguishes between risk and gambling (he is not a gambler) – one of his favorite games is chess, not cards.
How The Book Is Structured
Seen more as a collection of business notes, the subjects covered don’t always flow smoothly from one chapter to the next and the chapters seem compartmentalized. As Richard mentions in his foreword: “The following pages are a blend of responses to questions I have received, as well as an assortment of my written ramblings…”. This layout makes the book easy to dip into for advice, inspiration and ideas.
Includes Questions & Answers
Each day, Richard Branson is sent hundreds of business ideas and questions. A number of chapters feature question and answer sessions from the letters sent to him. I was pleased that a question I was interested in knowing the answer to was addressed. “What would you do if you were starting out today (with investment capital in the four to five figure range)?”.
Bear In Mind…
Whilst this is a positive review, the reader should be made aware the Virgin brand is being promoted throughout the book. With such experience in PR and marketing, I would be surprised if Richard Branson didn’t present his companies in the best light possible. Nevertheless, there is much to be gained by reading this book, which I will read again.
If you are an entrepreneur starting out, an established business person with a team of staff, or you just want to find out about Richard, his lifestyle and how he got to where he is today, there should be things of interest for you within this book.