If You Want to Succeed Read This Autobiography by Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson's autobiography Finding My Virginity

I am pretty sure that if Sir Richard Branson had been asked during his young adult life whether he honestly believed that one day he would become a billionaire even he would not have foreseen it. 

For me, Sir Richard Branson is one of those guys that we all wish we could be.  He is a self-made man who openly admits that his younger years were a struggle but has worked unbelievable hard in order to become a well-known household name.  Nevertheless he is a man that, until recently, I knew very little about, and felt very little need to know anything about him.

Sir Richard Branson, Finding My Virginity, Entrepreneur

Image provided by Chatham House

So why did this change?

Finding My Virginity wasn’t a book I automatically gravitated to.  I am not a big fan of autobiographies.  After all, why would I want to read autobiographies by people who have been so-called celebrities for all of five minutes? (Obviously, I can’t put Sir Richard Branson into this bracket but on the whole autobiographies you see currently in a bookshop do tend to be by reality TV personalities). However, after recently reading an article that praised Finding My Virginity as a book that all budding entrepreneurs should read, I decided to give it a go.

Why Should You Read Finding My Virginity by Richard Branson?

I can only imagine what it would be like to be as successful as Sir Richard Branson.  There are not many people out there that can continuously reinvent themselves to stay on top.  Before reading Finding My Virginity all I knew about Sir Richard Branson was what I had either heard from others or read about in the news.  Yes, he is a self-made billionaire but because I was not really interested in learning more about trains, mobile phones of high-speed broadband I didn’t really look into him as a person.

Virgin Trains, Sir Richard Branson, Finding My Virginity, Entrepreneur

Image provided by Matt Buck

Could Sir Richard Branson’s Book Really Inspire Me?

What I didn’t realise however is just how involved he is not only in his own businesses but also how much time he dedicates to researching and developing future technologies while at the same time continuously raising money for charity.  I mean after reading this autobiography the only conclusion I can come to is that he is a machine because where he finds time to sleep is beyond me.

“Developing mental toughness isn’t just about being resilient – it’s about accessing your reserve tank when you think you just can’t go any further.”

In Finding My Virginity Sir Richard not only reflects on what he has already achieved, which by anyone’s standards is amazing, but what he also wants to achieve.  I truly think that if anyone is likely to create a spaceship to take people to the moon it will be Sir Richard Branson and his company Virgin Galactic.

Finding My Virginity highlights how he has created a brand to be proud of.  It recognises how he has worked closely not only with his CEO’s and senior staff members but also joined the crew of Virgin flights for pizza and beers, celebrated successes and failures with Virgin Blue, fought with politicians and those that run important infrastructures within the UK and still had time to run a marathon, hike a few mountains and complete several endurance activities all in the name of charity. 

Sir Richard Branson, Virgin, Finding My Virginity, Entrepreneur

Image provided by Nick Webb

While I can never say I personally know Sir Richard Branson I do feel that reading this book has helped me to understand more about what drives him.  At the same time, it has given me an opportunity to reflect on what drives me.  It has made me think more about what I actually want to achieve in life. 

It is a book that has given me the kick up the backside I really do need.  It has reminded me that for the most part, those that are actually successful (those that have not necessarily been born into a trust fund, a famous family or been handed things on a silver platter) have had to work bloody hard to achieve everything.  Some days they wake up and feel like they have failed.  Some days they wake up and can’t understand what went so wrong but they never ever give up.  They strive to improve themselves not because they want a never-ending supply of cash but because of their personal pride.  Those that are successful turn their failures into teachings, they don’t dwell on the past they learn from it to improve their future.  That, for me, is what Finding My Virginity is about. 

‘Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, “Wow! What a ride!”’

Finding My Virginity is an account on how Sir Richard Branson has, over the last 50 years, constantly reinvented himself and the virgin brand to move it into the 21st century.  It remains you that if you want to succeed you too need to push the boundaries, break the rules and reach for the stars. 

“Regretting not doing something is worse than regretting doing something.”

It is time for me to stop worrying about something so much that I don’t do it and to start learning more from the things that I do find the balls to go out and finally do.

Which books, autobiographical or otherwise would you recommend to others in order to make them think about their own success?  Is Sir Richard Branson the ultimate self-made entrepreneur or are there others out there that people should also be looking up to?

Looking for other books to read then check out our reviews on a mixture of different titles and genres here.

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Finding my Virginity by Richard Branson is his newest autobiography.  Read here why @tbookjunkie believes that everyone wanting to succeed should pick up a copy of this book.

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