Aug. 2, 2020

Losing My Virginity and Finding My Virginity by Sir Richard Branson: How to embrace the 'screw it, let's do it' mindset

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About the Books 

Losing my Virginity

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.

Finding my Virginity

Twenty years after his iconic memoir Losing My Virginity, the world’s ultimate entrepreneur is back with the rest of the story.

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.


About the Author

Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson (born 18 July 1950) is an English business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He is best known as the founder of Virgin Group, which comprises more than 400 companies.

Branson expressed his desire to become an entrepreneur at a young age. At the age of sixteen his first business venture was a magazine called Student. In 1970, he set up a mail-order record business. In 1972, he opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records, later known as Virgin Megastores. Branson’s Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980s, as he set up Virgin Atlantic and expanded the Virgin Records music label.

In March 2000, Branson was knighted at Buckingham Palace for “”services to entrepreneurship””. In July 2015, Forbes listed Branson’s estimated net worth at US $5.2 billion.


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Finding My Virginity -

Losing My Virginity -

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BIG IDEA 1 (6:15) – Screw it. Let’s do it.

There’s a theme of adventure and fun throughout the two books and Branson’s life. At the back of the more recent book, Finding my Virginity, there are even 75 near death experiences that he has encountered, all listed in chronological order!

He is famous as the founder of the Virgin brand but is maybe equally famous for his extreme sports adventures.

Between the two books, Losing my Virginity has more of the ‘Screw it. Let’s do it.’ feel because this is what fuelled the early endeavours Richard built and his approach to his way of living and the way he runs his businesses. 

It also goes to his desire to get into and shake up the industries who’ve been complacent and have forgotten their customers; particularly airlines and telecommunication. 

BIG IDEA 2 (8:11) – Challenges are there to be overcome.

When you read even the first 50 pages of the first book Losing my Virginity, you feel that so many people would have given up with the challenges Branson faced. But, he is the master of overcoming challenges. From how he started his first student magazine to the huge endeavour of Virgin Galactic, and everything in between, there have always been challenges.

This also includes some of the ‘failures’, such as when market forces turned against him and the impact of the change in online media and music consumption rather than people going to record stores.

There was also examples of challenges with competitors (eg BA dirty tricks campaign) and regulators in the early days of Virgin airlines and even some tragedies that happened in his brands and business ventures over the years.

In all of these challenges, he always rolls with the punches, gets back up and keeps fighting.

BIG IDEA 3 (10:36) – Find your people and take care of them. 

Both books talk a lot about those people who were behind his success. From his parents, his wife Joan, to all of his teams who developed with him the Virgin brands. 

Everyone thinks that Branson is a crazy risk taker but when you read the book and see the thinking behind certain ideas, you’ll see that he is actually very measured. 

He knows his strengths and skills and he surrounds himself with people who offset them or add to them. The book Finding my Virginity is a bit more reflective, a lot more about space exploration and around the idea of passing on and giving back – including one of the founding members of Nelson Mandela’s ‘the elders’. He is also heavily involved in charity work and helping people create opportunities through entrepreneurship.

Music By: Pretty Painting – Instrumental Version Song by James Gardin

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