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Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won't Teach You at Business School
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Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won't Teach You at Business School

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  2,698 ratings  ·  215 reviews
Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins

Business advice from the best in the business

Looking for advice in setting up your own company, improving your career prospects, or developing your leadership skills? Why not ask Richard Branson?

In Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won't Teach You at Business School, Richard distils and shares the wisdom and experience that have made him one of the world
Paperback, 343 pages
Published 2012 by Virgin
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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 ·  2,698 ratings  ·  215 reviews

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Ben Neynens
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book is like reading a blog, but in book format.

By that I mean it's a hotchpotch collection of Richard Branson's musings on a wide range of topics.

If you're trying to better understand Branson the man, then perhaps this 'essay/blog post collection' can enable you to achieve that.

But the subheading "Secrets They Won't Teach You at Business" implies a self-help element - and in picking up such a book, I'm not out to learn about Richard Branson, I'm out to learn specific expertise.

With all Bra
Daniel Taylor
Sir Richard Branson has been taking questions from journalists for years on how he runs the Virgin brand so successfully. He's always willing to answer because he believes that the more successful entrepreneurs there are in the world, the better it will be.

This book has dozens of short chapters, as it's essentially a guide book for entrepreneurs in question-and-answer format. Branson approaches the topics with his idiosyncratic humour, and they cover everything from starting a business to making
Jun 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
By (Sir) Richard Branson. Grade: A

If the same content had been published under a name unknown to the whole world, this book would have drawn few eyes. Fortunately, when Richard Brandon offers you business advice, you listen. Why? Because it's Richard Branson. He is a hugely successful international entrepreneur, adventurer and icon, and is the founder of the Virgin Group. His first business venture was a magazine called Student at the age of 16. In 1970, this progressed to an audio record mail-o
David Kudlinski
Jan 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
What better way is there, for a sixty year old billionaire, than to quiet his frequent hangovers by swimming around his private island in the Caribbean? Richard Branson is unconventional. His parents wisely agreed that he should drop out of high school to start a magazine business. Yet he is a better businessman than most folks who graduate from college. Richard Branson views the business transaction in the customers’ shoes, leads rather than bosses and micromanages, puts his employees first (as ...more
Kelly Olexa
Sep 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was a quick read for me-- I read it on the plane last night. Since I never thought I would be an "entrepreneur" I never thought about reading books about those that are. Now that I'm running my own company, I'm all about learning from those that have been there, done that. This was a fast, easy read but with really good insights, particularly about managing people, trusting your "gut" and learning from mistakes. I'm definitely going to read his others.
Kruizzer Alvarez
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book about the Virgin group of companies: how they were able to reach success and how we will be able to apply it to our own lives and businesses. I found a lot of very useful insights that I would be able to use for my start-up and business plans for the future. Just to give you a small preview, one of the lessons that stuck to me the most is "UNDER PROMISE THEN OVER DELIVER" which is pretty much self-explanatory. I would note that some of the tips and learnings aren't all that ...more
Piotr P
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely stunning stories of Richard's brand, his successes and failures.
Entrepreneurship knowledge written in a compact form.
Short chapters make this book a great deal to continue reading easily without losing the context.
Mo Lwin
Oct 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
Like a virgin by Sir Richard Branson book is an excellent book for the people who would like to start the small business or startup owners.

This book gave great insight into how an entrepreneur can come challenges while going through an exciting journey from solopreneurs to million business.
Louise Fry
This book felt like it was going on forever and not in a good way it follows too much of his previous books so it feels like you know it all already very boring sadly
Sushant Pradhan
Aug 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love his smooth writing style with stories. Overall a good relaxed read
James K Worswick
Better than expected. The book is concise in providing business advice.
Geri Shabarkova
Jul 18, 2019 rated it liked it
The important lines could be well summarized in no more than a 100 pages. The author stresses on the importance of satisfied personnel, which is quite important in the service industry, as customer service is, logically, the product really.
Not impressive. Not providing the "Secrets they don't teach you at Business School" as it promises. Simply a self-advertising, short-term seller.
Ida Lindvig
Dec 23, 2018 rated it did not like it
Missing a good storyline and flow. Some interesting stories, but not what I expected. The man is more interesting than this book.
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies
RB is a unique individual who has redefined entrepreneurship in the modern era. This book provides an outline of his approach to doing business and for me it’s nudge to get out there and to launch a business of my own.

The book is simple and very informative.
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
Sir Richard Branson is the billionaire founder of the Virgin group of companies and one of the world's foremost business icons. As such, I expected a lot from this book touted to be full of "secrets" that you won't learn at business school. I was disappointed.

The book is made up of what feels like hundreds of short chapters, that read very much like blog posts. Although Branson does give a few actionable insights, most of the book is personal anecdotes from his own experience. Not bad necessaril
Adam Wiggins
Sep 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
The author of this book is Richard Branson, business mogul and the founder and CEO of Virgin. The photo of him on the cover makes me think the book should have been titled, “I'm a Rich Asshole, Let Me Tell You All About It.” Which is a shame, because the content is excellent.

Two major principles drive Branson's work:

- Customer service as a core value. Empowering people on the front lines to solve problems (rather than reading from a script or following a set of regulations). Having everyone in t
Feb 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Catchy title. Nothing profound, yet I enjoyed it, simply because I agreed with most of his concepts. Like a Virgin targets entrepreneurs wanting to start their own business. Although concepts 'could' equally apply to the corporate world, I have seen no recognition or reward for proficient soft skills in leadership! Richard Branson regularly brought his focus back to "people". I wish more senior leaders could stop giving this lip-service and truly embrace the importance of respecting people as a ...more
Khanh Cao
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: inspring
Good book on motivating young generations of doing, or should I say, starting, something that they deeply love and passionate about. Doesn't have to be a billions, or millions-worth company, but just a wild, even a crazy dream that everyone once harnessed in their youth.

Unlike unrealistic bullshit that movies have been feeding us the whole time, something like "follow your heart" or etc,. Richard Branson just literally points out all the harsh, rough aspects of doing something that you like but
Feb 13, 2015 rated it liked it
I liked the book and the concept behind it at the beginning, but after page 100 it all became a little bit boring to me. The book might be more valuable to entrepreneurs, I don't know :)

Richard Branson is far more impressive as a person and businessman, than a writer.
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone involved in business
All the questions you've ever had and the ones you didn't know you had are answered here by the best in the business. An honest and straight to the point account of the do's and the don'ts for all those already involved in business or about to embark on their next venture. A fantastic read.
Jun 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fun book, Branson is an interesting character, some good tips for business/life! Good summer feel good book.
Yaqeen Sikander
Oct 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Good insights and lessons for start ups and budding entrepreneurs.
Michael Ombu
Dec 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Title: Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School
Author: Richard Branson
Place of publication: United Kingdom
Publisher: Virgin Books. A Random House Group Company
Date of publication: 2012
Number of pages: 376
Sir Richard Branson and his Virgin Group need no introduction, his business interests are numbered in hundreds and span several industries including music, publishing, media, entertainment, beverages, banking, rail transportation, aviation, under water travel an
Mohammad Noroozi
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I think he might have oversold it by subtitling the book “Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School”. The book regurgitates a lot of principles and knowledge you would get from reading Peter F. Drucker or, actually, the memoirs of other business leaders such as Phil Knight or Ray Kroc. It seemed most valuable to me for giving examples he’s applied in his own businesses. For instance, he writes and explains his approach to addressing topics like workplace romances, how he keeps abreast of w ...more
May 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In general Richard talks about the importance of people. Lots of advice he gives is very similar to what other hospitality leaders talk about. Striking similarity with Bill Marriott's management principle ("What do you think?").
Key points:
- The key to success lies through people.
- 1) Do what you enjoy. 2) Create something unique.
- For majority of businesses people are the product.
- Lead by listening.
- Praise more. People develop when you praise them.
- The most common reason people leave, is
Angela Lam
I'm a big fan or Branson as an entrepreneur, and I truly admire his energy, guts and just-do-it attitude.

This was an easy read, comprising short chapters/stories (mainly of Virgin companies' stories and experiences), with Branson's random musings, personal messages/philosophies thrown in.

In terms of readability, it's a 4.5* probably. And Branson's personality and ideas definitely shine through.

But giving this only 3* in terms of content/ applicability of the ideas. The philosophies are cool (
Robert Cowper-Coles
Dec 07, 2019 rated it liked it
A book that is completely average in both its stimulation and knowledge although does offer some useful personal tips. Mr Branson is also incredibly vain/self obsessed. “ for the majority of my career I have played the role of David and have loved it”
To be a great leader you have to be a great listener. Only a fool never changes their mind
People tend to come back to do business if they have had positive experiences with you beforehand
Never be openly critical of people, it is a poor r
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting life story forone of the most successful entrepreneurs of all times. The story of Richard Branson is very motivational and his ideas, advises and suggestions are very valid and applicable not only to the world of business, but also to everyday situation.

I enjoyed every article, page and sentence of this book. The way Richard preserves the business world and the relationship between the employer and the employees is dazzling and interesting. His views and principles are so unique that
Priya Singh
May 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
I picked up this one without any expectations since I havent really read any business books. It proved out to be a huge disappointment. There are a few brilliant bits but it couldnt save the book from an inferior rating. The language is a little too 'dear diary' sort-of-casual. Almost half of the book is repetition of details from previous chapters which kept me wanting for better flow and organisation.
The advises are mostly generic, although a few chapters do present some great suggestions and
Benjamin Fernandez
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
Branson's expert advice and lessons learned on what has worked for him in building the Virgin group is all about finding and empowering the right people and making sure they are having fun doing their jobs. People are a company's most valuable resource and leaders should encourage everyone to take an active role in coming up with new ideas and solutions to improve the way your company delivers goods or services to your customers. Providing a great customer experience and good value for money is ...more
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Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson is an English business magnate, best known for his Virgin brand of over 360 companies. Branson's first successful business venture was at age 16, when he published a magazine called Student. He then set up a record mail-order business in 1970. In 1972, he opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records, later known as Virgin Megastores and rebranded as zavvi in ...more

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