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Losing My Virginity: How I've Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way
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Losing My Virginity: How I've Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  36,129 Ratings  ·  935 Reviews
"Oh, screw it, let's do it."

That's the philosophy that has allowed Richard Branson, in slightly more than twenty-five years, to spawn so many successful ventures. From the airline business (Virgin Atlantic Airways), to music (Virgin Records and V2), to cola (Virgin Cola), to retail (Virgin Megastores), and nearly a hundred others, ranging from financial services to bridal
Paperback, 416 pages
Published October 19th 1999 by Crown Business
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Otis Chandler
Oct 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Otis by: Darius
I learned two major things from this book: the power of branding, and the fact that Richard Branson has balls of solid steel.

Branson is one of the great entrepreneurs of our era, and it was truly inspiring to hear his story in his own words. A kid who skipped college and dove straight into business, and time and time again proved he can succeed with a lot of will, determination, and his maverick ability to take big bets and win. Bransons' success is nothing short of inspirational.

I had no idea
Dec 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
"I am yet to read an autobiography of an entrepreneur, which has been written so magnetically. It feels like that I was very much a part of Sir Richard Branson's journey from his boyhood to being one of century's most successful and chic business man, who happens to be having his feet firmly entrenched on the ground. Richard's humble beginning and the numerous sticky situations that he got into during the initial period of his entrepreneurial endeavors, did not deter him from reaching the awesom ...more
Jason Navallo
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of the best autobiographies I've ever read!

Liked it so much that I actually used it as a source in my book, Thrive: 30 Inspirational Rags-to-Riches Stories.
Jan 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
Loosing My Virginity

Excellent autobiography. Mr. Branson has a lot in common with Sam Walton and Ray Crock, except Mr. Branson has a more magnetic personality that he's used to his advantage in the age of mass media. Like all great men, he is a man of his time, and used his adventurous rebellious persona to promote himself and his brand.

His story is insightful, motivational, and more importantly - useful.

Like Walton and Crock, Branson's growth always was happening with bankers in the background
Usman Hickmath
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
How a dyslexic boy who did not perform well in school went onto become one of the most successful businessmen ever?

In his autobiography, Branson takes us through his adventurous, flamboyant life and shows us nothing is impossible. Even with over 600 pages, it never felt boring or slow. Definitely one of the most interesting autobiographies to read. It is full of exciting events, adventures and fun written in a very exciting manner.
Jul 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A thoroughly enjoyable, intimate, and inspiring account of one of the world's greatest entrepreneurs. An excellent mix of business, adventure, and personal anecdote keep the book fresh and engaging. However, despite offering a detailed view of his business philosophy and practices, the scale of his achievements, and the persistence and confidence with which they are executed are still beyond understanding. In fact, the highly personalised delivery masks the reality that his endeavours are suppor ...more
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
I hv long admired branson, so in 2000, when i saw this book at a footpath wala in CP in Delhi, i immediately latched on to it!

The book is an immensely enjoyable, almost no holds barred autobiography of Branson's mercurial rise from a school drop out to the owner of Virgin Atlantic and many other companies, n how he kept building n rebuilding his businesses despite all odds.

Branson has spared nobody, including himself, nor has he let go of any chance to remember those who stood by him!

However, i
Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was absolutely phenomenal. If you ever want to live your life vicariously through a book, this would be the one to do it with. This might be my favorite book ever. It is so incredibly inspirational as well as fascinating and captivating. I was ensnared from the prologue. I lost sleep, read on the subway, I even read walking the streets of Times Square! It was amazing! It was written very well, and tells a great story. This autobiography goes through all of his life, generally chronolog ...more
Vitalijus Sostak
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
I was disappointed by this book, probably because my expectations about it heavily differed from the actual delivery that was intentional, by design.
This book is about personal journey through life, reminiscences about author's businesses, partners and major victories/battles. A significant part of the book is comprised of author's dangerous grand travels on sea and in the air; the last third of the book is devoted solely to personal travel diary.
Disappointingly for me, this book is NOT about
Jan 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
What struck me most in the book is 'Virgin is not a big group - it's a big brand made up of lots of small companies. Our priorities are the opposite of our large competitors'. Convention dictates that a company should look after its shareholders first, its customers next, and last of all worry about its employees. Virgin does the opposite. For us, our employees matter most. It just seems common sense to me that, if you start off with a happy, well-motivated workforce, you are much more likely to ...more
WOW. Richard Branson rocked my world with this book. I've learned so much about entrepreneurship, branding, risk and what it takes to succeed just from reading this book. Its amazing to read a story of a drop out who went on to change the world.

This is a must read.
Samuel Salzer
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
Review: Entertaining and interesting read where Branson shares his and Virgins story to stardom as well as sharing how he survived everything from drowning, freezing and falling to his death during his many grand adventures around the world. I admire what Branson has accomplished through hard work, wit, and vision, yet his formula for success might not be one to live by since chances are that you simply won't live very long following it. Joking aside, the world could do well having more business ...more
Saurabh Hooda
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Richard Branson - the name itself invokes a vivid figure of liveliness, merriment and live life like king size attitude. His autobiography takes you through his entrepreneurial student life, his heady cash strapped days of Virgin Music expansion, his love life, his decision making process, his cross roads in life, his struggles, his failures, his mega successes, his battles and much more. The book presents Richard'��s candor, anecdotes and his attitude on platter to relish. I was surprised to kn ...more
Dalan Mendonca
Jan 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
My first autobiography perhaps,
The book provides a really enjoyable account of Richard Branson's journey from a wonderfully talented albeit rebellious kid to being the driving force behind a multi-billion dollar conglomerate.
Synonymous with his reputation, the book is filled with stories of his daredevil exploits not only in the upper reaches of the atmosphere as a hot-air ballooning enthusiast but also on the business front where Branson defies conventional wisdom to emerge on top.
Though one ma
Aug 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I stayed enthralled and read the entire book in almost two days.Richard Branson,founder of the Virgin business empire, is a father of risk taker,a paragon of entrepreneurship, and a genius who has inspired English culture and lifestyles.
This book includes the birth of Virgin records, Virgin Atlantic Airways,Virgin Music and many more such astounding ventures.
He's life filled with challenges, interesting adventures, dreadful crises and stupendous money.
The splendid lessons I conned from this bo
Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, memoir
This is not the first autobiography which i have read, there are other too Steve Jobs, Malala, Wolf of wall street, but this stands apart. It is enthralling,adventurous experience. Great insight to person rather extraordinary person with extraordinary thinking. This book is quite magical and can inspire and motivate anyone, and especially those who have zeal for entrepreneurship.

If i look from reader prospective this is one of the book with finest story telling and riveting to the core. I have
Jack Chapman
Jun 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
A lot of CEOs have written, or had written for them, biographies extolling their extraordinary lives, their struggles to reach the top, the secrets of their incredible business acumen. Very few of them ever made as much money as Richard Branson, and none of them ever had so much fun with it.

Branson is the most amazing character, highly focussed but with a vast range of interests, a James Bond in a jumper. But what really makes him unique among the captains of stratospheric enterprise is that he
Jul 08, 2015 rated it liked it
What type of person would you imagine Richard Branson to be? That's exactly how he came across in his auto-biography. Cheeky and sensationalist.

It was interesting to read how his businesses developed and how he sought to take on the big dogs, namely British Airways and GTech lottery. The hot air balloon adventures were also fascinating.

Branson is dyslexic, which gives insight into his business success. His brain had to develop ways to 'get around the system' to function properly in life and scho
Aug 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
I thought this book was great. Although he's probably sensationalising quite a lot of it, there's no doubt the book left me feeling inspired - feeling like anything was possible, whatever your background. Definitely a motivational book: great if you're slightly doubting your ability to be an entrepreneur. The message of the book is certainly reach for the stars, no matter how cloudy the sky - the stars are much closer than you think.
Joey Marcus
Apr 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biographies
Richard Branson is my hero. He has done everything his way and continues to do so. Hes done well and poorly but always could see that things would eventually get better. This Bio is more of an reflection of the trials and tribulations of his happiness, sadness and adventures of life and how playing by your own rules can pay off big time.
Jan 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Perfect !
Jacques Bezuidenhout
Quite enjoyed this book. This book is only about the start of Richard's career, till about the age of 40.

Having read other biographies like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, Richard is a very different person from what I've seen in the others.
He actually seems like a very nice person.

If you are expecting a book telling you how to get rich, what strategies to follow in business, recommendations on running a startup. This is not it.
This is about his journey. The emotions around it. The risks he took, and
Nistha Tripathi
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
What's best about this book? - It is not a typical businessman autobiography. Branson is not like anyone else after all. His charisma, his 'not-give-a-fuck' attitude, doing what he feels right (and not just in your tiny private life) but taking it to the hyper-competitive businesses and standing against the stalwarts like BA and News Corp might sound too good to be true. How many men have the balls to delve into adventure as Branson does? Even reading about it gives you thrills.
Coming to the boo
Marc Palucci
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Throughout this book I found myself laughing and enjoying learning chronologically about how Richard grew up. Richard truly lived a RockStar lifestyle.
Nanda Wanninayaka
I had the pleasure of reading Richard Branson’s autobiography last year. It is a thick book but you won’t feel like keeping it aside even for a cup of tea or a meal as the book is written in such a way that uninterrupted reading is needed. I had already heard about this genius of a businessman who fights an unending battle of dyslexia yet, despite all that, there are 400 odd companies to his credit. He starts business by publishing a magazine called “Student” while a teenager but fails to sell i ...more
This autobiography could use more editing, especially in the latter chapters, when Mr. Branson tended to ramble. But overall, I find that I like this man because he never forgets to be charitable despite being an astute businessman.

In this book, the adventurer/entrepreneur reveals that he started a student advisory center when he was just establishing his Virgin retail business and after being in a situation where he was forced to find a doctor who would charge less money for a medical problem
Anton Klink
Jan 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What a tight, gripping, exciting and fun autobiography of maybe the only hippie billionaire in history. After having read the thorough and almost academic biographies of John D. Rockefeller and Steve Jobs, this is a completely different beast altogether. The difference? Its fun! The book has humour, adventure, excitement, tragedy. It even has a villain (Lord King, the CEO of British Airways). What else could one wish for?

It is clear, that unlike the deadpan serious Rockefeller or the charismatic
Oct 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Branson is one of the very few people, about whom I started with a low opinion and ended up admiring greatly.
I think I first noticed Branson when he came to Mumbai (in 2003?) to promote VirginAir; Well he was all over the place, on top of the plane posing with models, in the Mumbai local with 'Dabbawalahs'; obvious marketing stunts; According to my worldview at that time, those public stunts were reason enough to not take him seriously.

I think it was Atanu's admiration of him that tipped me to t
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have recently completed reading Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs and it was an interesting counterpoint to Richard Branson’s biography. Both were extremely successful entrepreneurs, but how different they are/were.

Steve Jobs (according to Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers) was the right person, in the right place at the right time. This allowed him to build products better than anyone else because he saw the “forest” where everyone else just saw the trees. His view of the world was very bla
Nov 08, 2017 rated it liked it
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2015 Reading Chal...: Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson 2 41 Apr 06, 2015 09:53AM  
Branson 1 10 Nov 23, 2014 07:49AM  
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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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“I can honestly say that I have never gone into any business purely to make money. If that is the sole motive then I believe you are better off not doing it. A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.” 36 likes
“Most "necessary evils" are far more evil than necessary.” 23 likes
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