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08 Lessons From Reading Richard Branson’s Losing My Virginity

Aug 11, 2011

Richard Branson – the iconic Founder of Virgin Group- is one of the rare entrepreneurial geniuses of all time. His Autobiography “Losing my Virginity” is a wonderful read for anyone interested in entrepreneurship and building a business.

I have just finished reading the book and am truly blown away by this brilliant read. Here are some of my takes from the book. I hope you enjoy.

Starting is the key

There is no right time for starting a business. Often, now is the best time to start whatever project that you wanted to start. People usually have this tendency. We tend to wait for the right time.

We never feel ready enough, prepared enough. The fact is that you are never gonna ready for starting a business. It is often our fear that holds us back, if you feel like starting a business, go start it. There is no right time for it. Start and commit yourself.


Most people do too many things at once. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Focus. Do one thing. You can do everything that you want but not all things at once.

When you start a project, commit to it and give your 100% to it. Stop diverting your attention.

Be confident

Failure, most often than not, comes from ambivalence. We are not sure, we are not confident enough and so. This tendency hurts our performance.

When we are not sure about something internally, our performance suffers and we fail to put our best effort into to. Work on yourself and develop confidence.

Take responsibility

The basis for any modicum of success is our willingness to take responsibility for our failure. You have set yourself up for failure and you have to take responsibility for it.

Once you take responsibility, you learn. You grow up. You work harder to make things work. People who tend to avoid responsibility seldom grow up.


The right time is true. Everything has a time and your business too. Timing is one of the most important deciding factors for the success of a business.

According to Bill Gross, the founder of Idealab, an incubator of new inventions, ideas and businesses, the single biggest reason behind startup success is timing. Right timing of market makes all the difference.

Your biggest capital is your reputation

Build your reputation and take good care of it. In business and in life, reputation keeps us going.

At the same time, building reputation is incredibly difficult but if you want to tarnish it, it is a matter one act. So be careful, never put your reputation in line.

Play with your strength

It is way easier to invest in your strength and get results than trying to improve your weaknesses. Often we misunderstand this reality and invest so much of our time in trying to fix our weakness.

Your strategy should be opposite, work on your strength. Don’t try to improve your weaknesses rather concentrate on improving your strengths and play with it.

Choose right people

Any great business is about great people. Unless you have a team of dedicated and smart people working with you, it is hard to build a business. Having said that, it is super hard to find really good people. Work hard to find great people, get them on board and retain them.

One of the best ways to build a great team is through looking at the complementary skills, whether you and your friend complement each other and vice-versa.

Note: This story has been updated on March 30, 2018, at 1:02 pm
Cover photo credit: here

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Ruhul Kader is a technology and business analyst based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Future Startup and author of Rethinking Failure: A short guide to living an entrepreneurial life. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, technology policy, and society. He can be reached at

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