Technically speaking, I did not choose to read this book; I was given this book to read. My ex-boss gave us (me and 5 other colleagues) 5 books that we had to read within four weeks which we had to report back on when the four weeks were up. So how this had to happen was, each one of us gets a book but one (as there was 6 of us) and as soon as one is done reading, we should hand it over to the one who does not have a book. There were only two quick reads and the other 3 had never ending pages. So automatically I grabbed the biggest book (in pages) first. I finished the book in less than 3 days, and handed it over to the “bookless” colleague so what I did was, I couldn’t wait around for the others to finish with their books, I took the titles and authors and went to go borrow the books at a library. And before the four weeks were up, I finished all five books and the other 5 did not even get past the third book. So in the last week, I started explaining to the other 5 what the books are about. So when we met up with my ex-boss, I was the only one that passed the test, not only for reading all of the books in the specified time but for getting the purpose of the task and that was teamwork. And how does it tie up to our actual work performance? Well, he wanted to see if we had the ability to use our discretion to help out our team members where they needed help, a necessary skill that can be applied in the working environment. Right, so let’s get to the book…
In this book, Richard Branson reveals to us his guidelines that he went by that helped him form the foundations of his success. He describes himself as a go-getter and someone who never says no to an idea. He finds a way to make things happen for himself. He believes that any tasks are possible if you just believe in yourself.
Not only does he share with us how he became successful but he shares his failures as well and why he failed.
It tells us how his successes and failures led him into making many more right decisions than wrong ones. His experiences reflect principals and policies that he applied to his personal and business life.
Wise words from Branson out of that’s quoted in this book: ‘Throughout my life I have always strived for success – as a businessman, in my adventures, as an author and a proud father and husband. I want to share the many truths I’ve learned along the road to success which have helped me to be the best I can. They include:
• Have faith in yourself
• Believe that anything can be done
• Don’t let other people put you off
• Never give up
Learn these and other simple truths, and I hope you will be inspired to get the most out of your life and to achieve your goals. People will always try to talk you out of ideas and say: ‘It can’t be done,’ but if you have faith in yourself you’ll find you can achieve almost anything.’
His eight guidelines are:
- Money – he says that money is an enabler in order for you to accomplish things such as education, buying things you desire or that are a necessity, etc.
- You should have fun doing what you like – If you have fun doing what you like, chances are that you are enjoying it and can easily turn into success and therefore money will follow which ties into his first guideline.
- He says that a person should be bold but do not gamble with no-go opportunities that you should look at an opportunity, calculate the risk and take action if it the risks are worth it.
- Challenge yourself – If a task is too easy then you have probably not set the bar high enough for yourself, you are not aiming high enough. You should do things differently from what you are used to. Branson says he enjoys two challenges, one is to do the best possible work and two is seeking out adventure.
- You should believe in entitlement – The world does not owe you anything, you will not automatically get what you want, you should go out there and get it yourself.
- Live the moment – You end up having more regrets by the things you did not do than the things you have done.
- Respect – respect the law, and respect and value your family and friends.
- Do some good – it is even better to help others if you are well known as you can do more with your influences.
This is a quick read, will probably take you less than an hour to read and I would say his book is very insightful and inspirational and makes you look at your own life differently. He makes you feel that as an individual you can do more in life and nothing is impossible to achieve once you put your mind to it. Not on my favourite lists of books ever written but it’s readable.
I would rate it 3.8 out of 4.
Image source here