Richard Branson is the iconic entrepreneur. Virgin has grown from a small record shop to a $20B group encompassing 200 companies and 40 brands in 30 countries. Therefore it is not surprising that I recently picked up Branson's new book Business Stripped Bare.
As I make my way through the book I will share some of the more powerful lessons. It is of course no substitute to reading the book yourself; whether or not it is worth the £14.99 I forked we shall find out soon enough.
And so, let us begin -
"Every business, like every painting, operates according to its own rules. There are many ways to run a successful company. What works once may never work again. What everyone tells you never to do may just work, once. There are no rules. You don't learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over, and it's because you fall over that you learn to save yourself from falling over."
I'm a sucker for those books with magic formulas for success (which Branson likens to "a prescription for how to paint a picture"). Of course, a week later all but a few fundamental lessons are forgotten. Why? Because the oversimplified scenarios do not play out in reality.
The lesson, then, is to trust your instincts. Mine may get me into trouble on occasion, but when you have that unexplainable hunch deep inside, no amount of logical analysis is ever going to change your mind. It shouldn't.