Friday, February 23, 2007

Virginity Lost : Great real life lessons

Till I joined my MBA, academic studies were drudgery – examinations were treacherous. I never understood the logic and the purpose of my academic study in real life. I could effortlessly, solve any problems in calculus or trigonometry without knowing any practical significance of it. Having mastered the weakness of Indian education system, getting good grades was never difficult. Education started making sense in the final year of engineering while designing a power supply or setting up electricity distribution for a village. But the question loomed over and over again. Why reinvent the wheel? Why do we judge someone who churn things that has been already been digested. Why test student on proving Newton or Pythagoras when it is already proven. I do hope, education system may have changed in past decade.

Nikil Rao – an avid sportsman and my ex-collegue once mentioned that everything in the life is monotonous with the exception of Sports. I tend to agree with him with a minor addition is that of ‘managing ones own business’ can come close to playing competitive match. Business can never be repetitive. There is always a stress, excitement and fluctuating fortunes at the turn of a new day. If you can imbibe the spirit of sports and business in your life, you have an exciting enterprenual vivacious life full of thrill as that of competitive sports.

‘Virginity Lost’ an autobiography by Sir Richard Branson lets you know precisely that. You live life only once, Live the way you believe in doing so. This autobiography is entertaining, motivating and brutally honest. Few hard hitting lessons that this book will take with you for rest of your life.

Do exactly opposite as has been practiced by traditional companies. Think of your employee first. Take care of them. If they are happy, motivated, they work hard, look after customers. Happy customers bring more sales and higher profit. Robust balance sheet means dividend for shareholders. Traditional companies first thought of shareholders then customers and then only employee. Vijay Mallya is Asian version Richard Branson. His lifestyle and red corporate color emulate virgin. I only hope people who are working with United Breweries or Mallya group are in the same advantageous position as that of Virgin employees.
Don’t ever go into a business purely with money motive: A business should involve your soul, mind and body. It must be fun; it should take you to heights of excitement every second day irrespective of your being in advantageous or disappointing situation. It should provide you an outlet for your creative instincts.
Aim for Big. Think of wider canvas. Create and Aura and. Its everything about the Image that you portray
May all your stab wounds be in the front, and never in the back.
Don’t tell yourself you can’t afford something. Ask yourself how you can. That’s the way he took on British Airways. Lesson: Don’t tell yourself “I can’t afford it,” but ask yourself “What can I do to afford it?”
Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched. Never ever brag your achievements before they fructify. There is raven between abject failure and heady success and often impetuous mind does that.
Develop a core group. Once asked Donald Trump about “secret of his success” He said ‘I hire the best consultants and then exactly do opposite what they have suggested ’. Richard Branson build over the years great friends and gave them what they are at best at and yet at the end of the day went by his own gut feel
No Risk No gain: You can either play it safe and survive, or you can be willing to risk everything in order to be successful. If you want to do something spectacular, take big risks.
Failure is integral to succeeding. How close he came to losing everything that he had earned. his company, his empire, his name, and even his life. Yet, every single time, without fail , he kept doing what he knew was the right thing. He lived on the edge bankruptcy but he kept going because he believed in what he was doing. He also believed that it was all or nothing. He either was a great success or was a great failure. In either case, he wanted to be great.
Never ever ever ever surrender.
If you fail once, get up, adjust your strategy and try again. This is a lesson that’s displayed over and over again with Branson, especially in his adventurous expeditions. If you live, you can try again. And never be afraid to try almost anything, at least once. This is true with every enterprenuer – from Jamshedji Tata to Bill Gates.
Your name and reputation are everything. Protect it by all might. Your name and reputation are everything. Without it, you are nothing.

This book is as much for those who felt stroke of luck eluded their sense of accomplishment as is for business students, teachers, employees and employers. It will change the way you have been taught and trained by theoretical books and teachers who never ventured outside college premises. This book will teach you basic ingredients of any business remain the same over the years i.e. basic instinct and human relationship.


Anonymous Makarand Bhave said...

The way you have highlighted the book me thinks that you have done a very detailed read or else you have biographed the book.. Just kiddin’

I am gonna buy and write my revu and also comment more later..

Cheers :)

7:13 PM  
Anonymous aditya said...

I have written at MS only about 2 books and Losing my virginity was one of wwas truly inspiring book...

moreover it is like ’’unputdownable’’...
i used to read it even in the crowded mumbai much i was glued to this book..


7:14 PM  
Blogger Paula Neal Mooney said...

Yes, Sir Richard Branson is an amazing man with great tips.

He's right, we can't search fervently after money.

We've gotta do what we love.

I love blogging.

Thanks for adding me as your Explode! friend.

Happy Weekend,

7:14 AM  

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