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Losing My Virginity – Richard Branson September 3, 2012

Posted by tackettmedia in Uncategorized.
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A few people who follow me on Twitter may have already seen that I am completely engrossed in a biography by Richard Branson called “Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way.”

This is not a new book. It was first published in 1998 and the last copyright was updated in 2007. Nonetheless, I can only recommend it. It is an easy read with plenty of action.

But let’s get to the points I wanted to share. While I am not quite through with the book yet, I learned quite a bit and was also surprised that no matter who we are, we still struggle with the essential questions of what are we doing here on earth.

When Richard Branson was 40, he asked himself questions about what comes next, what is the purpose of my life, what is it that I am doing…

That’s why I like biographies of people whom we look up to. He truly lives life to the fullest. He wasn’t born into wealth, but worked himself to where he is in life. Yet, the book is not as much about making a fortune as it is about setting challenges and meeting them.

It reminds me of another biography of a man whom, besides my own Dad, I see as one of my role models, even though I will never meet him – Nelson Mandela. He had a cause and he risked everything for this cause. It was also a challenge that he set for himself.

Our heroes in life are men and women who set goals and go about achieving them. Yet, when they get there, then what?

I like the honesty that I find in the pages of this current biography. There are doubts, there are issues that bother me (why are there not many women he mentions in his business dealings, etc.), but they show that nobody is immune to being human.

No matter how big or little our struggle, the main goal for us is to set a challenge that allows us to grow. It ought not to be just a game to show our own power, but truly see what we can do to make a difference.

I’ve been raised with the belief that to be humble is to not believe in one’s own abilities and certainly not tout about them. To a degree, I know where that attitude comes from and I even agree. But it took me 40 years to acknowledge that there are certain gifts that I was given by the higher power I believe in. To not acknowledge these gifts is to not use them to my fullest abilities.

Interestingly enough I am an individualist and tend to be a loner – no one in my vicinity would consider me to be a social butterfly. What brought me to the United States is to be me. I wanted to escape the burden of living up to everybody else’s expectations. I believe my expectations of myself were already big enough. Once I felt I got my freedom, I changed my focus. I wanted to be the best that I could be at what I was doing at the moment, be it a waitress, a student, a journalist, or an advocate. The point for me is to leave the world around me in a little bit better shape than when I entered it. Yet, I am by no mean someone who would ever be able to compare myself with a Richard Branson or a Nelson Mandela.

However, what I get out of these books is that even I can make a difference. I have always believed that I can be engaged in a small way at the local level.

While I won’t fly a balloon across the Pacific, lead an underground political party, build a business emporium, set up a challenge to develop a private spaceship, or lead an entire nation peacefully one step further to democracy – I can make a difference in my community.

Reading about the challenges people face who are in the public eye gives me the courage to battle on and fight for the goals I believe in.