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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Network + Marketing + Lemons = Life by Janet Callaway | The Natural Networker

Network + Marketing + Lemons = Life and Times of Sir Richard Branson. Last night I finished reading his fascinating and thought provoking book Business Stripped Bare (thanks Chris Brogan for the recommendation).

While this book is certainly about business, woven throughout the book are lessons on relationships, taking action, attitude and so much more. This is a book to be read repeatedly and savored each time.

Network. Though we hear about the importance of building and maintaining a network, few of us to do to the optimum extent. Richard did and does constantly build and maintain networks. When something happens, good or bad, he can reach out to his network. Aside from what he may want for his company, he networks, and very effectively, to create change and to make a difference in the world.

A consistent theme throughout the book is people; they are everything to him. Taking care of people in his personal life, his professional life as well as those he encounters on life's road, matters enormously to him. His relationship building skills set an example for all of us.

Marketing. Virgin Records, Virgin Airlines, Virgin Mobile, Virgin Money, Virgin Active, Virgin Galactic, Virgin Unite and the list of companies in the Virgin Group contains more Virgin entities than most of us realize. Sir Richard Branson is a master at branding and marketing. His business philosophy began when he created Virgin Records and is evident in all his ventures.

He wanted to create businesses the he would be proud of, would pay the bills and enable the Virgin Group to survive and thrive. He certainly did that. More importantly, his belief in ethics, I believe, is one of the keys to his success. He believes: “Ethics aren't just important in business. They are the whole point of business.”

Sir Richard's strong ethics and relationship skills are key to his many network and marketing successes.

Lemons. People have a tendency to look at someone like Sir Richard and think “well, it's easy for him because . . . .” However, when you learn the story behind the story, you realize it was not so easy for him. The story of his life is taking lemons and turning them into lemonade. He did this consistently by making correct choices and taking action.

If I hadn't badly damaged my knee as a teenager I would likely have been a sportsman. If I hadn't been dyslexic I wouldn't have left school at sixteen and created a magazine, which means I wouldn't have ended up running Student, which means Virgin Records would never have been born, which means . . . .”

There are different paths that you can take in this life, and choosing the correct path is supremely important. And as if that weren't pressure enough, it's no good choosing not to choose, because that approach to life absolutely guarantees failure.” Business Stripped Bare (page 331).

Life. His has been and continues to be incredible. He chose to make it that way and continues to make that choice each day.

What do you choose?


  1. Great article! Richard Branson sounds like a very interesting man and living proof that we should all remember the pleasures of enjoying that unexpected glass of lemonade now and again. I'm looking forward to reading his book.

  2. Being the entrepreneur that you are, Nancy, you will truly appreciate what he has done and how he accomplished it. What a visionary!