This kid was born on July the 15th, 1950. His life was one that few of us can truly relate to.
Not because of something extraordinarily brilliant. But because of the very real and constant impossibility to properly read.
He wasn’t blind.
He could very well see and understand the world around him. Just not through reading.
It’s something called dyslexia.
You can read the definition below. Just like a dyslexic might.
Do you think that he did well in school?
You’re right. He didn’t.
He dropped out. First when he was 12 and later dropped out again from a boarding school at 16.
For good this time.
Now, I’d imagine the story would go on from bad to worse.
The world doesn’t really go easy on people with disabilities. Most of the time it looks upon them with a sort of guilty repulsion. Something to get away from so it doesn’t feel too sad.
You see, my question to you is: How would your life had been with such a disability?
Go on, take 60 seconds to think about it.
It’s just 1 minute of imaginative play.
I’d imagine dealing with the disappointment on my parents’ faces when they see their child unfit for school.
Feeling helpless to make them proud about achieving the normal things to achieve for kids at my age.
Still, I’d imagine them being supportive.
As all great parents are.
Surely you imagined something else or maybe we’ve thought of the same things.
He went on, at 16 to open a newspaper called “Student” – do you feel the irony?
Can you hear his laughter in front of a disability such as his?
His name is Richard Branson.
He’s been among the most important role models that I’ve looked up to for a number of years.
Let me give you a short and really superficial summary of who he is (obviously you can google him yourself whenever you want to know more).
Currently has a net worth of around 5 billion dollars and owns, under the Virgin Group brand, around 400 companies. Got knighted by prince Charles for services to entrepreneurship. And is involved with humanitarian initiatives that bring a real positive impact in today’s world.
My wish is to follow in his footsteps and help make a better world.
And while I can agree that this sounds like something you could pfff and roll your eyes at, I’m dead serious about it.
You can read more here why I’m dead serious.
It’s at this point that you suddenly remember that the title of this article made a promise to reveal how I became a Virgin.
I think you figured it out by now that it was a word play.
Going further with the metaphor, here are the 3 things that became part of me. Things that Richard Branson advises in his book “The Virgin Way”.
Things that made me a Virgin too.
1. Be curious, listen and ask why
“One of the keys to ‘the way’ we do things is nothing more complex than listening – listening intently to everyone.”
This is the groundwork on which you must base all your actions.
Listening closely means you understand things around you better. You are able to identify opportunities to offer value to other people.
2. Make the world better
“Make a positive difference and do some good.”
There’s little else that can give you real comfort than knowing that because of you, other people are better off.
While being the best is a must, never forget that the only reason people will give you their money is if you solve a problem or a need for them.
This is the noble ideal of entrepreneurship. The engine of the world.
3. Turn your dreams to actions
“Follow your dreams and just do it.”
The only reason your dreams are not a reality is because you’re not putting action behind them.
Sure, it’s damn hard.
But a dyslexic kid built a 5 billion worth of businesses.
What’s your excuse?