Are You A Small Business Virgin? Part II

by Michelle Salater on February 18, 2011


Guest post by Sal Vilardo

If you missed Part I of Sal’s guest post, Are You a Small Business Virgin? A Review of Business Stripped Bare, click here.

Below is Part II of Sal’s guest post, a book review on Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur.

Other interesting take-aways from the book . . .

There are only seven chapters in this 322-page book. Maybe I am one of the few to notice this, but with chapters titled People, Brand, Delivery, Learning from Mistakes and Setbacks, Innovation, Entrepreneurs and Leadership, and Social Responsibility, which one would you guess is the longest in length?

Did you guess Leadership?

Well, you are absolutely WRONG.

Believe it or not, Delivery is the longest chapter—2.3 times longer than the next chapter in line.

Coincidence? I think not.

“Delivery is the moment when your good intentions meet the real world,” says Branson. “It’s the attention to detail that really defines great business delivery.” And you get pristine examples, straight from his personal notebook.

On a Virgin Atlantic flight, these are some of the notes he took:

“Dirty carpets. Fluff. Areas around bow dirty. Equipment: stainless steel, grotty. Choice of menu disappointing – back from Miami, prawns then lobster (as a main course) in Upper Class. Chicken curry very bland. Chicken should be cut in chunks. Rice pretty dry. No Stilton available on cheeseboard.

Need slippers in Upper Class, not sock. Need Japanese beers. Only one kind of newspaper from London: English. Need Japanese too. Japanese tea from London, not good. Japanese food from London. Tastes good but must be better presented. Looks like fish and chips. Saucers for Japanese teacups.”

How simple are those notes? Some of them are not even full sentences. And on top of that, they are probably thoughts similar to the ones you and I would have if we were passengers on that very same flight. They are simple things that we all would notice, but not many people would take the time to ever write them down.


For a small business owner there is a fine line between playing by the rules and throwing caution to the wind. Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, not only toes the line, but also often picks the line up and runs 500 yards.


In the snow.

In the middle of Times Square.

On New Year’s Eve.

Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur details some of the insane stunts this daredevil entrepreneur pulled to get his business recognized and to solidify his brand. But don’t be mistaken, between the outrageous advertisements and risqué media events, there are hundreds of nuggets of wisdom between the two covers. The book is a clear insight into Branson’s thought process throughout his career and an invaluable resource for any small business owner.

If you haven’t picked it up by now, you should be ashamed of yourself. Get it, read it, be challenged by it!

Will you bare it all for your business?

Have you read Business Stripped Bare? If so, what did you take away from the book? Leave a comment below, and let us know what you thought.

Sal Vilardo

About Sal:

Sal Vilardo is an avid reader. His reading wish list contains at least 20 books at any given time. He loves rubbing elbows with the elite—except when the ink rubs off the page. He also loves to brainstorm ideas and help people move forward in their business. Check out his blog at Prolific Studios and join the community.

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  • Debra Torres

    Thanks Sal. Some interesting thoughts here. You helped me understand the outstanding importance of reading just a little bit more tonight. I’m glad it’s something I love to do. Perhaps one day Branson’s book will find its way to my Kindle. :)

  • Sal Vilardo

    Thanks for stopping by Debra. It is a great book. I just looked on Amazon and it seems like it is a bit difficult to find. I got my copy back in December and they may have stopped printing them – a bit unfortunate.

    It is always interesting to look at the layout of the book as another function of the content and message..

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