Reading is a key component of learning. I do my best to read a book each week. And I'm always looking for new titles! To share your own book suggestions, use #ABookAWeek on Twitter or Instagram and tag me @NicolasCole77. If I choose your book, I'll tag you in the blog post!
A few weeks ago I had a very close friend of mine in town. Our friendship started 8 years ago, freshman year at the University of Missouri. A mutual friend of both of ours knew our separate interests in music and thought to introduce us. We immediately became very close, and that following summer spent 4 months living together in a rundown fraternity house producing hip-hop and rap instrumentals. If you follow me on Snapchat (Nicolascole77) or Instagram, I shared some of what happens whenever he flies to Chicago from Atlanta, or vice versa. We lock ourselves in whoevers apartment, we set up our laboratory, and we make music for days on end.
Every time this happens, we have the same conversation. We are both extremely entrepreneurial and have always thought that we would do very well starting a venture together. However, time and place has never really lined up for us. We're always in different states, with different demands pulling at us, and so to make something like that happen would essentially mean to drop everything and push all our chips into the middle of the table.
This past trip, while he was here, he insisted that I read Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson.
"Wait until you read the chapter where he's 20 years old and decides to take out a life-threatening loan so that he can buy a mansion in the middle of the countryside. His idea was that he wanted somewhere all the big musicians could come hang out, have sex, and make incredible music."
"So what your saying is," I said, tilting my head and scrunching my eyebrows as if the decision had already been made.
"Exactly. We take out a huge loan. Buy a mansion. And start a record company."
These are the sorts of conversations I have on a daily basis.
Needless to say, I took his advice and read the book, Losing My Virginity. It was incredible. Richard Branson had done more before he turned 21 than most people do in their entire lives. But what made the story so incredible was not the magnitude of his success or the flaunting of his mistresses (of which he did so tastefully), but rather this underlying feeling that through all of it he remained grounded and humble. I couldn't stop reading.
As someone myself who has far too many interests, I have always sought mentors and idols of whom had accomplished the same difficult task of "balance"—and Richard with Virgin did (and continues to do) so eloquently. Not only does he own an island, but he knows how to appreciate it. Not only did he sign some of the biggest rock bands in history, but he knew how to understand them as human beings and help them on their own journies through life. Richard Branson's Losing My Virginity gave me hope that to be successful does not mean relinquishing being human, and that being human does not mean forgoing a life of success. He has both.
For anyone entrepreneurial at heart, or simply in need of a good true story, I highly suggest Losing My Virginity.
In other news, if you don't follow me on Snapchat (Nicolascole77), every morning I share a page out of this meditation book that has really grabbed my attention: 365 Tao. If you want a copy of your own, click the link to order one.
Want to join the #ABookAWeek club? Submit below! Every Sunday I give you a new book to read.