Monday, 22 October 2007

Thinking about the recent postal strike...

Ahhh... it's good to have a good weekend away from blogging. There's nothing quite like doing some strategic thinking on my hammock, away from my advisors that always try and put a sheen of respectability on my businesses. Well, respectability and reality... I'm not a details man.

You may have heard that Royal Mail here in the UK was on strike recently, for quite a number of days. That reminded me of how my Virgin empire really got started.

A long time ago, I was selling albums by post. (That's mail, for you Americans.) Then Royal Mail decided to strike, though that strike was for a LOT longer. Perhaps my greatest ability is to take adversity and turn it into a new and higher level of success. At that time, I was sitting on a stock of albums I couldn't ship, yet I had bills to pay. How was I going to get the music into the hands of people that wanted it?

Simple... I opened a store. I was young and nobody in London would have ever signed a lease with me, so I found a guy that had space above his store and hired it from him directly. Because we set up the shop as I wanted it as a music lover (you could actually listen to music in the store!), everyone wanted in, and it saved my business. Not only that, it set the stage for Virgin Megastores, my record label, and more. It worked out beautifully.

So yes, Royal Mail going on strike wasn't that much fun here in the UK. But not every strike is bad news... if it hadn't happened, Virgin may have become very different from what it is today. (And I think we can safely agree that that would have been a very bad thing!)

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