In 1984 I decided to live in London England for a while and ended up working at Maynard’s Wine Bar just off South Molton Street. It was the first real step on my way to becoming the wine geek I am today.
One of my favorite regulars there was Mister Richard Branson. Of course he is now Sir Richard Branson.
I knew who he was because I was pretty into music, especially punk rock music and Virgin Records represented all the things that attracted me to the punk scene in the first place. At that time though Virgin was just putting a toe in the water of the airline industry and rumours swirled around about how this was the impossible dream of an arrogant upstart.
The man I remember serving seemed the opposite of that. He was quiet and thoughtful and extremely polite ( the opposite of my employer at the bar) and I always enjoyed talking to him when he would come in and sit at the end of the bar nearest the door.
It happens that Richard Branson is thirteen years older than me. I was four years old when he launched the magazine that set him on his way in business so when I met him he was already nine years past his twenty-five year old self and clearly already following the advice contained in the attached missive.
At any rate the letter is wonderfully well written and good advice for anyone who aspires to do anything on this wild wide road.