Hi You are inspired by reading books. Awesome points you have shared specially Nothing matters more than people…love it Till yet I am not criticized…:P. And as such, I loved this! I was told I was naive to think that I could establish a charity that was run entirely through good will and love. I was told I was naive not to take a salary and that it was not a workable model. Thanks Sonia. So I get it done to the best of my ability, focusing on making the client happy and learning something in the process.
That is nothing more than an excuse to treat people poorly for apparent, short-term, financial gain. Especially when you consider the source — The original Godfather movie! Do you really want to be just like a major mob leader? Yes they really went there. I love this. I have been called mad, mental, crazy, loony, naive, stupid, inexperienced. Call me an optimist but I have always believed I shall be a success, even with no money I class myself as a success!
Thank you Sonia. This a beautifully written and inspiring article. A great way to begin the new work week!
It's Still Not the End of History - The Atlantic
Believing in yourself and in your ideas — especially when the going gets rough — is a hallmark of many successful people. You gave us some wonderful examples of people who had the courage to follow their dreams, to engage their passions, to inspire others to join with them.
Intriguing stuff, Sonia. Branson is one of my business heroes. The guy has defied traditional business practices, and is now reaping the rewards. Sonia, printing this and hanging it on the wall! They operate on instinct and determination. Thanks for the right on time inspiration. It is exactly what I needed today. To nice. I believe that deals should be fixed with a handshake, and then later backed up with a contract full of pesky details.
Ludicrous, right? I think that the world is rocked by the naive, clueless, and irrational. I know people are thinking that about me, but they know better than to tell me to my face. But it goes to show that good guys and girls can win: Hooray! If only more business people thought like you! I really enjoyed this post. My goal as a writer is to help small businesses to not only succeed but to thrive. I say there needs to be much more naivete in the world! Naivety IS brilliant! Wonderful post, Sonia.
Thank you for the post. An awe inspiring blog, thank you, I am always being thought as naive that I would ever get anything published but have just completed first book. So to tackle the sales, thank you pages and promotion but naively I will get there!! Thank you. I hope to be this naive someday. I think the approach is refreshing compared to the uptight way of doing things.
Being able to step our of the confinements that can be placed on us as individuals in a company helps us to be better employees and better businesspeople. Great post! Reading through it I know what you mean by naive and I agree it can be a quality that helps rather than hurts. But I also think it has something to do with kind and forgiving. Thanks for a great post. Sonia your post is so true. I work in the printing industry with many corporate dinosaurs.
They believe the internet is taking their market share away from them. Well they are right about that although this attitude is the same unbending philosiphy that destroys innovative employees and they wonder why they cant get good people. For all those who would be naive in business and life, do so but with open eyes. When we reject the common assumptions to which others are attached, we can expect to raise anxiety in those most fearful of being different from the crowd or who lack the open-mindedness to consider a new way of working.
It is only after we persevere that others begin to see that their prior assumptions about business were just that, and then follow as you continue to stand behind a new set of formerly naive beliefs. Good advice for all of us! Awesome post… just read it to my husband who is a linchpins in the company he works for.. Thanks Kaye. Wonderful, lighthearted and right on target post. Thank you so much. I just love it. Very inspiring. You story of when you worked in industry is so similar to my own! Tell the customer the truth! Are you crazy? I left.
What perfect timing, as I start this morning building a new team in a growing industry. I want to pin this to the wall and read it hourly. Thank you! Apart from being well written and appreciated by fellow readers this is quite an awesome representation.
Thank you for this post. I felt insulted, humiliated and stupid because her tone, as much as her words, implied all of those things. After thinking about it however, I actually congratulated myself on her biting remark and wore her comment like a badge of honour. If it is naive to be honest, trusting and to act with integrity, then count me in!!
Thanks for this, Sonia! A good reminder that what I have may just be a good idea or two after all. This is so me! What a great post! Once that was done, though, we were free to boogie on out of there and live our lives. How naive of him! And I think I could use a big dose of it over the next few years, so thanks for giving me permission, Sonia! Way to stick up for the nice guys and gals. I once interviewed for a very high-level, high-paying sales manager job. It was a grueling process and finally came down to 2 candidates — me and another guy.
In the end they chose him and I was crushed. Giving, sharing…ooey gooey cheery stuff! Naive is probably the polite version. So glad I took the leap of faith and gave up the salery — at least I now sleep at nights and my equilibrium is slowly being restored. To be irreverent is also naive! It will get you in trouble with lots of people. Specially those snake-like ones in power.
It will however set clear that you are not up for BS. Not receiving and not giving. It will state you are honest through and through. I was accused of being naive enough to make my own software while the world out there uses dozens of developers for a single project. Jet I succeeded!
Thanks for a great post! The last couple of weeks have been kind of a meatgrinder, so this was awesome and timely! Yeah, I know her. Just whatI needed to hear. He takes risks, but he backs them up with a lot of research and planning. He surrounds himself with smart people.
Great article, Sonia! Empowerment, motivation, mentoring etc.. Stunning levels of guest amabassadors, repeat business, word of mouth. I am a hugely positive person. When times are tight, all that earthy crunchy crap has to go. I want to make the rules about who gets to be nice or not.
My husband and I were just talking about being naive over the weekend…the blessings and sometimes hardships that come with that. Not seeing the potholes…. I used to cringe and now I embrace it as who I am. If we put the human touch back in, it makes a huge difference for everyone involved! Yeah, god bless Tony Hsieh for taking these ideas and making so damned much money with them! Not that we all need to build billion-dollar companies, there are plenty of other worthwhile goals, but the money helps give that very objective validation.
I think I should ask our graphic design dudes to work up an actual permission slip for us that people can print out. This finally hit me like a ton of bricks about a year ago and work and life has been infinitely more interesting ever since! In fact, all that bad stuff crushes creativity and who wants to live in a grey world.
Amazing post! I can say being naive is the smartest way to go in business. It is about being real, being authentic.. Naive is about seeing the world the way it.. I was very naive when I choose the field of Online PR consulting. People told me I was not educated in traditional college to do PR. So what.. My major was linguistics. I connected with people. I learned to find the best connection. I love writing and marketing. Well it is all a part of PR world. I believed that I could do it.. I believed in myself and being naive is often not sign of ignorance but sign of strong belief in our life and our talents..
I believe being naive helps to make decisions and have a perfect timing.. Sonia again thank you for writing this.. Way back when, when I had a record store we had 14 reps per week call on us to sell us their wares. Every single one of them or at least 13 because the other one already did wanted to work for Virgin.
Branson treated his staff like people and I even heard one year he hand wrote several thousand Xmas cards to all his employees. Awesome post Sonia. I spent 8 years as a Business Development Manager for a large corporation making gobs of money. Turns out I was just supposed to be selling selling selling selling selling. Did I mention the selling? NO regrets. My kids, the lawn who knew grass needed so much love?!
Happily, both statements were true. So far, being nice has served me pretty well in my own business — and I refuse to work with people or companies that are not also nice. It seems like the more I think I know, the less it actually works out. If you look at the Wiki definition below for naive, the early use of the word meant natural or innocent, not inept.
What a great way to be and an antidote to the ruthless, selfish values which so often drive the business world today.
Why Being Naive Can Make Your Fortune
Great article Sonia, a real thumbs up for all us happy naive, natural, innocent people out there!!! Sonia: ps. My coworkers told me I was naive thinking this person would do likewise if they found my wallet. I believed otherwise. She hugged me endlessly. People are so quick to apply limits to everything and everyone especially ourselves , this post will help many of us cast those aside and tap into our inner kid again where anything is possible.
We have a golf company Zoom Boom Golf. And, we believe that the golfer is more important than his equipment and that most golfers already have all the power they need. If anyone has any ideas of how to get this out to the public we are listening. And thank you for describing your time in the corporate world with such honesty and humour.
I have most definitely been there! Did you write this for me? I kind of like being naive and nice. What I love about Branson who was my hero on my backpacking trip around the world is that even though he is naive and nice, he kicks ass. I seem to be the queen of naivete amongst my friends. They always say something and I respond, following my own logic. Thank you for this artlcle. It made me smile; I guess that in my time in the work world created by others I was also one of those naive ones.
Much of the time my approach worked out well in the end, but there were times I leapt into situations that ended messily, which is why I particularly like this:. I guess that if you find yourself on the floor, the only choice is to pick yourself up and start climbing again…. I love your writing about content marketing … and … this post was really really powerful. A friend once said that I had no concept of the impossible … another recently said that I still had an innocence about me [at 51!
And a lot of the time fear drives this need to control people …thru systems and structures and rules … and a basic lack of trust in peoples own powerful capacity to imagine different ways of doing things. Do you define Success or do you let it define you? I also have a fundamental belief in other peoples capacity for the extraordinary … you just gotta give out a helping hand sometimes and believe in them.
First of all, this is a brilliantly wrote article and I can see parts of myself in how you described yourself.
Cluelessness certainly has its place, especially as an impetus. One of my favorite musical artists simply decided, with no idea of how the music industry worked, to drive to LA for a record contract. He tells the story of standing in the phone booth with his list of record company phone numbers and looking down at the floor of the booth to see a discarded piece paper there with the same numbers.
The naivete got him to that LA phone booth. In other words, there can be a real benefit in not knowing any better. Trying to balance out corporate mindsets with trying to be there for the employees was like trying to fly a kite in a Class 5 Hurricane. Unlike you Sonia, I was naive enough that I would have never left on my own because I felt like I was protecting or at least buffering for my employees. I find it kind of ironic that most of them quit after I was laid off. A lot of layoffs and yet, so rarely of the people who needed to go , and some other dopey political maneuvering as well.
Very odd. I once asked a manager a question.
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I got a lot of yada yada but no answer. I thought it must be the way I am asking the question. So, I figure I needed resources and then it hit me … Human Resources. I asked human resources and needless to say the whole place turned upside down because I asked a question. Besides all that, in our test runs we have had a higher standard of living than we did at home. Nicer kitchens to cook in man I love a good kitchen. Nice houses in nice neighborhoods. Posh stereos and luxurious baths. Most folks who need a house-sitter live in nicer houses than we do.
And some of them, oddly enough, go on vacation during the nicest weather of the year can you say Vancouver BC in August, instead of being at home in NorCal, at degrees? And this is one of the many reasons why I love your work, Sonia. Thing is, I expect the most out of me. Sonia, what a great article. Then her had a change of opinion when he saw the plan work. I now employ a similar strategy in my own business…and it still works. Funny how one can go from being clueless to genius in a short span of years.
I want to touch one! Thanks for this great perspective! The corporation I used to work for used The Art of Possibility as part of a leadership training course that I taught there. I also recently left my corporate job during difficult economic times to pursue my passion! Naive means being able to see the possibilities and believe that you can make it happen. When you look at it, a lot of those that are successful would have been called naive when they started. It is just once they proved that they were right to the skeptics, everyone then thinks it is just common sense.
New goal for myself — try to be naive. James I agree common sense is what we call it naive. Naive nature allows us to see things differently and more clear even. We must act like kids. Have a child within us.. They naive and belief system is so much stronger than we adults do have.. Utterly loved this. It took me back to a place I remember far too well, and then shot me forward hopefully to my not too distant future as I embark on my own.
Thanks for all of it! Excellent article! Being naive in this sense means thinking outside of the realm of acceptable business practices or dinosaur thinking depending on how you look at it. I also liked the fact that the importance of treating your employees well was included. Good managers and owners know that this is hardly naive behavior.
But, compassion, kindness and employee appreciation do often get overlooked if it perceived to interfere somehow with the bottom line. One of my fondest memories from a past life in Corporate America is a time when my boss called me into his office and told me I was being too customer oriented. You are always good for an uplifting post. I think being naive is one of the big reasons that people become so successful with their entrepreneurial ventures. I love my day job. And my new wife. And the role I have in my church.
The Richard Branson references brought back some memories — as the band I run were one of the first suppliers that his Virgin Bride company put on their recommended suppliers list. So she took the idea to Richard Branson. Not only did he run with the idea, he made her VP of Virgin Bride, or an equally senior position. Thanks Paul! And you know what? It worked! When we were bought by another company and I was no longer allowed to do it my way, I jumped and now do my thing my way.
You said a great deal. I would throw one word into the mix that has helped me more than any other over the last 30 years in business — Balance! Like You, I understand the corporate world; but 30 years of experience has shown me the things I have done right and what I would have done differently. Balance is the Key — easy to say…hard to do.
Thanks again…. How did we miss each other in the hallway? I love this post. It reminded me of all the people who lined up to feed me my dose of practical, mature advice on leaving Corporate Money World to become an independent artist. Is it hard? Hell yeah. But the thing I could never give up now is the flexibility I have to try new things. He was a weird, weird dude. My own joy at work, and the beginning of the expansion of my business came when I started to write about things that I really, truly wanted to say but was too afraid to in the corporate setting.
I say, please run the world. Thank you for lifting the curtain of false perceptions and providing a brilliant and intelligent explanation of the benefits in being naive. For example, in a cut-throat business environment, caring emotionally and personally for another human being is considered naive and a sign of weakness. However, I believe caring is powerful. In my opinion, you will be able to see the situation from their point of view. You are now listening really listening and being proactive and able to meet and exceed their expectations. Yes, you can, but you have to care.
You get your work done so much quicker. You waste your time. In regards to business tactics, legal strategies and negotiations you need to take caring a step further. You need to love in order to remove yourself emotionally from the situation and put yourself in the other person shoes. This will allow you to recognize legal strategies, deception and tactics so much quicker, which you will need in order to be proactive. I think the only truly naive people are the ones who think their stories are already written. Following your own path is brave, not naive. Inspiring story, its always uplifting to stumple upon a post that lifts you up and and carries you forward, thanks.
Great post, also I was just thinking about reading The Art of Possibility again, its a wonderful book. Very inspiring to someone who has just left the world and is looking at opportunities to fly solo. Interesting how the universe works — my blog takes a similar point of view. People are what matter and we need to be in control of our thoughts, actions and activities and not have them dictated by the PTBs Powers that be Why are they in Power anyway — because they said?
Thanks for the great blogs. I enjoy reading them. Love to hear any comments on it, or how people have created teams that ask the naive and curious questions that so often lead to gold! Game over for me too. While there is some built in redundancy, you use most of the thing, just not all at the same time! Several times, in fact it hit me in the face yesterday after reading some old emails when I was thrown into a scuba business and had no clue what the 2nd stage was at the time.
Well I prevailed then and try to swim above water now. No harm in that, right? Great post, Sonia, by the way. I spent years in a corporate environment thinking they actually wanted to get it done right! What was I thinking?! But somehow we had the manpower to answer the complaint call, forward it to 3 different people, have a meeting about what we should do about it, then fix it only half right, then get another complaint about it only being fixed half right, foward to 3 … and round and round.
That is why I am doing as you are and throwing in the corporate towel and starting my own thing…. This is awesome. My friends all called me Naive for leaving everything behind to move to a new country on the complete opposite side of the world with no plans or anything. Now they are jealous of the life I have.
Now who are the naive ones? Perfect, Sonia. I would never have lived in paradise. I would never have lived my dream. So glad I was naive. It often goes like this:. Your example of Branson also one of my role models is excellent—may I be so lucky as to be as clueless as him! I loved your paragraph about Branson. He clearly knew about marketing and publicity though.
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I wrote a song about jumping from an airplane with a silkworm instead of a parachute. THAT, I do all the time. I need a transplant of that kind of self-confidence pullease. Then 6 months later, I see someone else take off with a similar idea and make a mint.
A naive employee of mine claims it is one reason for his success — I suppose it could be. Nonetheless, it is possible and it does work. Thank you for taking the time to post this! You craft whatever topic you touch into enjoyable reading prose. I particularly like the concept of creating another frame to generate all kinds of opportunities. It reminds me of Feng Shui in a way. Have I mentioned how much I love you recently? Laughing, Charlie. Years ago when I was transcribing medical records, my boss told me I could live anywhere and work for her, as long as I had high-speed internet.
So to her surprise, I went to live in Europe for 10 months. After that, no one was really surprised when I decided to twist balloons for a living. Loved this article and I read your blog all the time. The first of my friends to do so, too! I found you!!! Sonia, your brilliantly written post made me so happy and then I find all these positive comments and people who believe in the power of their goodness. Shine on all of you. We DO light up the world! You summed so many of the reasons why I found the corporate grind so insufferable.
Sounds like you were too pro-active, bright and full of the right attitude in an environment that was dour, sour and had little life and ticker left in it. That tends to happen to positive people. Great post, thanks. To be honest, I lost track of the main message around the middle of the article, but going back to Richard Branson who I personally admire too catched all my attention. Thanks and congrats. I bet they are all envious of your success! I have been, and am still, called naive, innocent, soft, idealistic, etc. And, while I have tried to tow the corporate line, it has never been a success.
It is not me and not what I want. The alternative is hard, not least because you are working against the tide of opinion. Working with BNI has helped — meeting other like-minded individuals who are striving in the same direction. Also the internet, blogs like this, social media, particularly thought and opinion coming from accross the pond. Thought in America seems far more open and intuitive, although you obviously still have the corporate machine to be wary of.
In the UK, we are very much tied to a cynical viewpoint, both in business and politics and most people just assume this is the only way to be. Excellent post and inspirational for the rainy, dreary morning it is in Ireland. I became a Manager at the age of 20, so I had no choice but to be naive; and, as scared as I was, I followed my instincts and it all worked out fine.
I get burned sometimes, but then I learn some more. During one particular conference call I was told that the project was going in one direction and I bit my lip as long as I could. I needed to speak up so that maybe it could get fixed. About an hour later I got a call from the Controller of the company who started screaming at me.
I listened…listened more…then asked him if he was finished. He said that he was finished. If we all saw the great in people instead of seeing just their weaknesses the world would be a great place. People skills today are not part of the education curriculum, if they were I believe we would all be better for it. Keep up the great work. Best regards Steve. Thank you for starting my day with this.
I like the thought of being naive, especially if the alternative is being cynical. Where I went incidentally…. Branson has made an art of appearing naive when all the time he is astute. I know someone who visited him when he was planning the airline. All over the floor of his narrow boat office the floor was covered in research papers and documents. He is a very thorough man. I agree that Branson is astute. Often canny, but not cynical. Will bookmark your page and read it again. Thank you, Sonia, for reminding us that sometimes we just need to dive in, throw caution to the wind, and be successful anyway.
Very well written and entertaining with a sense of humor I admire.
Thanks for sharing. Oh thank you thank you for this post! I was that naive girl back in my corporate days and it has been awhile since then. Sonia- awesome post as always! It took a long time for me to realize, but I get it now. A kind word. Sincere generosity. Making real connections with people. The trifecta of success! What a sensational read.
I am astounded by how much of blogging about virtually any subject matter at all seems to reliably find its way back to motivating the misunderstood to press through the stereotyping, neigh saying and public ridicule. My story, like so many others, is peppered with struggle. As a nearly 40 year old dreamer, I have spent much of my life dividing my time between listening to the browbeaters and trying sincerely to account for myself and telling then all to go scratch.
The Berlin Wall was about to fall, the Soviet Union was collapsing, and the world was clamoring for the consumerist boom in an orgy of free-market excitement. Everything seemed to suggest that only liberal capitalist democracy allowed people to thrive in an increasingly globalized world, and that only the steady advance of laissez-faire economics would guarantee a future of free, democratic states, untroubled by want and oppression and living in peace and contentment. The comfy Western consensus he inspired is under threat in ways he never predicted. A new Cold War has broken out.
In the wake of the credit crunch and the global economic downturn, it has become increasingly clear that prosperity is not, in fact, best served either by the pursuit of laissez-faire economics or by the inexorable extension of economic freedoms. Indeed, quite the opposite. As Thomas Piketty argues in Capital in the Twenty-First Century , free markets have not only enlarged the gap between rich and poor, but have also reduced average incomes across the developed and developing worlds.
In the countries hardest hit by the recession—such as Greece and Hungary—voters have turned away from precisely that conception of liberalism that Fukuyama believed they would embrace with open arms. Across Europe, economic interventionism, nationalism, and even open racism have exerted a greater attraction for those casting their democratic votes than the causes of freedom, deregulation, and equality before the law.
Instead, the failures of capitalism have turned democracy against liberalism. But instead of addressing those challenges head-on they have turned to the past for solace and validation. Leaders across the political spectrum have been quick to adopt this form of historical determinism. Closer to home, Hillary Clinton—now in the first stages of a barely denied run for the White House—has adapted a similar outlook in the realm of foreign policy. But while this new liberal historicism may have a certain rhetorical appeal, it fails to convince.
It was the great liberal philosopher Karl Popper who first exposed the weaknesses of historicism as a mode of political justification in his devastating critique of Marxist and fascist determinism. It is ironic that his arguments now apply to the liberalism he sought to defend. First is the claim that anyone in the past who expressed any degree of egalitarianism or concern for individual conscience is a liberal.
The idea that there is a straight line of human progress that leads from Saint Paul through Luther, the Philosophes, and Lloyd George to Jack Kennedy is patently absurd: They all had different definitions of freedom and what it ought to accomplish. It would just tell us what happened before.
To read meaning or predictive power into any pattern in the past is, in fact, about as intellectually respectable as reading tea leaves. Siedentop, Fawcett, Cameron, and Clinton seem to assume that everyone with an ounce of sanity must be a liberal, and that there is hence no need to defend liberalism against its shortcomings.
It has to be defined and defended all over again. Article after article foundered in their attempts to defend liberal alternatives to populism or socialism precisely because they offered no satisfactory post-Fukuyama understanding of liberalism. But it is impossible to defend liberalism against its critics without making it clear precisely what it stands for. Surrounded by the confused, jargon-ridden babble of political commentators today, it is perhaps easy to forget that liberalism is defined by a commitment to liberty.
At root, liberty is a concept grounded in the individual. It is, of course, true that liberty can be read many ways.