One of the best things about starting off in business is you don’t know all the perils, so you’ll try things that the experts tell you you’re completely mad to try.
When I started out in business with my friends, we were teenagers. We were so young and inexperienced, that when coming up with a name for our new mail order record company someone suggested we call it Virgin – as we were all virgins in business. The name stuck, guided us through those early years, and set the tone of the Virgin brand as the world now knows it.
As virgins in business we didn’t follow the ‘rules’; we didn’t even know they existed. This naivety led us to do things our own way and pave our own path – and what an incredible journey it’s been.
The tried and tested and well-trodden path doesn’t necessary lead to innovation. It’s those that go off the beaten track – making discoveries unnoticed by those too busy following the rules – that truly shake things up.
When we launched Virgin Atlantic everybody thought that we’d fall flat on our face, but we didn’t. Armed with the naivety to think we could make a real difference, we disrupted the state of play – and we were delighted to prove the naysayers wrong.
So don’t waste your time worrying about coming across as naïve. My naivety has made me successful.
What does naivety mean to you?