Have You Been Naughty?!

When the Rules Change!
March 3, 2015
Happyology v2.0
May 27, 2015

By now if you know me (or of me) you probably know that to a large extent I don’t like following other peoples rules!

In fact if you want to see the horns pop out of my head like a raging bull on vodka during mating season, just say“you are not allowed to do that” or “you can’t” or “it’s against the rules”. Even worse would be “you can’t because it’s our policy”. Well change your frikken policy and don’t tell me I am not allowed to or can’t do something….. But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself now.

So when they told me that speakers only present in a dark suit, white shirt, a tie and black shoes – I spoke in shorts with a T-shirt and a baseball cap on backwards.

When the standards in home security and armed reaction was so shocking that response officers would rock up at a home in their civilian clothing drinking a Coke and eating a pie; I started a company in opposition that responded in Golf GTI’s and had officers dressed in a full uniform with bullet-proof vest and responded in under three minutes or your money back. Some people said I was cheeky, others said I was bold. I said, “I’m just naughty!”

Ever since I can remember I’ve loved the word naughty. It’s actually one of my top 10 values. I love naughty, being naughty, seeing naughty, doing naughty and starting naughty.

So a quick definition of “naughty” Sharples style:

  • Doing stuff that is not normal
  • Breaking outdated non-serving rules and procedures
  • Being playful, fun and having a laugh
  • Doing stuff that makes your adrenaline rush and gets you feeling alive (N.B. not evil, hurtful, stupid or criminal acts. Just playful and different)
  • My friend Brian once called me a business agitator – I really like that!

In my new talk Happyology, I discuss the concept of being naughty as a way to feel alive and bring about a feeling of happiness.

Remember the time that you knew what you were doing was against the rules / norms / standards / out of bounds of socially accepted behaviour, but you did it anyway. Sometimes you got caught and you were reprimanded. Sometimes you got away with it and still talk about it today.

Some naughty acts spawned multi-million-rand companies. I’m sure you’ve heard of the naughty sales rep and his manager who broke away from their ungrateful tyrant boss to open a company in opposition and then bought the original company a few years later.

I once sold an entire course to a company that I didn’t have, and hadn’t even written or created yet. But man, my sales presentation was so exciting I even excited myself and included all the things I wished such a course would and could have. To my amazement the client bought it on the spot.  You have no idea how hard and creative you work when you have a deadline to deliver. Scary but fun.

Many years ago in my “playa” days (I’m not proud of this – maybe a little on the naughty side) I made and kept 4 dates on Valentines evening. Four! Look, within a week I had told all of them and I was single for a while afterwards, but I was young and it was a naughty challenge.


What’s the naughtiest thing you’ve ever done? Or as I asked delegates in a recent Happyology presentation – What is the naughtiest thing that you would still like to do?

The responses are really eye-opening. Some people haven’t done anything out-of-the-box since being at school.  And some didn’t ever colour outside the box – they normally return a blank piece of paper to me. Some however have pushed it a bit and a small few are still being naughty – my people!

Obviously (or maybe not so much) when you use the word naughty, people automatically seem to move to matters of an adult nature. I suppose it’s understandable because for most people naughty represents “adult fun”, but as you know it is not necessarily so, naughty is anything that doesn’t conform.

On receiving handfuls of anonymous responses I read them out to the audience. Just when you thought you knew the person sitting in the accounts department or the person next to you – you had no idea!

Here is a small sample FROM MALES in audiences around SA.

  • Done: stole money from my wife’s purse
  • Still want to: kiss my bosses wife
  • Done: s3x in public
  • Still want to: smoke weed
  • Done: skinny dip
  • Still want to: I want to spray graffiti on a government building
  • Done: taking clothes off in my car whilst driving
  • Still want to: run on a beach naked
  • Done: throw stones on people’s roofs
  • Still want to: scare my children
  • Done: cheating
  • Still want to: cheat again
  • Done: threesome with my wife and my best friend
  • Still want to: seduce a co-worker
  • Done: Melanie
  • Still want to do: her sister
  • Done: s3x on a rooftop
  • Still want to: s3x on a plane with a stranger
  • Done: stole a Trek Quagga
  • Still want to: gate-crash a woman’s day work party in a dress and high heels
  • Done: ate my bosses chow
  • Still want to: mile high club
  • Done: put potatoes in my neighbour’s exhaust
  • Still want to: party hard in Vegas and have sex with a prostitute
  • Done: having s3x with two women at the same time
  • Still want to: repeat above
  • Done: took my bosses car on a joyride and broke the drive shaft
  • Still want to: do it again

Now at this point most woman rolling their eyes in judgment of men saying things like, “that’s just typical!” here are responses from normal mostly heterosexual, average SA working women.

  • Done: kissed a total stranger
  • Done: had s3x at the office
  • Done: s3x on the bonnet of a car with my husband in a car park
  • Done: used vibrator on a girlfriend
  • Done: smoked teabags
  • Done: got a tattoo and smoked weed
  • Done: had s3x in the fitting room
  • Still want to: swim naked at a resort
  • Done: threesome
  • Done: s3x at the airport bathroom flight from Johannesburg to Japan
  • Done: drove back from Harties dam to Pretoria having s3x all the way
  • Done: danced on a table and made out with three different guys in one night (I was single)
  • Done: had a secret lover
  • Done: sent my husband naughty pictures on his cellphone
  • Done: had an affair
  • Done: skinny dipped with two girlfriends and my husband 2004 – would love to just do it again
  • Done: s3x on the beach in Mozambique
  • Still want to: Would love to kiss a stranger (good-looking one)
  • Done: Hid someone shoe at work they went without it all day
  • Done: had an affair
  • Still want to: have s3x in a change room
  • Done: stripped naked at the park
  • Done: “accidentally” smoked weed
  • Done:  had s3x in the garden.
  • Still want to: Would like to have s3x with our office manager in office
  • Done: looking at my parents having s3x
  • Still want to: see my colleague naked
  • Done: pole dancing
  • Still want to: strip for my husband
  • Done: played games acting like a kid
  • Still want to: dance in a full restaurant with no music with my husband (this one’s a keeper – lucky man)
  • Done: play Tok-Tokkie
  • Still want to: play it with my son

Naughty I suppose is relative. For me naughty is anything that flies in the face of normal and boring. Normal is boring. I think that should be put onto a cap!

  • So pop up in places your clients and opposition doesn’t expect you to.
  • Know the difference between a present and a gift. A gift is something they want. A present is something you want them to have / wear / want them to try – I’m sure you get my point.
  • Put your foot down! Sometimes being politely firm with a client stops him in his tracks and changes his future behaviour.
  • I once took a bunch of delegates to a movie instead of doing a workshop on life work balance. We debriefed the lessons from the movie in the theatre between shows.

Whatever you do or change in all naughty endeavors, you must be responsible and accountable for your actions and the outcome. You must make sure that no harm will come to anyone physically, and that it’s not a crime. And no matter what, you will take the consequences-good or bad. Always remember that good naughty is always well thought through, calculated and planned. I’ve lost clients because of my naughty cheekiness. I took the loss graciously. I have danced with my children in the rain against their mother’s wishes fully accepting that if one of them were to become ill, I was going to be up all night nursing and caring.

Naughty is fun. Naughty is nice. Naughty makes you stretch boundaries, makes your adrenaline pump and gives contour to a sometimes flat world.

So, when was the last time you were naughty?
What was the naughtiest thing you have ever done?
What’s the naughtiest thing you would still like to do?
Have a naughty month. I dare you!

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