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July 27, 2008




Words to live by! I can relate to this post perhaps better than most. I recently gave my own website a face lift as well, with the help of completely new frame. Not "custom" but customizable, at least. Yes, there were some "bumps and lumps" as you put it, but in the end, I think my brand - and my customers - will be better served. Yours too! I'm eager to see the fruits of your labor.


Stephen Hopson


I love you! You are my favorite (one of them) writers and bloggers. I must meet you one day.

This article was extremely well written and I liked in particular this one:

"Hell, we could start by expecting to get paid what we're worth. Baby steps."

This is confirmation that I am on the right track. I raised my speaking fees not too long ago, feeling very comfortable with what I did and expecting to get what I ask for.

And you know what?

I am getting them! I just booked two speaking engagements at full price for the Fall. One at Penn State University and one at Frito-Lay. WOOT!

The key is to believe that you are worth what you ask for and stick with it. Also, to keep raising your prices. You don't need a best-selling book or a PH.d to justify price increases.

Just do it! Thanks for the fabulous, inspiring, uplifting and the WOOT FACTOR!

Did I say I love you? LOL.

Jared Goralnick

I'm a huge fan of the Joshua Bell example (being in DC when it happened) but had never quite thought to apply it to branding and context. Good points all around...

I think a new branding of your site will be huge. I mean, look at me with all my crappy content and a really nice theme...somehow people seem to stick around! So with you, with real words and stuff, you're going to be even more of a rockstar!

Really though, I agree that context is as much king as content is. It's possible to make a name for yourself in the most awful circumstances...but when that can be avoided it's just stupid not to. Amen for pointing that out to your readers/writers :-).


Loved this article ....No one is going to notice your amazing talent and elevate you to fame and fortune. You've got to create the fame and fortune in your own outlook first. Claim your position.....
That is true for just living with passion and purpose in the world You've got to claim it! Great article. Stumbled

James Chartrand - Men with Pens

The Joshua Bell story was touching - and a perfectly example of what I know to be true. Branding counts. Framing counts. Context counts.

Take anything out of context and you'll perceive something completely different.

This is why we remain Men with Pens and not Scribblers with Pencils. It just wouldn't be the same.


Sometimes we're surprised ie. there is the possibility of the frame being shattered.

I'm pretty sure the people in the subway were busy and rushed - it isn't a judgement of his ability that was being made. No one was asking people to stop and listen and what they thought of the quality.

Looking forward to the new look blog.

CK Reyes

Sonia, You said it all when you said, "...expect better out of our lives...expect personal lives and professional lives that nourished and enriched one another, and brought us joy." In another "frame" this is like looking for what's right in a situation, and whatever we look for we will find. I coach people to find their passion and it always surprises me when the first thing they look for are the obstacle. So, if you see obstacles in the way of your new venture, please, please, please, don't listen to them! Always reference back to the desire that motivated you in the first place!

Sonia Simone

Thanks all! Especially to Stephen & Michelle for the nice Stumbles. Stephen, congrats on raising those speaking fees--I predict great things coming for you! I hope I'll be at SOBCon again next year, so we can meet then.

@JamesP (PTP), I think you will see great stuff from the new site. I don't see anyone else taking the approach you are--not too high, not too low.

@JamesC, I rather think of you as Monkeys with Keyboards, but you know, in a good way.

@Jared, it's funny, I remember hearing the story on NPR and it stuck with me, and I just started writing. Sometimes I don't quite know what corners I'm going to take until I take them. I love that about writing, you can put new connections together for yourself. (And your content is not crappy, I think your content is great, so thwwwpppppt.)

@CK, what we look for is so powerful, isn't it? A simple thing but it can make all the difference.

Barbara Rozgonyi

Congratulations on taking the next step, Sonia. You write at a level that's worthy of a major space. Looking forward to reading you in your new frame.

Mark David Gerson

"Claim your position."

Perfect! Everything we do and every word we speak reveals precisely what we think of who we are, what we're doing and where we're going.

Unless we claim our own success, no one is going to claim it for us. And unless we speak and act from a place that exemplifies the success we claim, we'll be waiting a long time for that success to manifest.

Thanks, Sonia. And best of luck as you claim the next level of your success!


Moooovin' on up!

Congrats Sonia!


Great move, Sonia, I can't wait to see what you show us next!

I look forward to covering you in the Examiner once you're settled in to your new robes.

Suzanna Stinnett

Jack Kuperman

You are so on point, Sonia.
People don't ever see the real picture.
They see whatever they have in their head about how the picture would look like.
So not the picture but peoples thinking about the picture is important.
You can show blank wall and people will believe it's very beutiful, if you tought them than the clean, white wall is the only picture popular this year.
We have to work on people's mind and not on our masterpieces.
Less creation, but more influence.



I've never noticed your "cheapness" or cared. Your words are wonderful to read, and no slightly awkward blogging platform would stop me from reading them.

(I'd have been hanging out with the lady at the end of the Washington Post article, too. That broke my heart. I know trappings matter—heck I say it for a living—but genius is genius even in a baseball cap. Or a TypePad template.)

Congrats on your big changes coming up. Having done mine a while back, I can tell you it's worth it in the end.



Joanna Young

Good luck getting the new frame for your brilliant words. I look forward to seeing it!


Janice C Cartier

Brava! Lovely, lovely, lovely words.

I am right behind you darlin' I think...MwK ( also known as Men With Pens) will be reframing moi, aussi.

Way fun. I cannot wait to see your new digs, Sonia. :)

Brian Clark

I've heard this story many times, and it's telling.

Funny thing is it just makes me want to go hang out with my kids. They're the only ones who see the wonder and beauty in life.

Pen name

Mom... ?

Bill K.

I've never heard the Josh Bell story, though I have seen him live and had just listened to one of his CDs this morning before I read this - my pets like him.

Good thing he wore a cap. The hair would have given him away.

My first reaction is that most people probably do have trouble discerning quality from mediocrity and need help from visual cues, etc. And the people who make their living out of selecting talent are just too busy to find it without some help from the one who creates it.

I wonder what I would have done in that subway ...

Good luck with your move.

Heidi@Truly Engaging

Oh, what perfect timing for me to read these words. It's so easy to look outside for encouragement. Thanks for the reminder to look for it on the inside first and foremost! I so appreciate your gift of painting with words...Cheers!


Great post...I just became a fan and am not following your blog. :o)

Peggie Arvidson

What a remarkable post. I well remember when this was big news here in DC. And thinking to myself "heck, why do I have to work at home, I would have stopped and listened".

Especially, I love the way you share your story and make excellent points about believing in your own greatness. What a concept, eh?

I'm looking forward to following you, now that I've found you (thanks to twitter)!


Sonia Simone

Welcome to all the new folks. :)

Bill & Peggie, that's a big question, isn't it? Would I have done differently? Would I have stopped? I think I would have, mostly because I am highly distractable and have definitely been known to lose some time on the rare occasion that a subway musician is good. But maybe not. I wonder how many folks who were there later found out about it and were astonished.

JoLynn Braley

Hi, good luck with the move, I think it's a great decision and I'm sure your loyal readers will follow you, no problem.

And I'm not at all surprised that it was the children who tried to stop to listen to Joshua play - kids are so tuned in until "well meaning" adults shut them down. I think us adults all need to tap into the wisdom that we still have within us and listen like we did when we were kids. :)

Thanks for this beautiful post! :)


You always give me so much to think about! Wonderful, wonderful post. I would read you in any format, but you deserve the branding and dazzle of the highest echelon.

I am facing am a major redesign and branding opportunity, so this was also a very timely post for me.

Sonia Simone

Barbara, I am always so happy when I see you here. Would love to chat about your redesign & your life & all of it. xox

Frederic Premji

awesome article...thank you so much for sharing that :) shows that perception plays a big part in life.


wow ... you're writing, is like a concert violinist playing on a street corner, and i feel the fuzzy feeling of being a little boy watching.

i'm also changing frames, although i didn't know that was what i was doing until i read this.

Amy Flynn

Sonia, this is my first visit here, thanks to a tweet from @drmani - this is a beautiful post. One that contains great wisdom as well as great insight and great teaching.

Thank you for it. It is perfect like the concert violinist playing on the corner as the comment above me by Ming states. Even more it is perfect what I chose to find and read right now!

Thank you! I think I will visit more often!

Haroun Kola

Nice, thanks for sharing this. Food for thought :)


Hi There!
I feel like I just stumbled-really, no pun intended- unto a gem among the mediocre. (thank you Dr. Mani)

What an insightful post!

It's particularly wonderful for me (love synchronicity) as I fell out of bed a few moments ago muttering "I live by faith, not by sight."

Believing it before you see it is mandatory.

I must say I love that this truth was pulled out from this experiment - context matters - BUT I find it sad that it matters so much we miss the extraordinary content sometimes. Maybe even most times?

Are we being trained to stay at the surface?

See what I mean? This is a great post, it makes me think.

Thank You!!


Ich liebe, dass diese Wahrheit heraus wurde aus diesem Experiment gezogen - context matters - ABER ich es traurig, dass es darauf ankommt, so sehr wir vermissen die außerordentliche Inhalt manchmal zu finden. Vielleicht sogar die meiste Zeit

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I am use it (tips on read), good post.

Also i am share this page, my social account.

I am following you, since today :)

Good luck man !

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