Why vulnerability wins, always.
“There is no creativity without vulnerability,
and no innovation without a tolerance for failure.”
This line is from Brené Brown’s Netflix special, The Call to Courage, which forced a lot of self reflection upon viewing.
I've always known being vulnerable is not something I do well. The feeling of being exposed—like my weaknesses are on show—or committing to something when I can’t control the outcome, are among my greatest fears. It's the reason it took me so many years to put The Strategy Studio out there into the world. I was convinced I’d be perceived as a “fraud” or “inexperienced”, despite working in media and communications for over 12 years and specifically with small businesses and creative entrepreneurs for the past 7 years.
In those pre-Strategy Studio days I’d regularly see other professionals offering advice to creatives and I’d quietly express my frustration about how ineffective or unrealistic the suggestions were. I’d see the prices they were charging and get even more upset at the thought of a small business owner paying for a service that was unlikely to propel their business forward. Yet still, I sat on my hands and kept my expertise and opinions to myself.
In ‘The Call to Courage’ Brown quotes Theodore Roosevelt when talking about a lightbulb moment she experienced in her own life. I’m going to paraphrase, but it went a little like this: “It’s not the critic that counts. The credit belongs to the person who is actually in the arena; who at the best knows the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if they fail, at least fails while daring greatly, so that their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
That was me for the longest time. The critic; the one outside of the arena. How grateful I am that those days are behind me. In becoming an entrepreneur I’ve surrendered my control and constantly risk failure. I’m exposed and I’m vulnerable. But I've never been happier.