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Being vulnerable is the biggest asset we have as a small business.

Vulnerability is often seen as a weakness. But it is not. It requires more courage to risk emotional exposure, criticism and carries more risk than choosing not to enter the area of life. A huge part of it for me is having a huge heart and being attuned for empathy.

I have now discovered (thats Brene Browne and The Good Life Project) that for a small business it might just be a key point of difference.

What if I fail? What if I succeed. What if I do nothing? The last one is the worst case scenario for me.

Market aren’t stationery. The continue to involve, move and adapt and morph. Big businesses have more to loose if they guess wrong. We as a small nimble business have the luxury of making small bets, following our instincts and can afford to be wrong.

Our assumptions may have been wrong. Maybe our market has new needs, new pain points? Small businesses can adapt the what we do and how we do it quickly if we are prepared to say, we got it wrong and be vulnerable.

Big business are so vested in the way things were that they won’t change. They are terrified. Once you have built something substantial there is a lot more to loose. They are not able to move as they did when they started.

“They don’t trust in the process that bought them success but trust in the product of the process.” Brene Browne. For bigger businesses their approach has to hold up. Small business can have more comfort with uncertainty. This means that we can continually adapt our businesses to meet the needs of our market.

We have been raised to believe that walking into a meeting to say ” I don’t know what to do next” is wrong, rather than being vulnerable. So much of our decisions are based on assumption. We don’t know. People are very complex. Best guesses are the best option.

Small businesses can ask for feedback and ask for help. This culture enables innovation. It comes from the top. If a CEO doesn’t show vulnerability then no one else will show it. We can’t ask people to do what we don’t do.

So the big take away is to keep it honest, check in, ask for feedback and keep it real. Feel first and think second.

Courage is based on vulnerability.

Brave – The Main in the Arena

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” Theodore-Roosevelt.

Let go of perfection, the need for certainty, take chances. Our willingness to own and engage our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose. Have those difficult conversations, and don’t sit on the sidelines. It is not easy. You need to be brave.

Unless you are getting your ass kicked occasionally I am not interested in your opinion.

Your responsible for the energy you put into your business.

Brene Brown 


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