You’re listening to the flourish and grow to CEO podcast. This is episode 24.
Are you a lady boss making $50,000 to $100,000 in your business? And you’re ready to break through that six figure barrier?
Have you done a great job of creating a nice life as the ultimate gig master, but no, your inner CEO is calling you to greater heights? You’re in the right place. If you want to create and implement solid fundamentals in your business without sacrificing fun.
I’m Pam Ivey, I’m certified in small business management and I concentrate in the areas of training and certifying real estate assistance, coaching and mentoring entrepreneurs in online business, marketing, growth and profit acceleration, and I take men and women business owners aged 40+ to bucket list destinations around the world for a month at a time to work, explore, and live in community.
And I’m Jane Garee, known as the sales strategist for the non-salesperson, and I work with business owners who want to increase their conversion rate, shorten their sales cycle and have more impact and influence with the work they do all while having more fun with selling
Whether it be online or offline, building a community is the lifeblood of our small businesses. Word of mouth is still the most effective way to raise awareness and grow our brands. Impactful communities, add value when they support members provide a sense of comradery, make strategic connections and act as a source of advice that members can apply to their own lives.
So, today we’re talking about relatability – resonance and relationships, vulnerability. It really shows people you’re human and makes you more relatable. When we approach a business from a place of empathy and vulnerability, something really magical happens. Vulnerability is a really powerful thing in storytelling because it creates a human connection unlike anything else. But what does vulnerability when we’re attaching it to business means? Well, one definition I pulled from the internet says capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt as by a weapon.
Uh, that’s not, it, it goes on to say open a moral attack, criticism, temptation, et cetera, that’s closer. But what we’re really talking about is being more human. So sharing stories, thoughts, and ideas that yes, may open you up to criticism, but it’ll also allow others to feel a connection with you because either they’ve experienced something similar or you’re simply showing that you’re not some stiff upper lip company, that’s more of a perfect robot than the human behind the brand. So Jane, what’s your definition of vulnerability when it refers to building our communities and our brands.
Yeah. Wow. You know, I don’t know. I’m going to have to think about that for a second, because as you were describing the definitions that you had pulled up, I thought those are those sounds so scary and so negative and really vulnerability can be one of the biggest attributes, not only for your business, but for personal relationships. Now let me think. How would I describe vulnerability? Vulnerability is when you’re strong on the inside, so that you’re able to be soft on the outside. And it’s the ability to share the most human parts of who you are without shame or apology or defending it.
I think that’s so good.
Put that in there.
Yeah. Yeah. Would you do that? No. And you know, we’re not talking about, uh, describing your last visit to the doctor’s office for a physical, it will get that personal. It’s just opening up and making you relatable and – not me too, really, but oh my God, I’m not the only one. So people in your community will feel that and oh, wow, she’s experienced that too. Yeah. We’re all humans behind our brands. So we don’t want to be that stiff upper lip. And I know Jane, you’re like a master at this at really connecting with people through story and using your vulnerability to really show that you’re human. And I’ve been looking back through my social media posts and I’ve got like zero of that, honestly. Well, maybe not zero, but very little. So I’m going to be really watching you and learning more about what we’re talking about today. You know
It’s a really deep subject actually. And thank you for saying that because the storytelling, yes. I, I have always had a natural flair to be able to do that, but I really, I really struggle with being vulnerable consistently and being vulnerable in a way that’s, this is going to sound kind of funny, but truly vulnerable and not strategically vulnerable. And one of the things that really started showing up for me over the past several months was, and I’m going somewhere with this ever be bear with me. This would be a little bit of the story and getting vulnerable without, you know, telling me like what happened at my last doctor’s visit for the physical.
So I’m your typical like type a female, like your alpha male or alpha female. Right. You know, I go out and get things done. I make things happen. It’s just like all of you that are listening. That’s what we do. Where these strong women who are able to create goals, devise a plan, and then just bang go it. And some of you out there probably like me and some of you, maybe you’ve already figured this piece out is when you show up that way in romantic relationships, it’s, it’s, it’s really kind of a turnoff for guys. Cause they can’t show up in their masculine energy because you have just absorbed and become all this masculine energy. So I’ve been doing this, this whole field of study on how to show up more vulnerable. And one of the things that I really realized is that when you show up vulnerable in any relationship, you start showing up vulnerable in all of your relationships. And it is that vulnerability. It’s again, that unapologetic. I’m not going to defend myself. I’m not going to excuse a way or be ashamed of my vulnerability. It’s that type of vulnerability that enriches all of your relationships.
I think it’s really important just to say here, Jane, that vulnerability is not a weakness.
No, it’s not a weakness at all. In fact, it’s, it takes a very strong person to be vulnerable. I always use the word surrender, which is not vulnerability obviously, but surrender was a word that I had gotten tripped over for years because surrender to me in my definition was that means I’m giving up. It means I’m giving out. It means I’m kind of quitting or walking away. And what I realized is that the yes, if you’re on a battlefield, sh okay, that’s the definition of surrender, but how sad is it? If we have to start looking like our lives and we have to start looking at our businesses like they’re battlefields, like it’s a zero sum game and take no prisoners and win at all costs. I mean, if we’re actually going down that road with that mindset, we’re in a big world of hurt.
So, just like surrender is something that I learned to see as a strength where it’s, it’s giving over things to the greater good, it’s the same thing with vulnerability. It’s not a weakness. It’s really being able to show up in your strength and say, I am human. And I have bad days and I struggle and my feelings get hurt and I get sad and I experienced grief and I experienced loss. And some days I get up out of bed and I’m ready to take on the world. And some days I start to get up out of bed and decide, I don’t think I can actually do this today. So there’s something very powerful about vulnerability and it really starts changing when you, when you change everything around, you starts to change. And when you change everyone around, you starts to change. So when you start showing up as a, as a vulnerable human being, other people are going to react to that and respond to that.
And your relationships are just going to become the richer for it. You know, I actually talked to a friend yesterday and she, and I had kind of gotten in a little bit of a blowout a few days ago, which is very abnormal for me because I just, I don’t have those kinds of relationships. They, I don’t do with arguing and like big escalation of situations and drama. I mean, believe you me, I’m my own drama queen. My wife can be a mini-series, but I’ve always valued the relationships that I have with friends, because I don’t have drama in my friendships. It’s I love you. You love me. How can I support you? They’re really beautiful friendships. So it was very uncomfortable to have this situation escalate into really kind of a, an ugly argument, if you will. And I felt sick to my stomach for a full two days after that conversation.
And I called her and you know, if you’ve read any of my posts and followed me, I’m a big person on what is your 100%, in other words, what is, what is your part in the situation? So this was what is, what was my part in the situation? How did I contribute to it? Because it wasn’t fair to just say you did. And you said, and you hurt me. And you know, that kind of stuff I was in there too. It was a co-created situation. So I called her and I said, listen, I want to say three things. Number one, I am so sorry that when you said X, I heard you and I did acknowledge it, but I really kind of blew it there because really that’s what we were supposed to be talking about. You needed me, you were in pain and I just kinda kept tripping along that, you know, something else.
So I really apologize that I was not more sensitive to your current situation that you were having, because I understand that it’s, it’s really deeply distressing. Number two, I apologize for this, you know, some other things that I had said, not in that conversation, but previously, and I said, I just, could’ve done a better job setting up the whole, several conversations we’ve had around this topic. And I, you know, I apologize and I really regret dragging you into this. And then this is where I had to speak my truth and be vulnerable. And I said, you know, these things that you said to me, I felt hurt and I felt shamed and I felt a little bullied. And I just wanted to share that with you, that conversation was really upsetting and it was bad. So my part, I apologize for, and, you know, I just wanted to share how you’re feeling, how I’m feeling and what it morphed into this amazing conversation, because what it turned into is the gift of being vulnerable and the challenge of being vulnerable.
And we had such an amazing conversation and negotiated a way to have conversations in the future so that we don’t get into kind of arguments or, you know, flipping out, which is what happened on her end. She had been stuffing and stuffing and stuffing had nothing to do with me. She’d been stuffing about truly a traumatic situation. Um, didn’t say to me, you know what? I don’t have the bandwidth to listen to what’s going on with you today and your problems. Here’s what I’m experiencing as my friend. Can we just make this about me today? Can we just talk about me today? Because I’m in pain and I am hurting and I am suffering. And that is the responsibility that any of us have when we are in a spot where we are feeling raw and vulnerable. And here’s where the wall goes up. If you don’t let somebody know that if you don’t say, Hey, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.
Before you get into your stuff, did you hear what I said? Because I need you right now to be there for me. I am hurt. I am scared. I am grieving. So it, it was the most wonderful conversation because both of us were able to own what was going on inside our heads, in the moment of the conversation, which we did not share with each other. And that’s why it turned into kind of an ugly conversation. So fortunately, everything was repaired. But moral of the story on this is people are not mind readers. And number one, people aren’t mind readers. Number two, being vulnerable is actually quite tough. It’s hard to do. So. Number three, here’s the next step of vulnerability. As I have come to perceive it and experiences, you have to let people know, let them know I need you right now. I’m hurt. I’m sad. I’m grieving. Whatever is going on with you, let them know if that’s, that’s your job to share that with them. And I think what you will find is if you really have the friends that you think you have, they will stop everything and say, tell me more. I’m sorry, let’s make it all about you. What’s going on? How can I support you?
I need to learn how to get a little more vulnerable. And I think, you know, with the flourish and grow to CEO Facebook group, I was looking at it and I thought, yeah, I’m not getting vulnerable there. I’m not really being human and really connecting with people. So I came across. I mean, probably all of you have heard of, or many of you have heard of Renee brown and I’ve heard her name, but I’ve never really looked into her what she does. Well, she’s all about vulnerability. So she has an incredible Ted talk that I listened to actually just this morning, that’s called the power of vulnerability. And she’s funny. I give her that she’s got a PhD and a master’s in all kinds of things in social studies anyway. And it was amazing. And with that Ted talk, you know, I looked up a little bit more about her and she has a book called Daring Greatly, and it talks all about vulnerability and really connecting with people at a human level. We got to get beyond all this business, stiff upper lip. I’m in my suit because that’s where I’m. I really was, especially when I first started my business. Oh my goodness. If you could see my videos, I was, you
know, this very stiff professional. Well, nobody relates to that. I mean, great. I can get some information from it, but I want to relate to you on a human level. So I’m definitely picking up daring greatly to read. So that’s one resource for you. If you’re feeling like I don’t know how to really make this thing happen.
Yes, she’s great. That’s a great book. And the other one that I’m looking at right now, I just unearthed this the other day is the same thing. Same by Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection. A really a fantastic book. So both of those, if you read Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection, it’ll really give you some insight into, I’m going to say the power of vulnerability, but also the, the release and relief that can come from being vulnerable.
Well, it’s interesting that you say that because during her Ted Talk, she talked about the word courage and she said the word, the root of the word courage is cour, and that’s a Latin word for heart. And courage is originally meant to speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.
That’s so amazing.
Over time it says this definition has changed. And today courage is more synonymous with being heroic. But I love that original meaning.
Yeah. Really coming from the heart.
Hey lady, boss, do you think like a CEO, when your business starts taking off, you’re ready to scale up at this point, you’ve got to stop thinking of yourself as a solo preneur and start thinking of yourself as the CEO of your company. If you remain in the mindset of a one person operation, then you won’t be able to grow. You’ll never have the time, energy or expertise to do everything by yourself and your business. Won’t be the success that it has the potential to be. So are you thinking like a CEO take our free assessment to find out you can find it at www.flourish.biz/think that’s F L O U R I S H dot B I Z forward slash T H I N K. All right, lady boss. Let’s get back to the show.
All right. So let’s talk about in a business setting, why is vulnerability so important? Well, number one, it’s going to connect you to your audience. Nobody wants to follow a robot who seemingly has never had anything but great success in this glossy shiny life. And they’re making loads of money and been everywhere.
Oh my God. We’re over that, Jane, you know, the “bro marketers”, we call them.
Yeah. The bro marketers. Yeah. Or as I like to call it, go from broke to Bora Bora in 90 days. And nobody, nobody wants to follow that. Everybody knows it’s just hogwash you. So don’t do that. So, why is being vulnerable important for your business? Number one, it’s going to connect you to your audience. They want to know that they’re following a real person who has, and has had real challenges who has overcome some things, but it’s still in the middle of some challenges. So number one, it connects you to your audience. Number two, it helps you stand out from the sea of so-called competitors or people who seem to do something similar to what you do. And that’s, nobody has your stories. Nobody has your particular past your particular baggage or a particular view on things. So your particular vulnerability will help you stand out.
There’s a resonance there that people will dial into or not, but that’s really what you want. They’re going to resonate with you and your stories and your vulnerability, or they’re going to go resonate with somebody else better. And that’s what you want. Strangely. That’s effective marketing, but don’t look at the strategy of it. Just be authentically who you are and the effect of marketing. Watch you start to show up on its own. And then number three, again, it’s just, it’s building those relationships with relate-ability and resonance, you know, and they will, they will recognize that’s really what it’s about is I recognize you as a, a partner in my, in my tribe, on this journey in life, we get each other. When you say this, I understand it I’ve been there. Or I would like to be there, or I hope I don’t go there. What did you learn? So I can learn from your experiences.
You know, we’re all always complaining about hearing crickets with our social media posts in particular. And when you open up and you become that real human you’ll find that the comments will come and people who maybe are not as apt to being more involved, you know, really vulnerable, vulnerable. That is a hard word to get around. They’ll show up with vulnerability in their comments too. And I know Jane, there was one, well, there’s several posts, but there’s one recent post that you posted to Facebook. And I asked if you had read it here on the podcast, because it’s a really good example of connection and vulnerability. And then the engagement you got was amazing. Jane (19:30):
It’s kind of funny. It was embarrassing, but it was funny. So yes, you can find this in our flourishing grow Facebook group. This post is in there and I will read this for you. Now, I got to set it up a little bit. You have to, you have to kind of get in your mind a picture. So it’s a picture of me. And if you don’t know me, then what I want you to know is I have fairly thin lips. They’re not weirdly thin or anything, but they’re not these beautiful, gorgeous, luscious, full lips. You know, they’re, they’re normal, they’re on the thins line. And something happened that made them not be that way. So here we go. So this is the post. Well, this is embarrassing and good fodder for my romance over 50 novels genre, because seriously, I cannot make this stuff up.
Here’s the setup picture, a quiet little sushi restaurant with a great reputation for the freshness of the food and menu selection. Now I’ve eaten sushi for 25 years. And as the food hits the table, there’s nothing on the plate that I haven’t eaten plenty of times before, including the wasabi and soy sauce. I also have on my favorite lipstick, which I’ve been wearing for close to a year with no adverse effects in short, nothing out of the ordinary. After the first two bites of the rainbow, roll my lips start to feel a little
strange. So I asked my dinner companion, if they look puffy after being assured, they don’t, I resume eating a few minutes later, although there was no pain and no real discomfort, mostly just a feeling of weird. I ask again, but the answer is still no, a few more minutes passed.
And finally I whip out my compact mirror because something is definitely not right. And then I start cracking up because my lips have blown up and it looks like I had just stepped out of the filler up lip spa. I mean, come on. I look like a real housewife from the TV show, no disrespect to the real Housewives or anyone who gets lip enhancement treatments because, Hey, I’m not opposed to that being in my future. I am now laughing so hard. I’m starting to do the crying thing simply because I can’t control the emotion. I also can’t keep the thoughts in my head. So they start flying out of my mouth. Wow. I’ve always wanted to know what I would look like with fuller lips and how convenient that I’m getting a preview without the long-term commitment. Thanks for taking me here. I didn’t realize it would be dinner and a spot experience.
What are they bringing up? The yogurt for skin softening and the cucumbers for the under eye area. This is kind of a bargain. When you think about it for the price of a sushi dinner, you can get the result of fuller lips without the expensive injectables and my personal favorite. You think I’m sexy. Now, let me eat two bites of this sushi and wait 15 minutes. At this point, we’re laughing so hard. The other patrons of the restaurant are starting to look at us and it isn’t helping that. I now have my lips puckered and pressed against my glass of ice water. As if I’m into getting weirdly intimate with stemware. I’m really not trying to forge a relationship with the glass, but the coolness is providing relief for my lips. And as if the lips aren’t bad enough, my eyes are starting to get red.
And my eyelashes are sticking together from the crying, laughing combo, moral of the story. Number one, never underestimate the good company of someone who will not only take everything in life so seriously, they will actively join you in the absurdity of it. Number two, sometimes you’ll look hot and sometimes you’ll look like a hot mess. And that’s just the way it goes. Number three, some adventures aren’t planned, but sure. Do you create great memories? And then there’s this picture of me with these giant? I mean, I look like every reality TV star, that’s done this for their lips, you know, the duration of their show series, right? Just like I’ve got like these giant lips and that’s quite, uh, quite entertaining, but you know, putting an image like that up on, I mean, I look ridiculous because I’ve got these huge lips that clearly aren’t mine. My eyes are kind of red, they’re tear stained. My eyelashes are sticking together. I mean, this is not like a picture it’s like a driver’s license picture. I don’t want anybody to see, it’s not a picture going, oh, look at me. Aren’t I cute on social media?
Well, I think even if you’re not an incredible writer like Jane, cause I mean, really that was really a good story, and I giggled through the whole thing when I read it. But you posted that just yesterday to your own Facebook page and I’m looking at it now and you’ve got 29 comments and 55 reactions to it.
Yeah. So the thing that you also don’t see as all the personal messages from people going, this was hilarious. I can’t, you know, I mean it was, you know, it was great. So yeah, a lot of engagement
Vulnerability right back at you too, when somebody talked about how they had some reaction to something and you gotta be really careful and it was just, it’s the interaction that you got was really cool.
Yeah. As opposed to, when I put anything up there that talks about business, it’s, you know, you just don’t get that kind of reaction. And it’s not that people aren’t seeing those posts and they it’s not that they don’t care. They do. But again, you’re kind of, that’s behind my business persona, Hey, I’m really excited because this is going on. Come join me. That’s all true. But even when it’s true, that’s still the outer, the outer me showing up as opposed to the inner, like, you know, I went on this date and I was like, embarrassing, blow it up. Like that. Start crying, laughing. And I mean, I just, like I thought, had it not been that funny, I would have felt completely foolish. Yes.
Oh, that’s awesome. So what can you do to, you know, start, I guess, an exercise that you can do to kind of exercise that vulnerability muscle is post three posts on your favorite social media platform, whether it be Facebook or Instagram or whatever it might be, but it’s called a personal histories exercise. You don’t have to post them all in a row or anything, but just make three posts. One of them is just talk about where you grew up. That’s opening yourself up personally. So it’s a little bit of vulnerability if you’ve been really professional and business oriented in the past. And the next one, how many siblings do you have and where do you fall in that order? And what’s your role? What has your relationship been like with your siblings? And then the last one, describe a unique or interesting challenge or experience from your childhood. And that’ll just kind of, as I say, exercise, that becoming more of a person, muscle, you know, being more human in order to relate better to your community and your followers
You can really take advantage of sharing your vulnerability on the social media post or videos. I actually really am enjoying doing them in videos. Now they were very scary for me to do for a long time, but now that I’ve gotten, gotten used to it, and that’s a great thing about vulnerability. Once you start showing up like that and you see how much love you get back, because people just want to know that they’re not the only ones that are a hot mess or feeling broken or whatever. So social media posts, videos, you can share stories in your email, speaking gigs, the stories there. So be the real you. And again, it’s it be the real you appropriately. There are some things you only share with your very, very tight besties inner circle, and then think of it in concentric circles going out. So the bigger that that’s the tight circle, right? They know everything. You can talk about them. Like I just got out of the gynecologist and this is what happened. Those are those kinds of conversations. If you think about the circles getting bigger and bigger, the further away they are from that inner circle, the less personal information you’re sharing, however, personal information shares doesn’t mean the opposite of being vulnerable, right?
There’s a good quote from Brene in that video that I just watched. You are imperfect. You’re wired for struggle, but you’re worthy of love and belonging. So keep that in mind.
I really liked that you’re, you’re wildfire. You’re wired for struggle. Cause it’s been a while since I’ve read that book or, or actually seen her Ted talk, but you know, that’s, that’s so true. I mean, that could be a whole different topic of conversation on a different podcast, but yeah, we’re wired for stress. We’re not wired to get up every day and have a beautiful day with no issues and no challenges. There’s no, that would be boring. It’d be totally, it would totally be boring. And we’d say static and stagnant and who wants that? So it’s always in the challenges and the, and the struggle that the growth comes and there you go. Yeah. We’re wired for struggle. So embrace that.
Absolutely. Another quote is connection is why we’re here. It’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives. How true. And the last one I’ll quote from her is in order for connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be Pam (28:31):
Whether it’s through in-person events or online forums, communities are the key to brand loyalty awareness and overall success, a strong and engaged community will lead to improved products or services, learning and innovation, as well as your brands growth, however, to be impactful brands, or you need to build communities that go beyond selling a product or service and provide value and support for your members. And if that means being vulnerable, that’s what we do. So, yeah, I hope you enjoyed this episode of the flourish and grow to CEO podcast. And if it really resonated with you, please do leave us some comments over on our firstname.lastname@example.org under the podcast section. And until next time, I guess we’re going to wish you a wonderful week.
Thanks for joining us. Everybody go be vulnerable.
Well, that’s a wrap everyone. Thanks for joining us this week on the flourish and grow to CEO podcast. Be sure to visit our website at [inaudible] dot biz. That’s F L O U R I S h.biz, where you can subscribe to the shows in iTunes, Stitcher, or via RSS. So you’ll never miss an episode. You can also find our show notes and resources there too. And while you’re at it, if you found value in this show, we’d love for you to leave a rating on iTunes. Or if you’d simply tell a friend about the show that would sure help us out to now get out there and.