Strength and Vulnerability
A person who demonstrates vulnerability demonstrates strength.
For the last three weeks I have been testing concepts for a video series about telling stories. This started with several customers telling us things like, “I don’t understand what you mean about having a story,” and “...how do I tell a story.” I also had several friends talk about creating a series to help people prepare for presentations.
I have been blessed with so many opportunities gone wrong and been able to see so many other people give great presentations, that I do feel well versed (I have the scars to show it) in creating such a series.
Experience isn’t my issue. My main issue is recording myself and broadcasting it to the world. Further, recording yourself in several different settings, saying different things, in order to find the right look and feel for the series. Last night, I had an almost-final reveal of four videos to pick the best one to build from. Gulp.
I tell you what, it was actually a ton of fun. Not only did I get great feedback on the videos, but we also had great conversations about the bigger picture of what I was trying to accomplish. Feedback that I hear over and over, but is harder and harder to apply as I get older -- the more you share about yourself, the more responsive the world is. This doesn’t mean I have to review my childhood photos during every conversation, but people identify with people being people.
Engagement is stronger when you are more vulnerable. Which only makes you stronger as you take the engagement to improve and progress. Gulp.
Later today I am going to make a pitch about a new project to tattoo artists. I have spent 15 years in a corporate world that celebrates higher levels of conformity and brooks brothers. I am pitching a place that celebrates individualism, radical design and color. Gulp. I have presented multi-million dollar ideas to executives from all over the world for which I hadn’t felt nerves for years (after failing so many times, I got it right!), and I can say that I am nervous about the pitch today. What if my structured life gets in the way of our ability to connect around a common goal? What if my level of creativity is novice to them? I don’t have any tattoos, is that a non-starter?
In the quest to ask people to share their stories through Wearrative, I find my own comfort with vulnerability being the day-pass to help others with their vulnerability. And that is the full-circle proof that people identify with people being people. I love a tailored suit, but they eventually grow out of fashion and stop fitting well. Stories last forever.
Here is to great stories,