The Power of Vulnerability

A woman I love and adore, Sarah Andrews, is doing a vulnerability challenge on Facebook where everyday she’s posting a video about why she feels vulnerable that day. The first three videos were honest and touching. I loved them.

It’s amazing to get closer to someone you already know through witnessing their day-to-day vulnerability.

Over 2015 I’ve published 40 blog posts. The ones I inevitably got the most responses from were the ones that were most difficult for me to write. The ones where I tattooed my heart on my wrist and showed up naked.

I know I’m writing a vulnerable piece when my mind starts to run off with an internal dialog about how people will perceive the message. Will they think I’m desperate for attention? Broke? Asking for a hand-out?

Here’s the deal about being vulnerable; it ain't easy.

What do you think of when you think of vulnerability? If we were playing a word association game about 18 months ago I would have told you that vulnerable= weak.

I’ve learned since, through teachers like Sarah, Brené Brown and others that vulnerable is truly one of the bravest things you can be.

So with bravery in mind I’ll share that as you are reading this post, I’m meeting with a company for some supplemental income. I’m super pumped about who they are and what they do in this world. I’m honored to be speaking with them. I’m proud and grateful for the opportunity and how it came about and I’m going to be putting my best foot forward to WOW them.

I’d be lying if there wasn’t another side to all of this positivity and excitement.  There absolutely is.  It’s called fear with a dash of defeat.

When I set out to build my own company I remember saying to everyone “If worse comes to worse, I’ll just go back to “work”.  

There are two very big flaws in that sentence.

One, I was throwing in the towel before I had even given it a chance and two there’s nothing about being an entrepreneur that isn’t “work” therefore you can’t “go back” to work if you are already working. I realize this is subtle but it’s important.

I’ll add that the third flaw in that sentence is my use of the word “just”.

Being an entrepreneur is tough work.

Showing up in my business the same way I show up in my life is critical to me. I remember in the beginning working ridiculously late nights and long hours and then realizing I didn’t have to if I didn’t want to.

I remember realizing that I wanted to build a different kind of company; fueled by soul and divine timing instead of by deliverables and deadlines.

It took me a few months to redefine “work”; to realize that loving what I was doing didn’t mean I wasn’t “working” but that my definition of work was changing. I was also relishing in my bespoke schedule which allowed for things like being art docent for my daughter’s Kindergarten class.

As I type this message, I’m in 100% control of my time. Depending on how this opportunity shakes out, I’m not across the finish line yet; I may not be in 100% control anymore.  To say this causes fear would be an understatement.

I need to look for supplemental income because I need the money to make ends meet. I have a pipeline full of leads but nothing concrete and I have two kids and a mortgage.

If I’m frank, I’ve also been hiding out too much. I’ve learned by now that my “booked” business comes from interacting with me personally which I’m not doing if I’m holed up in my home office.

I’m choosing to view this supplemental opportunity as a way for the universe to force me out of the shell I’ve created. It’s fundamentally the same work I’m trying to do through my own business, with a slightly different lens. As a photographer, I’m pretty good at changing lenses.

So as I step forward into the unknown with yet another curve on this entrepreneurial path, I’m in gratitude for my skills of adaptation. I’m blessed with tools and rituals I’ve developed to help me through these feelings of disappointment.  

I’m grateful for friends like Sarah who are making it easier and more acceptable to be vulnerable.

I’m grateful for you: for your comments, love, light and sharing of my work. It’s because of you and your response to what I’m building that I feel capable and supported in making these tough decisions.

I have complete faith that this will all come out the way it’s supposed to.

I have far too much trust in the universe to lose faith.