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  • Nia S. Lewis

The Fail Forward Series: How Can We Dare Greatly in Business?

In this week's episode of the With Purpose Podcast, we continue our Fail Forward Series. This week we explore how vulnerability plays an important role in our lives as entrepreneurs. Many times we go through life avoiding vulnerable situations. Avoiding vulnerability ultimately limits our growth, and steals from us the opportunity to experience all that life has to offer. This week's content was inspired by the teachings of shame researcher Brene Brown, who wrote a book entitled Daring Greatly where I read this quote that was first spoken by Theodore Roosevelt:

"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."

I read this quote and became instantly intrigued by what daring greatly could mean for me? I questioned whether or not I was in the arena? I reflected on what it would take to really and truly dare greatly in my life as an entrepreneur. I interpreted daring greatly as being all in in my endeavors, and for me that required a level of vulnerability I wasn't accustomed to embracing. Brene Brown defines vulnerability as uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure, for example, if we start a business we take a leap of faith not knowing if that venture will be successful; the mere fact that we got in the arena and started something that could either be successful or unsuccessful means that we were vulnerable enough to face the possibilities of both victory and defeat.

Embracing vulnerability is different for everyone. Vulnerability for you could be spending the last of your savings to invest in an online course to help you start your business. Vulnerability for someone else could be telling their spouse that they're unhappy at their job and want to quit to pursue their true passions. Vulnerability for another person can be opening themselves up to the emotional exposure of finally reading online reviews from customers. While embracing vulnerability may be a little different for everyone, what is the same for us all is how vulnerability feels:

How does vulnerability feel?

  • Where courage meets fear

  • Taking off the mask and hoping the real me isn’t too disappointing

  • Sweaty palms and a racing heart

  • Awkward

  • Letting go of control

  • Being all in with nothing holding you back

When we choose vulnerability, we choose to dare greatly. We choose freedom, and authenticity. Sometimes, daring greatly doesn't feel so good.

What does it mean to dare greatly?

  • Saying no

  • Speaking an unpopular opinion

  • Confronting a difficult client

  • Charging what you’re worth

  • Finally launching with little experience

  • Asking for help

  • Standing up for yourself

  • Sharing an unpopular opinion

  • Going against the grain

  • Laying off employees

  • Quitting a job

  • Getting fired

  • Admitting you’re afraid

  • Being accountable

  • Having faith without knowing what’s to come

To learn more about how you can embrace vulnerability to increase success in your life or your business, listen to this episode of the With Purpose Podcast on the Apple Podcast App, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, or using the player below. If you were inspired by this episode, share your story with me via email:

If you want to start a business, but don't know where to begin, send me an email and let's chat! I offer one-on-one business coaching:

Don't forget to subscribe, and share the With Purpose Podcast with a friend. Thanks for reading + listening!


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