Being Vulnerable

Karl R. LaPan, President & CEO, The NIIC

Entrepreneurship is risky, but not in the way you think. While it is true you are putting your financial resources and your idea out there for the world to judge, the most challenging thing about starting your own company is being vulnerable – “the courage to be imperfect”. This can be scary, but what you might be feeling is normal.

Leading expert Brené Brown believes vulnerability is “uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.” Smart entrepreneurs see vulnerability as an important power source for success. Think about the Dyson vacuum. James Dyson went through 5,127 prototypes to find the one right one that was an incredible consumer success!

Some of the best thinkers on vulnerability remind us – to lean into our discomfort, to increase our self-awareness of our limitations, to ask for help and support when needed, and to invest in our own personal development.

Reality shows – Shark Tank and sensational business plan competitions across the nation are beauty contests and not market or investor affirmations of suitable business models, plans, or great ideas. Overcoming your fears, investing in your emotional health, and nurturing your self-confidence can be positive sources of growing more durable and healthier businesses and finding more creative solutions.

Personal growth is an essential pillar of vulnerability. To get a better understanding of what your strengths and growth opportunities are, please take this personalized assessment. From this assessment, identify a couple of things you can work on to improve.


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