The Power of Being Vulnerable

By Cheval John

We see stories of how high profile A-listers are living the dream that everyone aspires to.

Whether it is Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and Shark Tank star, Sir Richard Branson, of the Virgin Group or Barbara Cochran of the Corcoran Group, we think that that we can’t achieve the dream life.

We don’t see the journey of how the people achieved their success.

We think that there is a silver bullet to achieving success in your business, life, etc.

What we fail to understand is that the most successful have faced failure in their lives and business.

We also believe that if we share our failures with the world, then we will lose the respect that we have earned.

We don’t want our vulnerability to “tarnish” our brand that we built.

We want the masses to see our strong side.

If businesses want to succeed in this social media world, then they must be vulnerable because people deal with people.

They have to be more vulnerable because millennials only will deal with brands who are authentic.

Millennials don’t want to feel like they are being sold to.

Who can blame them.

Most were about to enter the workforce during the Great Recession of 2008.

They saw their parents suffer because of the wreckless decisions that people on Wall Street made.

That is why they are so sensitive and wary of the broadcasting that brands are doing to sell to them.

And if they see that you are not being transparent with them, they will showcase their frustration on social media.

That can hurt your business and your brand in the long run.

For businesses that are waking up to the reality of being more vulnerable, here are two people who shared their journey to achieving success and in the process have built a strong following.

Pat Flynn

Many might have heard of Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income.

If you have not, then here is a summary.

Mr. Flynn had got laid off from his architecture firm in 2008.

He was figuring what he was going to do next.

Earlier in the year, he passed the exam to earn the LEED Accredited Professional credential.

This credential is huge if a person is an architect.

After participating in forums, he saw a way to help architects pass the LEED exam and also create income.

So create a course on how to pass the LEED exam and was able to generate money.

As a person who wanted to stay as transparent as possible, he started the Smart Passive Income blog to show everyone how he makes money and also share valuable information about the struggles of running an online business.

In addition to his blog, the Smart Passive Income podcast has brought more traffic to his website.

As a result of his success, he has spoken at conferences across the world and has been featured in media outlets like the New York Times.

For most people, the success would go to their minds because they feel that they arrived.

However, Mr. Flynn is not most people.

He has remained true to himself and has showed his failures along the way.

In his keynote address at Podcast Movement 15, he shared with us the first episode that he did in 2008.

Though it was entertaining for us, which the episode was bad, he was willing to be vulnerable with everyone to share that we should not allow fear to stop us from pursuing our goals of podcasting.

Nancy Duarte

Nancy Duarte has written four books and runs her successful business,, and is a LinkedIn influencer.

You would say that she has everything together.

However, she shared her vulnerability with everyone when she nearly lost trust with her employees.

In her LinkedIn article, “It Took Me 20 Years To Fail Fast,” she chatted about her presentation on how to prepare for an economic downturn during a staff meeting.

As she was finished with the presentation, most of the staff told her that they had lost respect for her because of the way she shared the presentation.

In her words, it took a long time before she earned back her credibility with her staff.

Her willingness to share her vulnerability allowed her to gain more respect with potential customers and clients.

So if you are still on the fence of whether to share your vulnerability, here are two simple steps to get over that fear:

1. Be Yourself: No one else can replicate your unique personality

2. Drop Your Pride: Remember that people are probably going through the same thing that you overcame.

Have you felt scared to share your vulnerability and if so, how did you overcome your fear?

About Cheval John

Cheval John is the Founder and CEO of Vallano Media, LLC, a marketing agency which helps small to mid-sized businesses use social media correctly to build a loyal following and in the process become more profitable.

Cheval is also the host of “What’s The Word?” a podcast about finding out what inspires people to choose their respective careers and how social media impacted their lives and business.

He is the author of two books including the Amazon Best-Seller, “8 Lessons Every Podcaster Needs To Learn.”

He has spoken at Social Media Week Lima in Ohio and at Social Media Day Houston 2017 about topics around live streaming and podcasting.

Cheval has been featured in media outlets like Ebony Magazine and was named a Houston Top 25 Social Media Power Influencer in 2016 and 2017.

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