The Power of Vulnerably Sharing
I was sitting in a large hotel conference room with a hundred or so other people, immersed in self-discovery in order to transform my life, into a life I love. After a couple of days sitting in not so comfortable chairs, listening to the coach of my transformation, he finally asked each of us to prepare ourselves to share with the person sitting next to us. We were instructed to share the one thing in our lives that we were most passionate about.
I enrolled myself in this transformation process and what I found is that vulnerably sharing fuels our daily lives; the life I love.
Immediately my mind started racing with excitement to tell the person next to me all about my BIG project and how every person on the planet, including her would be touched by Connect52, The Connection Revolution. I was filled with anticipation to enroll her into the Connect52 process of becoming responsible for saving humanity. Starting by connecting with her family on a level far greater than she had ever experienced. I was prepared to inform her that her early involvement in Connect52 would be documented in history books as we revolutionized the way we connect.
Just as I was about to divulge my plan upon my neighbor to the right, the instructor relayed the second half of the instructions. The person with whom we were to share our passion was to do anything and everything not to listen. “Go to the bathroom, talk on your phone, lock yourself in your car but do not listen,” said the coach. This news did not deter my optimism that my passion project would penetrate my neighbors attempts at ignoring me. After it became evident that my partner had greater resolve to obey the rules of the training than I had predicted, I found it pointless to share. I was as deflated as a flat tire on a sports car. The inability to share was killing my passion, my project; my soul. In this moment I realized the value of authentic vulnerable sharing. The best marketing strategy is “word of mouth”, kickstarter and other crowdfunding companies rely on the power of sharing and world revolutions erupt through shared oppression.
Sitting there in my chair, not listening to her greatest passion my mind wandered, to another time in my life where I was encouraged to share. Growing up Mormon, the first Sunday of every month is dedicated to the practice of sharing, “bearing testimony”. Many of you at some point in your life have received a knock at the door, only to find boys or girls standing there with their recognizable name tags, prepared to “bear testimony”. Members of the church are encouraged to “bear testimony” to family, friends, co-workers; everyone! The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints historically has experienced tremendous growth, and it dawned on me in that moment that their growth of membership is a direct reflection of their commitment to sharing.
Pebble Time recently broke the record of most money raised using KickStarter. Pebble Time a company that is competing with industry giants such as Apple and Google, unabashedly uses KickStarter as a marketing “sharing” tool; a marketing tool that pays. Kick Starter like a church is a place to practice “bearing testimony” and it provides converts the ability to share their enthusiasm for your product or service. Pebble Time shared their passion, with a goal of raising $500,000. As of March 27th 2015 Pebble Time successfully raised $20,338,986 with 78,471 backers, an average of $259 per backer. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/597507018/pebble-time-awesome-smartwatch-no-compromises
“A recent study reveals that 84% of consumers worldwide say they trust word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family more than any other source of advertising.”
Those who share best win! So why don’t we share?
According to Brene Brown…
Vulnerability is not weakness
Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage
Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change
Imagine if you were asked to draw a circle on a chalkboard and a pie piece representing all that you know. Take a moment; think about it, wherever you are look around and ask yourself do you know how to create or manufacture everything that is around you, do you know its organic structure, for that matter unless you are a doctor do you even know much about your own body and how its allowing you to breathe, read, and process this information. The pie piece shouldn’t look so much like a piece of pie as an invisible line, in my case a line that you can only see using a microscope. And yet, we walk through our lives posturing ourselves as someone who knows everything, an exhausting facade. Our clothes, car, career, house, friends, all a demonstration of how much we know, how smart we are. Are we that insecure?
We have all experienced that situation in which a new person is invited into the “group” and they come off as such a know-it-all, who can’t stop talking. Or what about that awkward experience of a joke being shared that you don’t understand. The hesitation to laugh as you try and figure out what you don’t understand lets everyone know that you don’t get it, as you burst out laughing. Are we that insecure?
“One of the most powerful aspects of the attachment relationship is that parents can help their children discover the invincible vulnerability of the human heart. Too often in our culture, we are taught that vulnerability equals weakness — that we must always be strong and never give up the fight. But this flies in the face of the deepest wisdom of our collective humanity. We can’t always get what we want, nor have everything go our way. And in fact, the times that we are most profoundly changed and “grown-up” are the times when Life pins us down and says — “This is the lesson you need to learn.” Without the ability to “down-shift” into accepting reality and surrendering to the intelligent and loving guidance of Life, we will remain narcissistic, become more frustrated and defended, and not mature into our full potential. Acceptance is a key capacity on the way to maturity, and it is through loving connection that we first learn this essential skill.” – Chris Brown http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/blogs/courage-be-vulnerable
So why is it so difficult to be vulnerable? The ego is simply doing its job of protecting us, surviving those awkward moments like the joke you don’t understand or missing the signals that the girl with whom you just professed your undying love, sees you as just a friend. Vulnerability is a locked door, and if you allow your ego to unlock the door the world of opportunities open up to you.
As Connect52 progressed from an idea, to something that was blessing my life and the lives of my family, I never experienced vulnerability as I was more than happy to share with everyone who will listen how this “game” can profoundly change the level of connection in their lives and the lives of their loved ones. Again, as I was recently asked by a stranger why I moved to Lake Tahoe, I was filled with excitement to share that I moved to Lake Tahoe in order to develop the Connect52 software. Little did I know at the time that I was talking with an “angel”, an angel investor with the Sierra Angels. He expressed an interest in Connect52 and a willingness to help.
A week later, over coffee, with the experience that comes with being an “angel” I was asked questions in which I didn’t have answers. I was momentarily paralyzed with embarrassment as I wanted to provide all the right answers and demonstrate that my slice of pie was bigger than it really is. My vulnerability, my exposure, uncertainty and emotional risk came in the form of admitting what I didn’t know.
Vulnerably I shared with the “angel” and now with you, that I feel inadequate to be able to create Connect52. Connect52 is far bigger than me and has the potential of transforming lives, families, relationships and connections of all shapes and sizes. I call myself an entrepreneur and yet I felt exposed as a fraud when I admitted I have never created a business plan. I often experience paralysis in what to do next to bring this “Connection Revolution” to reality.
I want to share “bear testimony”, that I know Connect52 changed my life, changed my relationship to my family and I know that it can revolutionize our ability to connect. It will create stronger connections for all of those who will vulnerably take the opportunity to connect on a deeper level than thought possible, by simply asking thought provoking questions and connecting over the answers.
I humbly and vulnerably ask that you share (word of mouth) with your family and friends about Connect52. I humbly and vulnerably ask your help in creating the “Connection Revolution”. We are experiencing the shared oppression “crime against humanity” as we continue to be victims and victimize our closest relationships with being too busy to listen, too busy to gain perspective of each other, too busy to connect. Please connect with me in bringing our families, friends and loved ones out of this oppression. Please connect me with your family, friends, and associates who might be able to further the “Connection Revolution”. Maybe you or someone you know would be an excellent contributor to Connect52. Please connect me with those who would be willing to collaborate with Connect52 in order to create a bigger voice for change.
If vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change, then I vulnerably share Connect52.