I recently participated in a 2.5-day workshop for entrepreneurs. The room was filled with ~20 individually successful business owners. Throughout the sessions, my fellow participants filled the room with creative energy, endearing vulnerabilities, intellectual challenges, and laughter. I had a great time.
Our leader and facilitator, the venerable Alan Weiss, did a fantastic job imparting wisdom from his long career in consulting. The biggest piece of personal advice I took away was this: common traits of people who make a big impact are confidence, vulnerability, and resilience.
We rated ourselves on a scale of one to five on each trait. The room average was about ten. I gave myself threes for confidence and vulnerability, and a five for resilience. I'm an eleven! Better than average? I certainly think so! (See, that's confidence.)
Upon reflection, I realize that if I am very honest with myself, my confidence fluctuates often and I have a long way to go with vulnerability. (Who knows what I would have rated myself if I was truly willing to be vulnerable?) Regardless of scoring methods, I love self-improvement and learning, so I have officially placed the task of increasing these traits on my to-do list.
But how? Another piece of advice from Alan: write and publish. Writing requires practice. It's like exercise; you have to lift heavy things to be able to lift heavier things. You have to write a lot to be a good writer. (Another Alanism: "Writer's block is a myth.")
What could be more confidence- and vulnerability-inducing than a very personal website and a solo consulting practice?
Thus, here I am.
~Shannon, the Optimistic Optimizer