tough skin

Vulnerability & Tough Skin

Article By:  Jordan McConaha

To all of my fellow entrepreneurs…  You’re doing AMAZING THINGS.  Whatever your dream is, whatever your passion, keep going and hold your head high when others try to take you down.  Drew and I know first hand what it feels like to literally pour your blood, sweat and tears into your business.  To build it from the ground up.  The sleepless nights, the inability to actually be on vacation, the financial stress, and the weight it takes on personal relationships.  We get it, all of it. 

The best piece of advice I was ever given in regards to running a business is to “remember that you are never going to be able to please everyone.”  It’s also the hardest thing to remind yourself when it comes time to practice this skill.  Doing good business requires the perfect blend of vulnerability and “tough skin.”  I’ve got the first part down, and am doing my best to work on the second. 

I wear my heart on my sleeve.  I always have.  This is a quality of mine that I am not ashamed of nor would I ever try to change because it helps me learn and grow.  It gives me the ability to trust and love quickly and deeply.  It helps me practice gratitude, and to have compassion and empathy for those around me.  It has graced me with true, lifelong friendships that would never have blossomed if I acted solely on preconceived notions.  It helps me have an open mind.

In order to make people comfortable, you have to let them in.  You have to live in a state of vulnerability, and that can be a scary place.  In order to take risks, you have to let go.  That’s what Drew and I did the day we wrote our first rent check for our TFL Baby.  Two dollars left to our names.  We took a risk.  We were vulnerable, we were strong – you have to be if you’re forced to live broke and with your parents for two years (thanks @Phyllis)!

I’m big on karma.  I truly believe in “what goes around, comes around”.  If you put positive vibes into the world, then they will be returned, period.  I have faith in that.  It’s easy to be sidetracked by negativity, and it’s natural to want to defend your business-babies.  Don’t feed into the bullshit.  Embrace and nurture the relationships of those that respect you and believe in your dream.  Do your best to say only the nicest things about your competitors because it shows that you believe in what you’ve built.  Hold true to your core values and live in authenticity.  Don’t add a brick to your wall every time someone throws one at you, because you don’t need a shield.  Remember, you were in your most vulnerable state the day you agreed to follow your dreams and that’s when the magic began to happen.