Here is a common idea among mission-driven entrepreneurs:
“My passion is so strong, my solution is so good, and my message is so powerful, my business can only succeed.”
We all want to show up with the perfect solution to save our customers. But the problem is that perfection is not inviting.
How do you connect with your audience? How do you make your narrative relatable? How do you create meaningful relationships with the people you want to embark on your mission?
Instead of shooting for superiority, show up with vulnerability.
When you show up as imperfect, you show up as a human. People want to connect with authentic humans, not faultless bots.
Even Superman almost dies.
Think about Superman. His story teaches us an important lesson.
Why do we love Superman? Why do we cheer for him?
He is strong, has superpowers, and can do incredible things that none of us can do alone, like saving humanity.
We relate to Superman because he is, most importantly, vulnerable. When he gets close to kryptonite, he gets weak, his powers fade, and he gets close to dying. But even Superman has a human side that we can relate to.
You are a human; if you want people to relate to you, be transparent:
- What struggle did you have to experience to be where you are?
- What trials and tribulations did you encounter along the way?
- How did you handle frustration or survive tough times?
What is your kryptonite?
You’re trying to build something of value for your community. But your business is not perfect and will probably never be.
So, why are you trying to have the perfect brand? Why do you use those spotless stock images on your documents or website?
What about some simple human authenticity in how you convey your strategic narrative?
When someone asks a tricky question about your company, it’s OK to admit that you didn’t always have the answer, though you worked hard to find them.
If last quarter’s numbers were not as great as we expected, how about sharing what lesson you learned and how you found a path forward to grow and do better?
In front of potential investors, instead of pretending that you have everything planned out, what about telling them where you think you might fail, so they know where they could come in to help?
Imperfection builds trust.
Imperfection is proof of a growth mindset, not a fixed mindset. It is proof that, yes, you are like everybody else, trying to do your best at figuring out a challenge for which nobody knows the solution yet.
In this world of fake everything, honest fragility will make you stand out.