As an investor, founder, CEO and business book author, I write about startups, design, how to build a good business, and I like to muse about culture in any form.

Learning fearlessness

superstock_442-8961One of the very best things about building a company is seeing yourself, and others, tackle previously unthinkable challenges with determination and confidence.   Today Joanne was wrestling with some new video conferencing software that could enhance our own videos.  It was all on the the fly and under pressure because the video crew was waiting for her downstairs.  As Joanne’s troubleshooting fingers flew over the computer keyboard, she said,

Here’s the thing.  You just have to be fearless.

I smiled to myself, thinking of the Joanne (and me) of last year.  We were sitting on the floor of my house and were sketching out the Grommet idea.  I told Joanne how video would be important to the experience and that we’d probably have to do them ourselves.  She later told me she put that scary thought aside, concluding, “We’ll just have to find a way around that.”

Now I see this same woman leading the video charge, wrestling with new technologies, shaping rich and interesting content, and generally being a confident life force behind every production.  Sweet.  I love it….”You just have to be fearless.”

2 Responses to “Learning fearlessness”

  1. Lee Wolfe

    What a great story to share. You just have to be fearless… I am taking that thought with me everywhere today, like a lucky stone tucked in my pocket!

  2. julespieri

    Lee–that lucky stone image is a great way to crystallize this. I once heard a really prominent CEO say she had to learn to just “look like she knew what she was doing”, until she did. I loved that she admitted that. Another famous CEO told me that she was scared to death every time she went into a board meeting with a particularly smart and incisive board member. I think it actually takes real courage and even confidence to realize these things, and admit them.

    And it doesn’t matter whether you have a tiny enterprise, or you are writing a book or raising a child, or run a Fortune 100 company does it? Fearlessness is a very good thing.


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