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Keep Calm and Dare Greatly 

Like you, I’ve crossed paths with some amazing speakers, authors and artists. I have indulged in their live presentations, poured over their written word and visually marveled at their raw talent on display. It isn’t very often, though, that I am moved so deeply that I reach out to them and say thank you. 

Recently, I had the great privilege of seeing Dr. Brené Brown live, talking about her new book, Daring Greatly. “Nobody wants to hear about shame!” That’s what 30 different publishers told her when they turned her away. After twelve years of researching the subject, Brown knew better. Now, after self-publishing, her third book, Daring Greatly, hit the New York Times Bestsellers List. Bet those publishers are kicking themselves now.

You could have heard a pin drop (in between fits of laughter) during Dr. Brown’s presentation in Santa Monica. She reminded all of us how the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent, and lead. In Daring Greatly, Dr. Brown challenges everything we think we know about vulnerability. Based on her years of research, she argues that vulnerability is not weakness, but rather our clearest path to courage, engagement, and meaningful connection.

To say she’s inspired me is an understatement. I courageously reached out to her with a note of gratitude and a small sign I created, based on the popular British saying, “Keep Calm and Carry On.” She included it in her most recent newsletter, paying homage to our armed forces men and women for being vulnerable, courageous and for daring greatly.

What does vulnerability and daring greatly have to do with you? With marketing? With building products? We reinforce ourselves and our companies to keep vulnerability out. We tell customers what we think they want to hear instead of what would really serve them. Imagine what we could accomplish if we dared more greatly. One of my favorite movie lines of all time is from the recent, We Bought a Zoo. 

“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to pick up a copy of Daring Greatly. And if you ever have a chance to see her live you’re in for a real treat. Until then, you can enjoy her TED talk here.

Here’s to freedom! Keep calm and dare greatly!

Make your presence felt.

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