Being an entrepreneur meant being a shark.
We’ve heard it everywhere, we’ve watched all of the movies (The big short, The Wolf of Wall Street…) we’ve read the books (The Art of War, Execution…). And here’s the gist: being an entrepreneur means being hard, demanding, hardworking, and without any feeling. There is a stigma that the path of an entrepreneur, from beginning to end, is treacherous and disappointing, and it is oftentimes true. So you have to have the guts to handle all of the shocks, right?
The advertising and marketing industry is highly saturated with men (we’re working on it 🙄) and they’re perhaps not the kindest or most understanding (Disclaimer: this doesn’t go for all entrepreneurs). They’re dealing with the most influential and successful businessmen in the world. When the CEO of WPP or Omnicom meets the CEOs of the largest companies, they must appear strong and tough, don’t you think? They must appear robust and put on a show in order to handle everything professionally.
More generally speaking, human beings working in the business world have to be tough. It’s similar to how boys are taught to be strong and masculine in order to be successful in life. But looking at it from a different perspective: isn’t there so much more authenticity and respectability in being completely honest about how you feel. Isn’t it so much ~cooler~, for lack of a better word, to be able to psychologically understand how someone feels?
But no, it’s far more popular to be ice cold and show no fear or remorse.
Perhaps it’s time to change that.
This quality can actually be your greatest power.
Sensitivity is a broad term used to describe one's response to the environment, either physical or emotional. The same goes for emotions. Being sensitive means you’re able to pick up on the feelings of others, become aware of their needs, and behave accordingly.
You have more sensors that are able to feel things more often than someone who isn’t sensitive. Have you ever put yourself in the shoes of someone ‘ insensitive ’? People like this seem stronger. They handle failure or an attack with grace and intelligence, rather than emotion. Or at least that’s how it seems. The truth is, however, they just don’t receive the information that something bad has occurred.
If sensitivity is something that you’ve found holds you back in various scenarios, you have to turn the tables and use it as your strength.
If you are unable to view sensitivity as a power, try thinking of it this way:
- You have access to far more information about a situation, your surroundings, the person you’re dealing with, etc.
- You understand the problem better thereby offering you an opportunity for a clearer analysis of the situation.
- Your sensitivity forces you to find more creative ways to solve problems.
- Your understanding of your target is much more accurate and that is key to success
- The way a person speaks or expresses themselves is their own personal advertising and communication strategy. Their name is their website and their face is their logo. You are the consumer. You are either enticed to learn more, or turned off completely. And you have the special ability to sense things that go deeper, beyond surface-level emotion.
Being sensitive never meant being weak.
Who said being sensitive meant being weak? Ok, crying in the middle of a meeting with a client is not the most professional behavior to have, but we stand by what we said. Being sensitive does not mean you’re childish.
Though it was frowned upon for so long, ~releasing your inhibitions~ and feeling what your mind and body are telling you to feel is never something to be ashamed of. In any case, how lucky are we to feel anything at all?
Ignoring these emotions can lead to a few things. One of which is completely shutting emotion to any and everything and living a life in a crowded solitude. Another is going through life constantly wondering how things would have been. If you had spoken up at that meeting. If you had been truthful about how someone treated you. If you had stood up for yourself. Would people have changed their minds? You’ll never know.
Change it now. Let yourself understand the world around you. It doesn’t mean you are weak. It means you have a deeper, more psychological point of view.
“Of all the hardships a person had to face, none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting.” ― Khaled Hosseini
Still, want to change your personality?
You may feel like vulnerability and sensitivity are flaws. Especially in the business world.
Honestly, sometimes they can be. But once you embrace and accept exactly who you are, wherever you go and whatever you do will change you.
Once you arrive at the place in which you no longer see these traits as things that can hold you back, but rather strengths, you will feel a sense of liberation.
Don’t doubt yourself. Once you are able to acknowledge how every person around you is feeling, you have the power. It just might take some time to get there.
The biggest lesson, if any, that you should take from reading this masterpiece that we call a blog post, is instinct. In every single situation you find yourself in from this point on, use your instinctive intuition to help you decide the next step.
Based on experience, we’ve found that you cannot look at everything from a calculated viewpoint. You have to use and learn emotional intelligence.
How to use it to your advantage:
Embrace it. Fighting who you truly are will always end up with you, well, still becoming who you are supposed to be. Except, things won’t go as smoothly as expected.
It makes you unique. Use this as a competitive advantage to differentiate yourself from everyone else. By having an affinity for someone or something, and you have the advantage of being able to understand them better than anyone or anything else, you are already one step ahead.
One way to use sensitivity to your disadvantage is by being scared.
Think about vulnerability in terms of business deals. If you are able to connect with a client on a level deeper than just client and servitor, you have outdone yourself. If you are scared of all of the one or two outcomes that might go South, you’re doing yourself a disservice. What about the hundreds of outcomes that go better than you expected?
More than this, if you are able to understand why a person is the way they are, or why they act the way they do and adjust your actions to improve their day, life, business, or anything else, you win.
If you overcome the fear of failure, you’ll be unstoppable.