The Entrepreneurial Power of Embarrassment
The Entrepreneurial Power of Embarrassment stories

kikiCommunity member
Autoplay OFF  •  3 years ago
I'm Kiki Schirr, Cofounder of Fittr ( Illustrator of Tech Doodles. 1/2 of The Craft marketing newsletter. Contributor to {grow}. I love life and lemurs - and aliteration.

The Entrepreneurial Power of Embarrassment

by Kiki Schirr

We're always talking about Failure.

Running out of money, no one using your app, selling your office furniture on Craigslist.

Well, while I’m not here to talk about that

I will discuss a very related topic: embarrassment.

I’m talking about the feeling you get in your gut

when you take a calculated risk and know you might seem silly but that the payout will be worthwhile. It’s a specific kind of embarrassment, that I’ll call entrepreneurial embarrassment.

First time I realized the power of calculated embarrassment

I was in China. I’d left for a year, thinking that I’d just pick up the language naturally. Instead, I got good at conveying messages without language

When I found myself wildly gesticulating with one arm... the air whilst making a loud trumpeting noise in order to find the elephant exhibit at the zoo it hit me: Sometimes a little embarrassment can really take you places.

It's embarrassment you have to quash when you:

push submit on that new app, or when you pray that your site does well on Hacker News.

Reid Hoffman, of LinkedIn has famously said:

"If you're not embarassed by the first version of your launch, you've launched too late."

Embarrassment is also KEY for marketing purposes.

If Richard Branson can cross dress and serve drinks on a competitor’s airline, then you can certainly go give your business card to a speaker at a conference. You can make a YouTube series, etc.

Like Nike says:

“Weigh the risk against the reward and calculate your odds of success and remind yourself that embarrassment is temporary.”



Embarrassment won't kill you

It’s not a fatal condition. The next time you’re forcing yourself to do something, just think, would Richard Branson do this? Undoubtedly.

No shame, all gain.

Be bold, ye entrepreneur, for a Blue Ocean is thine. Be *that guy,* the one who will do anything to promote their startup.

Embrace the entrepreneurial embarrassment: have no shame

And go download Fittr. ;)

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