Transcript: What’s Your Weakness? (Hint: It’s Probably Not What You Think)

May 23, 2023

AMY PORTERFIELD: “Since I've been really, really young, I have been sensitive, and I have always looked at that quality as something negative. I think it makes me weak. It's hard for me in certain situations not to cry, and that embarrasses me. And I wear my feelings on my sleeve. If you are a friend or a family member and something has hurt me or bothered me or I'm upset or worried, you will know the instant that you talk to me. I can't hide any of that. And I wish so bad I could, but I can't.  

“But when I heard Michael frame it that way, it didn't sound like it was such a bad thing.”  

INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started. 

AMY: I need to tell you about a podcast that I love. It's called Imperfect Action, it's hosted by Steph Taylor, and it's brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network. And it's a bite-sized online-marketing podcast for business owners. So Steph is going to answer all of your business-marketing questions and deep dives into all things online marketing, content marketing, social-media marketing, and marketing strategy for business owners. So if you love Online Marketing Made Easy, I think you're going to love Imperfect Action as well. I loved her recent episode about how to turn your audience into paying clients. Uh, yes, please. And she talks about how to use better call to actions, streamline your sales funnel, and so much more. You can listen to Imperfect Action wherever you get your podcasts. 

Hey, there. Welcome back to another episode of Online Marketing Made Easy. 

Today I wanted to talk about a major realization I had during my book launch. Listen, I've talked about my book launch and behind the scenes a lot on the podcast over the last few months, and the reason for that is that I was telling my friend Jasmine Star, I grew during this this whole experience. Like, I became what I hope is a better entrepreneur, but just a better person. I had to really work on my mindset more so than I've had to do in the past, and I hope that I've gotten a lot of growth. But it came with a lot of disappointment. My disappointment made me examine some things about myself and my expectations and my limiting beliefs, and I had to either choose to grow from it or use it as a major setback, and I wasn't going to allow that. So there's been a lot of personal growth and entrepreneurial growth through this book launch, but it's because of some heartache and some challenges along the way. And that's sometimes how we grow, right? So I want to talk about that.  

I was having a conversation with my coach, Michael Hyatt, and I was telling him that I've had some disappointments along the way with this book launch. So now that it's all over, I feel that I could share some of this. I think I set some expectations about some companies or some people that would promote my book, but they didn't. Whether it was bad timing for them or the book wasn't a good fit or whatever their reasonings were, which are totally acceptable, right? whatever the reason is, no one has to promote for me. But I set expectations that they would, and I was disappointed. And then, just some doors were closed that I thought would be open during this book launch. And then, I didn't get the morning show that I wanted. I wanted to be on the Today show or Good Morning America. I thought with a book like Two Weeks Notice, very, very timely about what's going on in the world and all the layoffs and people deciding they don't want the jobs that they have, I thought, “This is going to be a perfect topic.” And you've heard me say it probably a million times if you've been in my world for a while, I grew up watching Today show. So I really thought that this was my opportunity. If I was ever going to get it, I was going to get it now. Again, I set expectations that weren't my reality. And so there were some tears, I hate to admit it, but I launched for a good five months, and so there were lots of ups and downs, not to mention this was all very new to me, so I was just uncomfortable a lot of the time.  

So I had a coaching call with Michael, and I told him that I was feeling very sensitive and fragile. And the first thing he told me was, “First of all, you are strong, and you are sensitive, and that is your superpower.” He said, “The two can coexist to make you the person that you are.”  

Now, when he said that, of course I cried, right? So I hate crying on coaching calls, but I just am feeling all the emotion. So I said, “Michael, I feel so sensitive, and I feel so fragile.” And I was really beating myself up because I wanted these doors to be open, and they were closed. I wanted the dang morning show, and I just felt like I had set these expectations for myself and they didn't come true and so I was disappointed in myself. And then, I was sensitive about maybe some people that didn't feel like my book was a good fit, not promoting for me, and I felt sensitive about that. I felt hurt.  

I hate to admit all of this to you. I don't want to talk about this, nor do I want to admit it. But I think it's my responsibility to share the good, bad, and ugly. I can't only share my highlight reel with you, because that's not fair to you. That's not a great representation of entrepreneurship.  

So my feelings were hurt. I felt sensitive. And so when I told him, “Michael, I feel very sensitive and fragile,” that's when he said, “First of all, you are strong, and you are sensitive, and that is your superpower.”  

Now, the thing is, since I've been really, really young, I have been sensitive, and I have always looked at that quality as something negative. I think it makes me weak. It's hard for me in certain situations not to cry, and that embarrasses me. And I wear my feelings on my sleeve. If you are a friend or a family member and something has hurt me or bothered me or I'm upset or worried, you will know the instant that you talk to me. I can't hide any of that. And I wish so bad I could, but I can't.  

But when I heard Michael frame it that way, it didn't sound like it was such a bad thing. It was like, I'm sensitive, but that means I can be incredibly compassionate with my students. And that is true. I feel very compassionate toward my students. I'm sensitive, so I can empathize with them when they feel left out, because I have felt left out before. Or I'm sensitive, so I know when my students are feeling like they're not good enough, I can address it. I can pick up on it quickly because I've seen it in me. My sensitivity allows me to be a better trainer and educator for my students, especially those that are just starting out.  

Some people will always say to me, “Amy, why do you focus so much on the people that are just getting started with entrepreneurship?” And I think I have a special place in my heart for them because I know all the pitfalls, all the mental challenges, all the fears that come up. I'm very sensitive to all of that because I have lived it.  

So when he said that, it really made me think of my sensitivity as a strength, for the first time in my life. I was like, “Wait a second. I can maybe get behind this.” I've always looked at this as a weakness because my feelings can get hurt easily, which I don't love, for the record. Some of you are, like, annoyed at me right now even saying, like, “I get my feelings hurt easily.” I just do, and I know it, so I try to keep that part to myself in situations where it's not appropriate to talk about or whatever. But that sensitivity that I have can actually translate into a lot of compassion and empathy for the students I teach.  

I don't think it's any mistake, but I just, like, realized it when I was creating an outline for this episode that one of my core values—we have core values in the company. Like, they are written out. Everybody on the team knows them, and it's no surprise that one of them is compassion. Like, that is one of the core values on my team. And I think it comes with me being a naturally sensitive person.  

And what's really cool is that when you put together, “I am sensitive,” with “I am strong,”—which I know that I am. I have a lot of proof in my life that I am strong—I feel like maybe I could be unstoppable. I feel like maybe I can do the big, amazing things that I've always wanted to do.  

Now, in that same conversation with Michael, I told him, “I feel really fragile right now.” And I said this with, like, a shaky voice, tears in my eyes, mortified. “I feel really fragile right now,” I told him. And it was probably, like, two weeks before the book came out when we had this conversation. I said, “Things are bothering me more than they should, and I'm afraid to keep putting myself out there, keep asking for favors. Can you promote my book? Can you put me on your show? Can I get that interview? all of that.” I was afraid to keep putting myself out there because I felt fragile. And he said, “You have to stop saying that. Do not say you are fragile. That does not serve you. It is not helping you. You can feel the feelings, but you don't have to put a label on them.”  

Oh, that one hit me in the gut. Did you hear that? You can feel all the feelings. I want you to feel all your feelings. But you do not have to put a label on them like I did. You don't have to declare, “This is who I am,” like I was declaring, “I am fragile.” That is not who I am, and that is not who you are. You have feelings right now. They're hard to get through, but that doesn't define you. And as I said many, many times in other episodes, your feelings will not kill you. You absolutely can navigate through these feelings. It's not easy, and you might even need to ask for help, which I have, for the record. I work with my coach. I have a therapist. I've definitely reached out for help because I know that my feelings can absolutely knock me down and not make me want to get out of bed. I do know that from my past experience. I have to be careful of them, but they don't define me.  

So it was another great reminder that the words we tell ourselves actually have meaning. So if you're constantly telling yourself that you're fragile or you're not good enough or you're too old or you're late to the game, or these are things I hear from my students all the time, whatever it may be, it's, like, you start to believe them like they're true when you keep telling yourself them.  

So that's one thing that I'm really working on. I'm trying to be way more aware of my own negative self-talk, and when I notice it's happening, I'm trying just to eliminate it from my thoughts completely. Like anything, it is absolutely a practice. But when they come up, I stop saying the things that no longer serve me.  

And the thing is, I know I’m not alone in feeling down on myself sometimes. I know we all do. And I know that we all let our feelings get the best of us, or our thoughts really get the best of us. We've all been there, right? I'm not alone, right? Please tell me I'm not alone. But since I am guessing I'm not, I want to challenge you to do the same. So leave it to sweet Michael to send me a text on the day that I had a bunch of interviews, and I was getting really close to launching the book, and I got a text message out of nowhere, and it said, “You're strong and sensitive, and that is your superpower.” I'm not going to, but it makes me want to cry because I think it was so thoughtful of him to remember that and send that to me when I needed it most, and so I just want to share it with you. Maybe one of the things that you think is one of your weaknesses is actually your superpower, and you can pair it with something else that you know is true about you, and maybe it makes you even more special, even more of who you already are.  

So I actually did this exercise with a couple of my team members, and I loved hearing about their newly discovered superpowers so much that I wanted to share them with you. So I want to share a few.  

So ____(13:16—Jawsy—we call her Jaws, Jawsy—we always have nicknames.) She's my CEO. She's my new CEO. She has been the director of content development for years and years and years. March one, she became the CEO of my company, which is a really big deal. And she is quiet by nature, and the fact that she's reserved often gets misinterpreted by others. So they think that she doesn’t like something or that she's aloof, when in reality she's just taking some time to process and think things through before she moves forward, which is why I hired her as my CEO. She's very thoughtful. She's not reactive. She actually slows down and puts lots of thought into decisions she makes. So I love that she is quiet by nature, because I think she's more thoughtful and gives a very thorough response. When you get a response from ____(14:12—Jaws), you know that a lot of thought and research has been put into it.  

So her superpower? She says, “I am reserved and thoughtful.” And I love that. I've never heard her say that before. So when I heard her say, “I am reserved and thoughtful,” the two go hand in hand. They give her a superpower. She's not just thoughtful, but she's reserved to the point that she just doesn't throw out her opinion everywhere, which makes her opinion even more powerful.  

And then there's Brittani, my community manager. And Brittani is a self-proclaimed overthinker, which I actually didn't even know that about her. She said she's always looked at that as a weakness. I'm an overthinker. That's a weakness. But upon doing a little bit more exploration, she's realized that overthinking things has never actually stopped her from taking action, not to mention allowing herself to fully think through a task or problem or situation, and that gives her the ability to see it from many angles, be prepared for most outcomes, and avoid issues along the way. So her superpower is “I am an overthinker and actionable.” The two go hand in hand. She might be overthinking it, and she probably could use a different word than overthinker. Maybe I would even encourage her to say, “I'm a deep thinker and actionable.” So she doesn't just sit on it. She doesn’t just think, think, think, think, think. And I know firsthand—she supports me on all of my lives—she is very actionable. Things will go wrong on a live, boom; she's on it. So I totally agree with you, Brittani, if you're listening. I think you're a deep thinker and actionable. 

______(15:56—Kai) says—____(1558) Kai is my senior content marketing manager, and she is also the podcast producer—she is an emotional person. And although this has always felt like a weakness to her, it allows her to connect on a deep level with others very quickly, which I have seen. So she can easily empathize with others because she understands that we are all humans, and we are simply doing the best we can with what we have. So _____(16:23—Kai’s) superpower is “I am emotional and empathetic.” And she really is. Like, I feel like she's very forgiving when I make mistakes and kind of screw her up or when I don't get to deadlines. She she's never, ever frustrated with me, at least she's never seemed to be. She's always empathetic with my situation. Like, ____(16:43—Kai's) the one that will send me a text and just say, “You're doing great. Keep it up.” My employee sends me that text. Because she is emotional, she does pick up on when I'm stressed, when I'm feeling uneasy, when I'm struggling. She picks up on it because she's empathetic and emotional herself, and she knows it. And then she sends you the message that you absolutely needed. That's a superpower.  

I love how a simple mindset shift like this can totally change the game. And so it is now your turn. And I am dying to hear what you come up with.  

So here's how you do it. First, what do you consider your weakness? What's your weakness? You've probably had it for a long time. You never look at it as a strength. It's always kind of like, “Ugh, yeah, that's me,” and you just kind of move on. What is it? And is that really true? Is it really a weakness? Or is it a story you've just been telling yourself? What can you pair it with that actually makes it a superpower? And you don't even need to pair it with something, but I just thought that was really unique that Michael's like, “You're sensitive and strong, and that makes you special.” I love the two existing together. So ask yourself, where has that weakness actually showed up as a positive? If I said, “You've got to find something good about it,” what would you say? And can you pair it with something you already know you're great at? And that becomes your superpower.  

I promise when you do this, you're so much better equipped to accomplish anything that feels scary or overwhelming or sensitive or whatever it might be for you. And as we all know in business, that tends to happen a lot, right? The scaries come up, the fear, the overwhelm. So your superpower can help to squash all that. And I want to know.  

So I want you to get into my DM. You know I'm just @amyporterfield. I want you to get into my DMs and say, “Amy, my superpower is…” and I want to share some of these. So if you want to share them publicly, maybe in your Instagram Story, so tag me so I can repost, but I'll do it on the day this episode comes out. So maybe on an Instagram post or a Reel or a Story or whatever, share your superpower, and tag me. I would love, love, love to know. Or just DM me if you want to keep it private. 

All right. I hope you love this Shorty episode. And if you'd be so kind, will you share this with a friend? I know you have a few entrepreneurial friends that need to hear this. They need to really find their superpower and stop looking at something special about them as a weakness. So the more we can share this, the better. Grab the link. Text it to a few friends. And then, if you love this episode and you've never left me a review, would you consider to do so? You can go on any platform that you hear this podcast and leave a review. I will be forever grateful.  

Thank you, my sweet friend. And I'll see you on Thursday for more entrepreneurial goodness. Bye for now. 

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