A Conversation with Judy Robinett and Joseph Warren
Startup Nation, I want to share a wisdom nugget from my podcast episode with Judy Robinett. Most of us agree that first impressions are important. So much of running a successful business is about showing up right for clients, investors, and employees. Showing up, aka the way others see you, is one of the main topics I cover in my spiritual coaching sessions
But let me ask you this, have you ever had a friend or coworker who grew on you, someone you disliked at first but then warmed up to later on? Let’s call this person John. Maybe you met John at your first staff meeting, and he stood there, arms crossed, refusing to make eye contact. But six months later, you got to know him better and you realized he had a warm, friendly, gooey inside. Now John is one of your closest friends.
Friends like these force us to realize the importance of showing up well for others. Maybe John was nervous or uncomfortable when you two first met. Or maybe he wasn’t emotionally aware enough to notice how others interpreted his actions.
It makes you sick to think how close you were to never starting the relationship at all.
But wait a second Startup Nation… if your friend could be so unaware of a bad first impression, then what about you? What if you’re just like John?
I want to share a story from Judy Robinett, entrepreneur, CEO, and author of Crack the Funding Code.
As we talked about challenges entrepreneurs face, she said, “You’re not smart enough to know everything. You need an advisory board to help you see your blind spots.”
She was gracious enough to share a personal memory from graduate school. One day, the dean called her into the office and said, “Judy, the guys on your team don’t want to be on your team anymore.”
Judy was stunned. She asked why.
The dean said, “They said you’re too aggressive.”
Judy stood up, went over to the dean’s desk, slammed down her fist, and shouted, “I am not aggressive! Who said I’m aggressive?!” Without waiting for a response, she stormed out of the dean’s office.
The dean approached her later that week and said, “Judy, you’re like a bull in a china shop. You need to be aware of other people’s feelings.”
This shifted Judy’s thinking. Initially, she had the mindset of “We’re here to do business. Who cares about emotions?” But this attitude was wrecking her relationships with her academic peers. The dean kindly showed Judy her blind spot, and now Judy is known as “the woman with the titanium digital Rolodex,” and she’s the author of a networking book called How to Be a Power Connector: The 5-50-150 Rule.
But the story doesn’t end there.
Judy admitted, “I grew up thinking I was fat, ugly, and stupid.”
These are hurtful words. At some point during her childhood, someone told her these lies and she believed them. She built emotional defenses to protect those areas of pain. She became aggressive. For example, she was going to make sure she got an A even if she hurt other people’s feelings.
I’ve done this, too. We all have. I grew up in a broken home. I put up emotional defenses when I experienced emotional abuse. But it hurt my relationships with others. As an adult, I brought my confrontational attitudes into my businesses, and it was a serious blind spot.
Listen, it’s impossible to keep your business life and your personal life 100% separate. You can’t be a happy, go lucky person in the board room and a broken, angry person in your home. Sure, you can appear to be two different people. At least for a while. But you weren’t created to fake it till you make it.
If you’re like grad school Judy and you aren’t aware of your blind spots, you might be miserable and not even know why. If you show up as an angry person at work, people won’t want to work with you. Then you’ll think, “I’m a failure as an entrepreneur.”
But really you just need to readjust your perspective so that you can step into the successful entrepreneur (and person) you were born to be.
I challenge you, Startup Nation, to ask someone you trust to point out any blind spots they’ve noticed. The truth is, most people won’t say anything unless you give them permission.
If you want to talk more about blind spots in the way you show up for others, let’s jump on a Spiritual Coaching Call. We can discuss who you are and who you were made to be. Stop believing in the lies! It’s time to live in truth.
You can listen to Judy’s story and more on Judy Robinett’s episode of Your First 100k podcast.
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About Joseph Warren
Joseph Warren is a Christian Speaker, Podcast Host and Spiritual Coach. Joseph Warren offers Spiritual Coaching to Christian Business Owners who somehow find themselves in a spiritual rut. In just 90 days, he helps them avoid expensive divorces, break free from addiction, restore broken family relationships, and start living their Higher Purpose!