During the 2014 Pioneer Nation conference, I had coffee with my friend and Profit. Power. Pursuit. guest Kari Chapin. Kari started raving about this woman who could read body language, harness the power of color, and up confidence with power posing.
When we got back to the conference, Kari introduced me to Vanessa Van Edwards. Vanessa is an author, behavioral investigator, and self-proclaimed recovering awkward person.
She decided to study human behavior and the art of interpersonal communication because, as a kid, she was stumped by it. As Chase Jarvis would say, she started her business to scratch her own itch.
Vanessa’s natural curiosity and analytical approach make her one heck of an entrepreneur. Instead of avoiding what she doesn’t know, she embraces it. She told me:
“When you get to something you don’t know, it means you’re doing something right.”
In fact, she says that if you’re not finding something that makes you say, “Hmmm… I better Google that!” on a weekly basis, you need to push yourself further.
I know how frustrated you get when you don’t understand something about your business, there’s a problem you don’t have a solution for, or you simply missed an important piece of information. I get frustrated with those things, too!
But Vanessa provides a great counterpoint to this. She said business is like a sport. First, you train. Then you start playing in recreational leagues. Then you play JV, Varsity, and continue to move up the ranks.
Entrepreneurship is the same. You can’t expect to go from training to MVP status. You need to work at improving your skills, problem-solving, and imagination every single day to reach the performance level you want to be at.
On the latest episode of Profit. Power. Pursuit., I spoke with Vanessa Van Edwards about why independent research is so important to her, the unique ways her business generates revenue, and how she uses the science of people to manage and motivate her team.
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