Ep 465: Turning Your Most Embarrassing Moments Into Your Most Relatable Moments | Henna Pryor Episode Recap

AJV (00:02):
So I just did a podcast interview with a new friend of mine, Henna Pryor, and she’s the author of a new book called Good Awkward, which is ultimately how to be good at Being Awkward. And I was kind of inspired to do this post after this conversation when I sat back and just realized for a moment that most people that I know in my life avoid awkward moments like the plague, right? Like embarrassing. Like even people go, that’s your most embarrassing moment. It’s like even recalling your most embarrassing moment can make you blush or, you know, give you goosebumps. It’s like, oh my gosh, I cannot believe that happened. And this whole conversation is about how to embrace awkwardness in order to give you an upper hand, an advantage on connecting with your audience becoming more relatable enh enhancing vulnerability, increasing authenticity. There’s all these different things, but at the end of the day, what it really comes down to in my perception is learning how to be comfortable with yourself and yourself is gonna make mistakes yourself is awkward, right?
AJV (01:12):
Like we do awkward things. We say awkward things, we are awkward different stages of life and some, some of us longer than others. And if you really think about it, those are the moments that make you the most different, the most unique. But yet we’re we’re also, those are also the ones that we try to like hide under the covers the most. Like, lock in a closet and go, let’s just forget like that three year period of my life where I had a perm and wore Snoopy shirts every day. Like, let’s just, let’s just close that door and pretend that never happened and or that that stage of business where I can’t believe I was doing this. And I have to tell you guys this story, I have a few stories I wanna share actually, about, you know, the things that make you vulnerable are the things that people fall in love with.
AJV (01:59):
They are the things that make you relatable. Because the truth is, regardless of how much, you know, there are things you don’t know. And regardless of how good you are at some things, there are some things you’re not good at. And when we see is what you’re good at, it makes us feel like, man, I, I just can’t be myself around that person. Like, they’re too smart or they’re too rich, or they’re, they’re too this or they’re too that. And all it does is create a level of discomfort for those around you. And the truth is, you’re not like that at all, right? It’s like you’re goofy when no one’s around and you make all kinds of silly mistakes, but no one knows about ’em. But if they did, they would love you even more. And I feel so, so overly confident in that. So I’ve gotta tell you two quick things. One is a story about me and Rory. And one is a story just about me, of just a little bit of a example, proof of how the awkwardness of your day, of your life, of your business, of your journey is often what will be
AJV (02:58):
The number one thing that helps expedite your connection with your audience. And so about two years ago Rory and I were going through all of the early footage from Brand Builders Group, you know, brand Builders Group started in the middle of a crisis, I would say. And, you know, I was fired very publicly, which was, you know, pretty awkward in and of itself. From our fire, our, our prior company. And then Rory resigned two weeks later. And so Brain Builders Group kind of happened in the middle of this crisis. It was very much a God thing, but in those early days, it’s like we didn’t have a lot of money to do high production quality. And I ended up getting pregnant with our second son only like three months after we started the company, which, you know, was great timing.
AJV (03:44):
And so we had to turn Rory’s office into a nursery, which mean for a short amount of time we had to share my office and doing podcasts like this. Yeah, don’t worry. Doing training videos, doing all the things happen in the same office and we would just have to take turns. We had like a little schedule. And Rory is quite distracting when he works. And so what we did, which was, you know, real, you know, real professional, is we put one of those expandable shower curtains across my office, and there was a sheet that divided his side of the office from my side of the office. No sound barrier. It was just, I can’t be looking at you, don’t be looking at me. Well, we did so much early content, we were just working at all hours, and it was like we didn’t have time to review content.
AJV (04:32):
We had no one reviewing content. And this content stayed live in our portal for, I don’t know, almost four years. And we were doing this content archive, cleanout refreshing a bunch of old videos, and I’m, we’re going through all this content and I’m watching these videos and I’m like, can you see the sheet in that video? And so we started watching all these other videos, y’all, there was like an entire series of content videos that you could see the top of the shower rod in my office dividing our two offices. So you could see my shadow behind this white sheet and the shower rod in all of our public facing course videos. I was like, are you kidding me right now? I can’t believe anyone comes back to this portal. I can’t believe anyone is watching this video. And I remember being so embarrassed, and me and Roy , those have to come down right now.
AJV (05:24):
Those are the first things that are coming down Monday morning. And so we emailed our team and like, okay, as we’re archiving videos, start with all the ones that you can see the sheet and the, and the curtain rod that are dividing our offices. And then we were at one of our events very shortly after, a few weeks after, and we were telling this story about we all come from humble beginnings in some way. And we were telling this story, and afterwards, I probably had two if not three people come up to me and they go, I know exactly what videos you’re talking about. That’s
AJV (05:56):
When, when I fell in love with you guys. And I was like, what? And they were like, when I saw that you guys were just doing this because you love it and you had passion for it, and you were using a bedsheet and you were sharing an office, I said, these are my people. These are people that I care to learn about. These are people I care to know because they’re not trying to be something or not. They’re not trying to do this with lots of production value. They’re this, this is not just about entertainment. This is not about a performance. You were just like, here, I think I can help you with something. I don’t care if there was a bed sheet. No, we didn’t know they could see that. But it’s like the whole point is that thing that we felt so awkward about, so kind of embarrassed about like, I can’t believe this happened.
AJV (06:38):
Don’t, they were like, no, that’s when I fell in love with you. That’s when I said, these are my people. I, I wanna, I wanna learn from these people because I felt like you got it. You knew what it was like to be in a startup. You knew what it was like to hustle and you were doing the thing, and I was watching you as you were learning and you were growing. And that’s when I fell in love with you. And I was like, what? Out of all the things, the Bedsheet videos, and I think that was like this whole interview with Henna Pryor was those moments of awkwardness when people go, man, that that’s when people, right, what we find most embarrassing other people find the most endearing. And that’s when you create this unbelievable connection of, man, I I know who you are, right?
AJV (07:23):
Because you don’t hold it back and you don’t pretend, right? And so I think there’s, there’s some element of that, of going what what we think is embarrassing other people find endearing. And so it’s not that you wanna find moments to embarrass yourself, but also don’t, don’t be embarrassed by the moments. Go. That’s just a part of where we were, that was a part of our journey. Like that was hustle mode. That was startup mode. And yeah, there was a shower curtain and a sheet. And now the way that I look back on it was like, yeah, that was, that’s how we started this, and that’s okay. And it’s okay for other people to do that. And by sharing that, it allows other people to settle into their newness, to their beginners, to their whatever stage that they’re in of going, okay, that that’s okay to be that way.
AJV (08:12):
I don’t have to have this, this, or this to make this work or to succeed or excel, because that’s the truth. You don’t. And so allowing people to see those missteps, those awkward moments, will not only allow them to get to know you better, but it also creates a, a new level of comfort in what they’re going through themselves, right? So, second quick story I’ll share is one of my biggest consulting clients of all time in my former life was Bridgestone retail operations. And I had an amazing opportunity to train more than 2,700 retail stores at Bridgestone. And as a part of this, you know, two year engagement we
AJV (08:54):
Were also the host, the training host at their annual conference in Vegas where I don’t know how many people there, I’ll try to be conservative, 10,000 of their retail operators were there. And I was in this ballroom and they were rotating classes, you know, and we were talking about sales and customer service and customer experience and, you know, all the things. And this ballroom probably held 2000, maybe 3000 people. And it was the first session of the day. And I had been doing so much prep work for this because, you know, I may not be like the, you know, avatar to relate to the average Bridgestone retail operations team. And I’m like, all right, I gotta, I’m, I need to find some car humor and I, you know, I need to make this relatable so it’s not some, you know, rando chick up on stage talking about what they need to do in their stores.
AJV (09:47):
And so I found these hilarious videos that I thought were hilarious on Seinfeld about this conversation that Seinfeld was having, about how he didn’t know anything about cars. And, you know, it’s like he was saying, you know, I could take my car to the shop and they could tell me it needed a Johnson rod and I wouldn’t know the difference. And, you know, it just kind of like went on and on and on. Well, you know, I didn’t, I didn’t know what a Johnson rod was. ’cause I don’t know much about cars either, so I just thought it was funny. And so I add all of these videos to my presentation, and as I’m playing these, you know, videos as examples of customer awareness, they all start dying laughing. And so I’m like, I roll with it, and then I’m, I’m saying Johnson Rod, and I’m using that in the examples, and I’m telling stories about it now, and I’m now calling back to the video.
AJV (10:37):
And every single time I do, the laughter gets bigger and bigger and I’m like, wow, I really got this going. Like, I’m really relating to this. So I just roll with it. And the mc of the day was introducing everyone, and that at the end of every session, he would wrap it up with going, can you believe? Right? And it’s like, can you believe that we achieved da da da da dah, and can you believe this da da da? Well, heaps my presentation, and this is how he recapped it. And you believe that AJ said Johnson rod five times on stage. And everyone just dies laughing. And I’m sitting there going, okay, I think I’ve missed something here. And I look back in the back of the room and I can see three of my team members waving their hands in the air frantically like this, like, stop, stop.
AJV (11:20):
And I’m like, what is going on? So I get off stage and one of them rums up to me and she goes, agent, do you know what a Johnson rod is? And I was like, clearly, I do not. And she goes, are you kidding me right now? And I’m like, what, what is it? And she goes, it is the male private area. And I’m like, what? And she was like, this whole video was, you know, this sexual innuendo about, you know, the male private parts. And I’m like, oh my gosh. And this is in front of like
AJV (11:52):
2,500 men, me on stage talking about Johnson rods. And so for the rest of this two day conference, everywhere I went, they were like, Hey Johnson, hey Johnson. And I’m like, I’m never gonna recover from this. This is the most embarrassing thing of my life. I’m not gonna be able to finish this consulting project. I’m gonna get fired. All these horrible things. So a week goes by, I get on the phone with my direct contact, who was the COO of this operation. He goes, stop, heard you were quite the hit at the conference. And I’m like, Uhhuh, did you hear about it? And he goes, yeah. He said, honestly, it was the highway. He goes, the rest of these sessions were so boring. He goes, yeah, I’d appreciate if you didn’t say that anymore. But, and it was like, this rolled right off the shoulders was hilarious, just , you know, it wasn’t hilarious for me, but it put it just like, it brought down this intensity level between me and my direct contact who was the, you know, the buyer.
AJV (12:47):
And it created this level of I’m not just a consultant coming in here changing stuff. It’s like, I’m this moron who came on and said all these things on stage. And for the rest of the time it was just, it was a, it was a different atmosphere. It wasn’t, Hey, I’ve been hired to come in and fix things or change things. It was, you know, Hey Johnson. And although I would’ve preferred that was maybe not what I got called for the rest of the time, but at the same time, it just, it created this element of comfort, of relatability, of ease that did not exist before, right? I was humiliated and terrified. They thought it was hilarious. And I share that to go, what you think is your most embarrassing moment may be the thing that creates the most relatability. Maybe not, maybe not, but maybe.
AJV (13:38):
So I would just encourage you as you kind of settle in and highly encourage you to listen to this full episode with Henna Pryor or pick up a book. Good, awkward. It’s, how do I embrace awkward, right? It’s, how do I use my missteps to give me an opportunity to showcase who I really am, not who I think people want me to be, but who I really am. So how do we good? How do we get good at being awkward is one, we realize it’s gonna happen. We be prepared for it, and we don’t hide it, but we embrace it. And even sometimes maybe put a spotlight on it to go, Hey, not everything is worth sharing. But there’s a few things that would really humanize me, make me relatable and help other people have a, a greater sense of comfort and peace and ease about their situation if I just shared a little bit of mine. So here’s a little bit of inspiration to embrace those awkward moments, embrace those missteps and use them to your advantage this year.