Being Brave and Vulnerable in Life and Business with Matt Shoup

Carmen Micsa

Painted Baby - Book Review
Photo byBob Younger
“Being real, vulnerable, and 100 percent honest in business builds deeper trust and connection with clients and those you serve, and this is what ultimately grows your business.” — Matt Shoup

How many new business owners can afford a business coach who can give them all the ins and outs of starting and running a business? 

The answer: not many!

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However, buying Matt Shoup’s inspirational book Painted Baby about running a thriving business is quite affordable. Shoup does an excellent job at showing readers and business owners how to live authentic lives while being real and vulnerable to build deeper trust and connection with clients and everyone around us. 

The book’s premise revolves around the idea that humans are connected to drama. With that, Shoup starts narrating his big PBS story, which stands for “the painted baby story.” He recounts his workers’ desperate phone call to him while painting a house. The misfortune happened as the owner walked around the house with her baby talking to the workers while a paint gun went off, getting her and the baby covered in paint. 

Shoup walks his readers through his most vulnerable moments as a business owner, all while trying to obtain a big painting job and show the client how he handled the painted baby mishap by buying new clothes for the clients and sending them to a nice dinner, which turned this initial negative experience into a positive one. 

Vulnerable storytelling 

“Being called out, no matter how uncomfortable it makes us feel, shouldn’t be avoided, but welcomed. When our beliefs are challenged … we have an opportunity to question them and see whether they hold water.” — Matt Shoup

Being “called out” is the first of the three Cs of storytelling. Shoup explains that when business owners only present their shiny marketing brochures to potential customers, they might hold back on living their true and best story.

The second C is consideration, which is taking time and space to reevaluate one’s beliefs, assumptions, and options.

Shoup points out that consideration is also “the pivot point where you evaluate your next move. You can pack up your shiny marketing brochure and go home, or you can tell your PBS.”

Learning how to pivot in life and business is obviously the quintessence of success. Additionally, consideration is about prevention at this moment rather than needing intervention later. 

The third C is committing to change, which takes effort, discipline, as well as a conscious decision. 

Shoup not only does a great job at outlining how other business owners should think about their own PBS stories but at the end of each chapter, he asks the readers a few questions in order to grow as business owners and human beings. 

The Painted Baby solution process

Besides being a powerful testimony to being vulnerable in business and life, at the end of his engaging, inspiring, and honest book, Shoup offers readers a well-laid-out painted baby solution process, which consists of seven steps that involve the following:

  1. Understand the severity of the situation.
  2. Take full ownership of the situation.
  3. Make sure others are OK.
  4. Find a solution and take action.
  5. Ensure the action solves the problem.
  6. Evaluate and prevent.
  7. Communicate and follow up.

With all these pragmatic steps to implement in business and life, Shoup concludes: “Business is simply a formalized version of humans serving other humans. You cannot run a business without serving other people. The most valuable and precious servitude requires trust between humans, and it is through honest and authentic storytelling that trust is created and continues to flourish.” 

To download Shoup’s free business and leadership tools, go to

To find out more about Matt Shoup, his travels to Spain and his business advice, please listen to the full episode on Seeds of Sunshine.

Seeds of Sunshine is Carmen Micsa's multigenerational podcast that she started together with her daughter.

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CEO/Broker of Dynamic Real Estate, Inc., business owner featured in the Forbes magazine for my outstanding service to my clients. Mom, wife, a published author, Medium writer, poet, marathon runner, rapper, and tennis player.

Carmichael, CA

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