Home – New Forums Starting your journey Are you an introverted business owner? Share your tips!

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  • #1239294
    Suze English
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    Hey Soloists, I found this article on overcoming self-doubt and fear a great read from leadership coach and self-confessed introvert, Simon Moore.

    It made me wonder just how many business owners actually identify as more introverted than extroverted? There must be plenty – we can’t all be the life of the party!

    I reckon introverted entrepreneurs have lots to teach others about finding the personal confidence to begin a new business journey, or to back your own skills and talents to put yourself out there.

    For example:

    – Is it a matter of overcoming fears, or embracing them?
    – How do introverts find support networks and backers when it’s hard to mingle socially?
    – Have any strategies or tips worked for you that you can share with others?

    Please give us a few moments out from under your safety doonas to share a few tips with your fellow introverted soloists! I promise, we won’t keep you long! x

    Article for reference:

    7 steps to help introverts overcome self-doubt and start a business

    #1239308
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Keymaster
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    Hi Suze,

    The cheats way is to find a business where you can use your own comfort level around being in the spotlight to avoid getting out of your comfort zone.

    For example, if you have an online business where you can respond to most enquiries by email and sometimes phone, you don’t have to step into the limelight.

    Cheers
    ~Paul

    #1240142
    Negers
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    I think this article, and your post, still shows there is a lot of misunderstanding of what introversion is, and more precisely, what it isn’t. This article (https://www.choosingtherapy.com/introversion/) provides greater understanding, and clearly, we do not all need to hide under covers or doonas. According to my most recent MBTI, I am a moderate introvert, recording a measure that is 50% into the introvert scale. This has not hindered me from owning and operating cafes, engaging in social groups, as well as formerly being a business and sporting team coach. But I am also very self-aware, and know when I need to find solitude to recharge my batteries. If anything, I proudly make that choice when necessary, and have learned to stop caring about what others think of it.

    Cheers,
    Rob (the extroverted introvert)

    #1240871
    LucasArthur
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    Hi Suze

    In short, YES.. and wow, what a topic…. One i am consciously aware of although to articulate it is proving rather difficult in response to this post and your query about tips etc… but i will try…

    For me, i am very aware that socialising and putting myself out there is a rather big thing… to be in front of people and to expel the energy i would traditionally use in my own space, is rather daunting.

    As Negers suggests, being an introvert doesnt mean one cant get out from under the doona or be in front of people, just it can take a bit to do and be ‘present’ with all in attendance that ultimately may leave one a little less energised.. Will cover some of this in a moment with a current journey i am on.

    Being aware of this myself, @paul-fs-concierge seems to have summed up a little bit and some ways that i have tackled… that is creating a business that suits our traits, removing one from the spotlight and placing you in the cocoon like environment that allows you to grow and develop on our strengths. Another big thing is to work in/with what you love, something i have done for a while as it allows you to be within your comfort zone and to talk about what we love and know a little about removes some of the introvert barriers.

    For me, this was very quickly eCommerce.. i could easily source products, respond via marketplaces or email and pack and prepare items leaving the warehouse without physically seeing anyone outside of my extended (limited) network 🫣.

    This brought on some additional issues, with staff and so forth although to offset this i have filled the business with people that are friends, family or extended family.

    Couple of tips in simple format:
    1. Work with what you love or know
    2. Surround yourself with people that know your discomfort, not to accomodate, but to understand when you need that lil quiet time
    3. Develop mechanisms and an awareness when you need some YOU time
    4. Dont overthink those times you need to engage – and plan meetings effectively with adequate breaks
    5. Be honest, admit this to people if timing permits. Its amazing how many people feel similar and are willing to work with you at your level – if needed

    Above is by far not rocket science, its not an answer to all varying degrees of introversion and may not help many at all.. however, its helped me. One of the biggest things i try in order to work with my introvert status is to constantly see the value in engaging with certain people and events and ensuring the attendance of such pivotal events are on my radar and push myself to go… This leads me to the journey i am currently on that one would not think i am an introvert, and yet everyone that has been on the journey with me knows it intimately.

    Before i outline this journey, and i wish to share only so those that feel its too far out of their comfort zone will know they can survive it – cos if i can, anyone can.. What i wanted to lead with is that even people knowing me in here @ FS is a big thing for me, sounds odd.. but at one time, and being a regular contributor i feel, we had calls coming from all sorts of places referencing seeing me in here and it was a little overwhelming… Moving on to the journey at hand…

    So, quite a few years ago (too many to remember) i started selling on eBay as it was a simple marketplace and the go to at the time here in Au… Built up some knowledge and maybe 7 years or so ago, and in line with a typical intro standing, i joined a FB group about eBay Au Sellers etc and am currently a Mod in there… This has led me to be upfront and put me out of my comfort zone a fair bit, although this isnt the key intro push…

    Maybe nearing on 24 months now i was asked to be on a seller panel with eBay, this would involve weekly Zooms, attending Retail Fest (big con in GC for retail/online sellers) and doing some discussions with many eBay Au staff, other panelists and attendees of the con. Very very much outside of my comfort zone.. So much so, i nearly declined as i felt i would not fit with the social aspect of what others were/are on the panel and the workforce.

    After taking a few days, evaluating that i a) understood the task and loved this space already and b) aware that i was intro and would be required to engage decided to actually accept the invite/consideration due to the insights i may be able to share and learn from.

    24 months in, with weekly zooms (aside from holiday periods and random conflicts) and being part of this panel as allowed me to push myself as an introvert to the very edge (but i am sure there are more tests to come) with the below being ticked off:
    – Attend and publicly engage with large crowds at 2022 Retail Fest (easter) for several days
    – Attend eBay Au head office to meet and plan future events with panel and meet AU staff
    – Work on and attend a National Roadshow revolving around the panelists in Perth/Sydney/Melbourne and Brisbane – with between 80-100 attendees + many more staff
    – Start a Youtube Channel around the panel insights (very small scale, done in line with pushing myself)

    Coming back to a comment about letting people know you are intro, let me share a story pulling the above together a little bit… So, we were all at the GC Retail Fest and just had a panel workshop with an open discussion that involved some eBay Au staff including Neil Mackay – Director Selling Australia and lead on the panel and seller community focus – when the workshop concluded, Neil walked out of the room and immediately said ‘i have an idea’ to which he quickly added ‘and Jason, you are going to hate this’ – the idea? Was the national roadshow, and 4 months later this introvert was standing in front of a 100 people at a time and completely out of ones comfort zone for the betterment of others 🙂

    Ok, i have rambled.. so writing may explain my intro status, or my intro status may explain my writing 🤯.. All i want to say is that being an introvert doesnt cripple ones dreams and as you ask Suze, what can we do to overcome or adapt or be conscious about to work with our status per sae? For me, its knowing and understanding when i need to push and when i need to retreat and most of all i wish to leave you with a particular statement that comes about after attending the above type of events for me, and that is “i would never have known you are an introvert, or are uncomfortable as you speak so well, are friendly and so engaged’ to which i tend to reply ‘you sure you mean me, being friendly 🤪. Nah, seriously though, thanks although being an introvert or not liking people doesnt mean i cant talk or present or other – it just takes a lot out of me’

    Was going to post a link to the eBay journey, but its a little outside of OP and rambles too… although just want to say that being an intro i am now appearing at roadshows, conferences, eBay youtube stuff, virtual eBay cons, at local events, local outings with the awesome team i am doing this with (ebay and panelists), appearing in eBays seller releases and in many more places that is really pushing my boundaries.. So, it can be done… Being an introvert really just means we need to tools and to know ourselves in order to push ourselves.

    Paul, just love this concept of working with what works with us – my words, not yours, but tweaked and reworded how i read your response.

    Take care weirdos…

    Jason

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: [email protected]   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1241324
    Paul – FS Concierge
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    Awesome reply Jason.

    All the years we have been on the FS together Jason, I never knew you were an introvert.

    I am introverted about 70 per cent of the time and extroverted the rest but it’s not like a switch I can turn off and on so having a future date at which I have to do something that requires my extrovert side to come out has been daunting and anxiety producing. Sometimes intensely so.

    I am collaborating with a pure extrovert at the moment and it’s really clear we process the world in different ways. It is probably objectively fair to say that I am more thoughtful, analytical and creative but he would beat me hands down delivering a well prepared elevator pitch. So within a collaborative environment, we can just lean on each others strengths. That is an additional way to deal with introversion in a business world where extroverts seem to do so well.

    I love your response and offer my congratulations for going down a rabbit hole that took courage to do. It’s always easier to hide away under the doona in uncomfortable or stressful situations and I wouldn’t dream of invalidating anybody who chose the path of least resistance. At the same time, it is always extra special to see somebody tackle situations that challenge every fibre of their being. “Just Do It”, while apt doesn’t convey how damn hard “it” is to do. When you think of it adding the word “Just” to “do it” is genius but also in some contexts disingenuous as it implies, “easy” when doing it can be anything but.

    Well done Jason and please drop the link about your personal journey.

    Cheers
    ~Paul

    #1241394
    Suze English
    Moderator
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    Thanks for your responses! Some great points made.


    @Negers
    , thanks for your insight into a broader understanding of introversion. I suppose, like most things, there’s a spectrum. It’s great to hear your thoughts on self-awareness and recharging one’s batteries.

    Jason – @lucasarthur – such amazing tips and wow – what a story. Thank you for being so open in sharing your experience; I think a lot of solo business owners will be able to take some excellent advice from your journey.

    Paul’s advice has clearly resounded – of course, there are MANY ways to run a business, and choosing one that suits your personality as well as your expertise is obviously the sweet spot.

    Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!

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