Running a small business as an introvert can be daunting. However, eventually, you’ll need to find ways to come out of your shell to spread the word about your business and generate work. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that scary. It’s really just about changing your mindset and realising that doing so is a constant work in progress.
Here are 6 tips to help introverts succeed in business:
1. Be yourself
There’s nothing worse than trying to push down your thoughts and feelings. When you embrace your emotions and admit to your audience that you’re nervous, you are allowing your vulnerability to shine through. This is incredibly alluring to people. One of the biggest things I struggle with is public speaking but by being honest with people, I’m being authentic and putting it all out on the table. Watch this great Marie Forleo video that addresses shyness.
2. Adjust your mindset
I had a wonderful coffee catch-up with a friend recently, Katia Loisel, where I shared my fears about public speaking and feeling comfortable in front of others. Her background is PR and her number one piece of advice is ‘change your mindset’. Instead of focusing on how scared you are, think about the wonderful opportunity being presented to you to share your story and connect with others.
3. Balance your days out wisely
Most introverts need a lot of downtime where they can be alone with their thoughts. For many of us, this is what really gets those creative juices flowing. But don’t try to squeeze too many networking events and meetings into the one day where you’re surrounded by people. Of course, everyone is different so go with what feels right for you.
4. Focus on others
Introverts are great listeners and this is one of the most underestimated abilities anyone can have. Instead of getting caught up and tongue tied on what you need to say, let the conversation flow naturally and ask whoever you’re speaking to questions. Most people love talking about themselves and their businesses. Pay careful attention to what you can gather about their pain points, fears and so on.
5. Watch your body language
As introverts, we can be a little awkward body language wise. Always maintain eye contact with people, keep your posture upright and confident, shake hands firmly (but not too hard) and be mindful of any other distracting behaviour (waving arms, hair twirling and so on).
6. Do your homework
Nothing makes me feel more nervous than being underprepared as it makes me feel immediately off-guard. When you can walk into a room and conversation knowing your stuff, eventually, any butterflies or nerves you have will subside. Being in business has definitely allows you to grow and evolve as a person and an introvert. It’s not always easy and sometimes. Sometimes you may wish that you could run away from certain situations, but it does get better in time and with practice. Take it one step at a time. Good luck!
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