How to Cope as An Introvert in Business
When starting a business, we hear a lot of advice about how we need to market, sell ourselves, network, and put ourselves out there. But what if you’re an introvert? You don’t feel comfortable selling yourself, you’re not flashy and you struggle to strike up a conversation with new people. Instead, you’re quiet and thoughtful, the person sat at the back, taking it all in, the people watcher. Well, fortunately these traits don’t have to hold you back, they can in fact be a real advantage to you. Don’t just cope, make being an introvert work for you and your business.
What Exactly is an Introvert?
Firstly, Bill Gates is an introvert. He hasn’t done too badly. So is Sam Owens, who made $10million from starting up in his parent’s garage. Introverts are naturally much quieter people.They’re thoughtful, they’re unlikely to reveal personal information, they think before speaking, they often display less emotion than extroverts and are more likely to work alone. If that sounds like you, you’ve probably prepared an incredibly detailed business plan and have amazing ideas and goals for your business. However, the idea of actually pitching it, holding meetings, hiring people, and making important networking connections, might absolutely terrify you. So how are you going to handle it?
Prepare for any meetings or face to face communication beforehand. You know your business inside and out. You know the answer to any question you may be asked, and you know what you want to say. Practice. Prepare any answers. Even say it all out loud so you’re more comfortable.
This is a great tool for the introvert. There are so many ways to communicate today. Make a blog for your business, use your writing to sell yourself and your company. Use social media profiles to network and communicate. You can build up real links this way, which may make any necessary face to face meetings much more comfortable.
Technology is a great thing, use it to your advantage, but don’t hide behind it. As an introvert, it can be incredibly tempting to completely avoid face to face meetings, and even phone calls. Don’t do this. Nothing beats a real meeting when it comes to important issues and sales. Remember, you know your stuff. Use my planning advice, and hold your head up high. Where you can, arrange smaller meetings and get to know associates through consistent communication to make yourself feel more at ease.
Take Your Time
Don’t rush into things. Don’t feel pressured to speak. Wait until you have something important to say, then say it. Don’t hesitate. Suggest meetings yourself, then you can recommend the time and a place.
This is really important. Have confidence in your own knowledge and skills, and don’t be afraid to use them. Be yourself. If you’re in a large meeting, full of extroverts all trying to speak, take your time, and politely announce, “I have something to say on that subject”. You might even find your calm and controlled demeanor stops people in their tracks, and they’re much more likely to listen to you than each other.
Know There Will Be Some Rejection
There’s always rejection at some point. Sam Owens talks about how he had to force himself to face it, you need to do this too. Don’t expect it, be confident, but face the reality of it. All businesses suffer some rejection, don’t let fear hold you back. When it happens, head straight over to the next pitch.
Remember, as an introvert, you have as much to offer as an extrovert. Your focus and determination might actually mean you have more to offer. Just be confident, push yourself, and reap the rewards of your endeavors when they come.