Updated: Apr 6, 2020
Business is a huge part of my life as a mom and I'm always looking for ways to improve and grow. I also get so many questions from other moms looking to either start their own business or grow what they are currently working on. If you have a dream, I want to do whatever I can to help to make that a reality. So most of my personal podcast episodes will now have a business twist to them. Just remember, even if you aren't a businesswoman, if you plan on being a dedicated stay-at-home mom, that is a beautiful and wonderful thing. You can still grab nuggets of information from these podcast episodes. So I hope you tune in and look for ways to improve and grow in your personal life.
I know a lot of you probably don't think that I am an introvert, but the reality is that I am the distinction between an introvert and an extrovert is essentially where you derive your energy from. If you're an introvert, that means that you get your energy and you feel revitalized when you are spending time alone. If you are an extrovert, then you get your energy from being around people.
I'm really starting to grow into my confidence and my self-worth. As I do that, I've become more extroverted and I really do love spending time with people and in a way that I never did before. So that tangent aside, being an introverted business owner has its challenges, but it also really has some huge benefits. If you are an introvert, tap into this, because I think we can get so down on ourselves and tell ourselves, "oh, I'm an introvert. This is really difficult, having to reach out to other people and do these certain things. I'm not made for running a business", but the reality is, is you can do an amazing job and have a successful business. So don't count yourself out just because you're an introvert.
Allow your strengths to be your strengths and allow your weaknesses to be something that you can eventually pass off those tasks to people who that is their passion and that's what they love. I want to give you a few tips that I have learned for myself as I run my personal business.
The first thing is don't compare yourself to extroverted business owners. You can't win when you do that. You are going to feel pretty terrible about yourself if you start comparing yourself to other extroverted people. When they are bubbly and vivacious and you're kind of just hanging out in the corner, having some deep, thoughtful conversation with one other person, it can feel like you're not good enough and that's not true.
I do believe that you can learn from them. And I have learned a lot from my extroverted friends. I like I said, I'm growing into my confidence and my self-worth. And by spending more time with my friends who are extroverted and who possess those qualities, I am really trying to hone in on those skills and character traits that I value and I admire. I'm trying my best to really implement that into my life and practice it, not just say, "oh, I like how confident they are. I want to be like that." But like legitimately every single day telling myself, you are a confident woman, Laura. What does a confident woman do? OK. Do that today.
Go to events, especially if you are opening a business, you need to begin to connect with other people and network. As an introvert, it can be a little intimidating going to events, but go, put yourself out there and then just plan to rest afterward. If that means you need to have the whole weekend to recuperate, do it. Don't be someone that you're not, but lean into the discomfort. I observe a lot of my extroverted friends, I really admire their confidence and their ability to just magnetize people at times with conversations and their bubbly personality. I know that's deep inside of me. I've been cultivating it and caring for it for a long time and it's finally getting to a place where I see it in my own life. For a long time I had to really practice that.
Don't be somebody your not. If I feel like something isn't necessarily true to myself and I go out to an event and during the event, I'm like, "who is this person that what is wrong with me? This isn't Laura." Then I'm going take a step back and reassess and say, "OK, what about that? Didn't feel authentic to you." Once you're able to kind of grab hold of that little piece, whatever that may be, let it go. If there are certain things that do make you uncomfortable but feel authentic and true to yourself, like being confident, then lean into that discomfort and practice that confidence and practice going out and talking to new people and networking. As you practice, it will get easier.
Use your strength. So as an introvert. I feel like many of our strengths are the fact that we can sit down and really think deeply about certain things. If I choose to sit down and get something done I can just crack on with it. My husband is more extroverted than myself and he can get very distracted by other people in the room whereas I can very easily tune them out. So play to your strengths. If you have the ability to sit down and get something done or the ability to connect deeply with other people around you, use that and tap into that and cultivate that.
Find friends to help you in your areas of weakness. Friends that push you to go out and push you to network with other people. I have found a few amazing women in my life who really lift me up and empower me. They are these huge cheerleaders and I've never had that before and I feel so empowered by them and I am very blessed for that. My husband, for example, is a talented marketer and he knows how to tap into things that my brain doesn't even think about. As soon as he mentions it, I realize, "wow, that would be super valuable for my following or my business." We then work together to implement that because he can come up with those ideas with me, help me think outside of my box and then I can sit down and I do it.
Set goals for growth. What kind of growth do you want to see in your business? What kind of growth do you want to see personally? Set goals for that each month, each week and ideally each day. That way you can measure your progress and see how much you've really grown. At times it's so easy to forget how far you've actually come. I Look at myself back at my younger 20s, I was a completely different person. Who I am now as a result of constant intentional reflection. Having those sit down talks with myself saying, "OK, what do you want? How can you become better? How can you better yourself? How can you better the world? And by doing that?" I have grown so much, especially within the last year.
Know that the right people make all the difference when you are very energy sensitive. When you're an introvert, I think it's extremely common that we can tap into the feelings and emotions of others around us. Because of that, it can be extremely draining. Getting rid of those "toxic" people in your life, or at least distancing yourself from them is very important.
When you are trying to take a certain trajectory in your business and your life, know that you can grow into a more extroverted individual. When I was really young, was extremely introverted. I've always loved people, but I have always had to go to bed early. I'm a grandma. I go to bed at 9 o'clock. That is important to me because if I don't get that sleep in that restoration after a long day of working or spending time with people or networking, then then I notice that I am depleted and I have less zeal for working towards my business and for reaching out to others. I begin to close up and I feel like curling up on the couch and doing nothing. So know that you can grow into a more extroverted individual, but do this gradually. Practice, practice, practice. That's going to make all the difference and take small steps. It doesn't have to be great big grand gestures. I'm not asking you to go make a TED talk, but go and reach out to a few people that you think are inspiring or put on a workshop or something that really gets your foot out of the door and makes you uncomfortable, not to the point where you want to like throw up, but just to the point where you feel like this is really stretching you.
Let go of your fear of selling. Know that the world needs your talent and your skill. When you're an introvert, it can be difficult to put yourself out there and tell people to go buy your product. Instead of thinking you are shoving something down people's throats, you need to change the way that you think about selling and your business and realize that the world needs your gifts and your talents and your skills. It may not be for everybody, but there are people out there who do need your message, your skill, or your positivity, whatever that looks like. Tap into that in. Remind yourself that you're not just selling, but the act of you selling a product makes it so that you can keep going so that you can reach more people and change more lives.