Oct
11

3 Pitfalls for Introverted Business Owners

By

If you are an introvert, like me, you’re in very good company! Even though it feels like a very extroverted world out there, and most business advice is written by extroverts for extroverts, the truth is introverts make up about 1/2 the population. That’s why it’s great to find courses, coaching and support from other introverts. It’s one of the things I address in the Shine Out and Prosper program too.

By the way, introverts aren’t always shy or even quiet–but by definition they need a lot of time alone to recharge and nurture themselves.   And some introverts are also HSPs, Highly Sensitive Person, which is something different…many of my clients are HSPs, and I am too, so that will be a topic for another blog post.   If you were ever told you were “too sensitive” you do need to know about the HSP trait and I recommend “The Highly Sensitive Person”” by Dr. Elaine Aron.     Back to introversion…

Here is a great article by Tanja Gardner of Crytal Clarity Copywriting on the Top 3 Energy Sinks for Introverted Biz Owners (and how to deal with them).

“Have you noticed that introversion has suddenly become a REALLY big deal? If you’ve spent time online lately, you’ll know that introversion is a major hot topic. Online publications from Huffington Post to Forbes.com to Salon to the freaking Times of India are acknowledging what we introverts already know. That there are rather a lot of us out there. And that once we figure out how to use our unique strengths, we can become seriously successful…

You might wonder why being introverted is such big news.

After all, extroversion or introversion is really just about how your energy levels respond when you interact with other people. Extroverts get a buzz from interactions, and start to wilt when they spend too long alone. Introverts (like me), are just the opposite – we thrive on alone-time and reflection, while back-to-back interactions flatten us.

Discovering that you’re not the only one can be life-changing for introverts!

Learning about what introversion is really about was a game-changer for me. Suddenly, a whole load of things that had confused me about how my brain works made sense. And finding out that I wasn’t the only introvert out there (depending who you ask, somewhere between 25-57% of the population is introverted) was crazy-reassuring.

But even after I realised this, there were still three major energy sinks that could knock me off balance as an introverted business owner. And if I didn’t do something to manage each energy sink, it would keep me that way. Here’s what they are, and how I deal with them.

Energy sink #1: Overscheduling

Yes, sure: extroverts can overschedule themselves too. But this energy sink is particularly relevant for introverts because we rely on getting downtime to ourselves in between appointments to recharge.

That means that “spending” energy on consecutive commitments without time alone in between to “power up” again is a recipe for exhaustion. To avoid this:
•Give yourself permission not to have to do it all: figure out what’s important to you, focus on that, and try to let go of the rest
•Schedule in your weekends and down-time FIRST, then schedule energy-demanding commitments around those blocks
•Where humanly possible, don’t book back-to-back appointments into your calendar

Energy sink #2: not blocking in enough of the right kind of alone-time

As introverts, our defining characteristic is that time alone replenishes our energy.

But not all alone-time activities recharge all introverts equally. Some folks might need to be out in nature to replenish their energy. Others might need to have four walls around them. Some might need the endorphins that come from exercise. And still others want to curl up with a book, or journal, or meditate.

To ensure you get enough of the kind of time you need:
•Identify what you need from your downtime for it to truly energise you – remember it can be different for everyone
•Set specific boundaries to ensure you get what you need during your time off
•Manage the day-to-day things that inevitably crop up to threaten those boundaries (often just five minutes after you set them!)

Energy sink #3: comparing yourself to extroverts

Like I said earlier, we live in an extroverted world. So it’s easy to believe that if you don’t respond like extroverts do – if you’re exhausted by things they enjoy – there’s something fundamentally wrong with you.

But comparing yourself to extroverts often just makes the energy drain worse. Don’t get me wrong: if you’re introverted, interacting does actually cost you energy. But when you make that energy drain mean there’s something wrong with you, you create a vicious cycle that just exhausts you even more. To avoid this:

•Read more about introversion: the more you learn about it, the more you recognize its strengths and gifts, and the less you see it as some kind of flaw. I recommend Self-Promotion for Introverts by Nancy Ancowitz, Introvert Power by Laurie Helgoe, and The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney.
•Connect with other introverts: building relationships with other introverts means you get the benefit of their ideas, experiences and resources. It also means they’re more likely to interact in introvert-friendly ways that are less exhausting!
•Keep an eye out for introvert-specific business training: so many of today’s training programmes are written by extroverts for extroverts. Methods that are perfect for those extroverts can just exhaust introverts (and bring out our comparison demons). So, look for training written specifically for introverts instead.”

(end of article)

Introverts…relax…rejoice..and learn how to use this trait as a strength.   And as Tanja suggests, seek out training specifically for introverts.

In support of  your  success and joyful abundance,

Ellen

For more info about the Shine Out and Prosper Program: http://solopreneurwoman.com/shine-prosper/

For Tanja’s website: http://crystalclaritycopywriting.com/

 

Categories : Solopreneurs

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge