During busy weeks, especially, calls that aren't mandatory I tend to skip. I got back from my walk at 1:57pm prepared to skip the free thing I had signed up for at 2pm.
Except, it was someone I knew. An old client of mine and I had told her I'd been there. So, I decided to go so that I wouldn't break my word and figured I could just have Zoom on on one screen and work on another.
I joined the call and ended up loving it. I was attentive and participated in the journalling.
There was an opportunity to talk and we were asked to raise our hand if we wanted to share (the raise the hand feature on Zoom). I am not a go-first kind of gal, I am a go-solid-last kind of gal. So, while others shared I sat with my mouse over the raise hand button.
But my arm twitched at one point and I accidentally clicked the button just in time to be called on and I had a moment of sheer panic at the accidental clicking.
But, I ended up just starting and it turned out great. Speaking isn't usually my strength but the words just took on a life of their own (that never happens!).
What I realized was that, in the right setting, in the right group, with the right people, anyone can thrive. Even a quiet introvert like me.
So, here's what I realized...
For introverts, we can often sway to the self-isolation aspect of entrepreneurship. The allure of working alone in your home, which is often your safe place, is highly incentivized. But, even introverts need their people.
While many people force large friend groups on you and insist that you need to be speaking to hundreds of people at once you and I both know that that is exhausting and not a good use of your energy. But, having the right people in your circle. Now that is a game changer.
The right people will boost your energy whether you're introverted, extroverted or ambiverted. They'll encourage you from where you need (a written message instead of a phone call, a meme instead of a voice note). Most importantly, they'll see your need and desire for aloneness and they'll respect it and still be there when it's over.
I have worked with a mix of people and even people who maybe aren't clear on what they are. I always know a true extrovert when they ask for 1-2 meetings a week or even every day (yes, I did have someone ask for a check-in meeting at the start of every day).
It's not the end of the world to work with extroverts but sometimes it's so much more refreshing to work with introverts. I am not the kind of person who thrives on a call or video chat. I am not a good on-the-fly thinker, I can't pull magic out of my head in an instant of being asked. I prefer to have email correspondence check-ins.
I'm perfectly happy to stay in contact but it feels so hard to (and like such a time waster when I could be actually working on the work they want me to do) get on a call, drain my energy and then struggle to keep focused and going the rest of the day.
Working with introverts, as you may know, is a heaven-sent. They often have the same feelings and ways of working and you can just get into a better flow together.
I cannot stress this enough. I have found, as you may have too, that people just don't often get what you're doing. It's hard to fathom the "harder" way to do things. Just going and getting a "real job" would be so much easier...
Except, it wouldn't for you, would it?
But, other introverted entrepreneurs get it and they cheer you on. Even on the hardest days when it feels like you want to give up. Most people in your life (or maybe this is just my experience) will say "Then why don't you just give it up and go find employment," but your introverted Instagram entrepreneur friends will say "You've got this. You want this. I know it's hard but don't give up."
This journey is hard, sometimes it sucks and we ask ourselves why are we even bothering. Having that quiet cheerleader is the biggest blessing, the thing that keeps you going. When I've needed I've turned to that other introverted entrepreneur that I met on Instagram and immediately connected with and spewed out the situation and was met with "I get it" and immediately I feel like I'm not alone... Without having to be directly with them.
Your journey is your own but finding your people, the right people, especially the introverts just like you can make this journey so much easier.
Keep going, find your people. I know, it's funny hearing an introvert say you need people but I truly believe that when you find the right people, that's when the magic happens.
This has been a labour of love and it's still ongoing. It feels like every day I'm updating something on the site but we are not in the business of perfection. That's not my style. I do my best to catch everything and have it look the best it can be (with my own stuff and my client's stuff) but it's just better to get it out there. So, probably for the next month or so, I'll be making small tweaks to the site.
But please go and check it out and reach out if something catches your eye!