Dumb question right? Of course they can! Although we don’t
generally have the big personalities you typically see behind the millionaires
and billionaires of the world, it doesn’t mean we can’t be successful in our
own way. Introversion is not the same as shyness, although they often go hand
in hand. If you’re introverted or shy, you don’t have to fear the world of
running your own business. Introverted, extroverted or somewhere in between, here
are some points to keep in mind when you’re feeling out of place.
This one took me a while to master (maybe I’m not entirely
there yet either) but understanding that just because you’re not like the
person who’s out there hustling, talking to anyone and everyone, shouting from
the rooftops, doesn’t mean that you can’t find your own form of hustling. The
best part of running your own business is knowing that you’re in control and
can make your own rules. Break the mold, be creative, brainstorm until you
can’t brainstorm no more!
It’s so easy to look at someone who is successful and think
to yourself; I’ll never be like them. Realize that you don’t have to be. You
don’t get to hear about all the areas they’re struggling in and how they may be
looking at you wishing they had more of your qualities. Believe that you can do
things your way and be successful even if it’s unconventional.
Know your weaknesses
This applies to all areas of business; you have to be able
to identify the areas that will never be your strong point. I will NEVER
like getting up on stage or getting in front of a camera to talk about myself,
my business, my passion or any other topic you can think of. Even if you asked
me to talk about cats for 30 minutes, something I would happily do, any day of
the week, without any compensation 😉 If it’s in front of more than 2 people
you can count me out! Is that ideal when you’re trying to grow a business? No.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways around it.
Figure out how work
around your weaknesses
Don’t beat yourself up for possessing qualities that might
not be as celebrated in an over sharing, over socialized world. Put your
thinking cap on and find a way to work around your introverted qualities.
Work on improving them
The most obvious solution is to
continuously push yourself out of your comfort zone and work on improving your
skills in the area you’re lacking. I know that sounds a lot easier than done.
You’re most likely never going to be (or want to be) Tony Robbins; flying
around the world, speaking to millions of people each year. But you can strive
to be comfortable at public speaking, sales or whatever your weakest point is.
The biggest key here is; DON’T
OVER THINK IT. Don’t take your mind onto a stage with a thousand people watching. You won’t be able to fathom ever getting there. What’s the tiniest little baby step you can take right now to being more
comfortable in your area of weakness? Maybe it’s as simple as talking to your
barista about more than your coffee order. The Internet is a glorious place and
you can find tons of information on the subject of coming out of your shell.
Look for a few tips that can help you and give them a try next time you’re
ordering your morning latte. After you’ve mastered that, work on chatting to
vendors at a craft show, then work on selling at a craft show. If those steps
are too big, take some smaller ones.
Don’t let your mind scare you
from doing something before you even get started. Keep thinking smaller until
the task scares you just a tiny bit and you can actually perceive trying it.
That’s the key to getting started.
Consider other routes to get you
the same exposure, your way. If craft shows aren’t your thing and you don’t
foresee being comfortable participating in one for a while, master the online
side of business. Don’t want to be interviewed on TV? Seek out a popular blog
that is willing to write an article on you with questions you can answer over
email. The point is; nothing is
impossible….especially in today’s world where everyone is constantly online.
It’s practically made for introverts!
Grab a Partner
Whether you have to hire someone
or partner up, realize that, introverted or not, you can’t do everything
yourself and that doesn’t make you any less of a business person. Extroverts
may be great at getting out there and being the face of their brand, however
they may lack in other areas. I could personally spend a month in my home
office, typing away, answering emails, working on social media, talking to no
one but my cat. That’s not healthy….I know. But an extrovert might go crazy
spending that much time alone and ultimately need to hire someone to take care
of those aspects.
Everyone has weak points; the important part is recognizing
them and not letting them hold you back.
Work your strengths
The days that I don’t try to fight what I’m actually good at
and the way I work are the days I’m most productive and happy. Think about your
sleep schedule. Some people are just naturally night owls. Ask them to get up early
and get lots of work done and they’re probably not going to be happy or
productive. There are some things we can’t get around, we have to do
them regardless of how much we hate to. For those times, try to find balance or
a reward for when it’s over. On the weekends you have a craft show, plan to
spend evenings by yourself so you can recharge and plan an entire week of
silence after the show if necessary. The more you can work your natural
strengths, interests and passions into your business, the more successful it
I believe anything is workable but if you really can’t imagine how you can grow your brand
without the face-to-face aspect then maybe it’s time to pivot. Do you really
want to work on a business that is going to put you into a cold sweat everyday,
stress you out and make you feel like you’re constantly struggling?
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Hey, I’m Erin 🙂 I write about small business and craft show techniques I’ve learned from being a small business owner for almost 2 decades, selling at dozens of craft shows, and earning a diploma in Visual Communication Design. I hope you find my advice helpful!