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Introversion is a Blessing

9 Sep

disguise1I had a conversation with a coach yesterday who was seemed shocked to learn that I believe that introversion is a blessing. Here are just a few reasons why I believe that our personality type is a blessing…perhaps in disguise.

Extroverts act quickly, while introverts use their introspection before acting.

Extroverts crave attention, while introverts are content with themselves.

Extroverts speak quickly, while introverts think before they speak.

Extroverts get energy from others, while introverts get energy from themselves.

Extroverts value breadth of experience, while introverts value depth of experience.

Extroverts think out loud, while introverts solve things in their head.

Extroverts are “social” with everyone, while introverts are “social” with small groups of their choosing.

So what do you think? Is introversion a “curse” or is it a “blessing”? Why?

Business Networking Tips for the Introvert

12 Jul

Business networking is not something that the typical introvert looks forward to. It’s a taxing process. Getting around a large group of people takes time and energy that many introverts do not want to give up. However, in order to have a successful business networking is a must. Here are five tips to assist you with networking in person.

1. Be Yourself. It sounds so simplistic doesn’t it?

2. Keep the focus on the person you are talking to. Many times we shy away from talking about ourselves due to fear.  However as you become more comfortable in networking situations, you will get more and more comfortable talking about yourself and your business. Until you get to that point, make the person you are talking to the focus of the conversation. When they are the focus, you can take the time to mentally evaluate how you can help them best. Can you best help them by providing a service to them? Or are they best helped by referring them to someone else? Do you know someone who can use the product or service that they offer? If so, be sure to give them the names of the people you have in mind.

3. If you need to excuse yourself, do so. There are times that you may need to compose yourself and walking away is the best solution. Recently at an event I was engaged in conversation with a very intense and loud business woman. She was a great person with great ideas but she literally made me tired with her intensity, so I simply excused myself. I went to the restroom to “powder my nose” so I could regroup. When I went back to the group she was engaged with another group which gave me the opportunity to talk to others.

4. Take time for yourself before the event. If you need quiet time to compose yourself before the event, take it. Do whatever you need to do to make yourself as comfortable as possible.

5. Take time for yourself after the event. In my coaching business, one of my client’s says that she likes to treat herself to dinner after the networking event. She requests a small table in the corner and takes out the business cards she received and makes notes. After that is complete she will write out thank you cards to each person from whom she has a business card. This process is her way of relaxing after a taxing networking session.

What do you do before and after networking sessions as part of your self care program?

Keep rockin’,

-

Introversion vs. Fear

23 Jun

Is it fear that’s holding you back from achieving greatness? Or is it your introversion?

There is a distinct difference between introversion and fear, but for some reason over the years two have become synonymous.

Introversion: the act of directing one’s interest inward or to things within the self or the state of being concerned primarily with one’s own thoughts and feelings rather than with the external environment.

Fear: a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid. (or) concern or anxiety; solicitude

Other than the fact that both words are nouns, I can’t find any similarities. Yet many feel as though they are one and the same.

I coach and mentor virtual assistants to have a thriving business utilizing their personality type to the fullest potential. However I see many who are fearful.

They are afraid to market their business.

They are afraid to take on new challenges.

They are afraid of failing.

They are afraid of success.

Unfortunately many are hiding behind the face of fear and say that it’s because they are introverted that they’re not successful. Can you see now how many perceive the two as one?

In order to have a successful business and/or life, you have to work through the fear. Recognize it. Defeat it. Become fierce. If the fear is deep rooted, it may be necessary to employ the use of certified mental health counselors. Counseling is nothing to be ashamed of. It gives you an opportunity to talk things out, get to the root of your fear, work through it and then squash it like a bug.

Being an introvert rocks. We are a minority in this big world of ours. We are the creatives. We are the thinkers.  We are truly what makes the world go round.

Fear is another thing all together. Fear just plain old sucks and it literally sucks the life out of you.

If you want to know how many big name authors, coaches, business pros and others have dealt with fear and have used it to become fierce in life and business, then I would LOVE to suggest How the Fierce Handle Fear: Secrets to Succeeding in Challenging Times by Janet Slack, Donald Trump, Jack Canfield and over 15 others. Janet’s story alone changed how I view my life and business. I bet it will change your perspective too.

So…do you see how fear and introversion are different?

fierce_coverSMALL

Keep rockin’,

-

Introverts in Business

22 Jun

bni_logoAs an introverted business owner and as one who coaches others in the same position, there are many times that we need to take a step back and evaluate what we are doing in business. So many times I hear, “I don’t know how I’m going to get clients [or insert your pain here] because I can’t cold call or go to open networking meetings because I’m uncomfortable carrying on conversations with new people.”

If you don’t feel comfortable making a cold call, then don’t. There are many ways to fill your business that will match your personality and style. I am not saying that introverts can’t be great at cold calls, but it doesn’t fit every introverts personality. However, if you truly want to fill your business, you are going to have to network in some capacity.

If networking is uncomfortable for you, let me say that this isn’t uncommon. In fact while researching about intorverts in business, I ran across an awesome article called “HELP! I’m an Introvert!” by none other than Dr. Ivan Misner. Yes, that Dr. Ivan Msner, THEE founder of Business Network International. Talk about a shocker. You know what I find funny about the article? He was an introvert in denial. Because Dr. Misner was a public speaker and the founder of the largest networking association in the world, he firmly believed that he was extroverted. As we talked about numerous times before this is a common myth for many. Public speaking and introversion can go hand in hand. I actually love to speak in public, when I have something to say. ;)

In the article Dr. Misner talks about when he evaluated what his wife was saying he couldn’t help but agree (although it was a process). When at networking events, he liked when people introduced him to others. This is common for many introverts and one of the main reasons why BNI groups are so successful. They consist of small, controlled groups.

If you’re uncomfortable networking at Chamber meetings or in large group settings, especially where there may be “competition”, I highly encourage you to check out BNI. Because of their rules, there is only one person from each industry allowed in each group. The groups are typically smaller, unless you live in a large city and even then, there are many different groups to choose from. Take some time to find a group that you sync with and that fits your personality and business style. You will definitely reap the rewards of your efforts.

Keep rockin’,

-

Is It OK To Be Introverted?

17 Jun

confusionUmmmm….YEAH!

I was curious to see how people find this blog and site, so I checked my Google Analytics account. In the past 30 days 27 people have found this site by typing in, “Is it ok to be introverted?”

Why this surprises me, I will never know. Probably because I want to shout from the rooftops that we introverts are normal. We just happen to experience and live life a different way than the majority. As I stated in a post long ago I find it extremely disturbing to see how some view us and to recap:

Introverts are not mentally defective
Introverts are not clinically depressed
Introverts are not do not need psychotherapy
Introverts are not [insert your unpolished, crude remark here]

Let me state for the record that introverts, just like extroverts can suffer from depression. However just because you are introverted, it does not mean that you are depressed or need mental help. Coming to grips with introversion can be a relief to many because they finally realize that they’re normal and can live a normal, happy life. According to a quick search on Google about 75% of people are extroverted, which leaves only about 25% of us introverts. It can be pretty lonely here (pun intended).

Over the past couple of days we have talked about embracing who we are. For everyone finding Introverted and Loving It through the phrase “Is it ok to be introverted?“, my answer to you is an orgasmic YES, YES, YES! Embrace who you are, learn what makes you tick and love your life!

Keep rockin’,

-

Introverts Rock and Other Cool Stuff

16 Jun

jumpI’ve been trolling the net trying to get inspired because I really want to work on this project. After sitting down and contemplating my business priorities, I realize that this Introverts project I started long ago is a passion. Introverts and cooking…both are things I never tire of of. ;)

I was reading about Embracing Your Introvert Personality over at Thriving Introvert and I love what he had to say about extroverts:

Like missionaries looking to recruit new disciples, extroverts seek out introverts to convert. They proclaim the advantages of their way of life – friends, activities, a busy life – and hope to entice introverts to join their team. To an introvert, this is not a good sales pitch!

Boy, oh boy, do I ever agree! I am happy with my solitude. I am content to sit down on a comfy chair with a glass of wine, alone, and read a good book. Sure I get out and socialize and shudder I actually like it. We are all creatures of God and require some sort of interaction with others, but we need to take a step back and realize that it can be on our own terms.

Take some time and figure our what your terms are and don’t feel as though you have to fit into the same mold as your extroverted family members and friends. Introverted personality types are different and it’s up to us to educate the world and help them understand who we are.

Happy Wednesday! Embrace yourself and who you are!

Keep rockin’,

-

**Every time I view the image above from from Timhaiti’s Flickr stream I am mesmerized. It captures exactly how I felt when I embraced my introverted self!

Open Mouth Insert Foot Syndrome

15 Jun

panicbuttonI can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I posted here. Perhaps I should do it more huh? I will work on that.

Over the past year I have made many changes in my life, some for the positive and some not so much. During the next few weeks I am going to be working hard on the changes that fell into the “not so much” category. My ultimate goal is radical transparency. I hold back way too much in my online life which is nothing like me in person. In person, I am extremely opinionated, however online, not so much. For some reason I think in the back of my mind, “what if people don’t like what I have to say?” or “what if I gain a bad ‘reputation’ in the online world?”

I’m sick of living in a “not so much” world and a world built upon fear. It wasn’t until today that I realized how paralyzing the FEAR has been in my life. My realization came when I was reading an excerpt from Janet Slack’s (Solopreneur.biz) new book How the Fierce Handle Fear (which is co-authored by Donald Trump). Janet said:

Fear is an intriguing beast. After I caught it lying, it had taken a transformation that became my final hurdle in learning to be fierce.
Fear was no longer about being alone, fear had become about being able to love again.

I’ve been meditating on those three simple sentences all day long and my decision is to apply these to not only my life, but also to my business. Fear has kept me back long enough and I’m sick and tired of it.

You know what’s funny…I coach people on a daily basis to knock fear out of the lives of their businesses. Yes, I’m serious! I was literally blindsided by the fact that I was (ok, am) living in fear. It threw me for a loop and knocked the wind out of me, but I am dusting myself off and moving forward. (Note for those that I coach: I am being transparent here…don’t hold it against me. ;) .)

Another reason why I was blown away was because I live by the 90/10 rule. I can tick off 90% and I only have to worry about the 10%. Why? Because I can’t be all things to all people, nor do I want to be. By nature, I’m not a coddler, I’ve tried and failed at that many times. The people that know and love me best do so because my gifts lie in other areas. One of them is that fact that I speak my mind. While I’m opinionated, I’m open to hearing others as well and I love a good debate.

I LOVE myself too much to live an imprisoned life. I’m off to be FIERCE!

Now if I could only figure out the balance between my new found zest and my “open mouth insert foot syndrome”!

Keep rockin’,

-

I Am a Self Absorbed Person

22 Jun

Living Under a RockIt just occurred to me that I may have been living under a rock for 30+ years. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least. In fact it’s probably pretty darn comfortable under the proverbial rock. For some reason I just learned that I am a self-absorbed person. Sounds wretched doesn’t it? There are times that I can be totally oblivious to things around me such as what others are doing, what others are thinking and feeling, the list can go on.

Today I am on a mission to figure out if being self absorbed is a good or bad thing.

It’s good to connect and really know yourself. However, if one is too absorbed in themselves that they miss key issues and feelings of those around them, then it can definitely be a very bad thing. If your spouse, children or other family members continuously take a back seat to your “me, myself and I”, you are truly setting yourself up for disaster.

OK, I’ll admit it. My name is Becki and I’m self absorbed.

I am going to do my best to take in things around me and just “check in” with myself. By checking in, I’m going to be sure that I am still being taken care of, but I will also place more effort on seeing things around me.


Back Up Again

11 Jun

After some MySql issues, we are back up and going. I lost about about a year’s worth of work…yes slap me now for not backing up, but I’ve learned my lesson now.

- Becki

Homeschool Days and Work-Filled Nights

31 Aug

Oh bla dee a bla da life goes on bla o o o o life goes on. I keep singing that over and over in my head. Similar to that of a Seinfeld episode where George’s father was stuck in his “serenity NOW” phase. ;)

OK, I’ll admit it, I thought I was Super Woman. While I’ll admit that I don’t do it all, I really, truly believed that I “could” do it all…then reality hit and it hit hard. After last week, I am ready to crash and burn by 3:30 pm.

See I started homeschooling this year through the PAVCS (Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School). The first day (Wednesday) went pretty well, except for some minor hurdles. Then Thursday and today were filled with woes…mostly in phonics. OK, truthfully phonics was never my thing. But I followed the instructions on the supplied video, grasped the concept of their method and off I went. I’m not sure if it’s my reluctance coming through but my son can’t stand it. He’s five and already reads, perhaps he just feels like he doesn’t need it. I lack patience, but I don’t think I ever displayed patience the way I did on Thursday morning. The boy was literally kicking and screaming, but I went on with the teaching. Finally after 60 and in utter desperation in a booming voice he said “I want my Daddy to teach me!!!!” So out came Daddy and he got through the lesson in 20 minutes. That night Daddy and I talk about him teaching the boy phonics and he agreed without hesitation.

Friday morning and the boy sat down eagerly at his desk and we thought we were pretty cool because everything was under control. NOT!!! (Can I emphasize that any more?) Calm before the storm was more like it. Five minutes into the lesson he was bored out of his mind and started acting out. 30 minutes into the lesson came “I want my Mommy to teach me!!!!” So what can we say. We taught it together, which worked for about 10 minutes…but at least we got through it.

My son and I “school” for about 5 and a half hours every weekday. It’s rewarding and pretty draining on an introvert like myself. At about 3:30 when we’re finished, I am spent. I am trying to figure out how to convince my husband that I need about an hour of unwind time after the school day is over…a nap would feel wonderful. I asked for one today and he was none too sympathetic of my plight. He explained that he goes to bed with me at night and I make him wake up at a specified time, even though he’s not a morning person, so it gets in his crawl when I ask for a nap in the afternoon because he too feels like he never gets a break. Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand where he is coming from. It’s not fair because I do have different expectations for him than I do for myself, so should I ask for a nap? Probably not, but still the only way I can describe my afternoons after school is “spent”…emotionally and physically. Think about it…even though I am working with a child, I am still exerting myself in an extrovert kind of way.

My evenings have been spent working, which I used to be able to accomplish during the day time. I can’t complain though. There are not many of us who have the ability to stay at home with our children and provide for them mentally and physically. I keep reminding myself that I can name about 25 people that I know who would kill for the life that I have.

Becki :)