I’ve been an introvert all my life, and and now at the ripe old age of 43, I’m pretty sure this is the way it’s going to be until I kick the bucket. And you know what? I’m ok with that. As a matter of fact, this is something that I came to peace with long ago and it’s not like I’m down on myself everyday for not being able to put myself out there as easily as many other entrepreneurs I know. I am who I am, and I like me. I like not feeling like I have to have people around me all the time to make me happy.
Despite how comfortable I am with my introvertedness (is that even a word?), I will admit that I feel like it’s holding me back from doing the things I feel like I need to do in order to succeed.
Here are just of a few of the things that I know that I should be doing as an entrepreneur, but I just can’t:
One of the best ways to promote yourself as an entrepreneur is to put yourself in front as many people as you can. This involves speaking engagements, and it’s something that Pat Flynn (my biggest entrepreneurial inspiration at the moment) does as often as he can. He admits that he used to be really scared of speaking in public, but after doing it a few times, it became much easier. Ha! I’ve been having to give presentations at my corporate jobs on a semi-frequent basis for the past 20 years and I still feel like I’m going to pee my pants and die every time I have to do it. I’m too much of an introvert to learn to like that kind of thing, and therefore, I will never voluntarily sign up to give a talk anywhere. I know I’m missing out on a huge marketing opportunity, but screw it. I just can’t do it.
Being able to negotiate a tough deal is an incredible skill to have. You have to be able think on your toes, be firm and persuasive, while not being afraid to upset the person you are negotiating with if it comes to that. I’m much too introverted and too nice of a guy for heavy banter, and as hard as I try, I’m usually the one who caves first in a negotiation scenario. I know that I’ve overpaid for many things in my lifetime because of it. For reasons I’ll never know, I have an intense desire to avoid confrontation and I hate simply arguing with people. This is not helping my entrepreneurial efforts I know.
Working with others
Let me first say that yes I do like people, and I’m not a total recluse. The issue is that I’m the kind of guy who prefers to have only a small amount of people around him at once. I absolutely abhor working in large groups. I simply shut down when I’m thrown into large groups of people, and people often misinterpret me as being bored or not interested in what’s going on. While that is true sometimes (lol), most of the time I want to join in the conversation but I simply can’t do it for fear of saying something stupid. This has been a very big problem for me over the years when I have been asked to contribute to large projects that would be very beneficial to me in a professional or entrepreneurial setting.
Being an introvert is why I am so drawn to blogging. I can sit alone and create content quietly and quickly without someone looking over my shoulder and stressing me out. My website empire is all mine, I created it myself without the help of others. Could I be more successful if I reached out to others and collaborated more than I already am? You bet. But I am comfortable working solo on my own little projects, and having a relaxed and calm attitude towards my work is what gives me the strength to keep pushing forward and creating more content. I very much doubt that I would have the energy to keep going if I was stepping outside of my comfort zone all the time like the big online marketing and entrepreneur gurus recommend. It takes a special kind of mindset of that sort of thing and I just don’t have it.