How To Be A BADASS Introvert In Business
Strong. Confident. Aggressive. Assertive.
These are all words we commonly hear when we talk about high-flyers, business owners and CEOs. We’re talking your Wolf of Wall Street types, Oprah, Beyoncé… full of life and confidence with no qualms about being in the limelight.
Although those names might be the first to come to mind, they aren’t necessarily the highest flyers that you’re aware of. Dig a little deeper and you might remember names such as Albert Einstein, J. K. Rowling, Warren Buffett… sound familiar?
All highly successful individuals, but do you remember the sound of their voice? Their commanding stage presence? Probably not.
As someone who actively tries to be more extroverted, I resonate with the concern that my voice might not be heard – but as the names above prove, it’s not a valid quandary.
So, how can you own your introversion and still become wildly successful?
Utilise the feels
As an introvert, you’re a good listener. You’re emotional and you’re empathetic. When it comes to deep and meaningful connections, you’ve got it nailed. Utilise this when it comes to giving your clients or customer what they need. Sure, you don’t have to actively go and meet for coffee, but you could jump on the phone, dabble in forums or make connections online. Anyone can appear confident from a distance – so ditch the imposter syndrome and get tapping!
Don’t over-fill your diary
In recent months, I’ve delivered several workshops and talks. I always thought this wasn’t my wheelhouse – but it turns out, even introverts can get into public speaking! Make sure the days either side of your speaking gig are quite chilled. Kick it in your office, keep client calls to a minimum and get to bed early. Mentally prepare yourself and be sure to book in a nice relaxing, quiet treat after every public appearance. (P.S don’t go HAM on the coffee either – trust me).
Surround yourself with people who lift and challenge you
If you’re not one to take centre stage, sometimes it can be helpful to have friends who are. Having a super confident bestie to go to events with can help you to integrate. Let your buddy introduce themselves and strike up a conversation, then join in! With practise and observation, you’ll subconsciously mimic the things that they do – building your own confidence and giving you the courage to go it alone next time.
If you can take one tip away from this post – it’s this one. Read.
Look at the business people you admire and consume their content. Read their blogs, watch their videos and buy their books. If there’s someone out there who communicates in a way which you admire, start taking notes. I love Brendon Burchard, for example. He’s confident and eloquent, but not salesy, sweary or hyper-aggressive. Michelle Obama is another prolific communicator, without being loud or flamboyant. You don’t have to be pushy or intimidating to be heard – you just need to be a vocal version of you!
Don’t let anyone with that old school of thought tell you that you have to be anything in order to be ‘successful’. Some of the greatest minds of our time have been shy, retiring hermits. Introvert, or extrovert – it bears no bearing on your talents. In fact (and I’m biased here) I think introverts make BETTER business owners.
We’re compassionate, we listen and we don’t want to push anyone. Sure, we might not work a room like a pro, but we definitely don’t tread on anyone either. Once upon a time, I’d have wished to be louder and more confident in myself – but these days, I appreciate, respect and utilise my solitude. Hell, I’m ready and waiting for my next post-conference-call-nap!