My name is Sayeh, and though most people wouldn’t guess it, I’m an introvert. Despite being very outgoing and a little loud at times, it’s important to remember that not all introverts are shy and timid—they just need a little more space and time away from people than their extroverted friends. In fact, you might be an introvert if you’ve ever felt like this:
- Networking event? You’re dreading it.
- Back-to-back meetings in one day? You’re dead by the time you get home.
- Calendar jammed with conference calls? You’re overwhelmed at the thought.
As an entrepreneur, it can be difficult to grow your business while fighting energy depletion and privacy needs, but it’s certainly possible.
If you want to maximize success as an introvert, try these 3 things:
>> Know your limits
I’ve made the mistake of overbooking myself and it reminded me that I need to be strict about not getting too busy. To combat this, if I have a lot of social events coming up, I typically trim down on work events. Or if I have a lot of work calls in a day, I make sure to schedule a night in by myself. Knowing your limits and how far you can push yourself is crucial to avoid feeling drained. I’ve come to realize that I have pretty low limits for meetings and calls, so I set a daily maximum and unless emergencies come up, I stick to it.
>> Incorporate “quiet time” throughout your day
Because workdays can be hectic, scheduling several scattered “quiet time” pockets throughout your day is a great first step. Just like health experts remind us that a lack of exercise is bad for our health, so is not having any “space” for an introvert. To create this space, I log out of email, turn off my phone and sit alone with a cup of tea for 15 minutes. Even staring out the window gives me enough of a boost to make it through my day with energy. Pick something that’s easy for you to do and make it a healthy habit every day.
>> Make sure you’re in the right industry
I have a friend at the office who does celebrity PR, and I hear her on the phone non-stop. Not only is she on the phone constantly, but she’s walking the red carpet with her clients, working weekends and on the go virtually all the time. For me, that type of business would not be sustainable, because it would drain the life out of me as an introvert. Take some time to consider if what you’re doing is a match for your strengths and energy needs. Think about your day-to-day requirements, examine your calendar and embrace who you really are—not who someone else thinks you should be.