There’s a couple of women doing business in Perth.
And man, are they doing business.
I follow them on social media and I’ve met them a couple of times at various events. They’re super smart, funny, exciting women with great business concepts and just being near them makes you feel supercharged: like you could run a marathon, or throw over a government.
I see them attending events nearly every night of the week.
I’m EXHAUSTED just WATCHING them (OK, stalking them on social media – same diff).
Networking events are by far and beyond the bane of my business existence. I am a WRITER for goodness sake.
I am a WRITER for goodness sake. Fundamentally, we are introverted, isolated freaks of nature who feel stronger relationships with characters in books than we do with our own mothers’.
Alright, yes, that’s probably just me, but you get the drift.
However, my ability to make money being a writer relies on connections with people who need writers. People who are generally a little more extroverted than I am.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am never one to say no to a party. Especially if tequila is involved. And someone is making homemade pizza. Possibly if I can also attend in my PJ’s. But getting dolled up and making small talk (my all-time least favourite thing to do) at 6pm in the evening after immersing myself in a client’s words all day then feeding the kids? That sounds tantamount to torture for me.
Sometimes, you’ve gotta turn up.
So, here are my top 5 tips for Introverts to Get Their Party Face On for the Sake Of Their Business:
- We’re not shy, we’re introverted. We are able to make conversation with strangers but prefer not to talk small talk. That’s OK, just have a conversation of substance. Well, why not? Just launch on in, discuss goals, theories, life, love, business, mess. What’s the worst that can happen?
- See Point 1. Because we also tend to be empathetic (which is also what makes me a good copywriter) we are usually good listeners too. Don’t try to be the entertainment, make someone feel as if they’ve really been heard. Practice some active listening, give good feedback. I promise your conversational partner will feel as if they’ve had a meaningful moment with you, rather than a run of the mill back and forth chat.
- Crowds are a pain in the proverbial for introverts. Unless there’s the possibility of the mambo, I prefer a spot of one on one. Look around, you’ll find someone just like you to chat with in a more intimate setting rather than in a circle of ten folk.
- You’ll need to recharge. At the risk of being an anti-carpooler, drive yourself. That peaceful drive home might just be the thing you need afterwards to get back into your own headspace and shake off all that energy from other people.
- Get creative. The research shows that introverts use the information they seek whilst being quiet to use later for creative projects. Take the opportunity while your guard is down to soak up all the new, good, loud ideas going on around you. You can draw on them later.
My (borrowed) mantra is
“no one gets into small business to be comfortable”.
So, I am uncomfy. And? Only just as uncomfortable as doing my books (numbers – eek) and asking that same, lovely client for the third time to pay their bill every. Single. Month.
Do it anyway. Show up. Not all the time, but some of the time.
The rest of the events, you can watch on social media.
Jay Crisp Crow
Yep, really my name