The Biggest Challenge of Being an Introverted Business Owner and How to Overcome It
When you think of a business owner you probably think of an outgoing charismatic person who loves talking with and meeting new people. Part of the reason why we think like this is because of the media we consume. When we see local commercials we see what they want us to see. When we watch a show on TV or Netflix we see actors playing a business owners.
I'm a business owner and I'm not outgoing I'm not usually eager to talk with or meet new people. That's because I'm introverted. So, why does an introvert decide to go out and take the huge risk of starting a business? Well, honestly, it largely has to do with the independence that it brings. When I worked regular 9-5 jobs I had a set schedule and had to answer to people who didn't view our relationship as a partnership. As a business owner I get to set my own schedule (although it usually turns into me working from 7 am to about 7 pm with different tasks for both me and my clients). I answer only to my clients who know that I am on their team trying to grow their business with mine. Even though I love what I do I have challenges that extroverted business owners don't. So what are those challenges?
When in school making friends and building relationships was much easier. I saw those people every day. Now, I have to interject myself into a conversation, just walk up and introduce myself, or ask a friend to make an introduction so I can make a new acquaintance and work to build that relationship. Now, that is how most people network. The issue for me as an introvert is that I find it challenging to do. Meeting new people or interjecting myself into a conversation is nearly impossible for me. It has been a huge struggle to build the relationships I have over the years.
But, here are a few ways I have found that can help make building relationships easier.
I find that when I go to an event or have a target in mind that when I check for a social media profile or website I can usually find something that we agree on or have in common. When I see them I try to bring up whatever it was that I found.
Have a drink
When I have a drink or two I am much more loose and talkative. In fact, sometimes too talkative. But when I find that right mixture of drink(s) that gives me the confidence needed to strike up a conversation with a stranger. (Drink responsibly!)
This tactic is very millennial and Gen-Z but I've found that when I send a friend request or LinkedIn connection request and engage with their content is the foot in the door I needed. It's super simple. And it works! I've used this strategy before and built lasting relationships with some great people!
If you're like me and struggling to build relationships because you're introverted then gives these a try!