Have you ever needed to network with other people to grow your business but you can barely stand the idea of talking to others about yourself or your business? If you are not fond of meeting new people or you are someone who loves your space and quiet, you are probably an introvert! Congratulations! However, for a business owner networking is an essential part of owning a business. So how do you overcome it? From a fellow introvert herself, I will be listing some of my networking tips for introverts.
But First Off, What is an Introvert?
An introvert is:
introduced by the psychologist Carl Jung to describe a person whose motives and actions are directed inward. Introverts tend to be preoccupied with their own thoughts and feelings and minimize their contact with other people. “
It is estimated that a third to one half
of the population would consider themselves introverts. If so many of us are introverts it's no wonder that it is hard for so many of us to get out of comfort zones to productively network. The following are a few tips to help you become comfortable outside your comfort zone.
Do Your Homework Before You Go to a Networking Event
Look to see where the event is being held. It is important to know what kind of atmosphere is being held in, what the appropriate dress is, and whether it is a formal or more informal type of event. This helps overcome any anxiety that can happen when introverts are forced to talk to others. (Said from experience…trust me)
Further, prepare ahead of time. What are your goals for going to this event? Is there a specific person or persons with a special skill set you intend to find? The best way to do this is to make a plan ahead of time so you have a purpose for going. If I don't have purposes for going to events, I am more likely to back out beforehand. Looking up a few of the people that might be there is a great idea. Check out their LinkedIn profile and find out if this person might be a good person to find at the event.
Remember, the true key to networking is quality over quantity. It is best to leave with a few meaningful connections than a dozen business cards that get tossed in a drawer when you get home.
Take a Fellow Introvert With You
For me, bringing another person to networking events helps me in a few ways. One, it helps hold me accountable for going. If I know someone is relying on me to go with them then I am less likely to back out. Secondly, it is a bit of a security blanket. You don’t have to stick next to each other while you are there. (I don’t suggest it). Knowing there is someone there to help break the ice together can be a great comfort.
Find other Introverts or Find an Empty Seat
Find other fellow introverts – If you don’t go to an event with someone, find someone else who is being quiet or is sitting next to an empty seat. Not only will you be finding one of your own kind, but you wln't be left all alone either. It is a win-win!
Network Often – It is a Skill You Use or Lose
I personally get into a rut when I don’t leave the house for a few days. It is extremely easy to not have sunlight touch your face for days when you work at home. (Don’t judge!) But the more I make myself get out and talk with people in an unfamiliar environment the easier it becomes. I try to get out of the house a few times a week and talk to three people I don't know. If I stop making a habit of it, I have to work up to it all over again.
Ask Others About Themselves to Find Similar Interests
Lastly, if you don’t know what to say or how to continue a conversation, ask people about themselves. Not only do you learn about them but people love to talk about themselves. People who ask about other’s lives are seen as nicer people who are caring and genuine. This makes the conversation more smoothly and a great way to find something you have in common!
These are just some of the ways introverts can use to make networking an effective tool for them. Know some other tips? Comment below!
Consistency in business is, in my opinion, the number one key to success. If you cannot be consistent, many things happen. First, your customers will not take you seriously. Lack of consistency in your business makes it look like you aren’t treating your business like a business. And when you don’t treat your business like a business, it is a hobby. If you want business success results, you MUST treat your business like a business.
The biggest struggle with consistency in business is making the time to do it. Even if you want to plan it out, you still have to sit down to plan it out. That can also be difficult to find time unless you make the time. Whether you have multiple jobs or kids to cart around after school, life is rarely consistent. Here are three things to help you make being consistent in business when life isn’t consistent at all!
Tools to Help Create Better Consistency in Business
Use a Planning Program to Schedule Social Media Posts
I like to plan out my social media schedule at least a week in advance. With depression, anxiety, and just general busyness that comes with being a business owner, I never know when I will and when I won’t have time to post.
I started using Tailwind
for Pinterest and Instagram. Instagram wouldn’t allow auto-posting until a few weeks ago. Now I can utilize Tailwind to schedule Instagram posts, find the best hashtags, and schedule content to be posted at the most optimal times for engagement.
Facebook in January 2018 decided to start cracking down on cleaning up news feeds. This means business pages and the like will receive way less reach than they did in 2017. Facebook also does not prioritize any posts that have outside links in them. Now I use the Facebook Post Scheduler. I can schedule posts for over a week in advance with pictures, comments, etc. The best part is that is FREE! Although it only works on a desktop currently, you can sit down once a week and post it and let it go. Consistency is business posts are complete for the week! WIN!
Write Out a Weekly To-Do List
Weekly to-do lists are the best for making sure you get what you need to get done! I suggest writing out a to-do list before bed the night before. My mind likes to bounce my to-do list around my head all night if I don’t write it down. Once I write it down I do not have to worry about forgetting something and I sleep so much better!!! There are many different types of to-do lists that you can use that works for you. On every weekly to-do list I make sure to include due dates of when it must be done by. This helps me prioritize my days when I am limited on time.
In addition to a daily to-do list, writing a to-do list that is weekly is essential for consistency in your business. On Mondays, I post on my team page in the morning and I go live in my shopping group to have Coffee with Christine. Tuesday is a day to order inventory. I always ship on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. These are just a few examples of what my weekly schedule looks like. No one’s weekly schedule will look the same. Remember, it must work for you!
Tell Other People Your Plan So They Can Hold You Accountable
I have a bad habit of saying I will do something and then later bailing on it. It’s a bad habit of mine I have wanted to change for a long time. If it is just me, I can talk myself out of a dinner party, going on Facebook Live, making dinner, having friends over, etc. BUT if I tell someone I will go live at a particular time or someone is going to meet me at a certain place for dinner, that seems to help hold me accountable for my responsibilities.
What things do you do to create consistency in your business? Comment below or Contact Me
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for examples of consistent posting in your business!
3 Must Read Books for the “Wandering Entrepreneur”
Every adult in the United States has at least one or more problems with happiness, satisfaction, and financial wealth. This leads many people to walk through life on auto-pilot. We only get one life and it is important to make it a good one! Creating happiness is an active idea. One must work at being successful. No one ‘wanders” into success. So many people get tired of working multiple jobs to just make ends meet. For those with an entrepreneurial spirit, it is common to see people who have started businesses but don't know how to make them financially successful. The most common problem is not having enough time or energy in a day to do everything they want to. These problems are what prevent people who have amazing potential in business and leadership from realizing that potential and instead continue to be a “wandering entreprenuer”.
What is a “Wandering Entrepreneur”?
I am so glad you asked! According to Google, Wandering is defined as “traveling aimlessly from place to place”. And the word entrepreneur means “a person who starts a business and is willing to risk loss in order to make money”.
One of the most defining characteristics of most financially successful individuals versus those who are not is this: They read every day. 67% of rich people
watch less than 1 hour of TV a day.
Here is a summary of the books I have read in the last year that I think are Must Reads for those who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs of any kind. Get started now and you never know what you will find!
1. The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users
How to Be More Deliberate in What You Want Out of Social Media
This book has larger font and is more of a reference book than anything. The takeaways in this are gold nuggets for those who want to be entrepreneurs. Social media can determine a business’s success or failure. 20 years ago, a business had to spend LOTS of money for advertising and marketing. Now, many startups do not even need to spend any money on advertising. Even if they do, it can be a very small amount. If you are a wandering entrepreneur, this book will help you get started doing at least something in the social media world more purposely.
Not only is there great content in this book but it shows all the different apps and programs available now to make your social media and your time more efficient and productive. Even if you don’t use any of the programs or apps suggested you at least know they are out there. In the future when your business grows, you need to streamline many systems and these will be within your knowledge. Lastly, the author has an impressive resume, giving him some credibility to what he says.
2. Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money Making Machine
Managing money is one of the MOST important tools to go from a wandering entrepreneur to a successful entrepreneur!
Profit First was a book that changed the way I looked at my business finances. I was tired of not paying myself and wondering at the end of the year if my accounting documents say I profited $25,000 where did it go? It sure wasn’t in my bank account! As a business owner, you never just work 9-5 Monday through Friday. It can be super frustrating not seeing the fruits of your labors. Just reading the first half of Profit First made me realize I NEEDED to budget in at least a little money in my pocket every month even if it was just a little, to incentivize me to continue to work hard. If you are a wandering entrepreneur', this is the important part – how to determine where and what you want your money to be spent. The money doesn't go away on its own; you determine how to want to use it!
can be a little too technical for those who don’t understand accounting. The second half of the book went a little over my head. The first half of the book is worth buying the entire book, however. Realizing the importance of striking a balance between taking too much money out of your business versus not taking any money out for yourself can mean the difference in how you continue to do business. Business owner burnout is real and can be avoided by using tools like they suggest in this book.
3. Permission to Screw Up: How I Learned by Doing (Almost) Everything Wrong
Sometimes making mistakes can be the most valuable thing you do to grow yourself and your entrepreneurial skills.
This is by far my favorite book to read so far. Ms. Hadeed shows humility and understanding of how we feel like we are inadequate, in personal relationships or business. By reading her story of how she was able to create a large business from the desire to buy a new pair of expensive jeans I was inspired to get out of my own way. My take away from this book was it’s okay to mess up! And in reality, if you are doing it right, you WILL screw up! It is how you overcome the mess that defines who you really are. She doesn’t explicitly tell you this in the book but she takes every disaster that could have been the demise of her business and once it is resolved uses reflectiveness to determine where it went wrong and how not to make the same mistake.
Remember, whether you are starting your own direct sales business or your own lemonade stand, you will make mistakes. You actually learn more from your mistakes than your successes. Mistakes make you wiser and stimulate personal and professional growth.
What books have you read recently? I would love to hear! Send me a message!
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for ideas and suggestions to implement in your business!
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