Introvert and a Business Owner

An Introvert and a Business Owner

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This has been on my heart for a long time and I would like to take a stab at explaining that being an introvert doesn’t mean weirdness, anti-social, or that there’s something deeply wrong. This subject is near and dear to my heart, because this feeling of appearing strange has followed me for a long time.

When I was growing up, I was very shy and didn’t talk at all for years through most of grade school. I eventually learned how to speak up for myself, but during my early years I was bullied and picked on frequently, because I preferred to play alone. I loved drawing my own comic books and writing poetry. I got so much fun out of it. I was able to do my homework quickly and then I would draw and make up clever stories for my comics and I never understood why others thought something was wrong with me.

Yes, it’s true that introverts get their strength and creativeness inwards, but it doesn’t mean that that we draw up and sit in a corner all day. I’m not an analyst, however if a person isolates themselves from everyone, it might mean depression rather than being introversion.

There’s positives and negatives in any personality trait

I absolutely admire people who can walk up to a stranger and strike up a conversation with them. I think that is a definite positive. I realized early that I’m not that kind of person and it’s taken me a long time to be okay with that. I hope that I can encourage you if you happen to be introverted and perhaps you’re feeling out of place.

I think it’s just human nature to label what we don’t understand and most times we get it wrong and unfortunately people get hurt. I struggled to find my place too, but with the help of prayer and some understanding people around me I began to become comfortable and confident in who I am. And, that has helped me in my business.

Who knew that all those years of writing poetry that I would grow up to be a blogger, a content creator! I so enjoy writing. It’s my canvas to express myself and reaching out to others. Words have power and live forever. Even some of my business contacts began through blogging.

How has being introverted helped me in business?

  1. Being in the creative industry. My day job requires me to understand web design, graphic work and online marketing. I keep their website updated with new content and imagery and I work on other creative projects. I get inspiration from many resources like flyers and online sources like Pinterest and Instagram. Plus, I’m very organized person so working this account fits my personality very well.
  2. Working with little to no in-person interaction. My client is located in Florida and I’m in Oregon so I don’t see them face to face. We communicate primarily through eMail, Whatsapp and now Zoom. I’ve always enjoyed working alone unsupervised. I can spend many hours in front of the computer perfectly okay.
  3. Owning a home-based business. You have to have a discipline to be able to work from home and I have had to make changes in order to keep it separate from my day job as I work and craft in one room. It takes having several schedulers to keep on track with all I have do each day. But, again I gain strength from having a list of tasks to do. I may not get everything done on my daily planner but I do like it when I check off a few things.
  4. Creating. I love to design greeting cards for my eBay store and illustrations for my Etsy Shop. It’s a feeling I can’t describe when I create a new card or new art piece. I also, of course, love to write for GUIG.

I’m much more comfortable in small settings with two or three friends and building close relationships. But, in social settings where you’re talking to strangers, acquaintances or you’re around a group of people, you’re not able to get to know anyone because you’re just “chit-chatting” which makes me uncomfortable. Small talk isn’t my jam either!

So, here’s a few tips I try to do if I find myself in this situation:

  1. Don’t panic. Introverts typically don’t talk in front of people a lot. I’m sure there are exceptions, but I know that I can’t stand being the center of attention. So, I tell myself to breathe if I find myself in a difficult social situation. These days are so different with all the restrictions but this can also apply to Zoom meetings where you’re talking to others you don’t know well.
  2. Ask questions. I inquire about the other person and listen to them. For example, I may ask where they live and if they like it there. That is one of the positives of being introverted – the ability take in what the other person is saying. By listening, it gives me a chance to think about what to say next. And it’s possible to break the ice resulting in either a good networking contact or maybe a new friend.

I hope I’ve given you a snapshot into my personality and how I make it work in my work and business, but if you have questions, feel free to ask in the comments.

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Kim McDougal

Kim is the founder and creator of Growing Up in Grace. By day, she's the Director of Interactive Communications for the Hispanic chamber located in Jax, FL. Kim also owns "Kim's Studio Art" where she creates and sells Wall Art Printables and "Kim's Handcrafted Cards" on eBay where she creates and sells handmade greeting cards.