SECRETS OF SUCCESSFUL INTROVERTS
Once upon a time, it was believed (and widely spread) that in order to be successful, you needed to be outgoing, charismatic, and let’s face it, the loudest person in the room to be seen and heard.
But, as Susan Cain, advocate and spokesperson for introverts everywhere says, ‘The loudest person in the room doesn’t always have the best ideas.’
And with the success of introverts like Mark Zuckerberg, Brene Brown, Warren Buffet, Danielle Laporte, and JK Rowling, it would seem that, in fact, being a quieter type doesn’t actually influence the impact you can have on the world.
There are, of course, many factors to what makes you successful (including your own definition of what success means). But in order to go against your introverted nature and put yourself out into the world, there are some factors that add towards finding true success.
They stand for something big.
What gets Brene Brown standing up in front of thousands of people to talk about her shame and vulnerability research when we all know she’d rather be eyeball deep in her data and banana nut muffins? Passion. She stands for something bigger than herself and, as a result, it allows her to go against her introverted nature and do what needs to be done to share that message.
You need to stand for something bigger than your desire to hide away and live the quiet life. When this happens, something else kicks in to give you the drive, confidence, and motivation to share that message with the world because you can’t not.
They let go of what others think.
One of the biggest struggles my clients have when starting their businesses is worrying about other people judging them. When you stand for something big, you trust that the people who need to get it will, and that some people might not, but you can’t control their thoughts. If you know anything about the Facebook story, as an extreme example, you’ll know that Mark Zuckerberg has had his haters, but that Facebook has changed the world.
If you’re doing something important that you’re passionate about, people will have opinions. Only you can decide whether you’ll let that stop you.
They understand failure is part of the ride.
Harry Potter never would have existed if JK Rowling had let a few rejections stop her. She could have thrown that first manuscript out after her tenth ‘no’ and what a sad world we would live in. We all know how much easier it would be to go to ground after a setback and binge watch Netflix for the next week, but when you know you’re onto something, you will persist through the failures.
When you stand for something big and are driven by passion, you’ll know that failure is part of the ride but the secret is to keep refining, persisting, and trying again until you find the people who need what you’ve got.
They have boundaries.
Danielle Laporte is an excellent example of someone who sets boundaries and prioritises her needs and her family time over her business. Boundaries are essential to success because introverts need down time to re-energise and a clear way of communicating what they need with others. We’re complicated beings and often keep our thoughts on the inside, but being firm about what’s okay and what’s not okay in every facet of your life is essential to operating at your best.
Set clear boundaries in your life and business, and take the time you need for yourself to show up as your best, most energised self in everything you do.
They play to their strengths.
Enter Warren Buffet, billionaire and advocate for playing to your strengths. He doesn’t believe in trying to improve your weaknesses but, instead, to understand how you work best and do more of that. And he’s made a lot of money doing what he really loves, so it would seem he’s really onto something.
When you know yourself and what skills, experience, and expertise you have, then you can find your zone of genius. Focus on what you’re naturally good at and outsource the rest to maximise efficiency, impact, and success in your business.
Katherine Mackenzie-Smith is a life and business coach helping introverts understand themselves, create businesses that light them up, and cut through the noise to connect with the people who need to hear what they have to say. She’s a trainer for life coaches, a ‘self-help guru’ according to Elle Magazine, and a ‘champion for introverted leaders’.