There is so much daily activity that comes with being an entrepreneur. If you also happen to be a small business, you may be doing everything yourself. That means that you alone are the one who deals with all of the activity that surrounds your business. Donning your customer service hat, dealing with the UPS guy, acting as your own sales rep and assuming the role of social media manager for your business are all in a day’s work. As an introvert + business owner, the never ending stream of interaction can be mentally and physically draining. I say this not to diminish the fact that our UPS guy is actually pretty cool, and I love interacting with customers when I get the opportunity. Most of all, I am grateful for the blessing of all of my current, past and future customers. I even pray for them! But as an introvert, the constant interaction can be exhausting. Top that off with working in the extroverted world of fashion, and I’m on energy overload. For those of you who can relate, here are 5 things I do to conserve energy and maintain a balance so that I can be my best me on days when I have to don my social hat:
- Start your day with quiet time, prayer and/or a review of your To Do list for the day.
I’ve noticed that when I don’t allow for quiet time in the mornings, my days are off and running before I am, and it leads to a more stressful day.
- Schedule clients, shows and meetings later in the week whenever possible.
One of the main reasons I became an entrepreneur rested in my desire to work in a way that allowed me to flourish. I did the traditional 9-5 . . . (or 9-8, 9 or 10 in the fashion world) for many years, and lets just say, I much prefer working that hard for my own business. Running my own design studio has allowed me to set my business up in a way that works for me. By scheduling in person visits, meetings and events later in the week, I am able to ease into the week starting with the things I love to do most and building up to do those things that don’t quite come as easily for me. It also allows me to visualize how I would like events and meetings to go, so that when they actually take place, I’m working from a blueprint of familiarity.
- Schedule a specific time each day to handle phone calls.
Everyone who knows me knows I have a love-hate relationship with my phone. I love to take photos with it, document ideas and text with it. But when it comes to making calls . . . well, lets just say that’s not an area where my strength lies. So I’ve learned to schedule my outgoing calls and call backs during a specific window in the day. This allows me to work freely, uninterrupted when I have big projects going. I’ve also noticed that once I make my first call, its easier to just keep going with calls . . . kinda like a phone-call-momentum if you will. I realize this may not be something that will work everyday, but I have found it to be a great work around when possible.
- Schedule the number of in-person events you will participate in monthly.
These days there are numerous industry related events held every month that can be beneficial to business owners. And honestly, as an entrepreneur, every opportunity to mingle with people is another opportunity to promote your business or meet a new client/customer. However, events can be seriously draining for introverts. I keep a folder on my desktop of events I am interested in attending as I come across them. I try to schedule no more than 3 industry related events/month. I’ve found that if I can schedule what events I will be attending at the top of the month, it allows me to, in turn, schedule downtime between events. It also leaves space for any surprise gatherings that may pop up.
- Play to your strengths and recognize your differences.
It has taken me a long time to realize that being an introvert doesn’t mean that I can’t do certain things, it just means that I do things differently, and that’s okay. It’s a process to discover what works for you. Seeing how different situations impact you and how you relate to the things you do on a daily basis is important to maintaining that necessary balance we need to keep us feeling whole.
How do you maintain a balance that allows you to flourish as an introvert in business? Please share in the comments!