It’s quite contrary, I am a marketer and marketers by definition are supposed to be outgoing and extroverts. However I have an alter ego trapped inside that is introvert to the core and lurks now and then. Being introvert is not a curse or is not a bad thing, it’s just that you enjoy being alone, you enjoy your space and find lesser crowds and lesser conversations more productive (I guess every introvert feels the same 🙂 , but being an introvert becomes harmful when it starts getting into your way of exploring hundreds thousands things surrounding you which you do not explore because you don’t make much conversations, not meet many people, not take part in group activities etc etc.
I have somehow always acknowledged the setback that came with my inherent nature, but was too lazy to really act on it unless the day I decided to push my horizon. Blogging brought me to a whole new world of interesting writers/speakers and people in general who are thinking great and sharing ideas around the world. And similarly I stumbles on a blog on entrepreneurship and marketing (see okdork.com) and became a follower and fan. Few days later I realized that the entrepreneur and blogger (Noah Kagan) is visiting Mumbai and got excited to meet him and learn something new. And then the “Introvert” monster inside me came right in front and started haunting me. What I am gonna talk, would my conversation make any sense, what if I just run out of topics and become a silent spectator in the group.
Sleepless nights, turning in the bed and finally I came across an article which described the benefits of networking. It had all the benefits listed like:
- Forming business contacts
- Romantic relationships….
So on and so forth!
But one line that really struck me was “AT THE END YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOOSE, BUT YOUR SHYNESS”.
And this made me think that what I have been afraid of? What’s my worst case scenario – I will meet a bunch of people I might not like, or maybe they are too rude, or they just might talk crap and I would get bored…what else???? All these points didn’t look too harmful to explore the possibility. So I sent a message to Noah and his friend and set up a meeting. And guess what, the meeting was just PERFECT! I spent 4 hours with a bunch of strangers laughing, conversing, sharing food, knowing different cultures, work ideas and what not! And I realized that how much was I missing on by avoiding meeting people, who could be absolute strangers! And bravo, came the day when I shed my shyness and for good.
It would be a cliché if I explain how being an extrovert is helpful, why you should be outgoing etc. But I do not wish to share that.
Being an introvert is perfectly fine, and I repeat yes its PERFECTLY FINE. It’s just that you have to be flexible to switch to mode 2 of being an extrovert when you see an opportunity of being benefited. Yes,be selfish. If that group meet or networking event or just meeting a simple plain stranger is going to help you, your business, your writing, your ideas, your hobbies or as it happened this time improves you as a person, then for a day take a deep breath, wear your best clothes, put on a smile and just go for it. Before you do that, DO NOT DO THESE:
– Practice your conversation/speech before a mirror a day before
– Do not write a script and try to learn it
– Do not panic
– and most importantly THINK!!!!
Just go there, be yourself and on don’t give yourself anytime to think about the situation in your head before you even get into it. And the last thing if these helps do let me know! and as always my ending note…
Shyness is like a cell phone, unless you don’t lose it you don’t realize what you have missed on!