For those of us who identify as introverts and are working for ourselves, there are 3 indicators that measure how successful we are currently, while at the same time revealing where we need to work more intelligently or effectively.
I call this the 3 V’s:
What you offer is meeting a genuine need in the marketplace that intersects with a segment of prospects that are happy and eager to pay for our product/service.
What you offer also meets your own inner conviction that you are doing something that helps others (this is significant: almost all the introverted entrepreneurs I have spoken with have “helping others” or “making a difference” as one of their top values).
You are getting noticed by prospects, decision makers, and influencers – online and offline.
Some of those prospects may eventually become clients.
Some of the decision makers and influencers become collaborators and mentors.
Your name starts to pop up in conversations and people “know” you because they’ve been following your work online.
You have a pipeline of leads and are regularly converting a percentage of those leads into paying clients and customers, thus enabling you to meet your sales targets and fulfill your other goals and aspirations.
Here’s where and why some introverted entrepreneurs stumble:
You may not feel confident about your product/service or trust in their ability to deliver an outstanding outcome.
Perhaps you have not yet done the work to identify your niche or target client, so you are marketing to everyone and no one.
Or you feel that your competitors’ products are just as good, and there is nothing that distinguishes yours, so how do you sell with conviction?
Because you’re not sure of your value (as an individual and an entrepreneur), it’s easier to hide, downplay your work when asked “So what do you do?” or “What are you working on?”, avoid having sales conversations, and make up other excuses why you are not ready to go all out in the business.
Do the work. (Make the time and do the research. Block out all distractions. Don’t let your excuses get in the way again. Commit to the process, and complete it.)
Ask the deep questions. (What inspires or drives you? Why this niche? Why these products/services?)
Be specific. (Don’t be wishy-washy or a people pleaser. You can’t serve everyone.)
Be honest. (Who do you want to serve? Who don’t you want to serve?)
Be proud. (What are the things you’ve done over the years that took grit and determination and talent to achieve? Name them. Claim them.)
You may not feel confident about your appearance or your level of social skills (“How do I start? What do I say?”).
You may find the process of engaging others in conversation too draining and difficult.
So you avoid events where you have to meet new people, talk with muted enthusiasm about your business, choose safe and generic responses like “Yeah, I’m not doing too badly”, and procrastinate over the activities you know you must do but would rather not, because it means facing the possibility of being rejected — and who likes that?
If you’ve done step #1 and gained insight and certainty around your Value, step #2 will be much easier.
Often, we hold ourselves back because we are not sure we are good enough, or that we deserve someone’s attention.
If you are confident in the value and the difference you are bringing to the world, you are much more likely to want to be visible. You can barely hide your excitement, because you just know that what you have is what people need, and if they would just say yes to checking out your opportunity, they would be one step closer to solving their problem.
Lack of or low value and visibility contributes to low viability, not just financially but also in the mental, physical and emotional sense.
To be struggling all the time is depleting and draining.
Worry about not having enough clients and cashflow is apt to cause anxiety and sleepless nights, which affect your mood and energy and relationships.
You might start to have second thoughts (which is perfectly normal): did I make the wrong decision to start this business? Should I forget about creating the life I want and just go back to the 9-5?
Surround yourself with a positive support network of trusted advisers and close friends who will listen, encourage, and offer feedback without judging you.
Build healthy eating, adequate rest, supplements, and exercise into your daily routine to feed and repair your physical capacity. A sound mind and body functioning at optimum is the foundation of your successful business. Without health, everything is harder.
What other factors have helped you in your quest to be a successful introverted entrepreneur?