I’m an introvert with a touch of social anxiety. I also run a wedding planning business which, as I’m sure you can imagine, involves A LOT of social interaction. From brides and grooms to their families, friends, and vendors, there are tons of people involved in a wedding day.
If you’re anything like me, the prospect of working with people can be nerve-wracking, anxiety inducing, and all-around terrifying. Seems like I should have started ANY OTHER type of business, right? The problem? I love what I do! It’s the best feeling ever to see a happy couple on their wedding day in a blissful, stress-free state, and to know I helped make that happen.
Are you in the same boat — outgoing entrepreneurial dreams and a major case of shyness? Here are some things that help me. Maybe they’ll work for you too!
Nothing motivates me quite like a list. I love the feeling of crossing items off my to-dos! If I add a meeting with clients or networking to my list, I get excited to get it done so I can cross it off my list. I’m a total Type A nerd in that way. But, hey, it works!
Maybe lists aren’t your thing, but perhaps you could find a similar external motivator.
Whether it is a meeting with a new client or connecting with a fellow vendor, preparedness eases my nerves. For meeting with clients it means having any notes, forms, or paperwork ready. With vendors it usually means doing a little research about the vendor online before meeting them.
What could you do to be more prepared for your next big meeting?
I know you’re all intelligent folks, but for those who haven’t come across the word before, symbiosis is “a mutually beneficial relationship between different people or groups.
It’s difficult for me to just walk up to a fellow vendor and say, “I’m really awesome, you should totally recommend me.” I applaud those brave enough to do so; however, I’m more comfortable connecting in a mutually beneficial way. I’m happy to feature people on my blog or share their material on social media. Again, it takes the edge off my nerves if I feel I have something to offer.
Is there an online connection or blog feature you could offer?
Getting in My Element
With social anxiety, business meetings don’t need to be any more stressful than they already are. So… I like to meet in my element. Nothing soothes my nerves like a good cup of coffee. I invite my clients to meet me over a delightful cup of java. I can feel the stress melt off with every sip.
You may hate coffee, but I’m willing to bet there is some place or element you could find to set yourself at ease.
This one is going to sound out there, but again, I can’t argue with results. Do you have a song that makes you feel like you could conquer the world? Where you’re completely in the zone and could do anything? I do. Sometimes before I go to a meeting or event I’ll play my super special song. What is it? “You’re the Best Around” by Joe Esposito. You know, the one from the tournament at the end of The Karate Kid where Daniel’s taking on the competition (and WINNING). Yeah. That’s the one. Cheesy, but effective. Who knows, yours could be the theme song from Barney. No judgement here. Just use what works for you!
If I’ve had a few days of non-stop social interaction, I like to schedule a few days of office tasks after that. All that socializing tends to drain my emotional batteries. I wish it didn’t but it does. Anyway, a few days in the home office gives me a chance to recharge and refocus. Again, I love my business, and I genuinely love people! I just have to have some quiet time to re-center.
It’s all about finding what works for you, but I hope some of my tactics work for you! Do you have any tips or tricks for running a people-oriented business as an introvert? I’d love to hear in the comments below!