Viewing entries tagged
new business

Comment

Why you and your business are missing out by avoiding networking events!

pexels-photo-104516.jpeg

It is true – there is nothing that really compares to a live event. 

I have found this especially in business.  The powerful connections and life changing experiences have all started with events.  Getting to know others, being around likeminded people, having an understanding and similar purpose.

 

I hated events. 

Because it has not always been like that for me.  I hated events.  I hated networking events even more.

Why?  When we all know that building ‘know, like and trust’ is crucial to any business and by meeting people face to face can really speed up this process. 

Well I am a proud introvert and small talk and mingling with strangers and having to stand up and talk in front of them all within a specific time frame quite frankly does not float my boat.

So I used to avoid them – send my team to them – tell them it was for their own good to enhance their professional development and all that good stuff – when really I was hiding behind the fact that I couldn’t think of anything worse than attending these business events where you had to sell yourself – I mean that stuff is made for extroverts and egos right?

 

I bet I can give you five reasons why you avoid networking?

 

1.  Because you have to talk to strangers and make a good impression and introduce your business (and you still haven’t really got clear as clear can be on what it is you really do yet?)

 

2. Because it will mean taking time out of the day / evening that you could be spending working on the business (and let’s face it that’s the bit you love, that’s where the passion is at right?)

 

3.  You end up sat on your own (which you quite like) and smiling sheepishly at all those other delegates that have got it together and schmoozing the room like they own the god damn place looking at you with sympathetic feel sorry for you eyes.

 

4.  Why the hell would you pay for all of the above!

 

5.  You walk away without any new connections (because you only spoke to Michelle who you met last time because she works behind the bar), a goody bag full of business cards (your own included) and no further on with the results you are aiming for in your business.  No ROI (return on investment at all).

I understand I really do and don’t feel bad because we all feel like this at some point or another. 

 

Find events that are YOUR kind of events.

The trick is to find events that are your kind of events with your kind of people and this may involve attending a lot of 'frogs' to find the 'prince' of events that will give you new connections, access to new networks, referrals and recommendation opportunities.  

And that’s not because you spent the entire time selling yourself and being pushy – nope.  It is because you felt comfortable in the space to be able to help and support others in their business.  To give, not take.  That is the most important thing to remember.

 

You can be an introvert and actually get the most from business events.

You don't have to be the loudest in the room to be heard and you definitely don't have to be all about the sales to be remembered for who you are.  You have all you need already.  Listen to others, really listen and find people you are really interested in.  And ask them about their business.  And don't dread the "what do you do?" questions - go with it - someone else you get to show how passionate you are about what you do and why you do it!

 

I love nothing more than making real connections.

Well it is funny how times have changed, from hating such events, to now hosting my own. I also invest a lot in attending other's events too - ones that I know will be full of my kind of people and they always pay off.

Mine are not ordinary traditional events, but the type that are perfect for introverts like you to make real connections.  To get the most out of the investment you are putting into going in the first place – after all pjs and Netflix or a glass of vino with a good friend is also very appealing.

 

But networking (which in basic terms only really means interact with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts) is the cornerstone of business. 

It is so important in so many ways.  Not only for getting new customers and putting your business on the map, but also for your own support and developing relationships with people who get it and understand how tough it can be to work for yourself.

So if you are now a little convinced that actually venturing outside and attending an event or two might be something that you should think about to grow your business and your confidence then grab my free guide to get you started on the right path.   It has 5 simple steps to prepare you for your networking fun, will build your confidence and give you purpose.  Let me know how you get on!

Maybe my monthly event "Introverts Talk Biz" could be the perfect place to start - more info on the next event is here.   Time to get yourself out there and give your business the chance it deserves!

 

 

**Gemma Stow works with female entrepreneurs who are introverts and are ready to take themselves and their business to the next level.  To find their fierce and take that all important action.  As well as private coaching, she runs monthly events where Introverts Talk Business and a membership called Club Fierce that gives that personal touch to women who are looking for support, accountability and an environment that breeds self belief and results.  More info HERE. **

 

 

Comment

1 Comment

But introverts don't do business do they?

eyes hiding.jpeg

 

This was actually said to me today whilst I was chatting to somebody about being featured in the Yorkshire Post about my new face to face events for female introverts in business. 

 

"But introverts don't do business do they, aren't they too quiet?"

Wow.  I was pretty stunned as this came from a business owner I respect, but who obviously didn't have a clue about what introversion even means.  The next comment was indeed "so can men be introverted?'.  Oh dear.

 

It feels like there is a long way to go to educate people on what introversion actually is all about.  

The day before I was told that introverts are the worst listeners because they are too busy listening to themselves.  WTF.  Listening is my superpower and is what makes me a great coach to hear others on a different level, and not only hear the words, but also hear what lies beneath them as well.  It takes the concept of listening to another level.

But as I push forward on my mission to prove female introverts need to stop hiding because they have more than enough to be amazing at making real differences to others lives, I will definitely be up against more misconceptions for sure!  I mean I get told time and time again that I can't be an introvert because of my presence on social media.  Say what?

 

So I wanted to start by saying that introverts do business and do it really well. 

And if you still need convincing you only need to look at the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Warren Buffett and what about the ladies... Rosa Parks, JK Rowling, Emma Watson and Marissa Mayer.

It is also important to understand why you should get to know your own personality traits and how empowering that can be.  Lots of people tell me not to label as they are not useful.  I have spent most of my career trying my best not to label others and put them into boxes - however something happens when your own level of self awareness increases - you get your power back.

You start to recognise your strengths and skills that you just took for granted because you've always had them, they are a part of you. 

And actually these should be explored, developed and celebrated.  

 

I am not naive to think there isn't a darker side. 

Getting to know yourself means you could fall into the trap of using your introverted personality as an excuse not to do all the things that feel uncomfortable to you or zap all of your energy.  When actually to build your business you need to consider how you will make it work for you.  After all business is about identifying the things you think you can't and doing them anyway.

I know this from first hand experience of pushing my team to do the things I didn't want to do.  Things like selling, presenting, networking, making new connections, making phone calls, pitching, promoting and all that stuff, you get the picture. 

 

But I learnt quite quickly that nobody can sell my business like I can. 

I have the passion and that can't be replicated.  And you can't be either.

For too long business has been focused on the more extrovert personalities - and we have all been led to believe that this is what makes a business successful and that we have to be more 'extroverted' to win.  So much so, that it often puts off introverts from starting a business in the first place.

 

These are outdated, misleading conclusions derived from personality tests produced decades ago. 

I have experienced that the opposite is quite often more of a truer picture.  That introverts can use their super powers to be amazing at selling, presenting and promoting themselves and their business.  To avoid the fluffy crap that is often associated with pushy or cheesy sales, or drawn out boring presentations, and actually make real business connections in networking that will go somewhere.

So the next time you hear that introverts are too quiet or shy to be good at business, or even if you are telling yourself that - please remind them (and you) that in your face, intense energy, loud voices, small talk and big ego's don't always win the race. 

You have all you need to start and that's the most important part.

 

Never underestimate the power of an introvert's silence. 

It doesn't indicate nothing is happening.  It indicates everything is happening. 

And you can't even see it, yet.

 

 

**Gemma Stow works with female entrepreneurs who are introverts and are ready to take themselves and their business to the next level.  To find their fierce and take that all important action.  As well as private coaching, she runs a membership called Club Fierce that gives that personal touch to women who are looking for support, accountability and an environment that breeds self belief and results.  More info HERE. **

1 Comment

Comment

Should I start my own business?

pexels-photo-935756.jpeg

It is probably one of the biggest questions you could ask yourself  'Should I start my own business?' because it truly can be life changing.

You start to have that type of niggiling feeling.  Seeing others you know who are taking the leap to quit their jobs and start to work for themselves.  From what you know and have heard it is hard work but in return you get freedom and flexibility to work when and where you want.  To decide your own working hours. 

But on the other side, the dark side, you have been told that it takes over your life.  That to have any kind of success you have to live and breathe your business, you have to sacrifice the things you love the most such as time with your family and work double the amount of hours you would in your full time employment.

And there's the perks you leave behind - the paid holidays, sick days, guaranteed salary, stability and financial security.

Now this last part really gets me going.  That as business owners we are not seen to have a secure income, yet if you work for someone else you are.  That person you work for also needs to make sure they pay your wages and their own.  So actually having more control over what you can potentially earn, seems to me to be more secure than working for someone else when you think about it?

But how do you know if it's the right time to start a business?

The first thing to do is to find out what you are really passionate about, because without passion it is really hard to keep your motivation high on those days when it can be really tough.

The four questions you can ask yourself are:

  • "Why do I want to work for myself?".  Explore your values around this and what is your key driving force?  Family, flexibility, potential to earn more income, freedom to work in different places, make a difference and an impact on others..... what is your driver?

 

  • "What am I really passionate about?".  What are the things you could talk all night about and not get bored (you might bore others but who cares because you love it).

 

  • "What are my strengths, skills and experience that I can bring to a business?".  Think about what work you have done really well before.  What do you love about work and how can your skills help you with a business opportunity?

 

  • "What problem can I help to solve?".  What problem can you see in the area that you are passionate about, a gap in the market, or feel you can do something way better than it's being done now - explore that further.

 

When you have answers to these four things then you know you are on your way to creating something amazing.  This is when the "What if's" will kick in and that fear of failure.  What if it all goes wrong, what if is a complete flop and I don't have what it takes.

 

Having confidence and self belief is the cornerstone to a successful business. 

Yes it's important to get your branding, marketing and positioning right - but these things aren't to be used as excuses for not getting yourself out there and just starting.  Telling people about your plans , sharing your excitement and making new connections is the best way to get your business off to a flying start - the other stuff will then fall into place so don't hide behind the fact that you don't have a webiste yet.

Don't waste a shed load of time, money and energy on all of this stuff when you are still figuring it all out.  Trust me once you start you will grow and evolve and so will your business.  Even business names change, so make it easy on yourself and don't feel immense pressure to get everything perfect - it doesn't exist and you will get yourself in a right tizz worrying about that!

Don't let the start stop you - you can do this and will realise that, just as soon as you decide to go for it!

Gx

 

**Gemma Stow works with female entrepreneurs who are introverts and are ready to take themselves and their business to the next level.  To find their fierce and take that all important action.  As well as private coaching, she runs a membership called Club Fierce that gives that personal touch to women who are looking for support, accountability and an environment that breeds self belief and results.  More info HERE. **

 

Comment