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Am I an introvert and why it matters in business?

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So many people say to me “ you don’t need to label people we are all different”. Of course I know this already. Having worked in the public sector in probation, and with young people with different challenging behaviour there can be nothing worse than being labelled and being put into a box that is a one size fits all scenario!

But labelling can also have it’s benefits.

For years I used to think that I didn’t measure up. Questioning myself why couldn’t I be more like ‘her’, love public speaking, oozing confidence, full of charisma, the life and soul of the party?

It’s really important in business that you figure out who you are and get really clear on what you can do, what you think you can’t do and what you really want to do.

People often tell me that people that there is no need for labelling and who cares if you’re introvert or extrovert personality, but of course it does matter as it’s all about who you are and what you like to do and enjoy to do, rather than having to always feel like you’re not good enough because you don’t do things in a certain way and that is often the case for introverts.

Business is about telling others about what you do.

You know business is about the selling, marketing, visibility, putting yourself out there and at the same time all those things can scare the hell out of introverts because it’s doesn’t always appeal to us. However the only reason it scares us is because we associate all these things with being big, loud and in your face. When they really don’t need to be.

I know a lot of introverts that are amazing at selling because they do it in a way that feels good to them. They make real connections with people, build relationships get to know their customers. You just have to find the way that works for you not against you. I’m all about you finding out what your superpowers are and using them to your advantage in your business.


Am I an introvert?

So the traditional way to decide about your personality is to do the old school personality tests. I’m sure you’ve heard of Myers Briggs and other kind of personality questionnaires that you can spend time filling in your preferences and then it will come back and tell you what kind of personality you’ve got and what your strengths and your weaknesses are and all that kind of stuff.

If you’re interested here a few links to some of the personality test that you can take to see what you’re kind of personality is and they can be quite enlightening actually and when you read things about yourself like that makes sense under things start to fall into place for you. Check out Susan Cain’s or Sixteen personalities to start with.

It might also make you realise you know where some areas in your business needs some work. You know you are the expert at what you do for work, however there are always things in business that we avoid because they just don’t feel good are they not aligned with our personality.

So I am an introvert, what now?

Well now is the exciting part you get to look at all the areas of your life and see where your strengths are and how you can play on those strengths and use them to your advantage in business. It is all about looking at the things that you’ve previously decided aren’t for you and maybe to take a new perspective on them. For example a business owner downloaded my free guide on how to network even if you are an introvert and hate talking to strangers. After that she got in touch and told me the impact that had on her networking journey. She had started to regularly attend a local event. She has now spoken at that event and won an award for her business. From telling herself that networking wasn’t her thing to actually finding the right one for her has been a massive game changer!


So why not think of three things and figure out what it is but you need to focus on more in your business to really get the results you’re after. What have you been avoiding and telling yourself it isn’t your thing? Take a new perspective on it - how can you use your strengths to make it work for you?

I couldn’t find a networking event that really worked for me - so I started my own ‘Introverts Talk Biz’ and I haven’t looked back. The feedback has been incredible. One women said it was a like ‘coming home’ and she realised she could actually enjoy networking.

Here are three things you can think about….

  1. Where do your clients come from and are you actually being visible in that area? Just because it doesn’t necessarily float your boat - it might float your clients? Can you make it work?

  2. Figure out what makes business fun for you? It’s all about enjoying what you do - so take stock of your business model - does it actually serve you?

  3. Make sure you factor time in your diary to re-energise. If you’re pushing yourself out of your comfort zone by going to networking events, showing up online etc you need to factor in some time alone to get your energy back. If you don’t do this you and keep pushing without time for yourself you start to become exhausted and feel negative towards your work, which could reinforce that you shouldn’t be doing the things you doing, when actually a lot of good and positive things can come from it.

When people tell you that it doesn’t matter if you’re an introvert, extrovert or someone in between, it actually really does matter and it really matters to your business and the success you want. Don’t hold back from trying different things - it might just be that you need to do things in your own way!

So maybe it’s about time you figured out what this means to you and how you can use it to your advantage. Figure out what your true strengths are and have some fun in business, it doesn’t have to be stressful and yes it will be hard work, but building a business is a rollercoaster so why not find the fun in everything you are doing instead of feeling scared or avoiding it.

Figuring out that you’re an introvert in business can be the best thing that ever happened. Let me know how you get on.

**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. Or book in a chat with her if you are looking to increase your confidence in different areas and find your inner fierce **

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But introverts don't do business do they?

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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. **

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How post natal depression made me a savvy business woman.

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10 years ago everything changed.   July 2008.

Not only did I become a mum for the first time, but ironically I also lost who I was. 

It was the first time I didn’t believe I could do something that I ‘should’ have been able to do naturally. 

I felt like a failure. The biggest failure of all time. Alone. Just me.  I realised I was carrying around the feeling for years that if I can fail at being a mum,  I’ll probably fail at everything else.  This realisation was the game changer for me and my businesses.

 

Post natal depression is hard to describe.

That feeling of hopelessness. That nothing I could do would ever be good enough. The anxiety and worry every minute of every day. The huge responsibility that was often too heavy to bare.  The dark cloud that followed me around. The fog. 

But looking back it also had a profound affect on me. It made me reassess what I really wanted. What makes me tick. And not what I thought I ‘should’ be under the pressures of society. 

 

It taught me to listen to my instincts.

That when I listen, really listen, they are super specific and usually spot on.

They know. I know. What’s really best. 

Accepting that working and making a difference to other people’s lives is in my blood. I needed it like I needed the air I breath. 

Not because it was satisfying some empty void, but because it was a sense of purpose. A determined purpose to make things happen. To create change. To unlock potential. A purpose I’ve felt deep inside since I was a little girl. Knowing I needed to aim high no matter what. To do the things that can’t be done. 

Because of this I didn’t think I could be a good mum. Because I didn’t crave to be with my children every minute of every day and I wanted to work instead. That feeling this way was bad. That I was bad. 

 

But I proved myself wrong.

By listening to what I needed, I could be EVERYTHING to my gorgeous baby girl. 

I see her today. Strong willed. Fiercely independent. Oozing confidence. A sense of belief in herself that she is capable of anything she sets her mind too.  And she is. 

 

I see me. The real me. 

The me that was once crushed by this sense of having to do the ‘right thing’ whatever that was. That I wasn't good enough if I didn't do what was expected of me - to stay at home and care for my children for all of the hours in the day.  The pressure and guilt associated with choosing to go to work instead.  I say choosing because I was.  I wanted to build a business from scratch and I knew that would take up a lot of energy and time.  Time away from my family.

 

Do I regret working so early on when she was little?  No. 

Do I regret not spending more time at home in the early days?  No. 

Do I think she’s lost out because of the decisions I’ve made?  No. 

 

Because I know that I had to find me before I could be the best mum to her and her brother. They are my world.

When I look at them. I mean really look at them. My heart stops and they sum up the sense of purpose. 

To not only teach them, but show them everyday that they too can do the things they may think they can’t. That they can be, do and have whatever they want. 

 

I couldn’t have planned or predicted the last ten years and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m more of the woman I had hoped I’d be. An inspiration to others.  Doing things that scare me. Making a difference. Taking risks. Trying things that others wouldn’t try. And things they didn’t want me to try either. Being the change I wish to see in the world. 

 

Am I still scared? Of course. 

Because if nothing else the last ten years have shown me that curveballs are around every corner. Waiting to test you.  Waiting to teach you.  A look. A comment. A loss. 

Those feelings still show up. But I spot them coming now.  I know them really well because I decided to get up close to them. To see them for what they are. 

 

Every experience we go through defines us.

The good, the bad and the ugly. Look for the lessons and embrace it by believing in yourself and how much you are truly capable of getting whatever you really want. 

 

 

**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. **

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What stops you being visible online?

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Being visible online can be scary.   But if you run your own business then it really can help to boost your know, like and trust factor with potential customers and therefore increase profits!

If you have been putting off getting yourself and your business out there then it is time to find your fierce and increase your visibility today!

It is pretty normal to feel scared.  Scared to put yourself out there online for your business to reach your customers.  I was scared too.

As we grow and learn there are always new parts of our lives that demand a different version of us and this can in itself bring more challenges and self doubts.

It was July 2015 that I posted my very first blog online.  I had no idea what I was doing.  But I did it anyway, and guess what.. I didn’t tell anyone.

It was online, yes - but it took me about 3 months to actually share it and then I hid behind another name.

I hid behind the name 'Fiercemum' and nobody, apart for my nearest and dearest knew about it - that was the start of something special - but only because I decided it would be.  

As a introvert this was a very difficult thing for me to do.  I like being behind the scenes and letting others take the limelight...but I knew that this time I had to do things differently.  I had to dig deep to find the confidence and strength to push those doubts I had about myself to one side, so I could step out of the shadows and help others to do the same - to be fierce in all areas of their lives. 

You know those doubts – ones like …

“I am not good enough”

“Who am I to think I can do this”

“What will others think of me”

“I don’t know enough and don’t have what it takes”

And it is not easy to silence those doubts – but with courage and paying attention to yourself and those thoughts, it can be done.

 

I have and it feels great.  I now have a great online business which means I can work from anywhere - which is all I have ever wanted; freedom and flexibility to do what I want, when I want, so that it suits my family and me.  And with my business means I get to work with ambitious women who also want the same thing too!  To make a difference and make money.

It all came from showing up.  From getting the 'ladyballs' to do what I believed in.  To be persistent even when I thought there was no point.  To get visible and show others what I stand for and what I can do to help them too.

I kept going. 

Because when you start the visibility dance you keep dancing and don’t stop.

Stopping means checking out what others are doing, or worrying about who is watching and not dancing with you, overthinking your own dance moves, instead of just enjoying your time on the dance floor and making YOUR dance up as you go.

Well you can have this too.

This is what I am all about - empowering women who work for themselves (or want to) to feel fierce about who they are and what they stand for and to have the confidence to go shout about it.  Not for them but for those people they want to reach.

 

So if this is what you want them connect with me over in my free group The F Movement for female entrepreneurs or book in a call with me today and let's chat about what you need that will make the difference between no one knowing about you and your business, to all those potential customers who want to get to know you better!

Just think how AWESOME it'll be when you can stop feeling overwhelmed, confused and hiding - to be super clear, confident and excited about taking that all important fierce action and being seen for who you really are!

No more hiding – much more dancing!

Gx

 

**Gemma Stow works with female entrepreneurs who 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.  More info HERE. **

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#Stop Comparing Yours to Theirs.

Comparison is the thief of joy.  That's what they say - what do you think?

I can really understand this statement and it can be very overwhelming when you start to compare yourself to others and the impact that this can have on how you truly feel about yourself.

I did a #FierceTalk was on this very subject - if you missed it check it out.

Comparing where you are right now with someone else in a negative way is not good for you.  Especially when you use it to find faults with yourself.

The problem is that you don't recognise your own strengths and beauty as you are far too busy comparing yourself to others.

You start to feel undeserving, inadequate and inexperienced.  Who am I to do this? I don't have what she has? I am not good enough who will listen to me?

Do you find you do this?  We all do it at times and it can be detrimental to our self esteem.  If this becomes a habit then we start to lose confidence in our own abilities and the pressure and overwhelm creeps in and we stop moving forwards - we give up, we think what's the point?

Social media has only served to increase these feelings if we allow it to.  Do you know what I mean? Watching someone else's movie reel and all their highlights about what they are up to!  The thing to remember is that it is only their highlights - not everyone would have the lady balls to show up and show off their down days - those moments where everything has gone to shit.  It isn't easy sharing this with the world because of the fear of being judged - what will they think of me if I do show up and I haven't got my shit together?

Constant comparing of this nature will not end well.

Constantly comparing yourself to others in a negative way can lead to depression and anxiety because you ultimately tell yourself you have a shit life because it is not like those other people's lives you see on your phone.  Now there is a sentence I wouldn't have thought I would write - but it is so true.  We have all been there and I know you have too.

Well it is time to stop.  

You have an incredible life and can use it to inspire others.

Firstly you cannot compare your chapter 1 to somebody else's chapter 20.  It just doesn't work like that.  Of course there will be differences, of course they will have experienced more things, and you will too as you create more chapters in your life.  

Secondly, at least you have a chapter 1 right?  There will be others comparing themselves to you too - only thinking about starting to follow their dreams, but are too scared to show up yet.  They don't even have a chapter and will look to you and be amazed by how you did it.

I was watching my 8 year old daughter in her dance class last night.  I love seeing her dance and the passion she has.  She shows determination and commitment and never misses a class.  

She does get concerned about how far the other girls have got and how they can do this move and that move and she can't.  But what was interesting last night was that another little girl was asked to do the finale move - an amazing cartwheel without hands - which she was brilliant at but only on soft mats.  

The tutor wanted her to practice it on the hard floor ready for the real competition.  Se was scared to do it.  She cried.  Her dance class buddies were all staring at her, and then out of nowhere, they started clapping - it gives me goosebumps to relive it to be honest.  

It was amazing to watch.  Her girls had her back.  She knew it.  And she bloody did it.  And yes all the girls were probably thinking they wish they could do that move (I know my daughter was) but they didn't sit there feeling negative towards their team mate - they encouraged her to be the best version of herself, to push her out of that comfort zone, to do the thing she really wanted to do, because that is what is needed in these times where we think we can't go on.  

We need encouragement.  Which by definition is the action of giving someone support, confidence and hope.

And all those other girls who did the encouraging will feel a sense of satisfaction knowing that when their time comes they will have a huge team of other girls who will encourage them to do the same.  It's bloody inspirational and it is what I am all about.

Watching that unravel last night brought me to tears because it kinda sums up everything I stand for.  
 

Women having each other's back.  


So yes you may feel that someone is better than you and maybe they are further on their journey - but remember they were once where you are right now, and there are others who are only dreaming of being where you are.  

It is time to stop the negative comparison BS.

And instead start using comparison to your advantage.  Truly believe that if she can do it then it is possible for you too.  

Don't forget that.  

If someone is paving the way for you then this is a great thing, as it means that you can run along that path knowing full well what will be at the end of it.
 

Her success is definitely not your failure - it is only your beginning.


 


FM x

 

If you have not yet joined our amazing group of Fiercemums then come on over. 

And if you are ready to figure out what you really want and to discover that passion you can turn into work you love then grab my free gift here.

 

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