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How a fun-loving, social, woman entrepreneur found out that she’d rather be alone

Watch the video below to learn about introversion

In a MILLION YEARS –

I would never have guessed that me, the outgoing, fun-loving, party giving, free-spirited me, was in fact an introvert! It will probably surprise the heck out of my family and friends to learn about this as well. Yes, I am coming out of the introverts closet right here and now.

I’ve been an ‘out there’ kind of person since I was about 19 years old. I was the one my ex-husband would push forward into any party situation proudly encouraging the words ‘Go get ’em Fran’. I was the one who was a successful sales person and entrepreneur. I have a mouth for goodness sake. One that has gotten me into a boat-load of trouble and one that has helped me find great success. I can’t be shy!  Oh, but wait! Being and introvert doesn’t necessarily mean that you are shy! Even though it says that you are in the dictionary. It also means that you are a person whose attention and interests are directed toward your own thoughts and feelings rather than external things. And you can be considered or perceived as reserved or shy.

The introvert who opened my eyes!

My weekly workshop for women entrepreneurs was a very interactive group (to say the least) There was  a lot of sharing, fun and self-expression. We had over 200 women who were members of the group with a weekly turn out of about 15 – 20 women.  We had our regulars who became the pillars of the group welcoming the new and supporting each other passionately. There were the one-timers who might not have felt a connection and they never returned. Hey, we weren’t for everyone. Then there were those who came more than once. Enough so that I would learn more about them. They would participate a bit and their faces started to become familiar. If  I noticed that those women weren’t coming, I would occasionally give them a call to encourage them to return. There was this one woman who I really liked. She was very quiet  and sat in the background mostly. She spoke with a level of gentleness and wisdom coupled with confidence and intentionality. She didn’t say much unless we addressed her, but when she did, she had no problem sharing something poignant. I started noticing that she was coming to group less and less. A  call here and there would bring her in for another time. On the last time she didn’t show, I sent her an email telling her that I missed her being in group. She responded with a few well thought out words along with the video below. ‘The Power of Introverts’ By Susan Cain.

I stopped everything I was doing and watched the video. My body started vibrating all over. I watched it again. And again. Not only did I now realize why this woman wasn’t coming to group (I so appreciated her poetic way of sharing it with me) but I was now sitting with information that would change the rest of my life. I saw myself in so many of the scenarios of her talk. Working alone, loving my own company, being more creative and happy in my own quiet space. The things that my extrovert friends would tease me about. ‘Come out and play Fran’. ‘Come to dinner with us Fran’. ‘Come away with us Fran’. No, No and NO! I was almost always a No. But it was often a painful No. As I began enjoying my own company more and more, I began wondering if something was wrong with me. Was I a workaholic, anti-social, agoraphobic? Even though I knew I wasn’t any of those (OK, maybe I work too much) I could never explain why I didn’t want to schedule anything. After all, I love people. I want them in my life. But apparently only as a spice. Not a main course.

BALANCE, BALANCE, BALANCE 

Another thing I learned in the video is that most people have a little bit of introvert and a little bit of extrovert in them. Apparently that’s called Ambivert. Some of us might lean towards one or the other but if they share traits of both, that’s supposedly ‘healthy’. I am apparently leaning towards introversion right now but who knows, I may be on the upside of a sine wave and round back to the wild and crazy social version of myself. Or not!

What I will continue to do is proudly nurture this realization not only for myself but for my clients who up until now may not have understood why they didn’t quite fit in the world of entrepreneurship. I have already begun helping them find quiet businesses that suit the introvert in them. It’s a rewarding experience for sure to help them find their purposeful place.

I have to tell you, it feels really good now that I have words to describe why I am the way I am. Hopefully people will not take it personally when I don’t show up for all their invitations. I might even send them this video to help them understand. Maybe a few of them will see an introvert in themselves and my hope is that they don’t resist it but start honoring that. You never know!

 

Thank you for reading!

Read Why I ran away from home and my business for 2 1/2 years – A story for women entrepreneurs who are  lost and disillusioned

Fran Asaro is a Life and Business Coach helping Women Entrepreneurs create a Freedom-Based Lifestyle. Visit her Thrive Any Way site.

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