A few days ago, as I was shooting for one of my product photography clients, I decided to take a break from Christmas music and put Ted Radio Hour on. I listened to a few episodes, but it was “Quiet” which intrigued me.
The episode recognized how noisy the world is. How we are constantly inundated with more, more, more. But then it went on to note something I’ve always known, but rarely heard voiced: that value is measured by how charismatic we are.
Think about it. Extroverts are often the ones who get the attention, the followers, the clients, the money. They’re the ones who are bubbly and outgoing. Who love to network. Whereas I — and many other introverted business owners — prefer to let my work speak for itself, or get business by referrals from past clients, even if that means I don’t grow as fast or as large. While neither is right or wrong, I’m not looking for fame or followers. I’m here to build genuine relationships, help others succeed, and make a difference.
This episode gave me permission to not feel guilt for my introverted nature or desire to live a slow, quiet lifestyle (even within my business).
Creativity doesn’t always have to emerge from collaboration, but can often be found when we explore stillness and solitude. When we’re alone with ourselves and our thoughts, we’ll learn what it is that we really love — without outside influence.
When I started listening to my heart, I learned who my audience is, the people I want to serve, the community I want to build. And because I cut out the distractions and gave myself time to imagine, I more readily find organic inspiration — like the way the last of the evening light dances across the walls of my living room — which has led to opportunities I’ve only dreamed of. It’s a ripple effect.
So this evening, my challenge to you is to pause. Slow down. Take a moment of calm and quiet. Let yourself just be in the present moment, without thinking about what you have to do, or what your “competitors” have done. Look around. See how the common and mundane in front of you transforms into something beautiful. Let your imagination run wild.
Do you find that your introverted or extroverted tendencies carry over to your business?