Adventures of an Entrepreneurial Introvert
So, I'm gonna let you all in on a little secret....I'm starting a business!
As an introvert, what kind of business would you imagine I would start? Crafting? Transcription? Graphic design? Anything to avoid social settings, right?
Nope, not me. I am opening an errand service. I thought...I'd really like to help the elderly and disabled and public service providers (police, fire fighters, social workers, etc.) get their groceries, pay their bills, and get all of their other errands done. Make life easier for them.
I thought about how time consuming errands can be, and I thought about how if doesn't really bother me. I thought about how happy folks might be, with someone to lighten the load a little.
What I didn't think about was just how much I might have to interact with people. No, I'm not antisocial...I just have a small, quickly drained social battery.
I don't have any customers yet, but I have been beating pavement to advertise my services. And it has been awkward, to say the least. Stuttering and brain dead when they ask what services I offer or what my rates are. Nervous shifting...starting to leave, then lingering momentarily as I try figure out if they're still wanting to talk. Focusing a little too much on maintaining eye contact, so that I have to ask them to repeat what they just asked. In the past two weeks, it hasn't really been that bad...I suppose it's because the excitement of starting my own business kept it mostly at bay. But now the doubts are nibbling at the edges as the excitement wanes a little and I notice my anxieties and discomfort. The utter lack of customers doesn't help.
But it's okay, I'm okay...I'm patient and hopeful. I am sure I can tackle these social challenges like I do everything else.
What do I do?
Honestly, I don't know. But I have been reflecting, and I have identified some interesting points i might be able to use to my advantage.
1. I don't have any trouble with one on one conversations. It's only when there's two or more people that i get anxious.
2. I do better when I have just done something completely different just before. My toddler has been accompanying me as I promote my business (don't worry, it's a small town, and people are surprisingly understanding), and just after we go to the park or stop off at the house to give him a quick change or break, is when I feel most confidant and outgoing. A quick recharge, I suppose.
3. I might need to tap a more extroverted friend to help get the word out there. I don't really like feeling like I'm relying on someone else, but I might just have to swallow my pride to get this business off the ground.
So, yeah...I have some hurdles to conquer...I should get on that now, before my procrastination tries to kick in, too.