Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Exposing Yourself

I am a serious introvert.  I know, that seems to be a thing now...it is fashionable to be an introvert.  When you are an artist who is trying to publicize herself, it isn't so fashionable...unless you can afford to pay a person to deal with all the people in your life...then I could see it working.  In the real world, artists and small business owners cannot afford to pay someone to do the tasks in business that they do not have the patience or stomach for.  I signed up to receive E-mails for a new jewelry business class and the first subject that was talked about, was finding what you loved and paying someone else to do the rest of it.  That sounds wonderful, but since I can't pay myself right now, how am I going to pay someone else?  Being an introvert may be the in thing, but  I am one of those who really wishes I could change how I respond to my environment.  I am noticing, it doesn't work that way. 

To be honest, people make me nervous.  I am not a skittish sort, but I am hyper aware when I am around people.  I get a shaky feeling with a bit of fear before leaving the house for an art fair, even ones I've been to for years.  I leave a networking event or client meeting, replaying all the possible missteps in the conversations; the points where I may or may not have inadvertently insulted someone, said the wrong thing or didn't explain something in the right way.  I get the comment, "If you don't enjoy doing it, stop," but it is not that simple.  I have always had people tell me that I need to be more confident.  What they don't see is that I am confident, in my work and in my ability to accomplish a task.  What I am not confident in is the ability to convey that to another human being.  I am much better in writing, though I have been known to take a half hour to write a simple response; rechecking words and phrasing to verify that my thoughts are clear. I love what I do, and in order to be able to continue my art I have to sell it, which means I have to talk to people.

All of the marketing, networking, and business books talk about spreading the word of what you do through your network.  What if your network is full of introverts?  It doesn't work.  The spread of your influence doesn't reach very far then is sputters and dies.

Sounds overly dramatic.

So what's a girl to do?  Right now I am reading.  Trying to see if other people have advice that will help me in my line of work. 

My List of Books

Confessions of an Introvert: The Shy Girl's Guide to Career, Networking and Getting the Most Out of Life

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Networking for People Who Hate Networking: A Field Guide for Introverts, the Overwhelmed, and the Underconnected

Do you deal with being an entrepreneur and an introvert? Do you have a favorite source for information and ideas to effectively market yourself?

Thank you for reading,
Sarah McTernen

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