I run a business that relies upon me connecting with others offline. Where once I could comfortably hide behind my computer screen building relationships with women in different states and overseas destinations, the local focus of my new biz now means that I need to leave the safety of my laptop and enter the ‘real world’ (you know the one – hugs with humans, coffee shop chats, hours spent listening and engaging, lots of eye contact) from time to time.
I’ll be honest and say that as much as I love it, it can also be draining. Especially when I’m feeling particularly introverted, my energy is lagging and I’m at a particular stage of my moon cycle. The easy answer would be to throw in my biz and head back behind the screen. But I’ve never been one to hide from challenges – I’ve always been one for heart centered, comfort zone expanding and aligned goodness. That’s why I’ve had to come up with ways to do what I love, my way. A way that honours my personality and energies and respects my individuality and uniqueness.
So chika, here are my five top tips for conserving your energy as an introvert in business. I hope they help you create a business you love, as much as they have for me.
One – prioritise getting to know, accept and love yourself.
This is truly where it all begins.
The more you know yourself, the better you can design a life and business that works for you and helps you to thrive.
The more you accept yourself, the more you will stop trying to be someone and something you’re not. You will celebrate your uniqueness and proudly make decisions that are aligned and in your best interest.
The more you love yourself, the more you will respect your energy and time, and the more you will invest in your self care.
Two – schedule appointments with yourself.
I often get messages from friends in biz saying, ‘Hey Che, are you free next Tuesday for a catch up? I’d love to talk to you more about (biz related) x, y and z’. And sometimes, I have to respond with, ‘Unfortunately not honey – I have some Che time scheduled in. Let’s come up with an alternative time soon though!’
Being someone who has lots of people in her life and who does enjoy connecting and building relationships, it can be easy for me to fill my calendar with catch ups and appointments. Rather than serving me though, all this activity leaves me feeling depleted and tired. That’s why I schedule in Che time – so I have space dedicated to nourishing my mind, body and soul with whatever it wants and needs. Sometimes it wants to work. Other times it wants to sleep. Or go for a beautiful walk. Or go to a meditation class. Or watch trashy reality TV. Or journal. Sometimes it just wants and needs to be alone, and scheduling non-negotiable appointments with myself means that this is guaranteed to happen.
Three: invest in yourself and do something soul nourishing.
Being on the go a lot means I sometimes find it hard to ground myself, without the help of others. Although I used to resist and beat myself up about this, it’s something I’ve learned to accept (back to point number one honey!) Because I know I’m not likely to do my own one hour at-home yoga practice, I invest time and money and go to a class. Because I know I’m not likely to sit down and meditate for hours, I go to meet-ups and day retreats. Because I know I’m not likely to spend hours doing the inner work and reflecting with my journal, I take myself to women’s circles and art workshops.
Not only does investing time and money into doing these things nourish your mind, body and soul, it also nurtures your biz and all those you serve with the work you do.
Four: do only that which fills you with joy and get comfortable with saying ‘no’
It’s okay to say ‘no’ and to be selective about the people and activities we choose to connect with and engage in. We’re not Wonder Woman and we can’t do it all. We’ve been conditioned to give and to say yes. We’ve been taught that doing otherwise is selfish and wrong. But this is simply not true. It shows strength and self respect to say ‘no’ – to put your own needs first, knowing that without filling your own self love and energy cup, you simply cannot give to others in the way you want and perhaps even in the way they need. Okay, so nobody likes someone who says ‘no’ all the time or is constantly cancelling plans, but I imagine the kind of person you want in your life, collaborating with you and your business, is someone who will be understanding of this (and perhaps even celebrates it!)
Five: turn off your phone and shut down your emails.
I have a tendency to feel overwhelmed when I have a lot of information ‘attacking’ me (haha, this is what it feels like anyway!) from all angles. My mind goes haywire when my phone is pinging, my email is beeping and my social media notifications are buzzing. That’s why I’m learning to use my devices in a way that serves and supports me, rather than pushes me to the brink of insanity. I’m getting better at putting my phone on silent when I work, avoiding social media (which admittedly, I find very hard to do!) and only checking my emails at certain times of the day. No only do these simple strategies gift me space and productivity, they also help to calm my mind and balance my nervous system – and I say a big Amen to that!
What strategies will help to nourish you and enable you to show up more fully in your business? I encourage you to implement one or all of these simple but life enhancing and energy conserving tips. Not only will they help you be your best Self, they will also add value to your life, and your business.