This post is dedicated to my friend and official first member of the Self Employed Movement, Tony.
What a weird title, right? What could be good about a failed internship? Is this guy alright in the head? Maybe, maybe not, but who cares?
The best part of my failed attempt at an internship, besides freeing up time to write content for this blog instead of harassing friends and family to buy life insurance, is the fact that I learned about myself and why I work how I work.
You see, I was always an introvert. And I thought this was a bad thing. I was always “shy” or “quiet” and I never really had much to say. But I observed a lot and had a great memory. I just thought that’s how I was and how I’ll always be. That I was different in a negative kind of way.
It gave me anxiety. I hated meeting new people and trying new things. I thought everyone liked these kinds of things. I used to be awkward in social settings and I thought it was just me. I’d get bored easily, my mind would wander, and I’d be quiet. I’d be there but I wouldn’t be there.
I improved as I got older with the help of my friends but I was still a little different…a little off.
I didn’t quite know why.
Until one day I did.
One of the tests for that “lucrative” internship that I was chasing was a personality test. I’ve taken them before and thought this one would be just the same as the others and that it wouldn’t tell me much.
But it did.
The recruiter went over the results with me and she said that “this bar here shows that you’re an introvert. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just how it says you are. How do you feel about that? Do you think it’s accurate?”
And for the first time ever, it hit me, “yes, I am an introvert, but no, it’s not a bad thing.” She went on to say that introverts obviously don’t talk as much as extroverts but that just means that they’re better listeners and generally, have a better memory.
Holy shit. This is me! This makes sense!
She also went on to say that introverts, in general, deal with rejection worse than extroverts. Again, she was totally correct.
She talked about the other metrics and did a recap at the end stating that, “given all that this test shows about you, including the fact that you’re an introvert, we think that you can be successful in this role. In fact, one of the most successful advisers in the area is an introvert himself.”
Finally, after 25 years of thinking that I was a bit off, I realized that I was just fine. For once, I was at ease with myself. I accepted me for being me. I realized why rejection hurt so much. I realized why I just can’t walk up to someone and start a conversation. I realized that my hatred for being in sales was okay. I realized that my methodical way of “sales” and the like is just fine.
You see, I can’t make the first move and talk to someone on the street about the weather. But I can make the first move in other ways, like online, where my written words are my tools to get my ideas across instead of spoken words. It’s the same sort of communication, I just use a different technique.
I can’t make you buy something after talking to you for 5 minutes. It’s not me. It’s not my style.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t run a business….that I can’t have my own business and control my time and create the life I want. It doesn’t mean that I can’t add value to the lives of others and get compensated for it.
It doesn’t mean that you can’t either.
It just means that we have to do things and get our ideas across a little differently.
I thought being an introvert was a curse. I always wished I could be extroverted. I thought that would solve my problems. Turns out I was trying to solve the wrong problem. I should have focused on harnessing my introvert tendencies to change the way I was playing the game of life.
But hey, at least I know now. And for all my fellow introverted followers, you now know too.
How have you dealt with being an introverted business owner? What helps you that can help others?
Check out this interesting article I found: introverts vs. extroverts which is also the source of featured image at the top of the page.