I have just completed a little quiz (see the link below) from my business pal Clare Josa to find out whether I am an introvert or extrovert entrepreneur. Why? Most of you will assume that I am an extrovert and yes, I can be. I have plenty of energy to be an extrovert most of the time but I sure as hell need downtime to prevent feeling overwhelmed, squashed and drained.
And yes, it turns out that I am indeed, for the most part, an introvert.
Now for those of you that have met me – it might come as a surprise. The good news is that – you know what – it really a problem. You just have to plan life a little more cleverly to avoid hitting zero when you are expected to be sociable.
For me that means building in downtime, ideally at home. I used to wonder why I would be raring to work at the weekend and when it came to Monday I would suddenly hit ‘zaaag mode’ where all I wanted to do was enjoy the parameters of my silent home for a while. That might seem a bit weird to you. Me too. But it turns out that with a little self-care and scheduling I can work around that.
So with Clare’s , it makes a lot of sense. It’s not rocket science, despite Clare being a former engineer, but certainly a clever reminder of how I can excel as an introvert entrepreneur.
- Be aware that some of us only have so much ‘people energy’ in a day, so networking can leave us feeling drained
- We love and are extremely productive during our quiet time, where we can work in peace, but we may get distracted by our favourite book
- Tends to prefer email (or text etc), rather than calling. They don’t like ‘bothering’ people on the phone.
- Tend to have a smaller circle of deeper friendships and prefer ‘meaningful conversation’
- Often feel depleted after long, group meetings and hate open-plan offices. In my case I tend to make a sudden exit if I am not careful.
You can read more about Clare Josa at
The great news is that introverts often excel in English contrary to their fear around speaking in a foreign language because they feel safe doing the passive part of language learning – reading and learning the grammar.
So whilst my idea of learning a language is to head down to the pub, after all a beer is a great linguistic lubricant, don’t you agree? Another introvert needing some time out for themselves might well read something in English, an excellent approach to exposing yourself to perfect English.
This is the basis, the grounding, and I am sorry to say this, but at some point those introverts are going to have to find a way to actually ‘speak’ in English.
A good friend and former client of mine, Vroni the book-loving blogger from Language Tea Time, is currently enjoying a trip to the UK to immerse herself in English with a family. You see it’s not that the introverts cannot do this stuff, they just need to find a better fit that might well involve more energy to arrange in the first place.
Vroni is braver than I am, she writes her blog in both languages, even though she has not grown up in a bilingual home, she has learned English herself mostly and that deserves some major blog visiting vibes I think.
So never mistake an introvert for not being ambitious and goal driven, oh no, Vroni is evidence of that.
Find out more about her English learning adventure at http://languageteatime.de/
If like me, you are introvert or you would go as far as saying that you are shy then an important first step to start working on your English would be to have personal coaching, like Vroni did. Being with just a trainer, is far less intimidating than having to learn in a group. A lot of my experts and entrepreneur clients used to hate school because they knew the answers in English but found the saga of having to raise your hand embarassing and pointless.
Not every child wants to be the centre of attention, no matter how brilliant they are. Not every student feels comfortable reading out loud, all eyes their way as they try to find their words and stumble out of the pure humiliation. Children that have been exposed to this style of teaching – go on to be brilliant at what they do but kind of missed the boat on learning to love speaking in English.
If you feel that the time is right to try a different approach, let me know below