Welcome to the first of an ongoing interview series where we’ll be meeting other introverts in business who have found their own unique version of success.
First up in this series I want to welcome Melyssa Griffin – blog coach, web designer and founder of The Nectar Collective: an online support hub for creative bloggers and entrepreneurs.
Having come across The Nectar Collective a few months ago I immediately connected with its colourful vibrancy and practical tips. Jam packed with helpful guidance for getting your blog up and out into the world The Nectar Collective is a great place to turn when you need a boost of creative inspiration and support.
As a fellow introvert I’m thrilled to have Melyssa on the blog and this interview really shows that as introverts we’ve got a whole lot going for us.
1) When did you know for sure you were an introvert and what does that really mean to you?
I think I discovered it in high school after taking a Myers Briggs assessment and discovering I was an “INFJ.” I identified very deeply with the description of an INFJ, but it wasn’t until late college or post-grad when I started to understand what “being an introvert” actually means.
To me, being an introvert means one thing in particular: you draw energy from being alone and you enjoy that alone time. I have a hard time with the stereotypes that classify introverts as meek and shy as I think they’re inaccurate descriptions.
We’re loud in our own ways and have so much power that we carry within. It’s beautiful!
2) How has being introverted helped you in your business?
I think being introverted makes me very conscientious, both with how I run my business and how I deal with clients. It’s very important to me to be empathetic and think things through before I make any decisions.
Also, I work with people mainly one-on-one, rather than in group settings. Whether it’s with a coaching client, blog reader, or web design client, everything is one-on-one. As an introvert, I thrive in these one-on-one arenas and really enjoy that aspect of my business.
3) What challenges do you face when running a business as an introvert and how do you manage them?
One thing I struggle with is networking. For example, I enjoy business conferences, but at the same time, I don’t think I feel as happy at them as other people seem to. I have a hard time finding value in small talk conversations if I feel like people are only talking to me in order to exchange business cards.
I think, for me, I need to put an emphasis on authentically networking. It might mean I go home with less contacts, but it will also mean I build stronger connections with the people I do network with. That’s what it’s all about for me.
4) How do you care for yourself and maintain your energy levels?
I work from home by myself most days so that definitely keeps things balanced. I love having the choice to go out and work with other people or hang out with friends or business peers when I want to, rather than feeling like I have to.
5) What is your favourite form of self-expression?
I just love this question! I honestly love self expression in almost any form. When it feels very wild and genuine, it makes me feel kind of emotional – I think it’s just a beautiful thing to see people being themselves.
As for me, I really enjoy writing, photography, design, and random craft nights. I also love video and dance as a form of self-expression, but those aren’t talents I acquired 😉 At the bottom of it all, I think it’s just about honesty. If I see a form of art or self-expression that feels undeniably honest, I can’t help but fall in love a little.
6) What advice would you give someone who is worried that their introversion will hold them back?
Instead of focusing on how introversion will hold you back, focus on how it will propel you forward. Being an introvert may have certain minor downsides, but the good that comes with it – the deep thought, the empathy, the genuine connectedness – is an incredible gift. Harness those talents and don’t be afraid to do business your own way.
To find out more about The Nectar Collective and connect with Melyssa, head here.