Welcome to the fourth of an ongoing interview series where we’ll be meeting other introverts in business who have found their own unique version of success.
Today I want to welcome Sherry Bevan, confidence consultant and founder of The Confident Mother who will be sharing her own experiences of being an introvert in business. Over to you Sherry!
1) Can you give a brief intro to you and your business. What do you do day-to-day?
I’m Sherry and I run The Confident Mother which is about celebrating and loving life as a woman and as a mother. Everything I do is about helping women to create a feeling of confidence. For me that confidence comes when you get these five different elements right: work, wellness, family, contribution, and feminine. The right balance will be unique to each woman and will change at different stages in your life. I help women get these five elements in balance so that they love life and have more confidence, energy, clarity, focus, and more fun with their family.
2) When did you know for sure you were an introvert and what does that really mean to you?
I’ve always been quiet and reserved. I started to learn more about the differences between introverts and extroverts about 12 or 13 years ago. At my law firm, I worked alongside another manager who was very experienced in understanding Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). I was absolutely fascinated and intrigued. It helped me to understand how to better manage my staff and to better manage myself. I understood why and how I needed to recharge my energy and gave myself more ‘permission’ to be alone.
3) How has being introverted helped you in your business?
I have certain skills and strengths: for example, attention to detail, being comfortable in my own company, being happy to work on my own that are definite assets for any business person or career person.
4) What challenges do you face when running a business as an introvert and how do you manage them?
Large social gatherings are a challenge for me. During the gathering or networking itself, I am happy and confident. However I need to take time afterwards to ‘recuperate’. I can find it exhausting. If I am travelling away for 2 or 3 days, I need to ensure that at least one of those nights away gives me an opportunity to get into outside space, ideally into nature to re-energise i.e. not spend all of every evening with the client.
I am much happier dealing with enquiries by email than taking 100s of telephone calls. I like time to focus and concentrate on my writing. I am happy to talk to people by telephone but I prefer that to be at a pre-arranged time. It’s about finding what works for you and developing your systems accordingly.
I do love getting up and talking in front of an audience, so sometimes people are surprised that I’m an introvert however I need the time and space to recover afterwards! Often at a busy networking event, I will slip away for 5-10 minutes – just to observe the room and what’s going on. It’s enough time to regather my energies.
5) How do you care for yourself and maintain your energy levels?
I like to work in peace and quiet. I care for myself by reminding myself of my vision and goals every day. I have a positive mantra on my wall and on my computer desktop that I say to myself every day. I make sure I have at least 30 minutes every day completely to myself. I run regularly – sometimes with a group but I also love running by myself out in the local woods and fields.
6) What is your favourite form of self-expression?
Photography – I love writing and blogging but for me photography is the ultimate form of self-expression. I love unusual shots or ordinary objects. I love photographing textures and nature.
7) What advice would you give someone who is worried that their introversion will hold them back?
Celebrate your strengths as an introvert. Embrace what’s different. Find out what works for you and make your business work to that rather than the other way round. If you absolutely hate big networking events, don’t do them. Find other ways to network – online or in much smaller groups. Relish the fact that there are many introverts in the world who may much prefer working one-to-one, in a more intimate way, who will appreciate the quieter service that you offer.
To find out more about Sherry and connect with her, head here.