This show is for entrepreneurs in all stages of my business growth system who are introverts. You love who you are, but know that being a little“type A” could grow your business a lot.
This episode is for entrepreneurs who are introverted but know you need to become more of an extrovert to share your business with others. It can feel like a challenge and our guest today, Stephanie Thoma, author of The Confident Introvert, is here to help. In this short episode, you’ll learn simple strategies to become more comfortable outside of your comfort zone. Plus, we also do a little practice session in this episode to help you relax. This is a great show for those who really prefer your own company but know your business needs to be shared.
At the End of This Episode You Will:
Feel most settled about being an introvert in an extroverted world
Have meditation/prayer practice to calm your nerves
Understand how to manage external communications while remaining the introverted person you love to be.
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Full Show Transcript:
You’re listening to the Sweetlife entrepreneur podcast, simplified strategies to grow your service business and launch a life you love faster with business, mental and entrepreneur activator a probate. Hi everyone. And welcome back again to this sweet life entrepreneur podcast today, Or talking specifically with those of you who feel like you are an introvert and you’re an entrepreneur you want to lead in your space,
but there are some different social barriers that you have trouble approaching and crossing as an introvert and the work that you do in your business. You want it to feel authentic, how you show up on social media. You want it to be authentic to who you are, and you really love your comfort zone. And so today on the show, we’re talking to Stephanie Toma and Stephanie is truly an expert at helping those of you who are introverts to really step out and lead in your space.
She is a networking strategy coach event, host and founder of the confident introvert. She’s also an author of a new book that came out this past June called the confident introvert. She is an introvert herself and she’s facilitated over a thousand events and established a fulfilling career. Helping people generate meaningful connections at online and in-person events. And her mission is to help you feel confident and establish really amazing business relationships that catapult you forward in your career.
Stephanie has been featured by Forbes business, insider entrepreneur thrive global, and so many other places, including being invited to speak at Harvard, Northwestern, and Boston universities, as well as internationally to date, Stephanie has helped thousands of people just like you. You’re an entrepreneur, or you want to step into leadership. She’s helped thousands of people like you to make sure that you can celebrate your strengths as who you are and be authentic with confidence and make meaningful connections.
It’s not sounding so great. I’ll be honest with you. I learned so much. I’m not an introvert. I’m definitely an extrovert. And so many of the strategies we talked about on today’s show, including like a quick short guided meditation that we went through was so powerful. So this show is for you introvert entrepreneurs, but it also is for those of you guys that might actually be going so fast at a trillion gazillion miles an hour,
that you need some resetting techniques too. So I was so excited to invite Stephanie onto the show. At the end of this show, you are going to have solutions to how to approach anxiety and different hacks to get through times when you’re anxious, you are going to know how to approach social media as an introvert and how to show up across social media.
And you’re going to get tips on how to network, even though we’re talking about online networking, how to network confidently and different web apps, strategies, and different ways that you can connect with people that isn’t just doing it cold really ways to enter you into relationships with people in a way that feels confident to you. So if all that sounds great, stick around because we’re going to dive in all the show notes from today’s show can be found by visiting Sweetlife co.com,
including all of the business programs available to you to develop your programs, your leading offers, and your 2021 business strategy cruise over to Sweetlife co.com. We’re here to help. Let’s go ahead and dive in.<inaudible> All right. Hey, you guys, April here and I am joined by Stephanie Toma. And today we are talking, especially to all of you introverts out there.
You are experts your leaders, your entrepreneurs, your creatives, you know, you are where exactly where you’re supposed to be, but maybe there are some struggles that you have that other entrepreneurs may not have as far as how to be confident and own who you are as a person and the business side of it. And that is why Stephanie Toma is here on the show today.
Stephanie, thank you so much for joining us. Tell us a little bit about you and your area of expertise when it comes to confident introvert entrepreneurship. Yes. Hey April, thank you for having me. So my company is competent introvert and there are a few different tiers there. I do individual coaching focused on leadership development and also a variety of webinars focused on networking,
remotely, networking in person, and also cultivating authentic competence. That’s rooted from within. I’m certainly not about faking it until you make it. It’s about actually from a root level, understanding what are the roadblocks and navigating those to have an authentic sense of confidence that is unshakable, even as an introvert, there’s such a common misconception that if you get your energy from solitude,
which is the definition of introversion, that, Oh, you’re meant to be a wallflower and that’s not true as introverts. We can authentically connect with more than just one person it’s quite possible, but there are just little tweaks that can help us navigate social spaces. I love what you said. If you get your energy from solitude, I never realized that was the definition.
I’ve actually think there’s probably a lot of people that can relate to that and be like, Oh gosh, maybe, maybe I do have some, some aspects or characteristics of introvert than I, then I didn’t even realize that, you know, people just really, really get their energy from that space. So thank you so much for being on the show and you are the author of a new book.
We want to make sure that you mentioned that just came out for those of you introverts. Tell us really quick about your book. Yes. Yeah. So competent introvert, a practical Guide to connecting with others at networking events and beyond it came out this past June. And it’s all about how to go from point a to point B point a being I would like to connect with people.
I would like to get out there and grow in my career, whatever that looks like. I like to become clear on my goals and achieve them become successful, but how do I get there? So this book really fills in those gaps and leverages the most fun way to get ahead in your career, which is through making authentic friendships, which is your network and coming from a place of,
okay, how can I help people? And then, Oh, I have a bunch of friends and maybe I can ask for help when I need it. And it becomes this really synergistic sort of experience, but it’s all about taking the first step and beginning to network. So basically I have hosted over 1000 networking events and before I hosted network events, I was attending them.
So that’s what prompted writing the book. I realized that there’s magic and there’s learning in numbers and having been to a high volume and hosted them. I was really excited to put pen to paper and just let this flow out of me last year. I love that what an amazing resource for people. And so you have attended thousands of events, you’ve hosted over a thousand events and you are stereotypically.
What somebody would say is, yeah, I’m an introvert. And so this like really leads us into the very first step that you’re going to share with us today. Let’s talk about just some general anxieties for introverts and some of the things that introverts experience that other entrepreneurs might not experience as far as from the social emotional standpoint at these events. Can you share a little bit about what that feels like for an introvert versus somebody who’s just super out there and in everybody’s business and face like me?
Yeah. And Hey, it’s great. We need both ways that everyone shows up, but I would say that one of our core needs is to feel understood and to be understood. So there are a couple of different areas of dissonance that introverts specifically can come up against in a networking capacity. One scenario is everyone thinks I’m so quiet. If I speak up,
then it contradicts what people expected me and what I expect of myself and not as uncomfortable. So that’s one way. And then the other way, this is what I more recently have sort of encountered, which is people assuming that I am an extrovert because I have developed social skills and I use them actively. So there can be this dissonance of, Oh,
I’m quiet. Everyone thinks I’m quiet. I don’t want to be different than that. Or Whoa. Everyone thinks that I get my energy from others because I can talk with people, but it’s like the secret that I’m an introvert. Interesting. I mean, I can’t exactly understand, but I can see how that, that would be stressful. And so from an anxiety standpoint,
how do you manage the anxiety of attending these types of events or frankly, how do you manage the anxiety of operating as a founder, as a CEO and as an introvert? What are some of those anxieties? Yes. So in a virtual world, one of the ways that we can alleviate anxiety is by taking steps to avoid burnout. I mean, I’m sure you’ve probably experienced zoom fatigue.
It’s just a guess. It’s super common just when you bond, like from one event, the other to the other and you realize, Oh, I should be energized. I’m just sitting in my chair for eight hours straight and not doing anything. It should be fine. However, we find ourselves depleted and the antidote to that is a concept from my book,
competent introvert, it’s called a solitude sandwich. Essentially, we can do this with our socialize. We can do this during the Workday. We can translate this in person or online. And basically what that means is the contents of the sandwich. The meat of it. If you’re vegetarian, let’s go with some PB and J that’s your activity. That is what you’re actively engaging in.
Maybe it is a phone call with someone, maybe it’s going out to dinner, whatever it is, making sure that on either end of the activity before and after you have a little bit of a buffer to let’s say, go on a walk, take a stretch break. Or one of my favorites is meditation. And that kind of leads me to the next tip,
which is to engage in a meditation practice. If you don’t already, do you meditate? Is that a part of yours? Yeah. So I meditate and pray, and that is, I actually start every Monday morning. That way I don’t feel like I need to as much throughout the day, but when I’m coaching sometimes a big stretch day. So like an intensive day with the client,
I absolutely have to back away with zero stimulation, at least halfway through it to recharge it. Yes. And you know, I’d say for introvert specifically, what can cause us a lot of anxiety and strife is overthinking and you know, I have joked with people. Well, I think other people just under think, you know, like maybe I’m thinking enough and it’s fine,
but you know, sometimes I’m like, wait, there can be thoughts that are ruminating and you feel like your wheels are spinning and there isn’t a lot of traction and it’s not benefiting you in any way. So what meditation does is it acts as a way to clear the mental fog. And if there’s any confusion about what are the next steps in my life that I should take,
or do I want to go to this event? What do I want in my life? What do I want out of this event? You know, I really view it as being such a powerful tool to be in. And So many people use this tool, but are doing so wonderfully in their careers. It’s pretty much a best kept secret and it’s not exclusive to monks or to people and,
you know, praying contacts it’s really accessible to all of us. And a great way to introduce yourself to meditation is with a mindfulness meditation technique. So I call it the breath of four, four, four. It’s pretty easy to remember. And if you’re feeling stressed or feeling anxious, this could be a foreign event. Or before you go to sleep,
when you wake up, whatever that anxiety pops up, just taking a comfortable seat, rolling your shoulders back and just breathing in through the nose for four counts. And you can do this with me. I do this, I love doing this stuff. We’ll do it here. If you got listening with us, you Guys can do it right here on the podcast with us.
Okay. So if you’re driving eyes open, if you’re so breathing in through the nose for one, two, okay. See, this is why I’m addicted to yoga, Lots of yoga. So these techniques, these anxiety techniques, what’s so great about this particular show. I mean, they really aren’t just for introverts. These apply to all of us with a really high level high stimulus world.
And so those are certainly important, but I definitely can see why they’re so much more important to an introvert leader to be able to strategically think and thrive. And there’s so many different parts of being a leader in this space that require you to be articulate and, you know, be proactive and be that leader in that, in that area. But I certainly see how that could be a struggle as well.
When we are talking about leadership for introverts. One of the questions that I get all the time is from clients and podcast listeners in general and just across social media, is it as an introvert. I hear a lot from people that they feel like they need to be present on social media. They need to be doing Instagram lives or Facebook lives, or they need to be out there really in a raw live capacity.
But that is not within who they are as a person. And it may or may not actually align with the brand they’re building for their company. How do you recommend, or what tips do you have for introverts that really feel like they may or may not. I mean, this is a whole business strategy question, but just generally for them, let’s say they really do need to be active on social media.
They do need to be doing live streams. They do need to be guesting on podcasting, do need to be present. How did you help introverts approach those types of things that are completely out of their comfort zone and frankly, they don’t even want to do. Yeah. Okay. You bring up such a great point because I get this all the time with my clients as well.
I don’t want to be visible. I don’t want to be the center of attention, or I don’t want to take up more space than other people because why should I should let other people speak? And from a certain standpoint, it’s like, okay, we can rationalize and say, you know what? I don’t need to do that. So I won’t,
but that’s how you stay small. And when you become about something greater than yourself, which is the reason why you have a business, because it’s not just about you, this isn’t a big ego trip. You know, if it is then maybe rethink your entrepreneurship, ideally you’re driven by a mission that extends beyond yourself and a part of getting that mission out there and helping people is being visible.
So even though it’s uncomfortable, I will say repetition for effect. So I’ve hosted so many events. And before that I attended so many events. And what do you think it was like when I very first started? Was it seamless? Was it perfect? Was it credible? No, it was not. But I mean, and that’s kind of an extreme example.
You don’t need to attend a thousand events before you’re comfortable, you know, it’ll happen sooner, but then the more you do something, there will be so much dissonance. If you dislike it and you keep doing it. So you learn, Oh, I kind of like that part of it. And then over time there are studies that suggest that the more you see someone,
the more likely you are to like them. So these, there are studies that suggest this, like at the word hand, for, within your home environment, you know, ideally. Yeah. So it would make sense if the more you do something and you don’t do it with the intention about why have to, even the referrals I get to, I am in such a privileged place that I get to attend this event and learn about this topic and meet others who are also interested in learning.
Yeah. So I’m hearing you say, it’s basically the response to a question that we ask our clients, what will happen to your people. If you do not show up for them, what’s going to happen to them? Like what is going to happen to them? If you do not, if they don’t hear about your services, if they don’t hear about your offer,
if they don’t experience the transformation that you deliver within your book or your program or your mastermind or whatever it is, what’s going to happen to them. So I love that. And that certainly does put it in perspective because it has nothing to do with the leader themselves. It’s all about who they’re called to serve and change. And then the other thing I heard you say was that repetition is going to make it easier.
Each time you do it, you got to show up. It’s not about you. It has nothing do with you actually whatsoever. And it’s really going to get easier each time you do it. So I love those encouraging words and it is, it’s so important because every single entrepreneur is different. Everybody brings something different to the table and there’s nobody like you and nobody will be out there.
If you aren’t out there, you won’t be out there. And that’s a big thing. So kind of trying to transition this a little bit here. So we have these online events, right? Or we have the social media we’re out there and being present. But what we also know is it, regardless of all the social media in the world, posting that you’re doing,
what really builds business is relationships. Relationships are what increase sales, bring other people into your business, word of mouth, nothing builds a company like relationships. And so with these introverts, what tips do you have for introverts for actually networking and building relationships online? The yes. I mean, we can talk about, we could do a whole show on in-person networking events,
but you know, right now, what do you recommend as far as how to go in network remotely, how to reach out and make those first connections. How to go about doing that as an introvert. So many introverts myself included, tend to really thrive when it comes to communicating. One-on-one maybe it’s not our first choice to be on a stage, but you can get there if you want to be there.
Right? So I would say that, especially if you are wanting to ramp up your networking and you do feel, let’s say a bit of social anxiety or just don’t get your energy from that, then one way to start is by doing one-on-one networking experiences. So there are a few apps, including lunch club, Bumble, biz, and shaper. And those apps,
what they’ll do is they will match you with a new professional every week. And so you could meet up to five people and one week, if you choose to, and you know, you can meet with them from anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, and you just never know where these conversations will go, but what’s great about them is that you don’t necessarily need to go out there and find someone,
you know, this person wants to connect. So there’s a little bit less of that factor of I’m going up to this person. Are they interested in connecting? I mean, chances are, if they’re out of virtual event, they probably are, but it’s more foolproof this way. And then let’s say, if you are interested in connecting with someone and you’ve attended a virtual event,
be that person who in the chat feature drops their LinkedIn link and says, Hey, I’d love to connect and invites people. So what I have found in my experience as an introvert and event hosts is it’s so gratifying to have people come to you. You know, when you’re the host or when you are extending an invitation, then it really does open doors for you that you wouldn’t necessarily know to open yourself.
And also attending events that have a specified networking portion. There are a lot of really great tools right now. You know, I’ve used icebreaker a lot. There’s also teleport and other different online one-on-one connection games where they could be an entire virtual event or they can be a component. But if you are looking to connect with people and don’t necessarily want to do it completely from scratch,
have a warm lead, so to speak, then that’s certainly one way to go about it. That is so smart. As we were driving into this section, I was thinking that you were going to share with us just how to send a cold message to somebody on LinkedIn, asking them to have virtual coffee. And I identify that. I was like,
gosh, that would be a really big thing. I imagine for an introvert, these tips are so good. And the fact that we’ll make sure all of these resources are shared in the show notes for you guys who are listening. So all these things from the shaper of the lunch club, but Bumble, biz, icebreaker, teleport, and obviously every place else where you can find Stephanie,
we’re going to make sure they’re on the show notes for you guys. Stephanie, thank you so much for your time today. This is a great show and it isn’t a topic we’ve really hit on very much. I think we had a show about introvert entrepreneurship about three years ago. And I still remember that realizing that there are so many different aspects of leadership that truly need to be approached in a different manner for different types of leaders.
And, and I love that this is your area of expertise, so thank you so much. And then also for our listeners that are like, Oh my gosh, this is me. You know, she’s speaking my language. They Kevin’s talk a little bit about, you have a help sheet that we’re going to include in the show notes here about the working remotely resources sheet.
Is that, is that include some of the resources you’ve mentioned or what are our listeners going to get out of that bonus to this episode? Yes. Okay. I’m so glad that you’re asking about that. So that is just an easy one page cheat sheet of different tactics from my networking remotely webinar, but also we did touch on a few of them in this call as well.
So yeah, I would certainly say if you’re interested in just a refresher from this conversation and to perhaps learn about new concepts as well, that can help you in your online networking journey, then you’ll want to go to Stephanie toma.com/freebie and that Stephanie T H O M a.com. Perfect. Perfect. And then for Stephanie’s coaching programs, we’ll make sure a link to her coaching program is in that is in the show notes for this episode as well.
Stephanie, thank you so very much, any last words you’d like to leave for our introvert founders and CEOs listening to this episode? Yes. So I would like to leave everyone with just the sentiment that if you are listening to this podcast and thinking, you know, it seems a little bit of a reach. I’m not sure if I a leader, I Know that I’m an introvert,
but I don’t, you know, the thing’s kind of stretchy for me, just knowing that having the desire to lead and having a mission greater than yourself is the first step. And I truly believe that everyone can lead once you have that clarity of what you want to stand for and lead with that’s so, so good. Thank you so much, Stephanie.
We really appreciate you. Yes. Thank you for having me April<inaudible>. Thank you so much for tuning into today’s show. Again, this was Sweetlife entrepreneur podcast, episode number 202, and Stephanie Toma was our expert guests today on the show to find all of the resources that we talked about, including how to find Stephanie’s networking, remotely strategy sheet, all of the apps that she mentioned on today’s show ways that you can work with Stephanie and she can help you walk into your authentic leadership and how to get your hands on Stephanie’s new book,
please cruise to Sweetlife co.com. And this is episode number 202. I’ll see you soon. Have a great week. You guys