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  • Marie: Hey it’s Marie Forleo and you are watching MarieTV,

  • the place to be to create a business and life you love, and this whole shindig is Q&A Tuesday.

  • Today’s question comes from Kristin, and Kristin writes:

  • Hi, Marie. I know that I have the talent to make it big with my business, and yet my

  • business challenge is my introverted nature. I'm contemplative and a great observer, and

  • that’s a strength with my photography, but not so much with putting myself out there.

  • The classic artist syndrome of good art and bad marketing. Too many business for introvert

  • articles I've read imply that we would have fit the go-getter mold in order to succeed.

  • I find it hard to believe that I have to change my nature so fundamentally. Are there ways

  • to work the room that don’t drain the life out of us introverts? Thanks again, Marie,

  • you are creating exactly what your gifts and talents are made for.”

  • Kristin, this is a question that we hear over and over again so you are so not alone. We

  • get tons of emails about it and I hear it all the time in B-School. So to answer that

  • question today, I have the world’s best expert to help me A this Q.

  • Susan Cain is the author of the award winning NY Times bestseller Quiet, the Power of Introverts

  • in a World that Can't Stop Talking, which is being translated into over 30 languages

  • and was named the #1 book of the year by Fast Company. Quiet was a subject of a Time Magazine

  • cover story and her writing has appeared in the NY Times, the Atlantic, the Wall Street

  • Journal and many others. Her record smashing Ted Talk has been viewed over 5 million times

  • and was named by Bill Gates as one of his all time favorites. She's an honors graduate

  • of Princeton and Harvard law school and lives in the Hudson River Valley with her husband

  • and two sons. Susan, thank you so much for being here on MarieTV. It is such an honor

  • to have you here on the show.

  • Susan: Thank you so much for having me. I love your show.

  • Marie: So the first thing I want to talk about, and

  • this is probably something that not a lot of people know, but you and I discussed when

  • we talked on the phone is that I actually have a lot of introverted qualities and that’s

  • why I was so excited to talk to you today. Most people don’t realize it but even though

  • I do this, it’s like when I travel or go speak at a seminar or do anything, I need

  • a lot of downtime when I come home, and even in my personal life, I actually prefer very

  • small intimate get togethers like two, three or maybe four people versus big parties. I

  • know you were quite shocked to hear that.

  • Susan: It’s so funny because I was shocked when you first told me, and

  • this was in the phone conversation that we had, and then I hung up the phone and was

  • likewhat were you so surprised for,” because people tell me this all the time.

  • I find the most unlikely people tell me that either they're introverts or just that they're

  • extroverts who feel like they wish they could have more downtime than our amped up society

  • gives anybody. Especially people who are in the media the way you are, media is filled

  • with introverts, so I sat on a panel recently and it was Candice Bergen and George Stephanopoulos

  • and all these other people who were really there out in their daily lives; they all said

  • they're complete introverts.

  • I think that’s one of the interesting things because I just think so many introverts learn

  • from a very early age to act more extroverted than they really are, so if you really are

  • an introvert, you go around thinking that you are the only one who has these needs to

  • get away sometimes, and that there’s something wrong with you for having them and you don’t

  • realize that half the population feels the exact same way.

  • Marie: That’s amazing. Your work is reaching millions and

  • it’s so important and I think one of the things that struck me the most about you,

  • and it gave me chills when I read it, is that you really see this like a civil rights movement

  • in its own way. Tell us more about that.

  • Susan: I really do. I believe that introverts today are more or less where

  • women were around the 1950s or 1960s. You have this group that makes up probably half

  • the population; studies say that it’s anywhere from a half to a third of the population is

  • introverted. That’s half the population that is feeling discounted because of this

  • trait that goes to the core of who they are and just the way we were with the women’s

  • movement in the 1950s or 1960, were at the start of this big profound consciousness

  • raising in terms of getting people to notice that there is this bias towards extroversion.

  • The other thing that’s great about the analogy is men are great; sexism is a problem, so

  • same thing here. Extroverts are wonderful; the problem is only that we have this bias

  • that tells everyone that they have to be an extrovert whether they are or not. Were

  • at the start of this big consciousness raising but I believe in the next decades to come,

  • were going to start seeing real impactful concrete changes in the way our schools are

  • run and the way our businesses are run and in the way people think about themselves and

  • their psyches.

  • Marie: What I love about you too is that you wrote this

  • book, you're doing this work and you had shared with me that you had a real fear of public

  • speaking of letting yourself out there. Tell us about that.

  • Susan: Of all the people you have met in your entire life, youve never

  • met anybody as terrified as I once was at public speaking; that’s the only way I can

  • think of to describe it. The silver lining to it was I couldn’t eat before giving a

  • speech so I would always lose 5 or 10 pounds before I do a speech and I couldn’t sleep

  • the night before; it was always this horrendous experience. What happened for me was that

  • my book was coming out, this was in 2012, and I really deeply, passionately, cared about

  • what I was saying in the book and I knew that to be able to promote it, I was going to have

  • to give talks.

  • I embarked on what I called My Year of Speaking Dangerously where I practiced public speaking

  • every chance that I could, and I started in very small, very safe, very supportive environments,

  • which by the way is what you have to do. It does not work to just throw yourself up in

  • a big high stakes stage situation; you have to start small.

  • Marie: I love that too. That’s how I did it. I remember

  • my first workshops when I was a life coach. There were three people in the room, my yoga

  • and my parents and a pet.

  • Susan: You really do have to do that, and then this magical thing happens

  • after a while where you start to become desensitized. It used to be to me was just a primal horror

  • to have all these people looking at me and I just don’t really feel it anymore, little

  • by little by little.

  • Marie: That’s awesome, so its almost like you build up stamina,

  • you build up your strength and you're able to handle it. I know for me all that energy

  • looking at you, and most of it is always really good, people generally tend to want to see

  • a speaker succeed, theyre excited to hear what you have to say. I love that.

  • Susan: I think on that point one of the other important things for a nervous

  • speaker is actually to train themselves to look at the people in the audience who do

  • look happy about what you're saying because there are always going to be people who are

  • bored or sleepy or disgruntled or whatever they are, and nervous speakers tend to focus

  • on the disgruntled people, and then that makes me feel bad about what theyre doing, and

  • so you can train yourself over time to focus on the positive.

  • Marie: I love what you said there because I think its

  • something that whether you consider yourself an extrovert or an introvert or anywhere on

  • that spectrum, I think we tend to do that in our whole lives. For example, even with

  • MarieTV or maybe even book reviews, I don’t know if youve seen this, but it’s like

  • so many people can say great things or have found value or have some kind of awesome dialogue

  • with you about a creation, but then the one stinker that may not even be a piece of useful

  • critical information but it could be mean-spirited or just at a left field or maybe it hits personal

  • where it gets you in a sore spot, and that’s the thing that your mind hangs onto; it’s

  • the place that you focus and then you're done for a little while.

  • Susan: That’s so true and I actually think that one of the great things

  • about being out there online and having those things come to you mediated through a computer

  • screen is that you can train yourself to deal with those things in the privacy of your own

  • home; you can take five minutes to be likeokay, that hurt for a moment and now I'm

  • moving on.” I find you can take that practice into your real life also, your offline life.

  • Marie: Are you cool if we get into some practical tips?

  • Again, I love your book by the way. For anyone who has not read Quiet, you have got to get

  • your hands on this book and read it immediately. It is awesome and Susan also has more cool

  • stuff coming out that were going to tell you about at the end of the show. The first

  • point, weve got a few points to share with you all, but the first point which I really

  • really love was something in your book and it was like a broad stroke and it was so simple

  • yet so profound. You talked about choosing your business or your career wisely.

  • Susan: It’s really important. People, when they are thinking about their

  • career or evaluating a potential employer, they think about health insurance, they think

  • about what will my office look like, they think about their salary and they don’t

  • tend to think about whether the job or career is going to be a good fit for their temperament.

  • You really need to be thinking, if you're an introvert, “is this a job that’s going

  • to have me having to be on all day long or is it someplace where the things that I love

  • to do,” it could be photography or could be the sitting and thinking deeply and strategizing,

  • could be anything. You need to make sure you're choosing a line of work that fits you.

  • Also, I do think for everybody, introvert or extrovert, the most important thing of

  • course is to be doing the work that you're super passionate about. Many introverts find

  • themselves being passionate about something that requires them to also be out in places

  • that are beyond their comfort zone. Like what happened to me, I spent seven years happily

  • writing a book in splendid solitude and then since then my life has been all about being

  • in public. What do you do with that? I think the answer there is you can act out of character,

  • and I'm drawing here in the work of the psychologist Brian Little who talks about this all the

  • time; you act out of character for the sake of work that you really love, but you're doing

  • it mindfully and as soon as you're done shooting your episode or whatever it happens to be,

  • you come back and you take a restorative niche where you go into your own space and you have

  • life working the way you want it to work. All of this has to come from a place of feeling

  • entitled to be that way.

  • Marie: The next point, which is genius, you talk about

  • making a quota. Tell us about that.

  • Susan: One of the things introverts, like the women who wrote to you, struggle

  • with all the time is this feeling, I have this party invitation or a networking event,

  • I really want to stay home but I might be missing out if I don’t go. I would advise,

  • instead of wrestling with yourself every night for each of these invitations, come up with

  • a quota system where you say whatever it is, once a week I'm going to go to these networking

  • events six times a month; you pick what feels reasonable for you. You meet your quota system

  • and then you don’t have to feel guilty the rest of the time, and you also don’t have

  • to agonize night after night what you're going to do.

  • Marie: I love that and it goes to this idea I’ve

  • been playing with lately which had been talked about before but I’ve been seeing to come

  • to life in my life is decision free living for a certain spectrum. It’s emotionally

  • taxing, it’s mental, it’s like you go back and forth and I feel like your creative

  • energy gets sucked out. Tim Ferris talks a lot about it in all of his work and I was

  • looking at it, I just did this detox not too long ago, and basically it was regimented

  • when I was eating, what I was eating and I was likethis is the best thing ever.”

  • It’s like I know what I'm doing and then all of my creative energy can then be devoted

  • to the things for me really matter. Making a quota; genius.

  • Susan: I would also add to that that you can use that kind of quota system

  • if you find yourself in a relationship as many people do where you're one introvert

  • and one extrovert and I think this happens all the time because introverts and extroverts

  • are so attracted to each other. My husband’s an extrovert. You can come up with that kind

  • of quota system as a couple so that you're not always arguing about whether you're going

  • to go out as a couple or whether you're going to stay in.

  • Marie: I love that. Genius. Moving on. Number three.

  • This was great and this was from your manifesto, the power of one and the rule of thumb for

  • networking events.

  • Susan: Everybody tells you for networking that your job is to work the room

  • and you should emerge from every networking event with a big fistful of business cards,

  • and I say that is ridiculous. It works for some people but it’s ridiculous as a “one

  • size fits alldoctrine. You need to reframe networking in a way that works for you. For

  • me, when I think about networking, I don’t even use the word network because I hate it;

  • it sounds really machine like and cold to me. I think in terms of kindred spirits, so

  • I go through the world looking for kindred spirits and there’s always at least one

  • in every party or any event, like the person who you really connect with; you really want

  • to be with them, you want to get to know them better, you want to stay in touch and usually

  • at any event, there’s many one such person who you have that kind of chemistry with and

  • that’s fine. Once youve met that one person, great. You go through life that way

  • and now youve got this gigantic collection of kindred spirits and I just find that a

  • much more humane way to live and also a more effective one.

  • Marie: I have to say I feel the same way. I was telling

  • off camera Josh and I go to a lot of social events; sometimes theyre movie premieres,

  • sometimes it’s a big seminar or a big event, and I always find myself going likewhere’s

  • one person and let me just find one person I can have a great conversation withthat

  • makes me feel more connected in my heart, and it also takes the pressure off of me thinking

  • I'm a bad networker.

  • Susan: I'm really glad you said that because the underlying theme to everything

  • that were talking about today is take the pressure off. All of these ideas, I'm a bad

  • networker, I'm not social enough, all of these things, these are ideas that are imposed on

  • us culturally and we don’t have own; we can reframe it all.

  • Marie: Love it. Point number four was about the power

  • of partnerships so tell us about that.

  • Susan: I was thinking about this when I was listening to the Q&A that came

  • in because I believe that most business owners are best suited finding a partner who is their

  • temperamental compliment, an introvert looks for an extrovert and vice versa, and also

  • just in terms of skill sets. If you're the ideas person, you might need a really grounded

  • finance person. I can tell you I'm doing this now; I'm building out a quiet revolution organization

  • to develop tools for individuals and companies and schools who want to help introverts draw

  • on their own natural strengths instead of turning them into extroverts. I have a partner

  • in this venture, his name is Paul Shabeta, he’s an old friend of mine and he’s a

  • total extrovert to my introvert and it makes life so much easier because I go on doing

  • the things that I like to do, writing and speaking and connecting, and he’s the one

  • who very naturally picks up the phone to strike up a deal with someone. Things that I could

  • do but I would have to push myself really hard to make them happen and for him it’s

  • really easy. Why would you struggle like that instead of just having each person be in the

  • domain that they feel strongest with?

  • Marie: I can hear some of our audience going “I can’t

  • find a partner,” I think even what you're saying is surrounding yourself with person,

  • even if theyre notan official business partner.” It might be someone you work with

  • regularly or someone you work with on your team, that you create somewhat of a support

  • system around yourself where everyone’s leveraging their strengths and honoring their

  • own temperament.

  • Susan: And that’s where I go back to the kindred spirit thing again because

  • if you collect that network of kindred spirits then you're going to find those partners just

  • naturally.

  • Marie: I love it. So beautiful. The final point, and

  • I know this is my language, this is not necessarily your language to everybody, it’s not Susan

  • Cain’s not doing some ghetto stuff like I always do, but I called itwhen it’s

  • time to fly, don’t deny.” I find it to be so fascinating because as I was sharing,

  • I feel this way sometimes so I’ll let you reveal what this strategy is about.

  • Susan: It’s just the idea that everybody, when you are out in the world being

  • on and being social, reaches their breaking point. I know any time I go to a dinner party,

  • it always happens; I’ll be having a nice time and I’ve had my glass of red wine and

  • everything is