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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
like “what 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, we’re 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. We’re
at the start of this big consciousness raising but I believe in the next decades to come,
we’re 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, you’ve 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, they’re 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 they’re 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 you’ve 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 like “okay, 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 we’re going to tell you about at the end of the show. The first
point, we’ve 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 like “this 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 all” doctrine. 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 you’ve met that one person, great. You go through life that way
and now you’ve 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 they’re movie premieres,
sometimes it’s a big seminar or a big event, and I always find myself going like “where’s
one person and let me just find one person I can have a great conversation with” that
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 we’re 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 they’re not “an 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 it “when 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 good, then all of a sudden I hit this two hour mark and I'm like “I really
want to go home.” I look around and I'm like “does anybody else feel this way”
and no one appears to feel that way. I now know that many people feel that way; they
just aren’t saying so. I think you can train yourself in graceful ways to extricate from
those situations. I have a friend who does this beautifully, she’s an introvert and
she never says no really to any invitation; she always shows and she always leaves really
early, and you know what? It’s okay. I think I'm actually the only one who even notices
that she leaves early just because that’s my job but I don’t think anyone else pays
attention; they’re just happy that she’s there.
Marie: I love it because from a certain other framework,
it’s like “leave them wanting more.”
Susan: There's that too.
Marie:You show up, you make an appearance and you feel
good for the time you feel good, but I know for me, I have some really dear friends that
we’ll spend time with, and when I’ve hit the wall and these particular friends, you
have to get a ferry to go to their house, so it’s a pretty big ordeal, and if Josh
isn’t ready to leave yet, I just tell them “You know what, y'all, I’ve hit my wall,
I’m gonna go hang out,” and they know me, so they’re like “She’s not being
weird, she’s not being rude; she just needs to go hang out for a little while.” Sometimes
if I’ve had enough of a break I can then come back and re-engage, but I just think
it’s so great for us to give ourselves permission. I know for me in the past I’ve always felt
so guilty, “Am I being a party pooper? Am I being so selfish?”
As we continue and go on and maybe start wrapping up, one of the other things I love is the
quote from Gandhi. Do you want to share that?
Susan: The quote from Gandhi, this is to me my motivating cry in life in
general, he says, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” I actually by the
way thought of calling my book Shake the World Gently, which I still love that idea but my
editor said it sounded like a memoir of growing up in the African savannah, so we didn’t
go with it in the end, but I love it. Gandhi really lived that way and he was by the way
incredibly shy and quiet and introverted. So much so that when he was a kid growing
up in school, he used to apparently run home from class every day as soon as his class
was over because he didn’t want to socialize with this classmates afterwards, and he remained
shy his whole life, but he did what he needed to do. He talks about it in his autobiography
that his shyness was his greatest source of strength. I think many quieter and shier people
all need to get in touch with that because once you start realizing that your shyness
or your quiet is connected also to sensitivity, powers of observation and all kinds of other
powers that you probably value about yourself, you start reframing the way you think about
it.
Marie: So beautiful. I love this conversation. I know
you have some really exciting projects coming up and for everybody, we’re going to put
links to everything below to know where it is, but do you want to share a little bit
about what you're creating next?
Susan: Sure. We are developing this quiet revolution organization and ultimately
the suite of tools that we have will be I think quite enormous, but we’re starting
out with courses in public speaking for introverts and communication skills for introverts, and
again, the idea of these is not “we’re going to tell you how to be this larger than
life character on stage.” Instead, we’re going to be helping people to be themselves
on stage and make that really work.
Marie: Susan, thank you so much for being here today. I
wanted to do this episode and I wanted to have this conversation with you for so long
and I am so grateful that you took the time out to come to be with us today.
Susan: Thank you so much. I'm so honored to be here so thank you for inviting
me.
Marie: Susan and I have a challenge for you. If you're
up for it, the first thing is if you consider yourself an introvert, which of the strategies
that we shared today resonates most for you and why? If you don’t consider yourself
an introvert, perhaps you have someone in your life who is, maybe it’s family member
or a colleague, and what today resonated for you and how can you perhaps approach the people
that you love in a more loving and powerful way? We would love to hear about it in the
comments below.
If you liked this video, like it, subscribe and share it with your friends, and if you
want even more great resources to create a business and life that you love, plus some
personal insights from me that I only talk about in email, get your buns over to MarieForleo.com
and sign up for email updates.
Stay on your game and keep going for your dreams because the world does need that special
gift that only you have. Thank you so much for watching and we’ll catch you next time
on MarieTV.
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Susan Cain: Networking For Introverts

3723 Folder Collection
姚易辰 published on March 28, 2014
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