theintrovertteacher

Quietly Leaving Your Mark: Personal Branding for Introverts

[To my fellow introverts:]

Like you, I struggle with the dilemma of deciding between being known and having a quiet, private life.

Note the present tense. I still do.

What I learned is this: 
In order to have the quiet, private life that I want, I must first be able to provide for it.

Yes, I’m talking about the 3rd most taboo subject: Money.

Let’s get real.

You need a fair bit of change to live in the most expensive city in the world (according to The Economist Intelligence Unit - EIU). As do I.

Prime opportunities go to those who are at the top of their field. If you’re not up there with them, you’re getting second-rate projects that they rejected or were never going to enter their field of vision anyway.

What that means for you is that you are fighting with a lot of people for very little gain.

Is that really how you want to live out the rest of your life?

This is my perspective.

I’m done being passed over for meaningful projects that I know I’ll be great at, which instead got handed to the loudest person in the room.

I’m tired of being treated as if I’m slow or invisible during unnecessarily raucous meetings and ‘brainstorming’ sessions.

I have had it with people wondering whether I’m good at what I do just because I take time to think rather than talk constantly and offer information they may or may not want.

This is why I built my personal brand around who I am and what I wish to achieve.

It required a lot of thought and a lot of work, but I am on my way to leading the life I want to lead. It’s going to be a journey, and I’m glad that I have friends along for the ride. (You guys know who you are!)

If this is a journey you have heard of but haven’t embarked upon, I encourage you to take the first step and start building your personal brand.

If you’re concerned that you don’t know what to do or which direction to head, it’s alright. You don’t have to go it alone. We can be your guides and show you the way.

Join me and my friend Eugene Seah on the 10th of July (it’s a Tuesday) from 7 pm to 10 pm at Synergy Hub @ 45 Middle Road #06-00, a mere 5 minute walk from Bugis MRT station.

I will be showing you how you, too, can quietly leave your mark on the world and those around you.

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Arising New Misconceptions About Introversion

The impact of Susan Cain's book Quiet has been nothing short of impressive. Suddenly, introverts from around the world are proud of their identities.

However, as with all such shifts in thinking, new misconceptions have arisen.

With this newfound attention, especially through the media, introverts, who used to be viewed as 'weird' are now seen as 'cool'.

Perhaps in an attempt to seem like part of the 'cool' gang, many people have jumped on the bandwagon and declared themselves as introverts because they see themselves exhibiting certain stereotyped introverted behaviours, such as reading, taking time alone and being less-than-comfortable in social situations.

Of course, there are many other such stereotypically introverted behaviours, but let's for now focus on these three:

1) Reading

Reading is NOT the exclusive domain of introverts. I know plenty of extroverts who read - some of them, voraciously and I also know plenty of introverts who don't enjoy it at all.

This is a stereotype because reading is typically a solitary activity and concentration on the content is usually easier when it's quiet.

Nevertheless, enjoying a good book doesn't make you an introvert, and it certainly doesn't mean that you have to be an introvert to enjoy reading.

2) Taking Time Alone

Whether we are introverts or extroverts, we all need to take some time alone, be it to think, to re-focus, or simply to get away from it all.

Yes, introverts do generally need more time on our own because that's how we recharge so we have the energy to get through another hectic day. That said, we don't 'own' the alone-time space.

Just to clarify, we are all somewhere on the introversion-extroversion spectrum. Just because someone tends toward the extrovert side of the spectrum doesn't mean he/she has no introversion in his/her personality. There is no such thing as a 'pure' introvert or extrovert.

So go ahead and take time on your own. It really is the best way to clear your head and get things sorted.

3) Being Less-Than-Comfortable In Social Situations

Before you label yourself 'socially anxious' or 'socially awkward', try and figure out what exactly it is that makes you so uncomfortable about being in a social situation.

Are you concerned that nobody will find you interesting?

Well, then get yourself a quirky hobby. Also, figure out a new angle with which you can talk about what you do. This isn't about having a good elevator pitch. It's about seeing what another person may find interesting about what you find mundane.

Are you worried that you will get rejected by the people you try to talk to?

That's possible, of course. The good news is that many of them are worrying about the exact same thing and they will probably welcome your conversation, unless you are bad conversationalist or a terrible bore, in which case, you need to go brush up on your social skills. Attend a course and bring somebody along with you.

Are you, perhaps, afraid that you won't know what to do or what to say?

As above, brush up on your social skills. Learn to make small talk. As much as introverts hate it, it is a very powerful social lubricant. Also, practise introducing yourself with a twist so that others ask you questions. Then, you won't need to worry about what to say next, because you just have to answer their questions.

Remember that introverts and extroverts can suffer from social anxiety, which is based in fear, an emotion, not in personality.

Certainly, there are other misconceptions out there, but these are 3 of the most common ones that I've come across. If you have any to add or any questions to ask, feel free to drop me a message.

Red-eared Terrapin

A Successful Book Launch!

The Book Launch of The Introvert Teacher was a success!

A culmination of weeks of planning, coordination and organisation, the event truly came together a mere 2 - 3 days before it happened.

The vision of the Book Launch was for it to be a bazaar of connections and learning points. There were timeslots for focused, value-adding networking as well as mini-workshops for experiential learning.

To run the activities, I got the assistance of my fellow trainers to set up spaces where they will conduct sessions of their speciality topics and guests would come and learn something from them.

The reason behind this unusual move was to make this a different, more memorable launch event. A typical launch event consisted of an emcee coming up to introduce the 'main character', who will then give a speech, including some thank-you's. After the speech, there will be little else going on as the guests hang around until they get an opportunity to talk to the 'main character'.

I didn't want that unproductive downtime. It made much more sense to use that time wisely for learning and networking instead of wasting it doing nothing useful.

As it turned out, my guests had nothing but high praise for this decision. Many of them told me that they learned a lot and that the event was well-thought-out and executed.

I can only thank the others who came alongside me to help me make the event what it was.

Apart from booking the venue (at MOX), we had to order catering (from Liang Food Caterer), make arrangements to see the space and plan the allocation of activity spaces, get the books and other stuff there on the day itself, as well as make sure that all the finances were properly handled.

There was no way that I could have done all that on my own.

Thank you, each one of you, for helping me out. I am deeply appreciative of what you've done.

Book Signing
With Fellow Trainers