Happy Career Formula with Jette Stubbs

24. How to Survive Corporate America as an Introvert with Steve Friedman, Author of Corporate Introvert

September 01, 2021 Jette Stubbs Season 1 Episode 24
24. How to Survive Corporate America as an Introvert with Steve Friedman, Author of Corporate Introvert
Happy Career Formula with Jette Stubbs
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Happy Career Formula with Jette Stubbs
24. How to Survive Corporate America as an Introvert with Steve Friedman, Author of Corporate Introvert
Sep 01, 2021 Season 1 Episode 24
Jette Stubbs

Have you ever felt like you are too quiet or shy to have all the success you want in the corporate world? On the show today, we'll chat with Steve Friedman from Beyond Introversion. Steve will share how "How to Accelerate Through the 5 Phases of Introversion" and "How to Thrive in an Extrovert’s Corporate World."
Steve's book, The Corporate Introvert will release on October 6th, 2021.
Check it out here: www.BeyondIntroversion.com/tci 

Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever felt like you are too quiet or shy to have all the success you want in the corporate world? On the show today, we'll chat with Steve Friedman from Beyond Introversion. Steve will share how "How to Accelerate Through the 5 Phases of Introversion" and "How to Thrive in an Extrovert’s Corporate World."
Steve's book, The Corporate Introvert will release on October 6th, 2021.
Check it out here: www.BeyondIntroversion.com/tci 

Steve Friedman - The Corporate Introvert

[00:00:00] Steve Friedman (Introversion Expert): In reality, half the people in the world roughly are introverts and half the people in most corporate environments are introverts as well. And I know for myself, I was, would have loved to have had somebody that could helped me through some of the rough spots. 

[00:00:15] Jette Stubbs: You're listening to the happy career formula with Jette Stubbs where we talk about how to find what you love to do and turn it into ways to make money, whether that's a job, freelance service or a business, so you can live life on your own terms. 

[00:00:30] this is a career and business podcast, but my two main goals for what I want to offer you are: one the tools to build a career that aligns with who you are.

[00:00:42] So you can make money in a way that funds your life goals and the lifestyle that you want to build for yourself. Two, to have healthier relationships with yourself and others. 

[00:00:53] Because I think that if you have your financial resources together and you have good people around you, you can live a happier life.

[00:01:01] Subscribe and leave a review if you are enjoying the podcast.

[00:01:06] if you know somebody who you think may find this useful, please feel free to share it,

[00:01:10] with a friend.

[00:01:11] So today we are talking with Steve Friedman from beyond introversion. Steve grew up in Birmingham, Alabama worked for shell oil and supply and leadership for 30 years, retired in 2018, published a memoir in search of courage in 2018, and is now an introvert advocate with a website, podcasts and leadership.

[00:01:36] Book for introverts that will be coming out in the fall of 2021. So Steve, I'm so excited to have you on the podcast and to talk with you, because I know today you're going to be talking to us about how to accelerate through the five phases of introversion and how to thrive and extroverts corporate world, which I think is so relevant. 

[00:01:55] So welcome, Steve. 

[00:01:58] Steve Friedman (Introversion Expert): Thank you, Jette. I'm so excited to be here. I want to say that I love what you do. I love your podcasts. And I think it really serves an audience that's needing insight and advice. Thanks for doing that. And really thanks for inviting me. I'm excited to talk about a variety of things with your audience today.

[00:02:17] Jette Stubbs: Yeah. So let's start with your own career journey. What was it like for you being an introvert in a corporate world? 

[00:02:25] Steve Friedman (Introversion Expert): So I'll, go backwards work my way backwards a little bit. A few years ago, I retired from shell after 30 years and I was sitting there at my retirement party and I had dozens of people from different parts of my career.

[00:02:39] Many of them didn't know each other. You know, it was just spread out over a long period of time. so we had toast and we had a lot of good times and memories. And then toward the end, I got up to say, thank you few parting words. I shared with them what I was going to be doing after retirement or as I entered retirement.

[00:02:59] And I told them that I had, I used to write when I was a kid when I was in high school and I just really enjoyed writing. And I, for a while I thought I might go into journalism that all changed. But that was one thing that I wanted to reconnect with. Once I had more time on my hands and the book I was working on first was about it was a memoir about myself and the thread of introversion that has carried through my entire life.

[00:03:29] So as I shared that with the with the group I saw silence go across the room and people started to look at each other. And finally, a couple of people said, you know, you're not an introvert. I've, I've worked with you for years. Some of them for a couple of, some of them for five or 10 years, and you know, we've worked together, we've traveled, we've gone to lunch and dinners.

[00:03:52] I know you you're, you're not a member. You know, we laughed about that. But after the party I sat back into, my first thought was I really pulled this off, you know, 30 years. And I fooled, most everybody thought I was an extrovert. And that was the cultural norm of the, of corporate America.

[00:04:12] And certainly of the, most of the organizations that I worked in. And I felt like what, what an act that I put on, but pretty quickly thereafter, I realized what a missed opportunity. I had during my 30 years and a bit over half were in leadership roles and I miss the opportunity not only to connect with all these really nice people and help them to understand more about me, but for me to understand more about them.

[00:04:41] And I missed out on the opportunity also to mentor. Other introverts who are struggling just as I struggled for so many years. In reality, half the people in the world roughly are introverts and half the people in most corporate environments are introverts as well. And I know for myself, I was, would have loved to have had somebody that could helped me through some of the rough spots.

[00:05:05] And I miss that opportunity and it's really driven me over the last several years since then to not only ride my memoir, which was a very therapeutic process for me, but it really helped me to start to engage and connect with other introverts out there to share my story, but listen to their story and.

[00:05:25] Try and help them through some of those difficult times that I survived but also didn't have a chance at the time or take the courage at the time to share what I was going through. So that was where I ended up in the process. But my my journey started in a very different way.

[00:05:45] I, I grew up, as you said earlier in Alabama and a really loving household, three older sisters, two working parents, my sisters happened to all be extroverts and I was an introvert, although I never knew what that term meant for many, many years. And so all I knew was they were battling for the phone every night.

[00:06:09] And to talk to their friends and everybody else. And I could care less about the phone. My mom used to nudge me out and after mains and on weekends, go play with the neighbors, go play with your friends. And I would go for a while that really, after a while I was ready to come back home and do my own hobbies and spend my own time.

[00:06:29] And that was what I really wanted. And so I grew up feeling different. I wasn't sure why, but I just knew I was not the social person that my sisters were. I was not the one that my mom wanted to have go out and spend the day hanging out with friends. So that was really strange for me.

[00:06:47] And only after many years later, did I realize. And put a label to it and introversion. In my research and in my book, I talk about the five phases of introversion and in part, because I went through them and everybody I've talked to you is in, is going through those different phases and some of them are difficult and some of them are fantastic.

[00:07:11] The first one that I forget everybody goes through is just unaware, you know, for years, Certainly all of my childhood, I knew I was different. I felt different, but I was not aware of the term introversion or what that really meant. Then I became uninformed. So somebody gave me a test when I was in high school.

[00:07:30] And again, when I was actually working at shell and it said I was an introvert. Okay, that's fine. But I didn't really understand what that meant. My first step was really to align with the social stigmas of introversion. So even today, if you look in dictionaries InfraSource is you see some horrible words that describe introversion antisocial, loners, narcissists, icicle, you know, people that they, they believe really can hardly function.

[00:08:00] And I think that goes back to many, many years ago when introverts were considered non extroverts. So if extroverts were social and gregarious and comfortable thinking on the fly than introverts were completely the opposite of that. And so we got negative stereotypes. And so for me, I connected with the term and I connected with those negative stereotypes.

[00:08:23] So it really affected my self esteem and affected how I applied myself at work. So I was always a hard worker, but I felt like I had to go above and beyond just to overcome and hide my true self. And only after decades really did I move into what I called the enlightenment phase or the third phase where suddenly I realized, oh, introversion is not all these things for me.

[00:08:49] I read Susan Cain's book quiet, which is the Bible for introverts. And that came out about 15 years ago or so. And I read the book and I realized you know, yes, I'm different, but everybody's different. And I have all these strengths and positives that I can embrace and bring to work and bring to my family life and all that.

[00:09:09] And so it was really a time of rapid learning and positivity. And so as I went through that, I moved into four phase of contentment finally feeling that I was good. I was okay with myself. I was okay. I was happy to be who I am to try and approach different things at work in my own way to savor my alone time when I needed that and wanted that.

[00:09:34] And And then for many, not all, perhaps. So you go into this fifth phase of flourishing. So they take all these dreams that they had that that, you know, in many cases I didn't think were possible for me to be a leader at work or to. Do different things that were just out of my comfort zone, but to take the strengths and renewed confidence that I had and find ways to flourish.

[00:10:00] And so many introverts are going through all these phases. Unfortunately. What I've found when I engaged with, with a lot of people on my website and podcasts and other places is many are still stuck in the first couple of phases of being unaware or uninformed. And they may be in their thirties, forties, fifties, or sixties.

[00:10:19] And so part of what I. I guess my mission or my purpose these days is to help empower people at whatever age. I think if we can accelerate this journey, so people don't feel negative stereotypes and and so forth for so long, then that's that's a great thing for people to be able to take forward and be as successful as they want to be.

[00:10:45] Jette Stubbs: I think that's such amazing advice. And so to recap, the five phases you start with unaware of, and you go into uninformed and then it's enlightened, and then it's the four phases of contentment. And then what does number five again 

[00:10:58] Steve Friedman (Introversion Expert): Flourishing. So taking, taking all those strengths and PR and pursuing your dreams, stretching beyond your comfort zone, to whatever extent you feel comfortable in, in, in pushing yourself to be able to realize your dreams.

[00:11:12] Jette Stubbs: Okay. So how would you define introversion? Because I think that's a big misconception still. I'm I'm introverted as well. And often when I tell people I'm introverted, they're like, oh, I would never have thought you are introvert. I never thought you could be quiet. You seem like you're putting yourself out there all the time.

[00:11:30] I'm like, sit, that doesn't mean I don't need to crawl up in bed after a while. Like I actually have to block it out. Like I have most of my calls on Wednesdays and Thursdays. I know to mentally prepare and anticipate it. And then Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, I don't have any, really any calls.

[00:11:48] And I'm just spending time with close people, but a lot of people. Think, oh, if you, if you can put yourself out there that you can't be introverted. So can you define introversion for people who may not know fully what it is? 

[00:12:00] Steve Friedman (Introversion Expert): Sure. I think the simplest way to define introversion is how we get our energy.

[00:12:05] So if we are working standard Monday through Friday, week, extroverts will tend to get to Friday and there'll be ready to go out and socialize. They want to go to the bars. They want to go to dinners with friends. They get energy from that. It rejuvenates them after a long week of work.

[00:12:22] Introverts are quite the opposite. Usually in that we would prefer to re-energize by doing either by ourselves or with an intimate group of friends that we're familiar with. And so it's a very different way that we energize, but as you've mentioned, we, we don't. Have to always be in that mode. I think everybody, including extroverts move along our continuum of introversion and extroversion, depending on the circumstances and depending on the activities that we're doing.

[00:12:52] So things, there are certainly things that drain our energy. Like you say, you work certain days, you may love that work, but it is draining of our energy. And so at times we just need to find ways to re-energize. What I've. Learned over the years is, and I've tried to implement is once I realized that rather than understanding it and okay, the day is over at five or six o'clock, I'm going to go home.

[00:13:20] I'm wiped out. I'm going to re-energize with my family or doing stuff at home that I'm trying to build in breaks during the day. So if I know I have a stressful meeting at one o'clock. Then I'm going to try and build in a little bit of a break beforehand. I could go for a walk. I could, I could jot down some things.

[00:13:37] If I like to journal, I could be doing other work, but more solo tasks that I really do actually enjoy. That that helped me to relax. And then after that meeting, I probably want to find a little bit of time just to re-energize and bring my energy level back up from, from the meeting. As an example, one of the things I, I did later in my career, as, as I discovered this was to occasionally take lunches by myself.

[00:14:07] And at first I felt this is really strange, and I'm sure other people are wondering why is he going off and going out to lunch by himself or having lunch in his office. But it really was something that I felt was actually necessary to re-energize in the middle of the day. And I actually felt for the rest of the people in my team, that I was able to bring my bed or self to the table in the afternoon after I had a little bit of time away. So I think introversion is just about energy and how we can manage that and what things bring us energy and what things drain us. 

[00:14:43] Jette Stubbs: I think that's, that's amazing advice.

[00:14:45] I also used to do that too. When I was working like a regular nine to five during my lunch hour, I would eat sometimes by myself, but that can be hard. Cause sometimes people interpreted that as me being standoffish as me not wanting to build relationships with people. Mm. If they liked me and they found the interesting and light talking to me, they thought maybe I didn't like them back.

[00:15:06] And I was just trying to stay in my office and they were like, why? And then I tried going for walks then in by myself. But then that was also like, why can we join you for the walk? And I'm like, but. But I wanted to take so tough. It got easier though. As I got to know people, and then they become part of my inner circle and it didn't feel as exhausting, but in the beginning building those relationships can be hard.

[00:15:30] So how did you navigate that in the workplace? Cause those are some perceptions that can happen when you are introverted. People think you may not like them, 

[00:15:38] Steve Friedman (Introversion Expert): right? Yeah. I can't tell you how many times I heard throughout my whole career that that people thought I was aloof. So I was just not really interested in other people.

[00:15:48] And so I think that the best way to approach that is to just be very upfront and talk about our introversion and whether we want to label it as that at work. Or we just want to say, you know, Sometimes I, my energy level goes down and I just need a little bit of time. A way to re-energize chances are roughly half the people that you're talking to are introverts as well, whether they know it or, or want to share that or not, but they can probably appreciate it.

[00:16:19] And if you set the tone by saying, you know, sometimes I just need a little bit of time away, then they might Joe, they might take up that same approach. And I think it's just conversations and it is, you know building relationships and networking with other people can sometimes be stressful, but it is a necessary part of work and something that.

[00:16:41] Oftentimes I've found as a, as a introvert that I enjoyed doing those things in short periods of time and when I could plan. So if somebody popped into my office, it threw me off guard because I was in the middle of some kind of work or something. And I wasn't really thinking about having this chat with somebody, but if I planned on, okay, I'm going to go chat with a few people down the hall for the next 30 minutes, and then I'm going to.

[00:17:08] Relax somewhere or do something by myself then that was okay. And I could build that relationship where my energy was higher. And so people would realize that I wasn't always wanting to be by myself. I could socialize, I could engage. I was thoughtful and caring. I w I think I was interesting, but we just had to have to find that time when I have the energy to do that.

[00:17:34] In a positive way to balance off the times that I needed to escape a little bit. 

[00:17:40] Jette Stubbs: I think that's amazing advice. Do you have any other tips for introverts who were trying to thrive in a corporate world? Cause you, you achieve leadership positions, right? And sometimes those leadership positions, like I've been told.

[00:17:53] I remember when I was interviewing for a job it was within the same company and one of the interviewers, the hiring manager said they didn't interview me because although I had all the qualifications, she thought it may be too quiet for the job. And then she heard me. Speak at a public event. And she's oh, but you can speak in front of an audience.

[00:18:11] And I'm like, but you never spoke to me to give me a chance to speak to you. And so how do you navigate those situations and what are some tips you have for people trying to thrive in a corporate world? 

[00:18:22] Steve Friedman (Introversion Expert): That's great. I think we, so many people go through that and it's tough because most corporate environments have this stereotype or the culture that's more extroverted.

[00:18:33] And so that's something, every introvert faces and oftentimes introverts are not helping ourselves in that. In that effort either. So if, if it's a extroverted environment and we're going along with it, trying to play the game of being the extrovert and not letting anybody else into who we truly are and what our strengths really are, then we're not really helping ourselves or the culture that we work at work in.

[00:19:02] And so I think the best thing, the best advice I would have is first to learn about. Introversion to, to learn about ourselves. So some people may have done that already before they entered the corporate world, but many people as I mentioned earlier, are decades away from, from that today. And so trying to accelerate that and learn about what is introversion, what is the true definition and about energy?

[00:19:28] How can I manage that? Those sorts of things and then going further and understanding our own strengths. So again, the dictionary definitions tend to talk about all these negatives, but we have a lot of amazing strengths. Everybody's different. So not everybody has the same strengths, but many introverts are great listeners.

[00:19:47] They're very observant. So they pick up on a lot of nuances inside of a room, whether it's a meeting room or just in the hallway or whatever we tend to be very thoughtful and empathetic. So in part, perhaps because we're good listeners. So we really can pick up on emotions and how other people are feeling or doing, and trying to take that into consideration in whatever we're doing at work.

[00:20:10] Introverts tend to be great planners. You know, we, we enjoy and, and oftentimes I know I need structure. I need to have a planner. I need to have my structure where I know what I'm doing each day. I try to be patient and flexible as much as possible because I know things change, but for me, if I have a structure of a plan, then it helps for me to perform.

[00:20:34] If I know that I have a meeting coming up, for instance, that I can prepare for the meeting, I can look at the agenda. I can't even go over any preread. I can think of questions that I want to bring into the meeting room. And so I'm much more comfortable to go into that meeting room and be an active participant when I plan.

[00:20:51] So I think it's important in this kind of the first tip of learning is to really learn about ourselves and our strengths. In the example that you brought up about, you know, managers that don't really think that we can do it because we appear to be quiet. That's where I think we as introverts need to step up and share that.

[00:21:13] Yes, I may be quiet. I, I enjoy my introversion. But I also have strengths. I have a lot of strengths that I think enabled me to do the job and do it well. And in fact I think that. Especially in today's world, diversity and inclusion, not just of race and gender, but of thinking process and personality are really critical to the workplace.

[00:21:38] So if you have a room full of extroverts, who may be very smart people, but if they're making decisions and solving problems, they're probably coming up with very One sided sort of solutions. In many cases, if you mix in introverts into that room, then there's a lot more creativity that goes on more balanced discussion.

[00:21:58] Ideas may pop out sporadically from extroverts and introverts will maybe challenge that or balance it with the other perspective so that it ends up with more vibrant conversations. So if managers hiring managers or current managers understand that we bring critical skills to the table and critical leadership skills oftentimes as well, then they will, they will not only see us as well.

[00:22:24] I'm not sure if they can do the job, but actually I want introverts in my team that can help us to do better. Not only with a diverse team, but a team that reflects the customers that we're working with, because most of the customers, whether they're people on the street like you and I, or customers in the corporate environment, there are also a mixture of introverts and extroverts.

[00:22:46] And so we need to have solutions that will meet all those diverse customers. And so I think there's really a critical shortage of introverts in leadership positions. And we have the opportunity to fill that, but we have to, we have to know our strengths and we have to be confident enough to share those within the company that we work in order to help to create that, that change that's going on.

[00:23:12] So that's, that's the first step to thriving, but I think it's so critical in what that does. If you think back to the five phases we talked about earlier is it really means we need to accelerate that by understanding who we are and embracing that and learning about it. And then we become very powerful participants in the workplace.

[00:23:33] Jette Stubbs: No. I, I love, I love that. If I, sorry. Did you, did you have something else you wanted to add there? 

[00:23:38] Steve Friedman (Introversion Expert): There. So there's, there's other steps, but if you want to take a break or talk through them, go for it, go for it. We understand more about ourselves and our strengths than it is applying that energy equation that we talked about earlier.

[00:23:53] So really making sure that even though we may, you know, embrace our strengths, that we still can't go nine to five every day in high stress situations. Workplaces are filled with those sort of things. And so we can't avoid them, but we can prepare for them. We can take breaks in between some of them.

[00:24:14] And that way it helps us to have energy throughout the day to be able to apply our strengths. So if we, if we understand everything, but we don't apply the energy equation and monitor our, our battery, so to speak, then we're We're going to be in for a long, tough day and we'll be exhausted at the end of the day.

[00:24:32] So I think it's really important to understand how to do that and what helps to, what helps to boost our energy. And there are some things that are I call tour turbo boosters. You know, there are things that. Even just a few minutes of something that listening to music or taking a quick walk around the floor for me might really boost my energy.

[00:24:51] It gives me a few, just a few minutes of time away. There are other things that I might want to do, like reading that take a little bit more time. It may be harder to squeeze in during the day, but understanding what are those things doodling at your desk? You know, some people are artists and they're not going to.

[00:25:05] Break out their pallet in the middle of the day, but they can do, to want to do, do a few things that just help them to take a bit of a break, relax and re-energize. And I think we need to do that in order to bring our best selves to the workplace. 

[00:25:17] Jette Stubbs: I think that's amazing advice. So as you navigated from a corporate environment to retiring and then starting more of an entrepreneurial approach and becoming an author.

[00:25:27] What were the differences you saw in managing like introversion? And because now you're putting yourself out there, you're on this podcast. You're, I'm assuming you're doing a bit of a podcast tour now. How is that? And managing that as an introvert compared to managing and in a corporate 

[00:25:42] Steve Friedman (Introversion Expert): world. 

[00:25:42] Very, very different.

[00:25:44] And I didn't realize how different it was until I actually started. So when I when I knew I was retiring, but I still had a, a few months left of work I came home and my wife said, you know, I've never seen you so relaxed. And and you know, I really. It took for her to say that for me to really appreciate that, because for me, I've been working for 30 years.

[00:26:07] And so this tension that I had built up inside the stressful moments that I had to manage every day, this facade that I put on that was revealed at my retirement party, all those things. That was just how I was operating. Monday through Friday from nine to five or so, and I didn't realize it until she said that once once I retired and I started to write more and build the business.

[00:26:34] I realized how different it was and, you know, I didn't have whatever I wanted to do was a, my own choosing. So if I you know, a lot of people talk about writer's block and if I'm sitting there struggling to write, you know, I stepped back a little bit and I say, you know, this is my choice. I, I don't have to do it.

[00:26:54] But I'm doing it because I have a passion for this and I really enjoy it. So sometimes I might need to take a little bit of a break, but just reminding myself. This is my choice. And so I have really, you know, I enjoyed a lot of the aspects and projects and people that I worked with during my 30 years.

[00:27:12] But for me, this is a passion project and something that I can be as busy or, or not busy. As I wish to be. And so I've been able to pursue that. One of the things that I've always enjoyed, I think a lot of introverts enjoy learning. And so for me, this has been a huge learning curve. 

[00:27:31] I, you know, spent 30 years in corporate America, there are certain ways that things are done. And I think some of that is bleeds over into how I manage my, my business as far as structure and things like that. But but it's also enabled me to tap my more creative side, both for the writing, but also for how I wanted to publish the book and market the books and get out to engage with other people in a way that that I was comfortable with.

[00:28:00] That was that was exciting, but it was also a new kind of challenge for me. That's 

[00:28:09] Jette Stubbs: that's yeah. That's amazing feedback. So I've worked with a few people who are writers, who are working on putting their work out there, who were publishing books or have published books. And one of the things that writers will often think, or people who get into this creative space is oh, this is going to be such an amazing career.

[00:28:25] I can just sit behind my desk and I can write, or I can do my art. I can do whatever my creative thing is. And they forget that you have to actually sell it to market yourself, to build out those business processes. What are some of the business processes that you have taken? Cause you said you've taken some of these things from corporate America and now we're applying them.

[00:28:45] So what are some of those business processes that you have applied to your business and your writing to make it, make it work for you and how has introvert introversion effected that? 

[00:28:55] Steve Friedman (Introversion Expert): Yeah. So I mentioned earlier that I'm a consummate planner and so that's really helped for me. So it gives me comfort.

[00:29:04] And I think it also enables me to do a lot more when I have a plan. And so I'll have a plan of, I want to, I want to publish this book in a certain date. And it's a really a project management on how do I get to that date and what things do I need to do each month to get there. And then I break that down into weeks and days.

[00:29:21] So it's a pretty anal process, but for me, it gives me comfort and I'll know because I've done that. For decades that I think I get more done that way. What are the, one of the big things that I've learned and struggled with for quite a while was the marketing, as you say marketing is not my forte.

[00:29:42] It's not what I did when I was working. Many introverts might say that's not really what they would most enjoy doing. And as you say when I first started writing, I was just wanting to write, you know, and it was, it was A very therapeutic process for me to learn about introversion about my background.

[00:30:02] And it was a solo thing I could do by myself whenever I wanted to. And got to the end of the first book or the project for the first book, I realized that. No, I do want to get it out there. I'm not just writing it for myself, but I think there's a lot of other people that I can connect with. And so suddenly I realized there's publishing, which publishing is more of a project oriented process of lining up a graphic designers and editors and things like that.

[00:30:29] So I enjoyed that as well, but marketing really shook me. I Listen to a lot of podcasts, read a lot of books. You know, there's a million things out there about, you must do this in order to sell books, or you have to do that in order to get your message out there. And it's really intimidating and overwhelming.

[00:30:48] And I found myself. Sucked into that sometimes. I would reflect on that and realize that I'm pushed back and say, okay, it's fine to listen and learn, but ultimately I have to choose what I am comfortable with. And so after I came to that realization for myself, I started to be more picky about what I was going to do.

[00:31:13] And I also felt it was a bit of a step for me. So where I am today is definitely not where I was a couple of years ago, as far as marketing and probably in a couple of years, I'll be in a very different place again. But I started off with what are my strengths and what are really liked to do so I enjoy writing.

[00:31:31] So besides the book, how can I mark it with the writing? I started my web website. I started a weekly blog because for me that was a comfort zone. I enjoyed the writing and it enabled me to delve into and discover different aspects of introversion and connect with different people. Wants to, that was a comfortable place for me to go.

[00:31:52] I started doing some guest blogs, so that got my message out into other. Audiences. And so again, that was a pretty comfortable place. W as I was doing that, I started to I was listening to a lot of podcasts about marketing and things like that, but I started to connect with some of the podcasters and and be a guest on some of their podcasts like yours.

[00:32:14] And I will tell you that the first one I probably prepared for about three weeks and I was nervous as all get out. But are reminded myself that, you know, I'm just talking about myself and my passion project. And so this is again by choice. So if I don't want to do it, I don't, nobody's forcing me to do it, but I really felt like it was an opportunity for me to stretch and grow a reasonable amount.

[00:32:40] I wasn't too far from my comfort zone, but I was going to try it. And if I didn't like it after a few of them, I would stop. But I've really enjoyed it. I learned a lot about my process, about my topics I learned about what other people are curious about from your questions and in others. And so I've really enjoyed the podcasting.

[00:33:01] And so I'm just trying to stretch. With things that are comfortable for me. So a lot of the a lot of the marketers online will tell you that, oh, you've got to coach, you've got to get out there and be a keynote speaker and get in front of crowds of hundreds and age in order to get your book out there.

[00:33:19] And honestly, maybe I sell less books because I don't do that, but that's really my. Main objective is to touch people and, and, and share the message in a personal way and in a way that I feel comfortable with. So I think, you know, if I stepped out in front of an audience as a keynote speaker, it just would not be comfortable, but I'm taking steps in that direction.

[00:33:45] So this ball, for instance, I'm going to have a virtual introvert. Mentoring circle. So I used to do some mentoring circles at work with other people in my group or out of my group. And I really enjoyed that small group discussion. And so I thought that would be an interesting approach to be able to connect with other people.

[00:34:05] So we're going to have groups of 10 or 12 people introverts that are, we're doing it all virtually so on zoom. So people don't necessarily know each other, but we can share the issues that everybody has at work. Many people as I was, are not comfortable to go talk to their manager and say, Hey, you know, I'm not sure how I can approach this presentation or this networking or looking for my next job.

[00:34:28] Because it's just not very comfortable for me. So we're aiming to provide a introvert friendly environment where people can discuss those sort of situations and learn how to how to overcome some of those obstacles. In a safe place. And so I think it enables me to get the message out and help provide some tools to people.

[00:34:51] And it's something that stretches me a little bit further in a direction without going to a point where it's just not fun, actually. I'm really excited about it. So that's coming in the fall. You can learn more about it on my website for those that are interested. So I think for any writer, whether they're an introvert or an extrovert, I think, and, and really for any creative, I think it's just a matter of.

[00:35:13] Spending the time to do marketing your way to achieve whatever your objectives are. So if you don't really want to sell anything or you don't really want to. Publish the book. You just want to write it that that's perfectly fine. There's nothing wrong with that. So many people think you have to publish or you have to sell that ARG, but that's not necessarily the case.

[00:35:33] You do whatever you want to do. There's nothing wrong with that. If you choose to market, then I just think it's important to market your way. Otherwise, I don't think it's sustainable and it becomes not very fun. And what's the purpose of that. 

[00:35:46] Jette Stubbs: I love that advice. So you touched on something that I think a lot of introverts struggle with when you are listening to all the podcasts and all of the resources.

[00:35:57] First, you get overwhelmed. And secondly, you can get into this cycle where you just listen, cause it's your comfort zone and you never act. What's your advice for getting people to switch into the acting phase? I know you talked about Choosing something that's like just outside of your comfort zone and taking some of those smaller steps, like instead of getting up on that big stage, but what are some, what's some advice you have for people who are stuck in that, I'm just listening to all of this advice and I'm not putting any of it into action because I'm afraid to speak to people or it's great to gauge or trying to figure out what that would look like for me as an introvert.

[00:36:30] Steve Friedman (Introversion Expert): Yeah, I think that's a common challenge because like you said, we'd like to listen. We like to plan so we can put all these plans together, but ultimately if we don't actually put some things in action, then where are we? And so I think it's a matter of taking small steps. So saying, you know, out of the shoot, I'm going to go be a keynote speaker for hundreds of people is for most people many introverts, not really feasible.

[00:36:56] It can scare the scare them to death. And so they stop and they don't even pursue it, but saying, you know, I'm going to do some guest blogs. That seems pretty reasonable. I can do that. And then maybe I'll start with a local podcast with somebody that I might know or and so I'm just stretching myself a little bit and I'm trying things and I'm going to be very compassionate.

[00:37:18] Self-compassion when I do that, because I may or may not like it. And that's okay. You know, there's no you know, there's no place for shame in the world, in my opinion, but certainly in this process, you just have to try some things and be okay with the fact that some things you're just gonna decide not to do, but other things you're going to, going to decide.

[00:37:39] I really enjoy that. I'm going to keep working on it, try and get better at it. And maybe that leads to something else or maybe it doesn't, it's just a, it's a journey. It's not really where the destination, that's the important thing. It's the journey of what steps do I want to take? The other thing that really drives me in that regard is I'm a little stuck story of my father who's since passed away, but several years ago when I was getting ready to retire, he and I were talking and he was in his mid eighties.

[00:38:12] And I say, you know, so what regrets do you have in life so far? And he said very quickly. He said, my biggest regret is I used to be a musician. I used to play the clarinet when I was in college and I was first chair. I really loved it. It just brings me so much joy. And he used to play the clarinet around the house with my mother playing the piano, but he said, I really wanted to go to New York and go to Julliard and, and try to pursue a profession in music.

[00:38:41] And but he never did. I think that was maybe too far out of his comfort zone to do that. And his his parents called him back to To work in the family business. So he did that out of kind of obligation and then he had a family of his own. And you know, he was a great provider and a great father.

[00:39:00] And so I respect all his decisions, but for me, I took away that I just don't want to have those kinds of regrets. When I'm in my mid eighties. And so now I have the opportunity to write and I don't want to regret not having written. And I have the opportunity to connect with other people and, and try and make a difference for other people.

[00:39:22] And so I don't want to sit there later and say, I didn't even try if I'm in certain things just don't feel right for me after I try. That's fine, but at least I made that attempt. And so I think it was just being driven by not having regrets that has helped to get me where I am right now. 

[00:39:42] Jette Stubbs: I love it.

[00:39:43] So you also have your own podcast right? Where you share information, is that 

[00:39:48] Steve Friedman (Introversion Expert): right? Okay. I, I I, so I don't have my own podcast. I I do my weekly blog. And so that gets me out to an audience with a variety of topics. I've thought about doing my own podcast, but as you can probably attest that seems like a huge amount of work.

[00:40:08] And for now, anyway, I've chosen to try and be a guest on a variety of podcasts so I can I think I'm more comfortable having these kinds of conversations than asking the questions of others. And I get a chance to meet a completely different audience perhaps than I would meet with my own readers say.

[00:40:33] And so I really am enjoying it. And I think it's a lot easier than the job that you have and trying to put together a podcast every week. So I'm not doing that. 

[00:40:43] Jette Stubbs: Okay, amazing. So where can people go and find you then Steve? 

[00:40:47] Steve Friedman (Introversion Expert): So the best place to find me is on my website. So my website is beyond introversion.com.

[00:40:53] And so if you've gotta be on introversion.com, you can see my posts. You can subscribe to my posts. I also have quizzes I've put together. Strength quiz for introverts and a leadership quiz. So the strength quiz, I'm very excited about that. I put that together last year and over 1300 people have taken the quiz and it's short, it's free, it's confidential.

[00:41:16] And but I think one of the important things is. Not only does it give you a feel for what are your strengths, but I talk about how can you use and grow your strengths and what are some of the precautions you need to have? Like we've talked about, you don't want to plan forever. You actually have to implement some things in order to see progress and action.

[00:41:36] So some of those precautions I think are helpful as well. And then earlier this year I introduced an, a leadership for introverts a quiz. So based on a short. A series of questions. People can get a gauge as to how they're using their introvert strengths at work. And so perhaps they can identify things they would like to work on more or utilize more at work.

[00:42:00] So a lot of people are taking that quiz as well, so that those are all on my website as well as resources. Either books I've read podcasts I've been on and enjoyed And other resources that I think are out there for introverts that are just trying to learn more about who they are and how they can apply their strengths.

[00:42:18] You can find all those on my website at beyondintroversion.com. 

[00:42:23] Jette Stubbs: Okay, thank you so much, Steve, you provided so much useful advice and tips for everybody. Everybody go to beyond introversion.com and check out Steve's quizzes because those both sounds so helpful. If you're introverted like me and like Steve, I think it could help you identify your strengths and understand how you can use them to your advantage as an introvert.

[00:42:44] Thank you. 

[00:42:46] Steve Friedman (Introversion Expert): Thank you. 

[00:42:47] Don't forget to check out Steve's book, the corporate introvert. I'm really excited because it's. Cool that I am on the cover. I have a quote on the cover, his book. 

[00:42:57] If you're an introvert, you know how hard it is to put yourself out there. Steve has spent 30 years navigating the corporate world as an introvert. And now he's sharing what he has learned with you. I read samples of the book as he was creating the book. And I, I encourage you to go and check it out because you know what it's like to be an introvert, maybe. 

[00:43:21] And do you know what it's like to try and put yourself out there and go and help other people. And it really is a mission if you're trying to do it. So. I always like to support other introverts and, you know, be a part of that support system. Give feedback, show love. And, uh, looking forward to continuing to do that between you and I, as we grow together. 

[00:43:44] Jette Stubbs: You're listening to the happy career formula with Jette Stubbs where we talk about how to find what you love to do and turn it into ways to make money, whether that's a job, freelance service or a business, so you can live life on your own terms. 

[00:43:59] this is a career and business podcast, but my two main goals for what I want to offer you are: one the tools to build a career that aligns with who you are.

[00:44:11] So you can make money in a way that funds your life goals and the lifestyle that you want to build for yourself. Two, to have healthier relationships with yourself and others. 

[00:44:21] Because I think that if you have your financial resources together and you have good people around you, you can live a happier life.

[00:44:30] Subscribe and leave a review if you are enjoying the podcast.

[00:44:34] if you know somebody who you think may find this useful, please feel free to share it, with a friend.