Editor’s Note: One only need to look to famous introverts like Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Steven Spielberg, J.K. Rowling, Eleanour Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Gandhi and many others to realise that a person’s substance comes from a deeper sense of calm, quiet and authenticity, not decibels. Robelen x
In a gentle way, you can shake the world. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
As you know, I still work part-time for Australia’s leading retail travel agency (who shall remain nameless).
Last week, I was invited to a five-day educational trip to Vanuatu with 13 other agents from around Melbourne. I packed my bag with a few business books, magazines and a notepad, intent on spending any free time “working on my business”. By the pool, in the beautiful sun of the South Pacific.
WRONG! I It rained 90% of the time, but I also didn’t think much about my business. I didn’t have any internet access for the first two days and couldn’t monitor any emails. And when I contacted the cattery they said all was under control. I felt a little lost and tried really hard to concentrate and focus on thinking up new ideas for Cat Napping.
Nothing came to me. It was odd; my forever thinking brain was closed until further notice. I was just back to being Ebony – travel agent, not business owner.
The group of agents were all amazing and we all got along. Unsurprisingly, I was quickly named the quiet one along with three others in the group. Not news to me. I have been the quiet, shy, introverted type all my life. All my school reports said it. And throughout my entire career, I have had trouble with managers not knowing how to manage me. Earlier on, I thought I was the problem (that’s what my mangers said). And because of this, I job-hopped every few years, searching for a company that understood me. I never found one, hence I started my own business to be my own boss. I read an article a few months back that said most introverts open their own businesses and succeed with flying colours after spending years of being overlooked for promotions. Apparently, they are seen as lacking the initiative and drive to want to succeed.
Get me in a group of more than five to six people and I am lost. But I am happy to sit back and observe. I’m not shy to speak up if I think I have valid input, but honestly I’d rather not. I am happy to leave it to the extroverts.
I want to inspire those women who have always been labelled as the “shy type” and who are sick of hearing sarcastic comments like “will you shut up, you talk too much”. We need to be proud of who we are and ignore the loud ‘noise’ from over-the-top extroverts who crave the limelight. They can have it.
Life shouldn’t be about being loud to be heard.
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