You don’t have to be loud and outspoken to be successful in business. Creating a quiet yet considered impact is more than possible …
Melitta Campbell is an award-winning business coach and certified mindset coach who is passionate about helping introverted women confidently build and grow a profitable business and that has an impact they feel proud of.
Her expertise comes from 25+ years of experience in communication, marketing, and leadership, including more than a decade of running her own businesses. This allows her to coach her clients on the inner-game of success as much as the practicalities of starting and running a thriving business. After becoming a best-selling author of ‘A Shy Girl’s Guide to Networking,’ she has specialised in helping other introverted female entrepreneurs build their businesses and create thriving networks using her innovative VICTORY formula, insights and lessons learnt over her 25 years in business. She shares her ethos with Business Matters.
Is being introverted negative or uncommon in business?
No, not at all. In fact, most of the successful entrepreneurs across the world today are introverts. That’s because introversion yields a number of distinct benefits. Introverts typically listen more than they speak, which is great for gathering feedback and understanding customers. Moreover, entrepreneurs on the introverted side of the personality spectrum tend to be more independent and comfortable working alone, which is usually necessary in the early days of building a business.
However, one of the major drawbacks of being introverted is that your network of contacts tends to be smaller. This can be incredibly limiting when you’re trying to create new opportunities for growth.
Introverted networking – an oxymoron in itself
However, for those people who would class themselves as an introvert this can induce great feelings of anxiety, and there’s enough anxiety when starting or running your own business.
Sharpening your focus really gets results
As an introvert herself, getting out into the ‘networksphere’ was always a battle for Melitta until she created her VICTORY formula, which set out her own rules of engagement, and enabled her to embrace her natural abilities as an introvert, grow in confidence and shine while networking. Melitta says the formula has been key to her developing a supportive network that has underpinned her business success.
V is for vision – understand what you really want to achieve in your business, the bigger and brighter your vision, the easier it will be to talk passionately and get over your fear of networking.
I is for intention – decide what you want most and where your energy should focus, because ‘where attention goes, energy flows.’
C is for courage – undertaking any new venture takes courage but stepping out of your comfort zone and being brave will build your confidence.
T is for True – become your best self by understanding your core values – what do you really stand for and care about? This will help you network and meet people as your authentic confident self.
O is for Obstacles – create a backup plan for when things don’t go to plan and learn skills like conversation starters and rehearse strategies to manage tricky situations such as not knowing anyone in a room.
R is for Rules – Don’t worry about making mistakes, seek out opportunities that scare you and celebrate all your successes.
Y is for Yes! You’ve Got this! Having the vision, intention, tools, and strategies in place will give you the courage and confidence to turn networking into an enjoyable and successful experience.
Melitta says, “As an introvert, I know how terrifying the prospect of networking can be. But having a strong set of networking tools and strategies, along with growing confidence, can enable people like me to thrive in any situation. I want to share my learnings with others who may feel awkward to increase their courage and confidence to network in meaningful ways and build a network to support their ambitions, growth and success.”
With more people now returning to networking post Covid-19, Melitta’s book will help anyone feeling anxious to overcome their fears and hesitations, and create a personalised networking vision and plan, manage engaging conversations, and learn the three phases of networking for business success.
Her tips include:
– Prepare ahead for a networking event whether the event is in person or online.
– Work out your vision and intention – what do you want to achieve? Also plan what you are going to wear and ensure your profile information is up to date.
– Rehearse conversation starters and maintainers – this will build confidence.
– Don’t over think it – approach people in open circles, smile and introduce yourself.
– Use open questions to get people talking such as, ‘What did you think of the speaker?’ and ‘What is great with you today?
– Introverts are good listeners so you can play to your natural strengths – good networkers talk just 20% of the time and listen for the rest.
– Follow up thoughtfully with articles and information that can help people – add value to them.