So, if you ask half the people that know me if I am an introvert, they would say absolutely not. The other half would say absolutely yes. As I am me, I can say without hesitation that I am the poster boy of an introvert. I remember talking to a new acquaintance at a friend’s gathering. He was shocked that I had a sales role in my company and had me pegged as an engineer.
When I’m in a group of people I don’t know, my behavior is normally to keep my mouth shut, sit in the corner, and watch the room. I don’t like to start conversations and especially am scared to death to introduce myself. I don’t know why. It’s just what I am: An introvert.
Why would someone like me get into a sales related position? Well, I spent quite a few years as a “boss” and didn’t want to do that anymore. I also wanted to do something where my earnings would equal my effort. Sales met the criteria. I just had to meet the criteria of a salesperson. That meant going way out of my comfort zone. I knew I had a couple things going for me that salespeople need. I’m intelligent, sincere and perceptive. Now, I’m not puffing myself up. When you’re an introvert, you do a lot of self-evaluation and those three things are just a fact.
I’ve actually been successful in my sales career over that last 11 years. Not because it’s easy but because I constantly push myself out of my comfort zone. The side benefit I’ve found living outside my comfort zone is that I LOVE to be pushed out of my comfort zone! What a rush to be scared, nervous, sweaty, and totally on edge. Nothing makes me feel more alive than doing stuff that makes me uncomfortable.
I guess I should talk about my night on the town. I started the Michiana People Podcast a couple months ago. Again, going way out of my comfort zone. I had to call, email, and walk up to people I didn’t know and ask them if I could interview them for the podcast. This made my sales position feel like staying home and reading a book!
So, I was supposed to meet my wife at South Bend Brew Werks for their monthly event called “The Collective”. It’s a really neat concept where they bring in several local artists with pieces of their work and a musician to create a cool mood. I got there about a half-hour before my wife and found myself in Introvert Hell. I had spent all day outside my comfort zone and I couldn’t muster the courage to “mingle”. I’m just sitting there and watching the people talking and laughing while feeling invisible and beating myself up because I can’t just walk up to somebody and talk to them. Finally, the organizer of the event came over and asked if I’d like to enter for the drawing. Then I started talking. I told her I was waiting for my wife but would put my entry in. I said it was a really cool thing she was doing and was just about to crawl back into introvert zone when a nice young man came up and said “Hey you’re the guy with the podcast” (He turned out to be one of the artists). I felt like a 500lb weight had been lifted off me! Introvert zone was pushed to the side. I started talking about the podcast and asked Jacob of he’s like to be interviewed for an episode. Then I asked the organizer (Kelsey) if she’s like to be on the podcast. They both said yes! Jacob took me over to show me his photography which was excellent. My wife came and I introduced her to Jacob. I went and talked to one of the other artists and asked him to be on the podcast. I invited a couple from Toledo in town to see Book of Mormon to sit with us and talked to them. On and on and on.
It turned out to be a great night and all I had to do was get out of Introvert Zone. Thankfully, somebody gave me the nudge I needed to break out. If you really want to see where the magic happens, jump out of your comfort zone and I guarantee that you will find it.