Starting a business as an introvert and what I have learned so far

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Yesterday I finished reading ‘Quiet’ by Susan Cain and for me this was an eye opener. She talks about what it means to be an introvert and how the world is not necessarily appreciative of people who fall into this category. The book put a lot of my experiences, in school but also as an adult, into perspective and has me thinking about what it means for me as an introvert to try and start a business.

Susan Cain emphasises that usually introverts are really good at things they truly care about and are capable of doing things they are not always comfortable with (public speaking for example). This is often because they are happy to put in hours to work on something by themselves if they truly care about it. It is certainly true for me that knitting, fibre and designing are things I care about deeply. One of the reasons why I started designing and my wish to make this a business are based on my desire to do something I love and that has meaning to me, and perhaps one day make a living from it. This desire is the best motivator for me to keep on working on my designs and try to become part of the community and share what I love.

However, a lot of things that are important and necessary when starting a business don’t come naturally to me and other introverts. This includes networking, promoting what I do and more generally simply stepping out of my comfort zone. But I think that if I want to do this properly I need to learn to be more comfortable with doing the things that I am struggling with.

I know from my own experience that even if terrifying at first things do become easier. Initially putting out a pattern, finding a tech editor and test knitters, starting this blog and posting regularly on Instagram were things out of my comfort zone but I have now created routines for all of that and they are lot less scary.

I am very proud of what I have manage to achieve but I want more. I don’t just want to design something and just put it out there. I know I have more to give and want to be more active in the community. But for this to happen I know I need to push my own boundaries a little more.

Because as nice as it is to have my routines for publishing a pattern, reading the book has made me realise that I am hiding behind them as well. I have not done anything more over the last few weeks but work on patterns, pretending they are the most important thing I had to get done. However, by focusing on them I was ignoring that I got stuck in a safe zone where I was working but not doing anything to plan ahead and to reach the people I want to in this amazing community. But if I want to run this as business I have to step out of that safe zone.

It is highly unlikely that this will happen overnight but I am working on it. I want to give back to the community and have a few ideas about what I want to do but I am slow in actually doing them. I have made a list and am working on figuring out the small steps that I need to take do get things done. I am hoping that breaking it down will make it easy to get to the result because I am not seeing the big scary thing at the end all the time. I really hope that this will make it easier.

I am hoping to give you a few more details and sort myself in the next couple of weeks so that I can get going properly with the new year. Until then I will try to return to my regular posting every Friday.

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