“Hello, my name’s Gina and I’m an introvert.”
I wasn’t always proud to say that, but I am now. The fact is, this characteristic comes with a few things to bear in mind.
As an introvert, I crave alone-time, genuine connection with others and perhaps most importantly, time to explore whatever’s in this muddled mind of mine. I’m sure if you’re an introvert, you feel exactly the same way.
“You may think I’m small, but I have a universe inside my mind.” – Yoko Ono
So when it comes to running a business, making sure we’re using our strengths rather than working against them, takes a little practice.
Why Boundaries Are Important
In a business world filled with perceived success and growth, it’s easy to get swept up in hustle-mode. As introverts, it’s important for us to manage our work environment so we don’t overwork and burn out.
Boundaries are tools we can use to make sure we either don’t go overboard or let other people infiltrate our sacred introvert spaces.
How You Can Set Up Boundaries
The following are three areas in your business that you can start thinking about setting up boundaries. These are just a start and you can apply these techniques not only to your business life but your home life too.
1. Social Media
I’m putting this at number 1 because I just know that if you’re like me, you spend way too much time on social media.
Because your business is likely on various social media platforms, the genuine consensus is that you have to be checking them regularly each day. If you don’t then you might miss out on sales, you might appear inactive, or your likes/followers will go down.
This fear is manufactured by social media platforms. They have literally created features in their platforms to give you serious FOMO if you’re not using them.
The fact is, the longer you spend on social media, the less time you have to create, develop and improve your business.
Plus, I bet that whenever you spend even a few minutes on social media, you start comparing yourself to others.
Here are some things you can do to recover the lost time you spend on social media:
- Track it – start tracking the time you spend on each platform, then analyse how many visitors to your site, new clients, contacts you gain from doing it (is it worth it?)
- Set specific times of the day to check social media – and stick to it!
- Remove social media from your phone and only check on your computer
2. Email / Communication
As an introvert, I prefer email as my means of communication. Rather than receiving an unannounced phone call, I can think on my reply, or save it for a time when I’m less busy.
However, I still check it up to 20 times a day. I have a tab open on my computer, or the app constantly refreshing on my phone. Although I’m not spending time responding to emails right away, their sheer presence is enough to disrupt whatever I’m doing.
Taking a leaf from The 4-Hour Work Week, I’m now doing the following (and you can too):
- Setting specific times of the day to check email and that’s it (11 am and 4 pm)
- Reinforcing this with email blocking apps on my phone
- That’s it, it’s that simple. Instead of waking up and checking my email, I get started with the tasks I’ve set for myself. My day is no longer determined by others, it’s determined by me.
3. Products & Services
The dream for many online business owners is to have multiple streams of passive income. Creating products and services that pretty much run themselves means that you get to work less and live more (in theory).
But heading towards this goal usually involves offering endless freebies to build a (hopefully) engaged email list and creating tonnes of quick digital products to start bringing in the cash.
For many of us, keeping up with our catalogue of digital products and courses is challenging. Say you have 5 digital products and 2 online courses. You’d think that once you’d created and launched them, that’s it. This is simply not the case. Digital products need constant promotion and marketing to ensure as many people as possible see (and hopefully buy) them.
When developing the products and services you offer, it’s so important to think long-term. In order to set up boundaries and ensure your products/services don’t take over your life, here are some questions you could answer:
- Do you have the time to get your product/service in front of people and create/do it?
- Do you need all of your products/services or could you reduce and concentrate on just a few?
- Are your products/services actually benefiting/giving value to your customers?
- Are you enjoying creating or doing your product/services?
As an online business owner, it’s easy to get caught up in a world of coaches and advice. But it’s when we truly listen to ourselves and create businesses that work for us and bring value to others, that we thrive. As introverts, listening is one of our greatest gifts, so let’s use it and listen to ourselves.