People are often surprised when I tell them I’m introverted, especially since my job involves a lot of socializing and relationship building.
There are a lot of misconceptions about introverts: we’re shy, we don’t like to socialize, we don’t take risks. But this is not the case. I built a successful advertising business that generated over $2 million last year.
I’m proof that you don’t have to be extroverted to be successful. Here are three things I always do to look and feel more confident:
1. I duplicate my strengths:
Introverts can be very self-critical. But instead of focusing on what I’m missing, I find confidence through my strengths. I love taking personality assessments like the Myers-Briggs test to help me better understand where I excel.
My Myers-Briggs type is INFJ (Introverted, Intuitive, Emotional, Judgmental). I learned that the strengths of the INFJ lie in advancing the causes and people they believe in.
For me, that means helping others achieve their goals by bringing them together at retreats and networking events.
When I’m feeling less confident, I turn to my “praise record” I created on my iPhone. I save screenshots of text messages, social comments and emails I receive from people thanking me. These positive words remind me that I am good at my job.
I also like to wear bright colors. Without saying a word, they naturally grab attention and help me take on the role of a more outgoing person when I need to.
2. I favor quality over quantity:
I will never feel comfortable with hundreds of people at once. I like to be thoughtful in my responses and sometimes struggle with large, fast-paced group conversations. But it is okay.
At networking events, I remind myself that I don’t have to talk to everyone in the room. Going deep with two or three people is more meaningful than trying to chat with every person.
I also emphasize quality over quantity when it comes to being creative. Unlike my extrovert colleagues, I’m not a content machine with new ideas to share every day. Instead, I create fewer strong, intentional posts on social media.
2. I limit the activities that exhaust me:
You’ll never see me on my laptop in a coworking space unless I’m there to socialize. I need enough alone time to feel better. I like to work quietly from my apartment without distractions.
Being in meetings all day also exhausts me. Some are necessary, but I discovered many useful alternatives.
I use Loom, a video messaging platform, to share ideas and updates with my team. It saved me over 100 hours in meetings. When colleagues want to get together to explore collaboration, I might invite them to chat with me on Voxer, a walkie-talkie app.
And I usually only give public talks or interviews once a year, or when a big release comes up. After that, I retreat into my introverted shell and focus on my business. It’s what makes me feel good and has helped me earn millions while staying true to myself.
Selena Soo is an advertising and marketing expert for entrepreneurs and influencers. He has worked with over 4,000 clients. Follow her on Instagram.
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This article was originally published in English by Selena Soo, Contributor for our sister network CNBC.com. For more on CNBC, head here.
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