An Introvert’s Guide to Gathering AUM

January 13, 2015

by Dan Solin

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I’m an introvert. That epiphany came to me late in life. Until then, I just believed I was socially awkward and didn’t enjoy the “good times” everyone else did. The idea of networking has always been alien to me. I didn’t like large groups of people or social situations where I did not know anyone.

Despite this, I have never found it very difficult to generate business. Here’s how introverts can take what may seem like a weakness and turn it into a significant advantage.

Some definitions

An introvert is concerned primarily with internal thoughts and feelings.

An extrovert is concerned primarily with the physical and social environment.

An ambivert exhibits the traits of both extroverts and introverts.

By some estimates, introverts make up as much as half of the population. I found it comforting to learn that I am not alone.

Common traits of introverts

Introverts share an aversion to small talk. Author Diane Cameron wrote: “Introverts crave meaning, so party chitchat feels like sandpaper to our psyche.” In contrast to extroverts, introverts enjoy meaningful, substantive conversations.

Introverts tend to “zone out” in highly stimulating environments like noisy parties and large networking events. They prefer to work alone or in small groups and are able to focus intensely on long, detailed projects. An ideal assignment for an introvert would involve periods of solitary work combined with intermittent consulting with a small group of people.

It’s not surprising, therefore, that I spend much of my time alone authoring books and blogs, which are then reviewed by editors. It is the perfect work environment for an introvert.

Introverts tend to be very attuned to the emotions of others. As such, they are adept at perceiving, understanding and managing emotions and feelings. This trait is described as having high “emotional intelligence.”

Introverts often feel alienated.  They don’t enjoy activities most people regard as “fun”, which includes most group activities.  They are subjected to comments like: “Why would you want to spend Saturday evening alone?”  They are frequently made to feel like social misfits who “don’t belong.”

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