A Conversation with Joseph Warren and Jane Deuber
I’ll admit, Startup Nation, I’m not an introvert.
I love speaking in front of crowds. I get excited to hit the pavement and make sales to scale my businesses. My purpose in life is to talk to business owners like you and help them discover God’s purpose for their lives.
But I also know many entrepreneurs who identify as introverts. If that describes you, don’t worry! I recently hosted Jane Deuber on Your First 100k Podcast and she calls herself an introvert (and has been killing it as an entrepreneur for the past 30 years). Jane Deuber is a sought-after business strategist, two-time author, international speaker, and a respected mentor to mission-driven entrepreneurs around the world.
As Jane explains, growing a business takes a balance of natural giftings and grit. If you’re a strategist, focus on strategy. If you’re a product designer, make sure you’re creating great products.
But at some point, you have to step outside your comfort zone and GET THINGS DONE.
Jane says, “In the first few businesses I was all out, I was on stages, I was striving. But as we’ve done businesses, I find that I’m having more fun being a little bit more in the background and holding other entrepreneurs up.”
Succeed as an introvert entrepreneur
Being an introvert isn’t about being afraid of people. It’s more about where you find your energy and passion. Do you enjoy reviewing the books and strengthening your business’s finances? Then maybe you’re an introvert. Do you enjoy giving keynotes at your industry’s annual conference? Maybe you’re an extrovert.
Pay attention to the moments you feel most alive.
Helping people is Jane’s passion and she pursues her calling best when she’s behind the scenes. “People might think I’m an extrovert and I like to be “out there.” And I do because it’s a way to get the message out, but I just love being Oz behind the curtain helping people.”
The problem is that some introverts use introversion as an excuse to limit themselves. “Joseph, it’s just who I am. I shouldn’t have to make sales calls.”
You’ve got two options in this situation. One, you could hire someone to make those calls for you. Two, you could fight through the fear. My guess is that if you’re still trying to make your first $100k, you won’t have a budget for new hires and you’re going to go with option two.
If you’re an introvert who fears putting yourself in front of others, Jane has some encouragement: “I guess is that if [introverts] are listening to your show, they’re heart-centered and mission driven, right? They’re here to bring their work to the world in a meaningful way and create value for people. And I’d say, which are you more committed to? Making a difference for other people or being comfortable?”
Did you hear that, Startup Nation? Are you more committed to making a difference for other people or being comfortable?
You must be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
What about extrovert entrepreneurs?
I’m not going to leave extroverts off the hook. Extroverts face similar mental obstacles. Extroverts use social interactions to avoid planning and self-reflection. For example…
Do you know “The Networking Guy?” The guy who shows up to every luncheon and happy hour meeting? While he might make some good business contacts here and there, he’s actually wasting his time. He avoids the tough parts of running a business. Because he doesn’t spend time alone thinking and planning, his business doesn’t grow or scale. Rather than working on financials to get the business in the black, he thinks, “If I just meet one more person…”
Or do you know “The Side-hustle Gal?” She’s got two or three businesses going. She’s always taking online seminars and connecting with friends to join her team. But she never slows down to ask, “What do I want to do with my life? What is my calling?” With so many people, conversations, and activities to engage with, people like this don’t listen to their own hearts. They don’t listen to God and often get distracted with the next shiny thing.
Maybe you are one of these extroverts. If you are, hold on until the end of this post.
Practical Tips for Becoming Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable
Let’s get practical. What can you do in your regular business life to get comfortable with being uncomfortable?
Jane Deuber’s advice is to ask for regular client feedback. Regular feedback transformed her business from a good company to a great company. And it can do the same for your business.
First, create a system. Use a platform like Survey Monkey to provide clients with a clear, direct way to share their thoughts. Or sit down over coffee and take notes. Don’t just ask, “Are we good?” Be specific. Jane often asks clients to rate their experiences on a scale of 1 to 10 and then asks, “If it’s not a 10 then what can we do to make it a 10 this next month?"
Second, ask for transparency at the beginning of the client relationship. Don’t wait till the end of the contract to gather feedback you’ll never use. Force yourself to make the changes your client recommends.
Jane says, “This allows you to notice things like how communication could be improved or ‘we didn’t fall short on this.’ Continually asking those questions you’re afraid to ask is so valuable and people are going out and taking courses and hiring coaches when in all reality just put this one piece in, it’ll change the way you build the business."
Are you wondering why your business isn’t taking off? Ask! Don’t be afraid. And while you’re at it, make sure your client feels comfortable being honest. Show them the benefit of good feedback. In the end, the client is going to benefit from your new scheduling software or email policy.
Startup Nation, are you an introvert or extrovert held back by fear? Do you wonder where these fears come from and what you can do about them? It’s time to set up a Spiritual Clarity Call. I've helped dozens of business leaders discover their callings. You could be next.
It’s impossible for one blog post to cover everything in the podcast. If your business has a mission behind it, you have to check out Jane Deuber’s episode on Your First 100k Podcast
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About Joseph Warren
Joseph Warren is a Christian Speaker, Podcast Host and Spiritual Coach. Joseph Warren offers Spiritual Coaching to Christian Business Owners who somehow find themselves in a spiritual rut. In just 90 days, he helps them avoid expensive divorces, break free from addiction, restore broken family relationships, and start living their Higher Purpose!