I want to share with you something that is essential to me but requires vulnerability. One of our core values, as the name Carry Courage implies, is being courageous; bold in your actions. So as we celebrate Women’s History Month this March, I’ll take it a step further and make it personal.
I want to talk about building community as an introverted female. For me, a subtext of that is doing the same as a female entrepreneur.
Do you have a community you can lean on? Whether it is a group of friends, co-workers, peers in business or otherwise, having a crew makes all the difference in your quality of life. At least, that’s what I’ve found.
It’s not always easy, especially as an introvert. When left to my own devices, I tend to work and live in a vacuum, talking to very few people. I don’t think that’s healthy. But I’ve gotten out of my own way the last few years and expanded my comfort zone to let more people in–and it’s been fantastic.
If you struggle with finding a crew and want to build a community as an introverted female (or in general), here are two things I’ve found helpful.
- Be open to possibilities
Sitting at home and cutting yourself off from the world is easy. If you’re lucky, you’ll begin to see that there are more fulfilling ways of living and that accessing them is easier than you think.
If you meet someone whose company you enjoy, see where it leads. Ask them questions. Open up and tell them about yourself. Not every social encounter will hold lasting meaning, naturally. However, the best conversations have to start somewhere, and the closest friendships come through conversations and shared experiences.
As a personal example that blends business (they can become inseparable when you’re self-employed), my relationship with Ruth, the owner of Norboo, began naturally when talking to a childhood friend about life and examining a larger purpose than just selling bags.
My friend, who had moved to China, knew Ruth and her inspiring story of what she was trying to do for single mothers in Tibet. She introduced us, and we became friends. From our friendship grew a realization of a common purpose that ultimately led to our business partnership. It grew out of a conversation and an openness to try something different. That was not something I could ever have planned.
- Be courageous
Being open to possibilities isn’t always easy, especially for an introvert such as myself. I made my personal and business mantra “Carry Courage” because of all the years that passed by doing the opposite. I can’t get those years back, but I can choose to be intentional with the present. So can you.
Some practical examples of being courageous and open to possibilities:
💚 Yesterday, my friend down the street texted me to see if I wanted to go for a walk. I was deep in production mode and almost said no. But I decided to accept, and I am so glad I did. It made all the difference in my mood and energy for the rest of the day.
💛Ready to decline an offer for a social outing or networking event? Why not say yes instead, and make it your goal to attend and positively impact someone else’s day? You’re likely to be glad you did.
💚I’m sure you can think of some examples too. What would you add?
Final thoughts on building a community as an introverted female
I don’t presume to suggest that I have a perfect social life or have it all figured out. I don’t. But I have learned that these principles put into practice through consistent effort have yielded me a group of girlfriends and business peers that add immeasurable value to my life.
You can do the same. I believe in you!
If you have thoughts or questions, I would be delighted to hear them in a comment. Thank you for reading!