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Overcoming Timidity by Deflecting Focus onto a Product

When I asked Kelly what challenges she’s had to overcome as part of Tuesday’s Entrepreneur Interview Series, I thought about how I overcome my own timidity.

As a recap, Kelly, founder of Jade Marie’s Beauty, said she was forcing herself to be more extroverted to grow her brand. She has a difficult time accepting, let alone bringing, attention to herself; though, it’s not out of lack of confidence.

Like Kelly, I grew up shy of the spotlight. Today, I force myself to be comfortable being uncomfortable (i.e. I uncomfortably do a bit of self-promotion). As I type this post and you read this, I’m behind a digital wall, and one where you’re reading this later than I’ve typed this.

My friends will say I’m a great “deflector”… seamlessly shifting attention onto others. This, I realize is how I overcome my timidity. This is how I get over the fear of making cold calls, pitches, and the like.

When it comes to approaching others about a product or person, I’m not talking about myself at all. Instead, I’m deflecting or promoting something or someone else I love (maybe “love” is a strong word… hmm…). It’s a classic “recommendation” strategy that everyone does already, even those who are shy. Think: a great new restaurant, the new techno-widget, or a great friend.

By deflecting, I’ve given myself a chance to open up and talk openly. Gone are moments of shyness because the focal point isn’t on me. Instead, I’m a narrator or connector to someone or something I love/ like.

Entrepreneurs with a tendency to be shy or introverted could shift their focus on the self, and deflect by promoting their products or team instead. 

How else could those shy to talk to others learn to open up? What other personal challenges have you overcome as an entrepreneur? How did you overcome those challenges?

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