I'm Kristin Richards

What's up Girlfriend!

Owner of In Flow Design Co. We help brave women combine design and marketing to build meaningful brands online, so they can make an incredible living doing what they love.




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Life as an Introverted Empathic Business Owner

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

I’ve had a lot of people act surprised when I share with them I’m a TOTAL introvert. Maybe we assume because someone’s launched their own business, they’ve put their face out there in the world and they show up on a podcast or on live video that they must be an extrovert and thrive off of this spotlight.

I’ve even had people who know me in real life outside of this whole business world surprised by me saying I’m an introvert because I’m “not shy”.

It can be easy to feel like we should be acting like other people we see who have more extroverted tendencies – always conversing, networking, going to events and meeting everyone they can. They are just so full of energy it can make us feel like we are falling short in this area of launching and growing our business.

But the truth is I’ve found being an introverted business owner has come with some major benefits.

In this episode, I’m sharing what exactly it’s like living life and running a business as an Introverted Empathic business owner.

From Healthline.com About Being an Empath:

The term empath comes from empathy, which is the ability to understand the experiences and feelings of others outside of your own perspective.

But as an empath, you take things a step further. You actually sense and feel emotions as if they’re part of your own experience. In other words, someone else’s pain and happiness become your pain and happiness.

Before I even really knew what an empath was I’ve always said I can feel other people’s energy. Even if the person isn’t saying anything I can feel the energy in the room and it’s often times it can affect my entire experience.

And it can be useful because you can better choose how to interact with people and communicate with them when you have a heightened sense of what they’re feeling and the energy they’re exuding.

I’ve found it comes in handy for me a lot when interacting with clients even from the very first consultation call. There’s a sales strategy where you mirror the other persons gestures and tone to make them feel more comfortable and build trust. Well I realized I tend to naturally do this without even knowing it – both on the phone and in person because of that heightened sense of their energy in the world.

The downside of this is it can be draining both emotionally and physically.

I tend to have a very hard time dealing with people who are overly anxious, angry or when there is elevated tension. I can literally feel my body reacting where my heart starts racing and I feel this flood of tension in my body.

The kind of good side of this is when I’m around someone like that I remove myself from the situation instead of feeding it. You can’t fight fire with fire right so if someone is for example yelling at me, instead of matching them and becoming angry back, or even just sitting there taking it – I LITERALLY will bow out because #1 it’s hard for me to physically be around that and #2 it lets someone know that they need to change the way they’re acting before we can carry this conversation on.

As business owner I hope to attract clients who have a better hold on their emotions and have a positive outlook on life and in their everyday because our personalities will be better matched and it will be a much more pleasant working experience.

Okay now let’s get into the introverted side:

I feel like there can be a big mix up between being Shy and Introverted. Just because you are an introverted person doesn’t mean you’re shy at all. I was even looking up definitions preparing for this episode and oftentimes introverted is described as shy, and I think that is total crap.

Being shy means you tend to be timid and nervous around other people. An introvert might be reserved and more quiet, but it doesn’t mean they are nervous or timid. Introverted just means you draw your energy from being alone, not from being around other people. 

This means introverted people tend to get exhausted by being around people for extended periods of time, especially large groups of people. We need time to retreat and be alone afterwards to recharge our batteries and get back in balance. 

This is so me big time – partly because of the whole empath thing but also I just love being alone. Now that might sound really anti-social but I almost think I created that for myself growing up with 3 brothers and no sisters. First I always got my own room in the house because I was the only girl, and Instead of being around my siblings all the time I remember spending a lot of time in my room alone making things. Funny when I say it like that literally I feel like that’s what I do today running a creative business from home. I am still at home, alone, making things.

I know for me, if I go to a party or event, especially if I don’t know many people there – I hit a cap where I seriously need a break from socializing. Kind of funny but I remember being at birthday party where I literally knew like 3 people and so I’m giving out even more energy when you’re interacting with new people – and I had to regularly take a bathroom break and just sit there for a minute relishing that silence and alone time.

I know being an introvert is why I actually prefer traveling alone as well which allowed me to comfortably travel through Europe for a few months straight alone. To me, a big group trip sounds exhausting and stressful. Too many energies and too many people trying to make decisions. I feel like my ideal travel quota is possibly 1-2 other people traveling with me, and that’s it. 

I also believe being introverted is why I’m so well suited for the whole working remotely online business world. I could imagine for an extrovert who draws their energy from being around other people it would be really difficult to be alone most of the day vs. being around the energy of say an office with people around you all day.

I feel like I get my best ideas when spending some alone time and I’m also more productive.

I want to know if you can relate to this. Come find me on IG @Girlbossdesigner or on my personal page, @KristenRichards, and let me know!

Do you enjoy this episode? I’d be so honored if you would leave a review! These reviews are what helps the podcast become more visible so we can help more women like you. CLICK HERE to leave a review now!

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