I perform best in crowds.
Let me rephrase, I feel that I present the best version of myself when I am in a crowd with at least one person that knows me really well. I recently dubbed this my “Emotional Support Human”. I don’t even have to be around the person the whole time. Just knowing I have a lifeline in a situation is comforting. Never has this need been more prevalent than when starting a new business.
I have talked before about being an extroverted introvert. The high you get from a crowd is intoxicating. Yet, when you feel like you have something to win or lose with each interaction, anxiety starts creeping in. That is where the ESH comes in. For me, this person is a mix of a Xanax and a hype (wo)man. I know with them around my brain won’t turn to mush whenever someone talks to me about my business. I will be able to formulate my thoughts in logical order, and if I forget something chances are my ESH is filling in the details for me.
Previously, talking in crowds and networking has been a piece of cake to me. Yet, starting a new business and knowing that every conversation has the potential to be huge is a big weight to carry around. It isn’t that I am not confident about my business. I have a badass idea, it has direction and roots and it will be amazing. It is that when I get in a room with people that have the potential to effect that future I start to sweat.
So, what if my ESH can’t make it? What if I have to go to a one-one-one meeting? Since these are happening with more regularity I had to create a plan.
- FREAKING BREATHE: I get so excited to go to a meeting and I know I am ready but about five minutes before it starts I internally start to unravel. This is the perfect opportunity for a quick trip to my headspace app and a few deep breaths. Taking time to totally zen out prevents last minute spiraling and actually reminds me how prepared I am.
- Common Ground: For me, one on one meetings come after at least a few exchanges. Whether these exchanges are in person or via email, etc.. you have talked previously and have a general knowledge about how the person operates. I am not nervous starting the conversation but I like to have little anecdotes for the middle. This requires research. If they are a writer, read their stuff and find something that peaks your interest, if they are on Instagram or Facebook, what are they doing that you value? Having these touch points to reference during a conversation will expel any potentially uncomfortable lapse.
- Repetition Is Key: The more you talk about your business or idea the easier it becomes. I swear. Talk about it with as much regularity as possible to as many different people. It will become second nature to answer questions and be quick on your feet. Repetition will take you out of your head and into the conversation at hand. You will find that you assert yourself more and you will need your ESH less and less.
Applying these tips will help you present your business as the passion it is. Present you as put together and someone people will want to work with. Limit the anxiety going into perceived “big conversations”. Overall allow the package you are presenting to shine.