I’m an ambivert. If you’re wondering what that is, it’s a blend of both an extrovert and an introvert, with one end weighing heavier based on the person’s mood, goals, and context. An outgoing introvert,
I’m an ambivert. If you’re wondering what that is, it’s a blend of both an extrovert and an introvert, with one end weighing heavier based on the person’s mood, goals, and context. An outgoing introvert, if you will. Personally, I love being social and can chit chat with just about anyone, but after an extended period of time, I need time all to myself to recharge.
Why am I telling you this? Because as an “ambiverted” (Is that even a word?) business woman who works for herself, it’s easy for me to hunker down and keep to myself rather than getting out and networking. This might be surprising to some of you who imagine being a blogger as a life full of nonstop social gatherings and media trips. Under non-pandemic times, yes that can be true, but I’ve never been one to take advantage of all of those extra opportunities. I kind of like to stay in my own bubble. I have a wonderful group of peers in Charleston that I love getting together with for brand dinners or one-on-one for coffee, but outside of that, I pretty much keep to myself.
Is that always best, though? Is staying in the safe zone ever going to push your business to the next level?
Let’s take my industry out of the equation and imagine this scenario for absolutely anyone. A college student, a photographer, a clothing store owner, a barre instructor, a Realtor, or even a stay-at-home mom. And let’s take the business dynamic out of this, because this notion can work for anywhere progress is sought in life, such as getting healthier, learning a new hobby, etc. If you continue doing just what’s comfortable at all times… is there ever going to be measurable growth? That is, assuming growth is desired, by the way. (If it’s not, then there’s a lot to be said for being content and comfortable! You do you!)
Today let’s chat about the value of stepping OUT of your comfort zone. It’s not always fun, but I promise you a reward is always going to come out of it.
Before I had children, back when I was just starting to navigate my way through growing my blog as a business, I used to say no to everything—and I mean everything. I had my close girlfriends I was always wanting to see, a busy calendar, date nights to be had, gym classes scheduled daily, and you just never know when a headache might pop up! I hope you can read this with the sarcasm that was intended, but with all of those things, you bet I could find an excuse for just about anything.
Then there was this one late December when I told myself, “This year, I’m going to say yes to things.” Now there’s a novel idea. An invitation to grab a meal with a business owner who wants to collaborate? Sure, I’ll be there! A small job opportunity editing beauty features for another website? Absolutely. Where do I sign? A chance to meet the owner of a brand I admire at an event? Yes, would be honored to!
And guess what?
That breakfast, which otherwise would have made me uncomfortable to meet one-on-one with a stranger, turned out to be the first brand partnership I ever did. It wasn’t paid, nor was I looking for it to be, but it taught me the skills of working with a brand and managing expectations on both ends which built a foundation for future projects that did drive an income. The job editing beauty features at that website may have made me pennies in comparison to the time I poured into it, but it ended up being one of the very best things I ever did for my career. It challenged me, put me in touch with other creatives across the United States, showed me firsthand how a big website runs, and connected me with many like-minded women that I still talk to today. Oh and the chance to meet the owner of a brand I admire? It may have really put me outside of my comfort zone, but it led to a relationship with the company and later a paid partnership…but better yet, a handful of business connections that became dear friendships.
These are just a few examples of many where saying yes had a domino effect of positivity on my business. I’m sure you, too, can think of a few times you really would have rather said no and stayed home, but were so glad you put yourself out there and said yes after all.
That time I hosted a live Amazon fashion segment in NYC. A yes I will always be so grateful for!
Here I am on another trip to NYC after just meeting up with my friend, Katey, the summer before last. I was on a press trip to NYC to meet with the Good Housekeeping Institute!
A time that I will forever be so thankful I said “yes” was when I decided to buy a ticket to go to The Southern C Summit last February in Sea Island, GA. The Southern C is a retreat that is tailored to a community of passionate entrepreneurs, creatives, and business owners, giving everyone in attendance the opportunity to connect and collaborate amongst top names in business, blogging, and branding.
Not only was this unknowingly our “last shebang” before the pandemic hit last year, but it was a powerful business tool for me and the absolute best networking event I’ve ever attended. I met a plethora of creatives, from small business owners to bloggers to artisans, photographers… the list goes on. I also got the opportunity to listen to some very powerful women I admire speak and share their best practices for how they got to where they are in business and lessons learned along the way. Beyond that, the backdrop of Sea Island is pretty much Heaven on Earth and The Southern C planned some of the most “instagram-worthy” events to take place within the three day event. I shared quite a bit of our time there in this IG highlight!
About this year’s retreat… It’s taking place February 3-5 at Sea Island. The in-person event will be a lot smaller this year to allow for social distancing, but I think it’s going to be even more special as there are a ton of wellness offerings, giving attendees the chance to really recharge a bit while there. While there are still a few tickets left for the in-person event, they are also implementing a virtual ticket option this time! During a year of not being able to do large group activities, I think investing in a virtual ticket would be such a worthy expense. While the in-person socializing was beyond rewarding for me last year, the takeaways and information I learned during the sessions were incredibly valuable to me. And again, The Southern C is for all creatives, entrepreneurs, and business owners. There is something for everyone!
If you’re interested in the virtual ticket option, here’s a snapshot of what it includes:
By the way… this year, I’m presenting at The Southern C! Yet another example of how saying yes to one thing can lead to things far greater. I cannot wait to engage with those in the audience and at home streaming the conference from their computers. Please let me know on Instagram if you’ll be there in person or tuning in!
Saying “yes” and doing things that make you feel a bit uncomfortable can really end up surprising you. And chances are, that one “yes” will lead to a multitude of better things. Just wait.
“A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are for.”
William G.T. Shedd