When It’s Cool to be Cool!
Provocative title I think. Provocative because it could mean almost anything – and be about almost anything.
But this post is about us business women, Christian specifically, who are seen as “cool” because we wear our introversion on our sleeve. I can say this because more often than not, others perceive me to be “cool and aloof”. “Hard to reach or get to know”. “Distant” and even a word I happen to love. . . “eccentric!”
I’m also perceived to be somewhat suspicious of others until I get to know them. And know them well. Others tend to keep their distance; and that’s fine with me. Except that keeping a distance may not be the best way to win friends and add to a potential customer base.
Could It Be?
Could it be that the woman we perceive as “distant”; “cool” (or cold) is simply extremely shy? Introverted to the point that she would rather sit alone – preferably at home with a hot cup of coffee, than be required to engage others in conversation. Especially those she doesn’t yet know.
What a dilemma? How am I going to overcome the label “distant” if I refuse to step outside my warm and cozy comfort zone labeled “introverted”? Yet to do so would take enormous personal resolve. So much so that the thought of same produces beads of sweat upon the brow and jelly in the gut. Can’t I just stay here and send smoke signals to the next networking event to which I’m invited?
Praise God for Social Media!
In previous posts I’ve admitted to hating networking. At least face to face networking of the big gathering type. That which requires I dress up and show up to a room filled with blue suits and stilettos. The thought of walking through the door only to be accosted by eager folks with hints of dollar signs in their eyes. My dollars to be exact!
The joy of my business life has been social media. I can stay in my cozy warm shell called “introversion” and appear to be that wise “cool” woman who hasn’t an ounce of introversion in her bones. Little do they know tsk tsk!
On Social Media, I’m “Cool!”
Maintaining a social media presence makes me cool.
In fact, the really “cool” aspect is that most octogenarian women haven’t a clue about social media. And if they do; it’s less about building an audience for their business and more about staying in touch with friends from years gone by and reminiscing together about years gone by.
Social media permits me to hide the shy me; avoid labels such as distant, aloof and hard to get to know. I don’t have to look you in the eye, shake your hand and pretend I’m comfortable in your presence when your heavy breathing cuts off my breath! And heaven forbid I have to dig for the one business card I carry just in case. . .
Social media permits me to network; share what expertise I have and let you into my personal space only as far as I choose to let you. And I’ve been told that a little mystery about ourselves is charmingly provocative and actually draws folks to us rather than repels.
Now that’s really COOL!
Seriously. . .
For the most part, I’ve been a bit tongue-in-cheek in the aforementioned paragraphs. But for those of us who are basically shy at our core; having to shed our introversion is too much to ask. And being tongue-in-cheek is often the best way to handle a subject that most of us don’t like to tackle. At least to be honestly raw in the telling!
Introversion can be a major business obstacle for many women. Especially those of us who are post menopausal with a few gray hairs and crows feet we’d like to hide. We are eager to grow our business; but not so eager to let go of the comfortable zone in which we’ve lived most of our lives. We’ve grown used to labels that others would find abhorrent. And we’re comforted by friends who accept us as we are without adding the pressure to ‘change’!
I Will Make My Own “Cool”!
Over the years, I’ve learned that I can make my own “coot”. I can make it cool to be cool and aloof. I can make it a badge of honor to be considered eccentric. And I can make my brand successful revolving around the very things the world says are obstacles to business (and personal) success!
As the Blog Turns. . .
Over the next several weeks, I’m going to share my thoughts on making my own “cool”. How I think I can be successful doing just the opposite of what the world says will make me successful. After all, my Momma always said that if you want Linda to do something; tell her she can’t. So if the world says I can’t be successful as an introvert and I must exit my shell; then I just might find a way to prove the world wrong.
Perhaps my thoughts will be ones you can apply to your own life. Especially if the label cool and aloof fits you too!
If it’s doesn’t, then share the thoughts with a friend or business acquaintance you know who shares the same cozy nook I do!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, M.S.Ed, CEO & Visionary Partner
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Building an Online Community of Like-Minded Business Women
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