Building An Online Business As An Introvert

by | Aug 9, 2023 | Podcast

As an introvert and former personal trainer, I know just how challenging it can be to reconcile a quiet nature with the demands of entrepreneurship. I’ve walked this rocky path, from disregarding my introverted needs early in my career to experiencing burnout, and finally, finding a way to create a successful online business that respects my need for solitude. In this episode, I invite you on a journey of discovery and learning, unpacking my own experiences and exploring the potent mix of being an introvert, a helper, and an entrepreneur, guided by insights from Susan Cain’s book, Quiet.

If you’re an introvert who wants to build a thriving online business that aligns with your need for peace and quiet, this episode is for you. I’ll share with you the advantages of adopting an online business model, from the comfort of working from your own home, to reaching a wider audience without the energy drain of stepping onto a live stage. You’ll learn how to tailor your business to your needs, create effective marketing plans, and launch a signature program that respects your energy reserves. Together, we’ll explore how you can transform your introverted nature into a powerful tool for entrepreneurial success. Join me as we navigate this unique intersection of introversion and entrepreneurship, and lay the foundation for a burnout-proof online business.

“You are free to be an introvert and to protect your time and energy, and to take care of yourself and to spend time doing the things that you love.” – Shawn Mynar

“Online business is the best business model for introverts.” – Shawn Mynar

“Really consider more specifically what you want your business to look and feel like knowing that all of that is possible, all of that can be packaged up into this really wonderful, gentle, cozy thing for you and that is your flow business.” – Shawn Mynar


Burnout-Proof Your Business Masterclass – https://shawnmynar.com/burnoutproof

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FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT BELOW:

Speaker 1: 1:17

Hey, hey there, friends, Welcome back to the Flow Business Podcast. I’m Shawn, your host, and this is your place to build a business that you love, that works for you, your life, your family, your hobbies, what you want to do with your time and something that you really truly love to do. I just got back from a little summer road trip and I’m feeling refreshed and recharged and excited about the rest of the year and everything that we’re doing here on the show and in my business. It’s just, it’s such a great feeling and this kind of goes into what we’re going to talk about today to go on vacation and love being away and being on vacation and taking a break and getting away from everything and thinking about nothing of importance really, but then coming back and being excited to come back and excited to get to work and excited for what’s ahead and how I get to spend my time and my days. It’s something I’m so, so grateful to have built for myself and am now also so grateful to be able to help you build that for yourself too, because it really just makes a world of difference to be excited about what you’re spending your time doing and how you’re helping people and what you’re putting out into the world and what you’re building for yourself and your family and your life, and how you spend your short amount of time here that we have on this earth, in this body. So that is where I’m at feeling really refreshed, but also feeling so grateful and excited for what’s ahead. And we’re kicking it off today with this episode, specifically talking to my introvert friends, which I know is a big portion of all of you out there listening. It’s a lot of you and even if you don’t consider yourself an introvert you’re more of that extroverted nature. I still think that you will find some value in what we’re going to talk about today and even resonate a little bit with what I’m going to say, even though you technically don’t have that introverted nature. But this one was inspired by the book Quiet by Susan Cain, which I just got done reading a few weeks ago. If you haven’t read it, it’s a great book. Especially if you’re an introvert. It really helps you kind of understand your place in the world, especially when it feels like the world is becoming more and more extroverted, more and more loud and noisy and needing to show up and be everywhere and have this certain type of energy when, for introvert, that’s not really how you like to run your life, that’s not what feels good to you. The subtitle of the book is the Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking. So that gives you an idea of the theme of the book and it really is so good, especially for us introverts. I wanted to do this episode in particular because, first of all, I am an introvert, which I think everyone knows by now. Even if this is your first time listening to the show, I think I’ve made that clear that I’m an introvert. I’m also a helper. I’ve always been a helper, from a very young age. I love helping people. I love connecting with people in that way and being someone who can provide even just a listening ear or some support, some guidance, a hug, whatever is needed. I love being that role in other people’s lives. And I’m also an entrepreneur. I have an entrepreneurial spirit I again have from a very young age and really need to be doing my own thing, doing what I love, figuring out what that is for me and making that my livelihood in a very big, big way. Like, feel that very much on a day-to-day basis that this is what I meant to do. I meant to be my own boss. I meant to have my own thing going. So the combination of all three of those, I think, is a little unique. It’s a pretty interesting combination and I really have gone now in my business in the direction of helping people who are also in this unique position of being an introvert, of being a helper, wanting to make that meaningful impact on others’ lives and also having that entrepreneurial spirit. How can we combine all three of these things to really work for us? And over the years the past decade plus that I have had my own business I figured out how to make that happen for myself, and now I’m helping others make that happen for them. Now, back when I started my business as a personal trainer, at the time I really thought that I was just going to have to suck it up, ignore my introverted needs, my needs for space and time and aloneness, and just suck it up and see clients all day, have this super busy schedule, be around people all day long, even when I really felt like I needed my introvert cave and just I have to deal with it, because that’s how my business had to run, that’s how I was going to be making money to support myself. So I had to kind of let that part of me ignore it. I guess it’s not like it went away, but I just had to ignore that desire and I did. And, as I’ve shared before many times now, a few years into that kind of business, I burned out, and that burnout, in combination with being sick and needing time and energy to heal my body and to get well, I created my first signature program. That was my solution to be able to continue helping the people that I needed to help, that I wanted to help and helping more of them, without it taking any more time and energy from me and in fact allowed me to get back the time and energy that I had now spent a few years just completely ignoring and just filling up my calendar as much as I could because that was my only way of making money and switching that all around and figuring out another way to do things and, as we all know, I think this is now what I help other coaches and practitioners do and to be able to build that burnout proof business. So you are free to be an introvert and to protect your time and energy and to take care of yourself and to spend time doing the things that you love, whether that be out in the world hanging out with a bunch of people or in your own introvert cave by yourself, taking care of yourself and getting back your energy, reviving your energy, which is what we, as introverts, very much need. We need the time and space to do that. But then also, specifically, not only being an introvert but wanting to help people and wanting to make this impact on others’ lives and in the world and wanting to be there for others, but then also having to kind of balance that with your own needs to have that time to recharge, to be alone, to need to go into a cave, to need more free time and flexibility for yourself and getting drained by too much interaction with other humans, which is the reality for introverts. So how do you balance this desire to want to be there for others in such a big way but also need to protect that space and time and energy for yourself? It’s such an interesting place to be in as this introvert that’s also a helper, and I’m just taking the time to kind of explain this because I know this is a lot of you listening and I want you to realize how kind of unique of a situation. This is, in a good way. It’s not, like this, bad thing, but it’s definitely something to consider in yourself to make sure that you’re not, like me, ignoring certain parts of you because you think that’s the only way that you can help other people and make an impact the way that you want to make, and also not ignoring that desire that you have to keep things simple, to keep things small, to have lots of time for yourself, to not be forward facing in front of clients all day or having to interact with people all day, really recognizing what being an introvert means for you and how you can use that to your advantage, versus having to ignore that aspect of you in order to do what you want. You don’t have to do that. You don’t have to pick and choose, you don’t have to decide and you don’t have to ignore aspects of you that are actually really important to you and really important to this world, which is what that book Quiet kind of really shows you and brings to light for people who are on the more introverted side of things. So I’m going to be referencing that book a lot. There are certain pieces that I kind of highlighted that I wanted to make sure we talk about in this episode. So, just so you know, it’s the book Quiet by Susan Cain. Yes, I definitely recommend it if you are an introvert or even if you have introverted family or friends that you want to kind of understand a little better. Great book, okay. So now that I’ve kind of laid that groundwork, the whole reason is because the goal of this episode is to let you know, remind you, convince you, maybe even that online business is the best business model for introverts. And I know some of you might be like, well, yeah, but you have to put yourself out there, you have to be the face of your business, you have to be the center of attention. So nope, that is not for introverts. Or you have to be on video, you have to do social media, you have to put on webinars, you have to talk in front of groups of people, you have to record podcast episodes. All these things we talk about so much here on the show and are a big part of having an online business. You may be feeling like, no, those are not for introverts. And yet here I am, the most introverted of all introverts talking into a mic every week for the past eight and a half years. So how is that and that’s what I’m going to talk about today and why really, the things that you do have to do or I don’t want to say have to do some of the important potential components of an online business are actually perfect for an introvert, and not just an introvert, but an introvert who wants to help people and be an entrepreneur, have their own business, do their own thing. So let’s chat a little bit about why. First of all, you get to decide exactly how you want your business to look and feel, which means you get to make it work for you. There are so many different iterations of having an online business and you know they all work. There’s nothing that is totally out of the question like. You absolutely can’t do it this way. There is no one right thing you have to do, no one right way to do anything. You have the flexibility to decide what that looks and feels like for you. So, going to the book quiet. Most introverts prefer a more gentle way of doing things and because of this, I can also imagine that introverts want a more gentle approach to business. I know I do, and if you think about all the other businesses, business types in the world. Most business models would never ever be able to call themselves gentle, to be seen as gentle, I think if you ask a non online business owner about their business, very rarely would any of them use the word gentle to describe their business. But with an online business, you absolutely can have a very gentle business. I could easily call my business gentle and that would be very accurate and reflective of how I built it, how I wanted it to look and feel. So if you want a more gentle, more simple, more easy going, more flow business, you can have that in an online business. You don’t want to see clients at all, don’t? You only want to have like five clients at a time, five VIP type clients at a time Cool, do that. You don’t want to have a big team to manage Don’t have one. You want to work from your couch in your sweatpants Cool, do it. You only want to work four days a week or you only want to work from eight to three every day Great, set it up that way. The level of flexibility and customization for your business is so high, is so strong, and you really truly can have it be customized to you and your life and your needs and your energy and your health and your well-being all of those things are important to you. Now let me be clear. I am in no way saying that there isn’t work involved, that you don’t have to hustle at times, that there won’t be times where you do have to expend more energy. You do have to work hours that maybe aren’t your ideal it’s not like it’s always butterflies and rainbows and this simple, easy, flowy, gentle business. You’ll have to step out of your comfort zone. You’ll have to do new things, you’ll have to do things that make you nervous. You’ll have to do scary things. You’ll have to feel the fear and do it anyway. And if you’ve listened to even one other episode of this podcast, then you know all of those things are part of building a business. Even if it is a flow business, even if it is a gentle business, those things still exist and you can also have a business that feels very good and actually it’s all part of the overall flow. It’s part of the process. But just know that the business that you’re working on that may feel scary at times, that may make you nervous at times, that may bring your ego out and give you all the imposter syndrome, all the scary thoughts that business can and will be completely tailored to you, and doesn’t that make it feel a little easier, a little more worth it to get out there and do that scary thing to know that it’s this really awesome business that’s built completely for you by you. All right, the second reason why an online business is the best business for introverts is in this kind of piggybacks off of what we’re just saying, but I just wanted to point it out specifically. Here you get to run your business from where you feel most comfortable with the schedule you feel most comfortable with, and this is probably the biggest thing for introverts needing to be in a non stimulating environment, a place they feel comfortable in, and also needing a schedule that allows for lots of me time. Those are some big key points that differentiate introverts from extroverts needing that space, needing this non stimulation, in order to do their best work. So for me, for example, right now, as I’m recording this podcast episode, I’m in my comfy clothes, I just got out of the shower, my hair is wet, I’m in my home office with my dogs laying next to me. It feels very cozy, it feels very safe, it feels very non stimulating and very comfortable, where I can create my best work. And while all of this is happening and I’m feeling so good in this space while recording this podcast episode, the reality is, in a few days, thousands of people are going to be listening to this. You are listening to this and it still was something that I could do in a space that feels comfortable for me as an introvert, but still get the word out, still communicate, still connect with a ton of people while protecting my own space and energy. And how cool is that? It’s not like I had to get on some big, giant stage in front of thousands of people all at once, which would absolutely terrify me, probably to the point where I couldn’t do it. I think the most I’ve ever spoken in front of it like on stage, was maybe a couple hundred. And yes, that was terrifying and I’ll talk about how I made that happen. As an introvert coming up, but to not have to do that, for that not to be the only way, and not really even to be remotely the best way to communicate with thousands of people, to know there are so many more avenues, to do that in a place that feels comfortable for you, is phenomenal, and that’s just not something that most people can say until they really put their business into this online space, all right. The third thing your screen acts as a barrier. We don’t get in a real life situation so you can communicate more freely than in person. Like I was just saying, with this podcast a quote from the book perhaps social media affords us the control we lack in real life, socializing the screen as a barrier between us and the world. The same person who would never raise her hand in a lecture hall of 200 people might blog to 2000 or 2 million without thinking twice. The same person who finds it difficult to introduce himself to strangers might establish a presence online and then extend these relationships into the real world. I find this to be so, so true. Back when I first started, the very first thing I started to get out into the world in the online space was my blog, and at the time I couldn’t have spoken to 20 people in the same room, and yet I was able to blog, to write my blogs and put them out into the world. And some of those blogs are still out there today and they’ve probably been read by hundreds of thousands of people. But I could never, ever, have done that without the barrier of the screen and, like I said, same thing with this podcast without the barrier of the mic, social media and the barrier of the phone. Really, all of these tools that we use to connect and communicate with tons of people, thousands, hundreds, millions, whatever it is that is something that is now afforded to us as introverts, without having to be in that socializing type environment, face to face with people which is sometimes really great for introverts and sometimes isn’t and to be able to have that is so powerful, to be able to have that type of connection and that level of connection while still feeling comfortable and protecting your own energy and boundaries and space. Now, I do have a caveat here. We’re not talking about shyness. So in the book Susan describes shyness as the fear of social disapproval or humiliation, while introversion is a preference for environments that are not overstimulating. So there’s a difference there and from the definition of shyness it seems to me like this may be more of an ego getting in the way, kind of thing that is fear-based. It literally says the fear of social disapproval or humiliation. We’ve talked about that a lot on this show the fear of putting yourself out there, fear of judgment, fear of disapproval, all of those things and how to get over it, because it’s something that can really hinder your ability to put your work out into the world. And I used to be very shy. It used to be introvert and very shy. I am no longer shy. I think I have done the inner work to get over that as an adult and to be able to calm those fears and put them aside enough to put my work out there, because I know how important that is and my ability and desire to help other people is stronger than those fears of judgment, failure or disapproval that would potentially hinder someone from putting anything out into the world. So that if you are experiencing that, that fear of putting your work out into the world, of showing up for your business, of being on social media, of having a podcast, all of those things because of fear, then just know that that’s not introversion. You may also be an introvert, but those fears are something else and it’s not actually a characteristic of being an introvert. So it’s shyness, it’s ego, it’s things that can be worked on because it’s a mindset experience that you’re having a mental experience. So, moving on to the fourth one, because you’re doing something you love and your work is important to you, you are able to do some quote, unquote, extrovert things. And then you have that time and space built in to recover from those extrovert things, which is another huge characteristic of being an introvert is, yes, if you do, just say, go to a party, go to a networking event, do something where it is very extroverted in nature, you recoup your energy spent by being alone, by being in your comfy space, your introvert cave, as we’ll call it, and that’s how you recharge. Another quote from the book Quiet introverts are capable of acting like extroverts for the sake of work they consider important people they love or anything they value highly. I think, no matter what, there are going to be some extroverted things you’ll have to do in your business every once in a while. But, according to Susan, when it’s something you love to talk about, something that’s important to you which I hope is the case for what you’re building your business around I hope it’s something you love, something you’re passionate about. When it is, you’re able to do those extroverted things for the sake of this work, you can have the energy to make that happen. You can do it. You can do it and you want to do it for the sake of your work, for the sake of something you love, something you consider important. This is how I feel when I speak on stage. As I mentioned earlier, I have back when I was in the nutrition space. I probably spoke in front of an audience on stage like eight to ten times and, like I said, some of them were hundreds of people and it was challenging. It’s not something that comes naturally to me, it’s not something I’m comfortable with, it’s not something I want to do, even, yes, super nervous. But I did it and it was great and it was fine and it was actually quite fun all the times. But the reason I was able to do it and the reason that I wanted to do it was because of what I was doing. I was very passionate about what I was talking about. I knew it was very important of a message to convey and I also knew it was really important for my business to do those kinds of things. It’s the same way I feel about networking events or things like that. Not fun, not what I really want to be doing feels very against my nature, but also something I’m willing to do. I’m able to do because it matters, because it’s important to me, it’s important to my business and it’s something that I can do, even if it’s totally outside of my introvert bubble. Yes, I get nervous every single time. I get nervous just walking into a room with people and sitting down for like a conference. I still get nervous in big groups of people, but I do them. I’m totally fine doing them. I feel good after I do them. I believe in the work I’m doing and I believe that it matters and that is what feeds that ability to do those extrovert things. So all this to say yes, if you want to introvert and you still want your own business and you want to help people in a meaningful way, it is entirely possible to do so without having to give up any of these things or to ignore any of these parts of you. With an online business, and because of everything I just talked about, that online piece is really key here because it allows you to reach more people, to communicate with more people, to help more people without the energy drain of being in person or being in an environment. You’re not comfortable in working hours, you’re not comfortable with not having the free time and flexibility that you need these things that are really important to us. Knowing all of this, and whether you have an online business or not right now, these are the things that you need to make it happen. This is it. Do this and you got yourself an online business. First of all, you need a paid offer. How do you want to help your clients and make money while still honoring your needs? You have to figure out what that is for you and, as you are probably well aware of by now, my recommendation is a signature program for you. If you want to introvert and a coach or practitioner, it really, really is just the best business model for you, for your needs. It allows you to help the people that you want to help and really put out some content in a meaningful way and provide that support for people, but also do so in a way that protects your time, your space, your energy and allows you the ability to uncap your income potential and make the money that you want to make. So there’s just such a win-win situation, especially for people like me who need that time and space and flexibility and just being comfortable in what you’re doing, but also have this big desire to reach more people, to help more people, to make an impact and obviously I have everything that you need to make that happen for you and your business. You can definitely learn more about my process in my free masterclass I have going on right now called Burnout Proof your Business with a Signature Program. It’s totally free. It takes you through my entire process of not only how to build your program, but then also how to get it out into the world. You can go to www.shawnmynar.com. The second thing you need for your introverted online business is an audience. Yes, even if you’re an introvert, yes, even if people freak you out lots of people definitely freak you out you still need an audience and that’s where that barrier of your screen, your computer, your phone, your mic, whatever it is, really helps. So what platforms and tools do you want to use to attract people to your work? How do you want to put yourself out there, knowing that, yes, that is part of the process, that’s part of any business that you build? Is there a social media app that you feel comfortable with? What other platforms or means of connection do you feel comfortable doing? Start thinking about that and figure it out and work on that content creation schedule and also, in terms of that schedule, what feels good and comfortable and doable for you. How often can you show up on these places in a very consistent way that does protect your energy and gives you the time and space you need? And remember, like I am right now I put out a podcast weekly, but I’m doing so in a place where I feel very safe and comfortable and cozy and introverted, and it feels good and I still can have an extroverted type business, which, again, I just think is the coolest thing. And then the third thing that you need is a marketing plan. So how do you want to let your audience know about your paid offer? So how do you want to connect number one with number two? That is the third thing that you need. And no, it can’t just be telling people about it and hoping they’ll sign up, or putting something out into the world, putting your program out into the world, hitting, publish and just waiting. That is not a plan, that is a non-plan, I would say. So I recommend always a free special event to kick off your launch of anything in your online business, and that’s what I show you how to do and really give you every single tiny little thing that you need to make that happen for your launch plan, your marketing plan, inside the Signature Program bundle, but that’s what I recommend. So what do you want that special event to be? And just figuring that out and then putting it all out into the world and rinsing and repeating, making this your business model and just doing it over and over and over again. That’s all it is. So that is, I think, where we’ll stop for today. There’s so much more I could talk about with this. I just again, like I mentioned, really think this is a unique position to be in as an introvert, as an entrepreneur and as a helper, like in a coach or practitioner kind of sense. So, if that’s, you really consider more specifically what you want your business to look and feel like, knowing that all of that is possible, all of that can be packaged up into this really wonderful, gentle, cozy thing for you and that is your flow business. That is going to be different than anyone else’s, but know it’s possible and, like I’ve talked about in this entire episode, really consider that online space. If you haven’t ventured out into the virtual world, just consider it and see what that would mean for you and what your business could potentially look like. And, again, if that’s something you’re interested in. Check out that free masterclass I have. I think that will help you understand a lot what that would look like for you. And again, that’s at www.shawnmynar.com/Burnoutproof. We’ll have that linked in the show notes as well. All right, my friends. With that, we will say until next time, take care. Hey, wait up before you go. Do you want to know the biggest reason why your business may not flow? Because it’s not in alignment with your personality type. Building the right business for you means knowing your strengths, weaknesses, energetic expression and what’s most important to you, so you can build your business accordingly. Before you spend one more minute working on your business, let’s make sure it’s the right business for you. I’ve created a fun two minute quiz to discover your flow business personality type. With the results of this quiz, you’ll know exactly what to prioritize in your business so you can feel confident knowing your building a business you love. Head over to www.shawnmynar.com/Quiz right now to find out your flow business personality type and once you find that out, hop over to Instagram and let me know what you discover. Again, that’s www.shawnmynar.com/Quiz. As always, the link is in the show notes.

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Hey there, I'm Shawn!

I’m obsessed with nitro cold brew, 90% dark chocolate, and helping coaches and practitioners build a business they love. With nothing but a passion for helping others and the desire to never have a boss again, I quit the corporate world and built my own million dollar coaching business over the past decade. Now, I help others do the same.

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