Sunday, May 10, 2015

Life :: How to Work From Home as an Extrovert / A Survival Guide For the Rest of Us

I'll admit it: us extroverts are a wacky bunch.

We get depressed when we have no one to talk to for more than a few hours. We don't beat around the bush about our feelings; you can usually tell what we think just by our facial expressions. We have no problem telling our life story (usually more than once) to anyone who will listen (and act it out at the same time). We're excited to meet new people and want to be instant BFFs with almost anyone we come across. We're basically those annoying strangers at the grocery store who want to strike up a conversation in line.

Hi. My name is Stephanie. Nice to meet you. I'm obnoxious and proud of it.

If that doesn't paint a clear enough picture for you, here's a good definition...

"Most people believe that an extrovert is a person who is friendly and outgoing. While that may be true, that is not the true meaning of extroversion. Basically, an extrovert is a person who is energized by being around other people. This is the opposite of an introvert who is energized by being alone. Extroverts tend to 'fade' when alone and can easily become bored without other people around. When given the chance, an extrovert will talk with someone else rather than sit alone and think. In fact, extroverts tend to think as they speak, unlike introverts who are far more likely to think before they speak. Extroverts often think best when they are talking. Concepts just don't seem real unless they can talk about them."

This is probably confusing for you, because you know that I work from home and spend more time with my laptop than any other human. What's possibly even more baffling is that I actually love what I do and really value my "me" time. Even though I am extroverted, I am also creative. And I need absolute silence to get those creative juices flowing, or I get super distracted. (Brandon mostly works at home too, and I literally have to go in a different room or one of us will start talking. He's an ENTP, I'm an ENFJ. It's fun.)

What I'm trying to get at is this -- there are LOTS of tips for how introverts can get out there and network and do things they're scared of, but I don't see as many for us extroverts who need the opposite advice. How do we work from home without getting cabin fever? How can we be alone for hours at a time without getting bored? (And this should go without saying, but I don't think there's anything wrong with either end of the spectrum; I just don't feel that I've found enough resources for my personality type!)

I recently became an Independent Beauty Consultant for Mary Kay, and I quickly realized that I've missed many things about being part of a team. After having jobs in retail, customer service, and sales for so long, I left the corporate world and started my own business. But I was still used to the following:
  • creating goals that we would hit together
  • getting rewards and recognition from bosses
  • hitting happy hour every night with co-workers
  • having someone by my side who understood the hustle

I love having B around, don't get me wrong. And our cute baby is fun to chat with, but he doesn't exactly respond yet. Most of my other "in RL" friends have standard 9-5 jobs or are starting to transition into entrepreneurship, but they're still not where I'm at in the journey.

And that's why it's really important to find your people in the blogosphere. I uploaded a 3-minute video about that a few days ago, so feel free to watch and learn more:

I don't think this is just a problem for extroverts, though. I think it's safe to assume that any entrepreneur (or creativepreneur, solopreneur, infopreneur, whatever-preneur-you-wanna-call-yourself) can sometimes get lonely, bored, or simply down in the dumps due to lack of social interaction.

That's why I've created this cool, free thing for you to download, print and fill out whether you're an extrovert, introvert, omnivert or pervert. (Just kidding about that last one. No pervs, please.) It's a 9-page workbook all about finding like-minded friends, both online and off.

There are three sections and each section has three lessons.

Here are a few of the writing prompts and questions you'll find:
  • What's one thing you can do each day that gets you out of the house?
  • What are three of your favorite places to work outside of your office?
  • Who are five bloggers you can collaborate with over the next four months?
  • Who are five "in RL" friends that you can get creative with, even if you have different careers?
  • Who can you call TODAY for 30 minutes and catch up with?
  • Who can you Skype with this week?
  • What's one way to make your office more fun and energizing?

And if you need suggestions, we'll be discussing it at this week's #liveloudly chat!

Hope you enjoy this #extroworkbook. Whoever you are. You rock.

Loudmouth out.

*Photo found here. Text added by me.
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