the mentor

Antonio Smith Jr – The Making of the Mentor: Escaping Poverty & Building Others Up (AoL 134)


When someone hits rock bottom, they usually have a choice to make. One, they can blame everyone but themselves for what has happened to them. Many times this prevents people from moving on from where they’re at.

They can then choose to make the other choice. They can realize that they’re actually the one in control of where they’re at and make it their mission to get out of that situation and never come back.

The term “rock bottom” is a relative term. Rock bottom for one person can be quite different than rock bottom for someone else.

For some people, a simple habit change can be enough to help them get out of their situation. But on the other hand, the person might need a complete mindset overhaul.

For today’s guest, he was more of the latter. After being homeless through the ages of 6 to 16, he thought his only way to get ahead was to excel at football. When an injury killed his chances to get a scholarship, he felt stuck. Luckily, a mentor stepped up and taught him that he had a gift of communication.

Ever since then, he’s been on a mission to develop this gift. Doing so has given him opportunities he might not have ever considered as an athlete.

Join Harrison and I as we talk with Rev. Antonio Smith Jr. about this transition and how others can make a positive impact in their community!

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • Why does Antonio still feel like an immigrant to the America even though he was born in the US? 10:34
  • How did he find his first mentor growing up and what are his thoughts on mentorship through life? 12:42
  • How does Antonio reach out and help those who are living lives of quiet desperation? 26:35
  • Is there a secret in finding opportunities to work with celebrities like Antonio has? 32:21
  • Is it possible to balance Christian values with business values? 37:29
  • How does he emotionally deal with it when he knows that only a fraction of the people who listen to him actually take his advice and act with it? 41:30
  • What’s Antonio looking forward to and excited for in the future? 46:36
  • Who are his Favorite Top 3 Influencers? 54:28
  • Who would he have dinner with, living or dead? 54:38
  • What is a habit or belief that has improved his life in the last 5 years? 54:47
  • What’s a gift he likes giving others? 55:02
  • What’s something he wants to do that no one knows about? 55:14
  • How can someone make a difference in their community? 55:33

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

 

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Why High Performers No Longer Perform Highly

Profit over Popularity

Keep the Wrong People Away

From Where You Are to $100k


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

mental wellness

Mental Wellness & the Creative Entrepreneur

Over the weekend, there was yet another mass shooting. 11 people were injured, 3 people – including the gunman – were killed.

At this point, we’re not sure what caused the guy to do what he did. But many would guess that it was the fact that he was upset that he didn’t do as well as he wanted. He took it out on those who, in his mind, he could blame for his failure.

In the last couple of years, we’ve seen all kinds of people acting out in similar fashions. Whether it’s the series of mass shootings we’ve seen or it’s those cases where the person opted to take  take their own life, creatives seem to be pretty prone to being involved in either situation.

 

Nature of Success

One might think that those of us who have had success in our lives, that we might be able to rise above these thoughts. Unfortunately, that just simply isn’t the case. As The Notorious B.I.G. said, “Mo Money, Mo Problems!”

I’ve mentioned this before, but those who are often the most depressed are the ones who usually have the fire to become successful. They think that money, fame, and freedom will solve their woes. But in the end, they don’t. They’re as unhappy as they were when they first started.

If these things made us happier with life, then there’s a good chance that people like Robin Williams, Chester Bennington, Kate Spade, and Anthony Bourdain would still be around.

 

We’re Aliens

Recently I came across a new video by the infamous group Die Antwoord. If you’ve never heard their music, then the best way to describe their work is if you mixed a hip-hop artist with an EDM DJ.

It’s not for everyone. However, the message they produce with their songs is one of the most creative I’ve seen in the last decade.

In the case of this video and song, they’re talking about not fitting in.

Here’s a few of the lyrics

I close my eyes and float into the night I like to let my mind drift

Make a jump into a new dimension

Thank God I got that gift

Sometimes it feels like coming from this planet people are so sick and twisted

I don’t wanna fit in anyway, I’d rather be a misfit

They laugh at me because I’m different, I laugh at them because they’re all the same

I am a alien

No matter how hard I try I don’t fit in

Always all on my own, sad and lonely

All I want is for someone to play with me

mental wellness

Do you feel like an alien? If so, know you’re not alone.

 

If I’m understanding this song correctly, I appreciate its message. When I was growing up, I was bullied constantly. Sure, I was the biggest kid in my grade, but I was also a pretty big geek compared to my classmates. And in my small town, that was two strikes right there!

However, looking back, I can now say that I was definitely a proto-millennial. I always had a better time interacting with kids who were younger than me. It’s one of the main reasons why I’m proud to be called a Xennial.

But man, when I was in the thick of it – where it got especially bad was my first few of years at Purdue. In high school, the one thing that saved me was that I was a good student. However, when I started at Purdue I struggled to get C’s in my classes. During that time, I’d try anything to make my grades better. So I can definitely understand why people can just do crazy things when they’re depressed. Depression and an overall feeling of not living up to your own or others standards can really make you into someone you’re not.

 

Coping with Depression

So how did I get out of my funk?

Well, first, I think the biggest thing I did was start hanging out with people who had similar goals in life. Luckily for me, just when I was starting to hit the bottom, I gained several good friends. Two of which were my groomsmen. They weren’t judgemental and really helped me take my mind off of worrying about tests all the time.

It was also about that time where I started actually thinking about working out on my own. I had always heard people talk about exercise as a stress reliever – so I started going to the Co-Rec pretty regularly. (In fact, that was one of the places where I’d see alumni cohost Laila from time to time!)

Another thing that I did was take advantage of free services provided by the Department of Psychology at Purdue. I think I probably had 3 different issues that I saw them for. I still remember some of the issues that people in my support groups had… and I don’t even remember why I went!!

That said, that last one there might be the only way that some people might be able to get help. Seriously, seek professional help. If it’s good enough for Lucifer, then us mortals can probably benefit as well!

If you’re having suicidal thoughts, get help right away. Call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.

 

Keep Up with the Weeds

Now just because I got out of my funk, doesn’t mean that I stopped utilizing those habits that I developed back then.

Today, I try to be as social as I can. I still walk Max (RIP Sadie and Sable), and I try to be mindful of what I’m eating. And I also make sure I get a great amount of sleep.

That said, I’ve learned that there’s a couple of other things that I do these days that I didn’t back then. One thing I try to do is be as optimistic as possible by using the 5 Minute Journal – which can be found on the App and Play Store. Since using it, I’ve come to realize that affirmations really help drain your brain of negative thoughts.

Another thing that I’ve found that helps me is not “subscribing” to all the things that I could. Meaning, I don’t put myself into situations where I feel that I could become addicted to something. For example, even though I still call myself a gamer, I limit myself to playing a handful of games only a handful of hours per week. Even more, I could never see myself as someone who plays to get paid. It would take the enjoyment out for me by adding stress to it.

Another example is with it being the football season, it’s time once again for fantasy football. To make sure I don’t get too involved with it, I only play free leagues. The stress from watching the games is enough for me!

 

Action Steps

So, I hope that helps someone. The shooting this past weekend really hit me. Again, it could have been something avoidable. I can see why some people think that removing the gun from the equation might help, but the real problem isn’t the firearms. Guns are simply a tool. It’s the people behind the tool that we have to worry about.

That dude was going to kill one way or another. And it didn’t have to be that way.

If you or someone you know is having issues make sure to get help. Heck, even you reaching out and saying hi to someone you know that’s having some issues might be all it takes to prevent them from doing something drastic.

 

failure to success

From Failure to Success: How Sharing Your Missteps Can Help Build Rapport

During the beginning of my entrepreneurial career, I heard a lot of failure to success stories. Whether they were in an LTD speech or on a podcast, these talks always had a way to motivate me to want more. However, when sharing these stories with others, I would have trouble conveying the messages in a way that motivated them as they motivated me.

 

Later, I heard John Maxwell talk about what might be the reason for this. And as I dug into it more, I realized that what he said made a lot of sense.

He said that many times, when we’re trying to encourage people with these awesome stories, we’re actually discouraging them.

Why?

Because they’re simply hearing too much about success. They’re comparing their own lives to these amazing people and “emotionally disqualifying” themselves.

But here’s the thing. All real success in life has a huge component of failure. When I was in academia I didn’t understand this. I couldn’t afford to fail my classes. So I did things I look back at now and realize it wasn’t part of my character.

Likewise, when people are in the corporate world, they’re afraid to lose their jobs. So they’ll avoid confrontation with their higher ups. The problem is that being a “yes man” might actually hurt the company in the long run.

 

Building Hope in Others

When we’re telling our stories to attract others to what we’re doing, we naturally might feel that it’s necessary to illustrate ourselves in a way that we’d perceive an “expert” would.

The problem I’ve seen several entrepreneurs make in their media, posts, or other messages, is that they rarely embrace the hard times. In fact, you might know some folks where all they ever show is their awesome toys – the results of their success.

Those of us who have seen success though, know what it took to get to where we’re at. In fact, I always think of a certain illustration when asked about “what success looks like”:

failure to success

 

 

When we embrace our failures, it makes us seem more reachable and it makes those who we’re influencing more teachable.

Or, in short,

People are impressed with success but impacted by our failures. – John Maxwell

 

Investing in and Learning from Failures

When I was going to high school, I remember someone (probably a guidance counselor) asking me a random question. I’m sure you’ve been asked this question too:

What would you attempt to do if you knew you wouldn’t fail?

I remember answering this question would motivate me to think about the future and what I wanted to do.

But there’s a problem inherently wrong with this question. In the long run, it’s not possible to be successful without having that element of failure.

So a better way of asking this question might be something like:

What would you attempt to do if you knew you WOULD fail, but you knew you would learn, grown, and get better?

 

Adjusting on the Fly

One of the most successful coaches in NFL history has been Bill Belichick. Love or hate the Patriots, you have to admire how they’ve been able to win as much as they have in the last two decades.

Many people attribute their success to Bill’s ability to make appropriate adjustments at halftime.

In contrast, as I’ve previously mentioned in this post, the 2017 Colts were notorious about losing games in the second half. While many times they seemed to come out with a lot of energy, inevitably halftime would come.

While most teams would change things a bit, they didn’t seem to change their game. In fact, if they were leading at half time, they’d play far more conservatively.

They were playing not to lose.

The difference between these two coaching approaches is jarring. The Colts coaching staff knew they were playing for their jobs. And subsequently, they feared failure.

On the other hand, the Patriots are willing to change things up during the game. Sure, they don’t want to lose, but they’re in a much better place to succeed with all the adjustments they make. Plus, if they do lose, they put even more time in the film room to figure out how to improve.

 

Seeing Failures as Learning Experiences

So how do we go from “playing not to lose” to “playing to win”? Again, it’s all about seeing failure as a means to success.

That said, there’s a handful of small tweaks we can make in our perspectives if we really want to make a change:

 

Get More Optimistic

There’s always ways to get better. Whether it’s through honing your own skills or helping others get better at their strengths, there’s always a chance to improve.

 

Take More Responsibility

When I think of the poise that Peyton Manning had and now Andrew Luck as leaders of the Colts, I can’t help but notice how much responsibility they’ve taken. Instead of blaming others for their loses at the post game podium, they’d always respond with “That’s my fault. I could have played better.” or “There’s things we all need to work on. I didn’t help the situation today.”

Even in a win, their response was/is always predictable “Yeah, we’ve come pretty far and did really well today. But there’s some things that we can definitely clean up a bit more.”

Though they might not have been the sole reason for a loss, they took responsibility of the failure. And it’s through this simple perspective tweak that they felt the need more to learn and improve on their own performance while inspiring those around them to get better.

 

Be a Bit More Humble

Another thing that Peyton and Andrew noticeably do is praise the members on their team. Peyton was always praising his linemen, and Andrew always talks about how it was a team effort. This rubbed off on their teammates quite noticeably. In fact, there’s some Colts who were players during Peyton’s time that today put in personal time to mentor and coach the new players.

So if you’re praised for something a team did turn it around and appreciate the team. If you’re in a position where you can help others be more successful in their work, help them. They might pay it forward.

 

Build Your Resilience:

Another thing I’ve noticed about successful sports teams is that they tend to have a short term memory for wins or losses. Regardless of the outcome, they always seem to look in the rear view mirror for a day and move on.

That said, a losing mentality can be contagious. So as previously mentioned it’s important that when players fail, they actually look at why they failed and learn how to improve. They simply can’t brush it off. In fact, on successful teams the better players will be wanting to get to the film as quickly as possible. Not so great players will shy away from seeing the film of their performance.

 

Embrace Challenges

Let’s face it, challenges will come up in our lives. It’s how you choose to respond to those challenges that make us who we are.

In sports, successful teams always “look forward” to playing the next team on their schedule. Sure, it’s easy to say this when you’re going against a team that barely knows how to win, but it raises your character a bit more when you’re saying the same thing about a team that has repeatedly beat your team in recent years.

Here’s another example.  In college, I learned that this approach really helped me study because I’d take the homework just as serious as the tests and exams themselves. Without the time trying to actually understand the homework, I would have been doomed for the tests. (This is completely different than how most people approach studying in high school.)

 

Action Steps

So if you find yourself in a situation where you’re wondering “why am I having problems connecting with my audience (or coworkers)?” ask yourself if you’ve been attempting to connect with them by sharing your own flops.

If not, see if some of these tactics can help you make more of an impact.

The better you become at embracing your failures, the deeper connections you’ll find yourself building with those around you.ii                                           

introverted intuition

Kate St Hilaire – Being Introvertedly Bold: Unlocking the Magic of Introverted Intuition (AoL 121)

Introverts are said to be geeks, lonely, and awkwardly shy. At least that’s what society would have us all believe. Many of us use that stereotype as a means to stay in our comfort zone.

In fact, we trick ourselves to think that extroverts are the only people who can make a big impact in the world. I mean, they’re people-people, right?

Actually that’s not totally the case. Some of the most influential figures in tech, art, and business have been and are introverts.

So how do we embrace our introversion and use it as a superpower?

That’s what today’s guest, Kate St Hilaire, helps members of her Facebook community with.

Join us as we talk about how she found herself in this business and how you can use your leverage your intuition as a super power!

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • When did Kate realize there was a big difference between introverts and extroverts? 8:05
  • Why did she pursue studying Psychology in school? 9:14
  • How’d she came to the realization she could make her interest in introversion as a business? 11:05
  • What can happen if people can “get over” their introversion? 27:42
  • What are some specific tools that someone can use to change their mindset or get out of their limiting beliefs? 31:04
  • What’s Kate looking forward to in the future? 35:48
  • What are 3 of Kate’s top favorite books? 41:39
  • What’s a gift she loves giving others? 42:36
  • Smallest decision she’s made that has had the largest impact on her life? 43:30
  • What is something Kate has learned to say no to? 44:54
  • What’s the secret to achieving personal freedom? 46:21

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

 

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

#BeBoldGoLive Challenge 1

#BeBoldGoLive Challenge 2

You Don’t Want to Bother Anyone?

Put yourself out there to make more impact!

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

multipotentialite

Are you a Multipotentialite? – What to Do if You Have More Than One Passion

I remember when I was first starting New Inceptions, I wanted it to cover a ton of things. In fact, I thought I’d talk about all the big picture topics that we think about in the back of our mind, but really don’t know who to go to and trust to find out answers.

In a way, I still do that, but not in the way that I first set out to do. I’ve stuck with what I know and because of that, the New Inceptions brand has become less about expressing my thoughts on a given subject and more on focusing outward in helping other people become influencers themselves. I’ve gone from wanting to be a talking head to focusing more on what others need help with.

How did this transformation occur?

Well, the short of it is that I realized that there were experts out there that were better situated to talk about a certain topic than I was. Some of the things that I’d want to bring up on the blog were, in fact, topics that others could actually help people better at.

As I realized this, I started discussing and writing more and more about topics that I knew plenty about. But I never was able to limit the focus of the blog or show to just one thing – one topic. In fact, I’d say it was more of a theme.

 

Are You a Multipotentialite?

It was about this time that I had gotten started with Fizzle and one of the hosts of the show passed along an idea.

Choose a topic and stick with it.

In fact, there’s a whole course in there in how to do that.

But what I soon found out is that I’m never going to be someone who can focus on one thing. Believe me, I tried. For about a year, I focused mainly on business building. But I’m no Pat Flynn.

The truth is that I’ve always been someone that’s bounced around from topic to topic.

Maybe you can relate?

Perhaps that’s why you’ve found this site. Maybe, just maybe, you’re having problems breaking your thoughts down into one topic that you’ll be able to discuss on a regular basis.

If so, then, like me, you’re what’s called a multipotentialite. It’s a term that I think Emilie Wapnik first coined for her TEDx talk in 2015:

Does this Sound Like You?

After watching that presentation of Emilie’s – how do you feel? Maybe a little confused? Maybe just downright furious.

It’s completely understandable.

I mean, a lot of popular business influencers say that we need to pick out one topic – but Emilie strongly disagrees with that. I agree with her that some of us aren’t wired to be specialists. Now that I think about it, it’s one reason I had problems doing research – and a reason why I might have trouble getting a PhD.

In fact, what I think that us multipotentialites need to do is search for themes in the things that we’re interested in. It’ll be through these themes in our passions, that we’ll discover our purpose and later preferred processes. When we know these aspects of ourselves, then we’ll be able to tell if we’re on the right path – for us.

 

Action Steps

If you’re struggling to get a business started or starting your own brand, maybe pursuing this idea of having a theme of passions might be helpful. In the next few weeks, I’ll be releasing a new resource that will help you connect the dots.

Until then, here’s my recommendation. Start thinking about times when you’ve been fulfilled by the work you’ve done. Doesn’t matter if it was for yourself or others. Can you make that into a career? How?

Have any ideas that you’re not 100% sure about? Drop a comment below.

how to overcome insecurity

How to Overcome Insecurity when You’re Starting Something New

Do you feel insecure?

Maybe about your passions? That they’re not shared by anyone else?

Maybe you’re insecure about social situations. Perhaps you’re wondering what people are thinking about you?

Or, are you simply worried about putting your art into the world? Again, thinking that someone might compare it to some great artist? Or they’ll make fun of it – or you’re afraid of the feedback you might get?

 

These are all insecurities that most of us face from time to time. If you weren’t then you’re not human.

There’s a trick, though, to not letting them stop you from putting yourself out into the world in a meaningful way.

Actually, there’s 4 ideas that you can use on yourself to psych yourself into doing things for the first time.

 

Competence Means Confidence

For me, I hated the way I sounded on the AoL Podcast when I was first starting. However, as I grew into the craft of making the show, my brain just grew accustomed to that voice. And what I would hear in my mind after a while, wasn’t so much me, but it was more of the talent that was the host of the AoL Podcast.

I had the opportunity to make that person sound good.

2 years into the podcast, I get compliments by guests that I actually sound like I know what I’m doing.

Today, I’m facing the same thing when starting this new group thing. A part of it is doing Facebook lives. While I’m not posting every day, I have already done a couple of them. Still not completely used to my face yet, but I’m sure I’ll get over that as well.

So, the first thing you need to do is just start.

You’re not going to master the rest of your life in one day. Just relax. Master the day. Then just keep doing that every day.

You’ll see that that action will yield results which then yields new beliefs.

Then repeat the process!

overcome insecurity

Feedback Yields Power

Don’t tie your work or feelings to anyone’s approval. Even to this day, there are people out there who don’t like Harry Potter, Star Wars, Star Trek – you name it. If it exists, there’s more than likely going to be people who don’t like something.

However, those who do like your stuff, when they let you know that they like it – it means you’re going in the right direction.

If they have constructive criticism, that’s even better. Not only is someone showing you that they care enough to let you know what they thought about your work, but they’re giving you feedback in a way that matters.

As an entrepreneur and leader, that’s what you want from your followers. To have feedback so you can know how you can help them!

Don’t search for the attitude with them or even yourself – use it as a way to get better in you craft.

And finally, you can’t perfect something if you don’t have other’s input about it.

 

Rejection Doesn’t Happen that Often

Here’s the thing, you’ve probably already interacted with plenty of people in your life. Hundreds, if not thousands of people. From all of those people, how often have you really dealt with rejection?

In fact, what life actually tells us is that people are going to be indifferent about what you’re doing more than they’ll actually reject it.

The main reason that I think people reject something is that it starts out being seeing as one thing and then, for whatever reason, it changes.

For example – New Coke.

How many New Coke situations have you heard of in your life? Not many! (I’m still not too thrilled about them changing Coke Zero to Coke Zero Calorie. It’s not the same thing!)

If you’re newly putting yourself out into the world, people are going to give you the benefit of the doubt that you’re new.

Plus, there’s a heck of alot more supportive people in the world than trolls.

 

Your Soul Won’t Settle

Take it from me. Ever since I heard from Pat Flynn about the online business world in 2009, I’ve been wanting to follow in his footsteps.

Here it is, 2017, and I’m still not to the level I’d like to be. BUT I will mention that things are going better than i would have expected a year ago at this time.

I now have a plan for the future.

But I wouldn’t have had that plan if I hadn’t have taken action.

I would be still wondering “Can I? Will I? Should I?”

And frankly, that wasn’t going to cut it… for the rest of my life.

So, if you already have that aching suspicion that you’re supposed to be doing something else than you’re already doing – and you continue to put it off, then you’re always going to have to fight those demons.

Do yourself a favor and get started as soon as you can in doing the work that you’re meant to do.

Your mission is waiting for you.

Action Steps

If you’re in that place right now, whether you’re an experienced entrepreneur or not and you’re not sure if you’re ready for the next big thing…

Ask yourself this one question.

What does my gut tell me I need to do next?

If it’s telling you to get up and do something different, then do whatever it is.

If you think it might help, make a mission statement. Let the world know that this is who you and who you see yourself becoming. Not tomorrow, but eventually.

If you need help figuring out what your mission is, check out this interview with David Anderson. It’s quickly becoming one of my go to episodes as I answer this insecurity issue from time to time.

outgoing introvert

How an Outgoing Introvert Can Become a Leader

Since 2011, I’ve been a John Maxwell Team member. And while I haven’t been able to use the skills directly that I have learned from the group, there’s definitely one thing that has serviced me.

It’s a great way to network and meet all kinds of interesting people who have chosen to make John’s work part of their arsenal of ways they can help people.

In this post (which was one that I made soon after I was “officially certified” as a member of the team), I talk about what it takes for someone who isn’t traditionally considered a typical “people person” (an introvert) to become a leader.

Funny enough, it’s not as hard as you’d think!

-JC

Growing Up an Outgoing Introvert

Us introverts, we’re an interesting bunch. We like to think deep and hard about things and, for the most part, we like people – but we don’t want to deal with them all day.

At least that’s what the classical definition would say about us.

Growing up I was an only child – so I don’t know if my introversion was nature or nurtured.

But one thing has always been the same. I was always outgoing. Talking with just about anyone – when needed.

Usually it was about things I had learned that might apply in their life. I never was one for casual talk – so many times I jumped right into the middle of the conversation. (Yeah… about that!)

Be it knowledge I had learned about technology, art, through TV shows, in college, or now in business, I’ve wanted to help where I could.

One movie that I recently watched and totally connected with me was The King’s Speech. I guess you could say it’s the inspiration for this post.

If you’re not familiar with it, here’s the trailer:

Make it a Commitment

So the basis of the movie is about George VI being a leader of a country and having to address the company on radio. The problem is, he was essentially scared of his own shadow.

But he had to do what he was going to do (learn to give a proper speech and not fumble all over it) and so he set out on getting comfortable with that shadow.

He committed to his task.

The first thing you need to do is start by realizing that this is something you’re going to want to do. It’s one thing to say “Oh, I’m going to be successful because lots of people are going to pay attention to what I have to say”, but it’s quite another actually getting to that point.

Becoming a leader, whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert doesn’t happen by chance. You have to make an effort to get there.

 

Improve Your Interpersonal Skills

Art of Charm has been one of my favorite podcasts for a long time because I feel that the host, Jordan Harbinger, is an introvert in disguise. On his show he talks about a number of issues that us introverts have to learn about because we don’t naturally have skills to deal with them.

In his story, he says that he learned that the fastest way to get what you want in life is being a relationship builder. For many of us introverts, we have no idea that this is an actual skill we can use to our own benefit because we’re either too preoccupied by building our own skillsets or we’re just straight out grinding away hoping that our break (whatever that looks like) will come.

So learn to initiate conversation and when you do, pay attention and listen. Instead of thinking about what you’re going to say next or cutting them off in mid paragraph (or mid thought!!), let them say what they need to. Pauses are only awkward if you make them. 😉

Also, remember as an introvert, you probably have great empathy and understanding of others. If a conflict in your group arises, do the opposite of what you’d naturally want to do (avoid the situation) and deal with it.

Remember, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

 

Get Comfortable Taking Small Risks

One thing that I’ve had to get better at over time is getting better at getting out of my comfort zone. As introverts, our comfort zone is fairly small.

We’re used to hanging out with our close friends and family. But when we go beyond that, we start to panic a bit. We need to get over that. (I did by making 100 cold calls a week at one point!)

We love being as perfect and professional as possible at work. It prevents us from being recognized or sticking out too much. That’s something else you’re going to have to get over. Learn how to suggest and implement bold yet carefully researched actions. Sometimes those actions might not work out – but at least we learn from the failure and make it better next time!

Here’s the thing: leaders stick out. That’s what makes them a leader. If they’re a good leader, they’re going to be leading others from the front!

 

Rely on What You Know

If you’re like most introverts, you’re probably a geek in something. Whether it’s technology or some form of creative work, you need to use that to your advantage.

For me, I’m a tech geek – I have been for most of my life. I’ve always been the guy that my friends and family would go to for help with their gadgets and computers – either to help them figure something out or “help them” fix it.

Therefore, growing up talking to them through AoL Instant Messenger about how to do something became commonplace. Maybe the same is true for you?

Heck – I got to a point where some things were so common for me to describe that I’d make documents describing how to do things just in case I had to show someone else.

Today I do similar work through platforms like Slack, Facebook Messenger, and Google Docs to keep it all straight!

Maybe there’s a few platforms you’re already comfortable with so you can use it to make yourself more effective?

 

Develop Your Three Layers Of Confidence

Many people talk about faking it until you make it. But the truth is, that could be really bad advice for some people. Another piece of potentially bad advice? Oh, just act yourself! Yeah, sometimes acting yourself isn’t going to work in all situations. Sometimes you have to act a certain way with one group of people but if you’re with another group, you’d act completely different.

What makes those groups different is more than likely you’re own confidence. With your friends, you’re going to seem very outgoing and be mistaken for an extrovert.

But if you’re at a networking meeting or drawn into give a speech, you might seem like a fish out of water.

You need to develop your three layers of confidence:

  1. Surface
  2. Lifestyle
  3. Core

Here’s a video from Matthew Hussey on what these actually mean:

Update: And, if you’d like, here’s a recent talk of his at a Lewis Howes’ event going a bit deeper with the topic:

Share Your Vision Early On:

If you’re already in a leadership position, make sure you share your vision with those that are following (or simply engaging with) you from time to time.

You don’t want to surprise your group with what you really wanted when the project is going or even worse, when it’s about to be complete.

They say that a man without vision shall perish – well, the same could be said for a group of people as well. You plan with the end in mind, make sure you bring your group members in on what the plan is and, better yet, involve them in making the plans as well so you don’t have to do all the heavy lifting!

Action Steps:

So what’s next? Well, I’d start with what Matthew talks about in that video – work on your three levels of confidence whatever that looks like to you. You need to start practicing the person you want to be like so you’re actually them!

After that, if you’re not already in a leader position, plug into a group that you actually enjoy building and helping with. The more you put into the group, the more likely you’re going to get a leadership position through that group.

At that point, whatever else you’re doing will be recognized as well. And you might have your own followers at that point, too!