A few months ago, I was asked to present for 3.5 hours straight! That means 3.5 hours of being in the spotlight. 3.5 hours of co-presenting and looking for opportunities to interject supporting ideas. 3.5 hours of engaging with a group of 40ish advisors.
When I realized that the two lengthy presentations were scheduled back to back, I was concerned. But, it was too late to request an agenda change and I was excited to be sharing my ideas about how to better serve our female clients.
I was surprised that it was not a problem. Some would hear about this and assume that I am a raging extrovert. That I LOVE to engage with large groups of people and to be the center of attention.
That could not be further from the truth!
Socially, I am an introvert. That night there was a big behind-the-scenes party at a football stadium, I demurred and chose to put on my PJs and eat room service instead.
When I go home on the weekend, I am happy if I never have to leave the house. AND especially happy if I don't have to interact with anyone outside of my small family.
When I get home at the end of the day, I don't have any more words left. After dinner, I just want to hole up with a book and hide.
And yet, I am social for a living.
If you weren't sure what an ambivert is, I bet you can guess now.
According to Merriam-Webster the definition of ambivert is "a person having characteristics of both extrovert and introvert."
As an ambivert, I find the world complex to navigate.
People assume that I want to be social and are turned-off by my reticence to "hang out." Introverts and ambiverts end up feeling a lot of shame for not being social butterflies by nature.
The book Quiet by Susan Cain helped me better understand myself and gave me permission to be who I really am.
If you are an introvert or an ambivert struggling to compete in this extroverted industry, I would HIGHLY recommend that you grab a copy of Quiet.
Susan does an amazing job of outlining the biology behind our personality types and helps you understand that you are not wrong or broken for not conforming to the extroverted norm. She also outlines a myriad of tools to help us non-extroverts embrace who we really are and thrive in any work environment.
We are in the unique position that we can carve out the lifestyle that best suits us, but first we have to recognize and accept who we are!
I would love to hear from the introverts and ambivert financial advisors out there! How do you cope in a job that requires and idolizes the extroverted norm?
Come join the conversation in The Intentional Advisor Mastermind Group!