In my survey of more than 300 introverts, less than half were able to name a single notable person with their personality whom they consider a model of success.
One respondent commented, “I guess I have assumed that if someone is successful enough for me to know of them, they aren’t really an introvert.”
It’s easy to see how the conviction that success proves extroversion can get set in people’s minds. We’re taught that if you want to be successful, you must get out there and hustle. And for many people, “getting out there” by definition requires pushy look-at-me initiatives. So someone who’s successful must have acted like an extrovert, the thinking goes.
Of those who were able to name an introvert model of success, famous figures that came up included Abraham Lincoln, Ayn Rand, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Nelson Mandela, Jane Goodall – and Marcia Yudkin (thank you for the nominations). I began standing up for introverts in marketing in the summer of 2009 with my Marketing for Introverts Manifesto.
Having success models may help you untangle apparent contradictions, such as: How is it possible for radio stars like Garrison Keillor and acclaimed actors like Meryl Streep or Robert De Niro to be introverts? How is it possible for introverted politicians like Calvin Coolidge or Charles de Gaulle to get elected and remain popular figures? How do Dan Kennedy and other reclusive marketers get away with being grumpy and inaccessible?
Full-length biographies and journalistic profiles of well-known introverts are likely to contain incidents that electrify you with revelations of what’s also possible for you.
Having success models may also convince you that the journey to accept your personal strengths and make the most of them is worth the effort.
Chances are there’s someone in your industry or profession who has come to prominence without glad-handling hordes of people at networking events and without having the gift of gab. I recommend finding out more about that person as a way of learning more about how to use your own potential within a specific business environment.
Copyright ?? 2010 Marcia Yudkin
— A bookworm as a child, Marcia Yudkin grew up to discover she had a surprising talent for creative marketing. She’s the author of more than a dozen books, including 6 Steps to Free Publicity, now in its third edition, and Persuading People to Buy. She also mentors introverts so they discover their uniquely powerful branding and most comfortable marketing strategies. To learn more about the strengths and preferences of introverts, download her free Marketing for Introverts audio manifesto http://www.yudkin.com/introverts.htm