“This was one that I hear quite often, and it’s no surprise that I do. People will say to me, “Cami, I’m really shy. Like, I’m really introverted and I just don’t know what to say to people. I feel really awkward. I’m not like you. I’m not extroverted. I wish that I could be like that.” So, here’s the misnomer, the misconception that I want to share with this one. People think that those people, like myself, who are putting themselves out here are just naturally that way. Do you ever feel like there’s a handbook to life and other people got the handbook, but you didn’t? Like you walk into an event and you feel like, “Everybody here knows everybody. Everybody here feels really comfortable. Everybody here knows the people to talk to and what to talk about. It’s just me. I’m the only one that feels uncomfortable. I’m the only one that feels awkward. I’m the only one that doesn’t know what to say. All those people are already cliqued off and they’re already talking to people. Me, me, me, poor me.”
The thing is, is that networking, net playing, communicating, bridging the humanity gap, like I like to call it, all of these things can be a learned skill. I am here to tell you I am not extroverted. I’m not extroverted. I’m introverted. If I can do this, anybody can do it. I was being interviewed a couple of months ago and it’s really interesting. The more that I’m involved in teaching networking and being the networking expert, making this videos and speaking on stages and all that fun stuff, the more I get introduced to other networking experts. And I say this all the time, “Guys, it’s about collaboration. It is not about competition.” Anytime I meet someone who’s also a networking expert, I love to collaborate with them because they do it differently than I do it. We have things to teach each other. Our tribes are very similar. We can cross pollinate, et cetera. When I was talking with this one woman a couple months ago, she says, “Well, you know we’re very extroverted and I know that people blah, blah, blah.”
She was insinuating in her comment that she and I both were extroverted, and I let her finish her thought. I loved her. Her name is Emily, Emily Udder. Hi, Emily. Always mention other people’s names. It gives you a mark in their book. So, Emily Udder’s talking and when she got done, I said, “Let me just back up for a second and just kind of correct what you just said. I’m not extroverted.” We were doing a video interview and I could see her go, “Really?” I said, “I’m not, and I’m so glad that I’m not extroverted, and that I didn’t just come straight out the shoot, loving people, loving life, loving to network, high five and hand shaking and being on stage.” I wasn’t like that, as you know from my story. There was a time when the people that I was hanging out with were more worried about hanging out in a bar, or where could they get their next pack of cigarettes, or using the F bomb in every other word. I wasn’t always like this, whatever this is. I certainly was not extroverted.
If I seemed extroverted, it was more from a place of being aggressive, overly assertive, pushy, arrogant, all of those things. So the thing is, is if you are introverted, if you feel kind of shy, look this isn’t about trying to make you someone that you’re not. Use that to your advantage. The fact is, you want to have more quality conversations than quantity, anyway. If you’re shy and introverted, it might be that you’re just going to talk to maybe two or three people at an event, and that’s okay. At this point in my career, frankly it doesn’t matter if the event, the event, because we’re net playing anywhere we go … It doesn’t matter if the situation is me talking to one person or there’s 30 people in the room, or there’s 100, or there’s 10,000 in the room.
Frankly, when I’m at said event or situation, when I make one good contact, connection, have clear communication with a conscious human being that I actually want to follow-up with and be friends with, or create resources and relationships and revenue at Rock … One, one is all I’m looking for. If I get two, or three, or four, awesome. That’s gravy, right? So if you feel shy, if you feel like you’re introverted and you can’t do this, and, “I’ll never be like you,” or whatever, it’s not about you being like anyone else. It’s about you being you, and just stepping into owning who you are, being okay that you’re not extroverted, not trying to be extroverted. When I go to events, or when I am doing my thing on stage, I consider being on stage like right now. I’m on stage. I’m on stage, because I’m coaching, I’m training, I’m delivering some information. If I’m working with a client, one-on-one, on the phone, I’m on stage. If I’m on stage and there’s 10,000 people in the room, I’m on stage. If I’m doing a Facebook Live, I’m on stage.
When I go on stage, I turn it on. I turn it on. When I’m out in my daily life, if I’m at the grocery store and I’ve got on my sweats and my hair pulled up in a ponytail, I’m not on. Like, I’m there to get my groceries and do my thing, and run my errands. But on the rare occasion when I’m out doing something like that, if I want to be on, if I do want to make eye contact, if I do want to be engaging, I just turn it on. I can turn it on and turn it off. I can turn it on, and turn it off, because they are skills that I have learned over time and I promise you, you can learn them too. Learn them from a place of, “How can I use my personal personality, my own personality, my own body language, my own way of being, to my advantage, not to take advantage, but to have the advantage? Not to take advantage, but to have the advantage?” Each one of us has our own personality, combination of personality.
There’s four distinct personality types and when you Google that, you may find the red, blue, green, or the dolphin, shark, whatever. There’s all different ways of explaining it. But at the end of the day, they’re all very basic. There’s amiable, there’s driver, there’s analytical, and there’s expressive, four distinct personalities. Some of us are exactly one. Some of us are a combination thereof. Some of us are a equal percentage of all, but when we understand our personality, when we love and hug our personality, respect our personality, and are okay with that, and just settle into it, now we can use who we are to our advantage when we are out in the marketplace. This tip, this mistake, this question that I get, “Cami, I’m really shy. I’m really introverted. I don’t really feel comfortable. I feel awkward at events,” that’s okay. You’re in good company. Of course you feel that way. Of course I felt that way. School doesn’t teach us. They teach us reading, writing, and arithmetic.
They don’t teach us even how to balance a checkbook, much less how to communicate with other people, which is actually why I’m also teaching this material in universities. Because the millennials that are coming up, they are not being taught how to have interpersonal communication skills. They are not learning how to look people in the eye. They are so behind their devices, and they’re so text savvy, that they’re not human being savvy, and so I teach it there, too. Congratulations, you’re not good at it. Good, so what? It’s a learned skill. You can learn how to be a great networker, a great net player, a great communicator, because when we start to see ourselves as, “Okay, I’m doing this all day, every day. When I’m sending an e-mail, when I’m sending a text, when I’m posting on Facebook, when I’m responding to somebody’s e-mail, when I’m doing a video chat, when I’m doing Facebook Live, when I’m standing in line at the grocery store, when I go to a networking event, it’s all the same.” We are communicating. You don’t have to be like anyone else.
Let’s just get educated. Let’s just get educated on the way that our body language is being perceived, the things that we are saying, the things that other people are saying, so that we can be read properly, so that when we are out networking, net playing … and, it doesn’t matter if you’re shy. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if you’re introverted. I’m introverted, too. It’s okay. We can all be introverted, or extroverted. Matter of fact, I got a lot of friends, they’re extroverted. I have a friend, Robin Rapture … name dropping. Robin Rapture is fabulous. She’s so outgoing. She is expressive. She’s so expressive and so bubbly and so engaging. She went with me to an event recently and she took some pictures and video for me while we were there. There’s this exercise that I do at the beginning of an event, of all my events, where I tell people, “All right, you can go over and shake hands with people, or you can go over and hug them.” “Hey, it’s so nice to meet you.” At first people look at me like, “You want me to touch a stranger?”
But, then once they start to hug, you just about can’t stop them from doing it. People love it. They’re so interactive, and Robin even shared with me. She said, “You know, Cami? People think I’m so extroverted and I’m so confidant and all that.” She said, “And I am in some situations, but networking is just really awkward for me.” She said, “That activity that you did, where I had the opportunity to go hug somebody,” she said, “I felt an instant connection to that woman and then at the end of an event, I had somebody that I could go talk to.” So in other words, even though she seems really expressive and outgoing, even she’s just a human being who can feel very uncomfortable in social situations. Good news is, lots of people feel the way that you do. Good news is, you can learn the skills. Good news is, I’m here to help you learn them.”