As an introvert myself, doing this work wasn’t easy. In fact, it was scary. I love speaking, however, I would never have known this if I didn’t say yes to challenging things that were outside of my comfort zone. So, in today’s episode, I’m empowering you to find the things that you love that you haven’t even considered.
Tune in this week to discover why, if you’re an introvert, you have to extrovert. There is nothing I can say that will make this process comfortable, but that doesn’t mean it will be uncomfortable forever. So I’m sharing four things you can start doing right now to overcome that initial discomfort of showing up as an extroverted version of yourself.
Hi, docs. Welcome to the EntreMD Podcast, where it’s all about helping amazing physicians just like you embrace entrepreneurship so you can have the freedom to live life and practice medicine on your terms. I’m your host, Dr. Una.
Well, hello, hello. And welcome to another episode of the EntreMD Podcast. I am super pumped to be your ears. And I know I always sound excited, and truthfully, I’m almost always excited. And I want to invite you to be the same way too.
So, anyway, today we’re going to have a really cool episode. I’m recording this after we got back from the EntreMD Business School vision retreat, and it was mind-blowing. I spent months telling the doctors in the Business School that this is gonna be so good, I can’t even describe it. But even though I thought that highly of it, it was so much better. Infinitely better.
And I’m just still in shock. Like, I haven’t even been able to do my debrief, because I’m like, “This is so good. I don’t even know what to say about it.” But I did have the doctors share their experience. And I had them fill out a survey. And I want to read what one of the doctors said about this. Okay? I just want you to hear this.
So, this is Dr. Sherita Gaskins. I’m gonna give her a big shout-out. She is a luxury event planner for women physicians, and so she takes self-care, finding yourself, finding your voice, owning who you are to a whole other level. Okay? But this is what she said.
Well, I asked, “If you were writing a Google review about this retreat, how many stars would you give it, and what would you write?”
And she says, “Five plus stars. This retreat transformed my life. I arrive scared and unsure that I should even be pursuing entrepreneurship. I leave feeling like I can conquer the world. The strength and support of Dr. Una and my classmates empowers me to step out of my comfort zone and pursue my purpose with the assurance that I don’t walk alone.
“I know I was created for this. And I will not allow fear and doubt to keep me from sharing my unique, God-given, God-ordained gifts with the world. EntreMD is so much more than a business school. It is laying the foundation for the healthcare revolution that is so long overdue. Thank you, Dr. Una, for answering the call.”
I mean, like, right? How can you not cry after reading that? So good. And I love that she put her words out there, saying, “I was not even sure I should pursue entrepreneurship. I’m not even sure I should do this.” And maybe you’re here and you feel that way, and I wanna let you know that you can pursue it.
And she said, “You don’t have to do this alone.” You really don’t have to do this alone. There are communities to support you, and the EntreMD Business School is there for you. It may not be open (at the time that you’re listening to this recording) for enrollment, but I want you to go get on the waitlist. EntreMD.com/Business.
If you know, like, “I want to get rid of my doubts. I want to get rid of my fears. I want to walk with a community of physicians doing the same things.” I mean, it was so amazing.
Thank you, Dr. Sherita, for sharing that review. Thank you. So kind. I’m glad you got to come. I’m glad I got to meet you in person. So, big shout-out to you. Okay?
Now, today, I want to talk to my introverts. Now, what we talk about today would be great whether you’re an introvert or you’re an extrovert. And this will help you support the introverts in your life as well. But today I just want to give you some time. Okay?
Now, when you’re an introvert and you decide, “I’m going to become the best version of myself. I’m gonna embrace entrepreneurship. I’m gonna do all those things,” the truth of the matter is you’re gonna have to extrovert into the marketplace. There’s no kinder way to say that. Like, you’re gonna have to extrovert. You’re gonna have to own that being an introvert doesn’t mean that you can’t do the things you need to thrive. Okay?
So, I’m an introvert, but I love speaking. Right? And the only reason why I know I love speaking is because I said “yes” to challenging things—things that were outside of my comfort zone—and I realized, “Wait a minute. I actually love doing this stuff.”
Now, I’m still gonna need to go take my walk, be by myself to recharge and all of that. But I can do what I need to do.
And so, if you’re listening to me and you’re like, “Okay, I’m gonna do this entrepreneurship thing,” but you’re hiding, we’re gonna talk today. Okay? We’re gonna talk about it today.
And I want to invite you—I’m an introvert as well. So, I feel you. I understand what those fears are. But I also know that if these are not addressed, it’s hard to move forward. It’s hard to become all you can be. It’s hard to make any impact in this world, at least the impact that you know you’re capable of making.
So, I’m here for you. Consider I’m sending you virtual hugs—really squeezy hugs—but we have to talk about this. Okay?
So, dear introvert, you have to extrovert. There’s no way around that. And I thought… I was like, “Well, you know what? That’s easy to say. And that’s just a sentence done. But how do I help you do that? How do I empower you to do that?”
And I figured, “You know what? Why don’t we talk about some practical things? Why don’t we talk about some practical ways to do this?” And so, I’m gonna give you four of my best ways. Four ways you can do this. And I want you to start practicing them.
Now, notice there is nothing I can say that will make this comfortable. This is gonna be uncomfortable. But if you do it long enough, it becomes comfortable.
I’m telling you, I’m at a stage where I feel discomfort and I’m comfortable with that feeling because I’ve been around it for so long. And so, I’m like, “Mm, whatever.”
And I’ve noticed, the more uncomfortable things I erase, the better I do. The better my business does. The more I actually discover who I really am and what I like—what I truly like. What I’m wired to do. What my zone of genius is.
And so, it’s gonna be uncomfortable, and that’s okay. All right? Think about, if you’re at the gym and you’re doing a new routine and you’re trying out some new machines, it’s gonna be uncomfortable, and then it’s gonna be comfortable. And you’re gonna be ripped. Okay? All right. So, let’s look at a few things.
Number one: at events, introduce yourself to people. Introduce yourself to people. And what does that look like? Well, you go into a conference and they have the crescent banquet type of seating, and it’s a table of five people.
Well, the old version of me would probably not sit at the table until the speaker started speaking so I don’t have to talk to anybody. And if you’re an introvert and you’re like, “Yeah, that’s exactly what I do,” I want you to PM me and tell me. Like, “Dr. Una, just like you.”
But as an introvert, you want to start practicing uncomfortable things. Like, you walk into a room. There are 15 minutes before the speaker is gonna come in. You have the seating. People are seated. You walk. You sit there.
“Hey, my name’s Dr. Una.” You know, stretch out your hand or, you know, COVID—who knows what we do now. And they tell you who they are. “Oh, really nice to meet you. Is this your first time at this event?”
It’s small talk. You will feel so uncomfortable if you’re not over your discomfort of this. But guess what? Nobody knows if you don’t tell them. And if they know, who cares? You’re working on your own agenda.
So, introduce yourself to people. Introduce yourself. So, there are four people there? Introduce yourself to them.
And when I say “people,” it’s not just the attendees. It’s also the speakers. So, when the speaker is done, walk up to them. Look, if they wrote a book and they’re signing their books, go talk to them. Say, “Hey, I read your book. Chapter two: amazing. Thank you for writing this. Will you sign my book?” If people are just taking pictures with the speaker, go stand in line and take pictures with the speaker.
If it’s not that kind of event—so, maybe it’s a CME event; they’re not doing any of that—walk up to the speaker: “Amazing talk. You said XYZ and I was like, ‘Man, I’m gonna apply that starting tomorrow. Thank you so much for this talk.’”
Practice it. It will feel uncomfortable. But just accept like, “This is what I do now. When I go to events, I introduce myself to people.” Okay? It will be weird, and weird, and weird, and then it will be normal. Okay? I feel you. I feel you.
So, that’s number one. Yeah? That’s number one.
Number two: at events—this is really anywhere, but at events, build connections with people you don’t know.
So, let’s go back to the same event. And so, let’s say this was a two-day event and there are four other people at the table and there are multiple sessions and people have to go back, come back into the room, and all of that.
What the normal or average introvert would do is, “Once I find a seat, and I find my four people (who I didn’t talk to, by the way, because I didn’t sit until the speaker came), I’m not going to any other table because I don’t want to be put in front of a brand-new group of people.”
Well, let me tell you what they do, at most high-level masterminds, is when you come back into the room, they will ask you to change your seat. Why? Because, well, people’s default will be to stay with the same set of people.
But the truth of the matter is in the room is so much power, so much wisdom, so much knowledge, so many resources, and they’re in people. They’re not in the room. The physical building. These things are in people. I’ll give you an example.
During the visionary retreat—and this happened so many times—somebody will walk up and, “Oh, I want to do this thing. I have no idea how to do it.” And I try to show people the power of a room. So, I could answer the question and say, “Do this.” But sometimes I don’t do that.
Sometimes, some of the sessions, I would say, “Okay. Fair enough.” I was like, “Who in this room has experience with this right now? Raise your hands.” And I kid you not, six, seven, eight hands are going up.
I’m like, “Come up front. Give her your stuff. Give her your ideas. Give her your connections. Give her what she needs.” And they have mind-blowing answers.
And within 10 minutes, I kid you not, the person goes from “This is impossible” to “Oh my goodness. I can do this. And I have the support to do it. I have the help to do it.” So, what happened? That’s tapping into the power of the room.
So, I remember when I first launched the EntreMD Business School and people were like, “No, I don’t want this. I just want to coach with you.” I’m like, “Listen. I mean, coaching with me is great. It’s amazing. And there’s a place for it, so I’m not knocking that at all. But I’m saying, in the Business School, the power of the room—the power of the community—is unbeatable. This is the magic. This is the magic.”
And so, a very cool thing has happened over the year and a half that we’ve run the school at this point. And that’s that people will always say, “Dr. Una and my classmates. Dr. Una and my classmates” in the same sentence. It’s never “Dr. Una… By the way, my classmates.” No. “Dr. Una and my classmates. Dr. Una and my classmates.” And sometimes even, “My classmates and Dr. Una.” So much power in a room.
So, I say all that to say, don’t sit with the same people. You know what I mean? When you go to an event, connect and connect. Why am I telling you to do this? It’s uncomfortable but it’s so powerful. So powerful.
So, set a goal. And the reason why I say “set a goal” is because we’re introverts. But you can say, “Hey, you know what? When I go for this event, it’s for two days. I’m going to have conversations with five people, 10 people, 12 people, 17 people, 25 people.” And look, if your number is five, pick your five and own your five. Okay? Because if you start from five, you can go to 27.
And so, when you go back into the room, pick another place to sit. Then go back to number one. Introduce yourself. Introduce yourself. Make small talk. All of that. If you’re gonna go to lunch… Find some people who are going to lunch. “Is it okay if I join you?”
Listen, when I started doing these things, I died a thousand deaths, so I understand the thoughts you are thinking right now. But I’m telling you, if you do this, it changes everything. It really does. Okay?
So, number one is introduce yourself when you go to events. Number two is build connections with people you don’t go. Set a goal for it, but build connections.
So, go to lunch with them. Go sit by the pool and talk with them and all that stuff. And even it’s people, you’re like, “These are not really my people.” Just go. Go explore. Okay? Go explore. Get out of your shell. I told you these will all be uncomfortable. All right?
So, number three. Let’s pick something else. Say “yes” to speaking gigs. “Ahhh, Dr. Una, no you didn’t.” Yes, I did. Say “yes” to speaking gigs. Say “yes.” “Yes. Yeah. I’ll do that.”
Like, “Oh my gosh, I heard you. You were a guest on the EntreMD Podcast. Will you come talk to my people about XYZ?” ”Yes.”
Why? Because your default is “no.” Your default is “no.” Say “yes.” Say “yes.” Say “yes.” What are you doing? You’re extroverting into the marketplace. You’re learning to overcome your fears. You’re doing the work to get out of your shell and become comfortable outside your shell.
So, say “yes.” And, you know, this is one of the things I’ve noticed—especially in the Business School, which is so cool—where people would say… I’ve had maybe two or three people say reporters reached out to them and said, “Hey, we’re doing this segment on, you know, COVID,” or something like that, “and we would love for you to come do a segment with us.”
And they go like, they’re default would be “no.” And they’re like, “Oh, man, but Dr. Una, you were in my head. I was just like, ‘What would Dr. Una say?’ She’ll say, ‘Say yes, and then figure it out.’ You know? Like, ‘Say yes. If not you, who? If not now, when?’ You know, stuff like that.”
And they would say “yes.” But what happens after that? They come back to the group and they’re like, “Oh my goodness. I was on TV. Here’s the link. I didn’t die!” Right? “I didn’t die.”
And then if you do it once and do it twice and do it three times, you might find that you like it. So when people invite you, say “yes.” You’re an introvert. You don’t like being on stage. Say “yes.” Start practicing it. Starting practicing it. Say “yes.” Say “yes.”
They invite you to be on a podcast; say “yes.” They invite you to come coach as a guest in a group, for instance; say “yes.” They invite you to come speak to some medical students; say “yes.”
And what are you doing? You’re doing the work to get out of your shell. Okay? And out of your shell is such a happy place. I’m telling you. It’s so beautiful. It really is.
Once you do the work and come on the other side, you’re like, “Oh my goodness, this is so cool. And I still get to be an introvert. I still get to go take my walks. I still get to go in my room, lock the door, and just hang out with myself, and it’s fine. I still get to do that.” So, that’s number three.
Number four: number four is for the people who are like, “Whew, thank God I don’t have to do that one because no one’s inviting me on stage.” Well, number four is create your own stage. Create your own stage. And that could look any number of ways.
That could be a Facebook Live that you do every week. That could be you choosing to be a guest on podcasts four times a month, which is the equivalent of once a week. That could look like you starting your own podcast and you’re speaking once a week. That could look like you starting your own YouTube channel.
And it gets you comfortable. It may take a minute. But it gets you comfortable putting yourself out there. Speaking. Sharing your views. Doing all of that. And if you can do that, then you can step out of your shell.
Listen, I love introverts and I sympathize with introverts, because I remember feeling… You know, because when I wouldn’t speak and I wouldn’t introduce myself to anybody and I wouldn’t network and all of that stuff, the truth of the matter is I really wanted to. I really wanted to.
I would look at people who did it, and I was like, “Man, I wish I was like that. Man, I wish I could be comfortable talking to other people. Man, I wish I could walk up to speakers and talk to them. I wish I could speak on stage. I have something to say.”
So, I saw being an introvert as a handicap. It felt like being in a cage where I wanted to do something, but my quote-unquote “personality” wouldn’t allow it. And I’m telling you that that cage does not really exist. It’s a figment of our imagination.
And you can be free. You can be free to walk into a room. Be comfortable talking to people. Building connections. Building networks. Building relationships that will move your personal life and your business to the next level. You can be comfortable networking. You can show up powerfully onstage. You can do all of that as an introvert. Okay?
Now, the outcome of doing these four things—introducing yourself to people at events, building connections with people you don’t know, saying “yes” to speaking gigs and creating a stage for yourself… If you’ll do this—this seems so simple—but if you’ll do it, you’ll have more confidence. You’ll end up with a lot more clients. And you will discover zones of genius that you didn’t know you had. Okay?
I need you to think of this. I am an introvert. But I, of my own free will, took over 50 doctors to Hilton Head Island to do a two-day retreat with them. I networked with them. I loved on them. I answered their questions. I coached them. I fostered relationships. I did all of this. I spoke for two days, and I loved every bit of it.
Now, did I still sneak out at six a.m. to walk by myself and catch the sunrise by the beach? Yes, I did. Did I do that again in the evening? Yes, I did. I did that to recharge myself. I had my own “me” time. Well, oh my goodness, every moment I spent with my people, I loved it.
If I never stepped out—if I never went to introduce myself to people at events, to build connections with people I don’t know, to say “yes” to speaking gigs, and to create a stage for myself—I would never have found out that I love speaking, that I love live events, that I love serving people in this way. I would have never known.
So, my dear, wonderful, lovely, amazing introverts, there is so much gold in you that the world will never see if you don’t step out of your shell. So, I’m inviting you, starting today, to decide, “You know what? I’m going to be uncomfortable. I’m going to put myself in uncomfortable situations until I become comfortable being uncomfortable.
“I’m going to explore and find out what else I’m great at. I’m gonna ignore the handicap that I thought I had and the cage I thought I was in, and I am going to put myself out there.”
The world needs to hear your voice. The world needs to hear your thoughts. The world needs to know what you believe. The world needs to hear the solution you’re bringing to it. We need you to own all of you. Okay? We need you to own all of you.
So, I want you to go do it. I want you to go do it. And who knows? You know, maybe a year from now, you’ll tell me, “You know what, doc? I love live events too. And I love speaking too.
“And because I embraced those two things, I 5Xed my business. I doubled my business. I’ve launched a business. I’ve launched a podcast. And it has 50,000, 100,000 downloads. I have served my community. I have served over 5,000 patients or 1,000 clients,” or whatever that is.
But imagine being free. Free to be you, introverted or not. Okay? So, do this and I would love for you to share this episode with another doc and tell them, “Hey, you know what? Listen to this.” And if they’re extroverts, tell them to listen to it for you. I’ll hold you accountable. Okay?
But I am rooting for every one of you. I love introverts. And I talk about this a lot because I’m like, “Listen. We’ve been sold a lie that we have handicaps. We don’t. The truth of the matter is, as an introvert, you have a superpower, and that is thinking by yourself.” Thinking. Thinking. I do my best work because I’m an introvert.
So, here’s to celebrating being an introvert. It’s not a disadvantage. It’s not a handicap. You’re not in a cage. And I cannot wait to celebrate what you do because you chose to get out of the cage. All right? I’ll see you, my friend, on the next episode of the EntreMD Podcast.
Hey. If you love listening to the EntreMD Podcast, I want to invite you to join EntreMD On Demand. It is my signature subscription program that gives you access to a library of business courses designed to help you do one thing as a physician entrepreneur, and that is to thrive. Just head out to EntreMD.com/OnDemand, and I’d love to have you join us. See you on the inside.