IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING that just because you’re an introvert doesn’t mean you can’t lead a successful managed services business. Introverted channel pros who adapt their business approach to accommodate their own style can and are thriving.
Business coach Thea Orozco encourages business leaders who struggle stepping outside of their comfort zone to reexamine why they went into business in the first place. “When an entrepreneur does that, it’s easier to … do things they’re not necessarily comfortable with doing,” says Orozco, who is the author of The Introvert’s Guide to the Workplace: Concrete Strategies for Bosses and Employees to Thrive and Succeed.
She also reminds them that they can delegate the most unpleasant tasks––like sales calls, for example––to someone who actually enjoys doing them.
Still, there are some situations that require introverted entrepreneurs to present themselves as the face of their company. Networking events, a mainstay in the MSP world, are one example. To get through these, Orozco urges people to jot down why they’re planning to go. Is it to generate new leads? To learn something new? To support those hosting the event? “I find connecting with the initial reason you should go is often helpful,” she says.
Establishing boundaries has been key for Nancy Sabino, who considers herself an introvert, but stresses that she’s not shy. “Being around a lot of people for an extended period of time really drains my energy, and I have to come back into my own headspace to recharge,” says Sabino, vice president of marketing at Addison, Texas-based Synetek Solutions, which acquired SabinoCompTech, the MSP business she led and co-founded with her husband.
In establishing what her boundaries are, she learned that she needs 15 minutes between meetings to regroup and prepare for the next encounter. She also tries, when possible, to schedule meetings with co-workers in favor of unplanned exchanges. “It’s addressing their needs, but at the same time respecting my own time and space,” she explains.
Customer interactions, however, are more spontaneous and often can’t be planned. When clients require her attention right away she handles the situation and then pauses to regroup before moving on to her next task.
While establishing boundaries in the customer-centric MSP environment may seem impossible, Sabino dismisses that as an excuse. “Prioritizing yourself is more important than anything else, because if you break down, then you can’t help anybody,” she says.