An Introverted Extrovert: Confessions of a Social Guy

An Introverted Extrovert: Confessions of a Social Guy

Eric Huber in San FranciscoHi, I’m Eric Huber with Blue Zoo Creative.
And you are…?

This is normally where I start when I’m out at a networking event or some happening where I’m meeting new people. From there, I love to learn about people, hear their stories and figure out who I can connect them with so they can further their dreams, goals and passions. Zig Ziglar once said, “You can have everything in life you want if you just help enough other people get what they want.”

The extrovert in me loves social gatherings. I get amped up on the energy of ideas shared. And afterwards, I make mental notes of all the people I met, something important to them, and some story they shared. Now, I don’t always remember ever single detail, but I get a lot of them right.

Why do I do this?

Years ago while just getting started in my first business, I had joined a chamber of commerce and noticed that when the president came in, everyone lit up and he greeted them warmly by name, asked them something personal and often gave hugs or warm and hearty handshakes. It looked honest and sincere. People weren’t sucking up to him or being fake. He genuinely seemed to take interest in others. He became a mentor to me and he didn’t even know it.

The funny thing is that in no time at all, I really DID care about others and what they were doing. I couldn’t wait to pass along a referral, help them with a problem or otherwise find a resource for them. Soon, I was getting calls from all over as a ‘go to’ person for a variety of resources.

With my friends, it was much the same. We all helped each other during times of adversity and celebrated success when it occurred. Although, at that time, I had a propensity for continual tardiness.

But there was a side no one saw. I kept hidden. And it is only recently that I realize that it is something I still do today and still have not ‘confessed’ to the world as I am doing now. In fact, this behavior I have is simply excused by others as ‘being busy.’

I noticed even my family would start off invitations as “I know you’re busy, but…” I even shifted my working habits so I could be busy all the time. But what was really happening is that I needed ‘down time.’

The Introvert in Me

Swearing in new members at BNIOn Tuesday mornings (as I write this), I am lucky enough to be the president of a local Business Networking International Chapter (ask me for an invite some time!). On these days, I am revved up for networking, meetings, phone calls, luncheons and whatever else comes up. My wife and I have great conversations and often go run around a bit in the evenings.

Wednesdays, however, are very different. I focus on work and tasks. I schedule only certain times of the day to make calls or even answer emails. I let calls go to voice mail and will often forward it to team members of my business if they can handle it. I take long walks. I zone out on TV Shows or Movies in the evening. I check out and go ‘inside.’ I’m embarrassed to say anything about it, so I often text, “I’m tied up for a while. I’ll give you a shout later.” Or I simply ask for specifics to email answers or have someone else handle it.

I really can’t handle talking to anyone those days.

Now, I’m not saying it is debilitating or anything. I can still schedule meetings, make calls and so forth, but I have noticed that I mentally and physically need some alone time. And if too many of these days go on and on, things start to get a bit touchy with my attitude. I have to pay attention to that and adjust accordingly.

At this point, in my confession, I have to decide if it’s something I’m going to change about myself, or if I’m going to simply go with the ebb and flow. In my line of business, where I have to handle sales, production and business aspects, it seems to be working out nicely. But did the business create my tendencies, or did my tendencies shape how I work?

I’m sure there’s a psychological condition that describes my introvert/extrovert duality, but I just don’t feel like searching for it or labeling it. After all, it doesn’t matter what it’s called, it’s simply enough to recognize it and leverage it for the best outcome in helping others get what they want.

What traits do you have that you’re able to leverage?

HELP !

HELP !

When you look at any successful person, be they a writer, artist, CEO, soldier, mother, or father, each one will tell you that they got where they are today because of guidance or help from someone. Maybe a teacher, tutor, parent, partner, or mentor.

Did you know not everyone knows how to ask for help?

While some people don’t believe they are deserving of help, others believe it is a sign of weakness or ignorance. I bring this up, today, because I’m one of those people who doesn’t know how to ask for help. Just like the Beatles song Help!:

When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody’s help in anyway.
But now these days are gone, I’m not so self assured,
Now I find I’ve changed my mind, I’ve opened up the doors.

A few years ago, I took “Happiness Coaching” from Dr. Aymee Coget and during the three months of coaching I had to get several friends and acquaintances to write about my three strongest traits. I was humbled by everything that was said about me. And there was one thing that came up with nearly every person: “I always know I can count on Eric to help and I wish he’d ask for help in return,” paraphrased, of course.

Well, it’s almost over two years since that coaching and that phrase has been bubbling up from my subconsciousness quite a bit.

So I started asking

A few months ago, I started vocalizing to my friends, family, and associates that I might need some help, but I didn’t know in what way yet. They all said, “Just let me know!”

I did some research to see what malady or bad wiring I had in my head that keeps me from asking for help, and determined I didn’t fit in any of the categories listed. I don’t believe I don’t deserve help. I don’t feel arrogant that I know everything. And I’m not afraid of looking stupid. I blog after all, right?

Now, when I say “Ask for help,” I don’t mean, “Can you help me move?” or “Can you help me with a job?” or “Can you give me a ride?” or “Can you take over my bookkeeping?” Those are all easy enough for me, (except the bookkeeping one).

No. Mine are bigger and more complex. At least, maybe they are.

My problems to solve?

I came to the conclusion that I, somehow, got in my head at a very young age that I either HAVE TO solve all problems by myself, OR I should ALWAYS attempt to solve problems on my own before bothering anyone with my problem.

One of the vivid memories I have from when I was about 10 years old, before my brother was born, was telling my mom about a nightmare I had. She was concerned and asked me, “Who do you turn to when you’re scared at night?” I didn’t know the answer. She asked, “You don’t wake your dad or I up at night, do you ask God to protect you?” I remember looking at her funny and saying, “Mom, I just get up and go to the bathroom. That’s what nightmares are for, to wake you up so you don’t wet the bed.”

I also have come to believe that I have gone through a series of disappointments or bad advice that has also led me to the practice of solving all the problems first before either giving up, or finding some outside help. I won’t go into details, but there have been several major ones that have recently come to mind while pondering this affliction.

Of course, I also have realized I’ve probably let people down too. A few of those have sprung to mind, which I will go work on correcting immediately.

Peggy Collins, author of Help is Not a Four Letter Word, says that people who suffer from “Self-Sufficiency Syndrome” (clever), can and do suffer from burn out quite a bit. On a cursory examination of the book (now on order for myself), shows some interesting connections in needing to ‘control’ things in life. I don’t see that for myself, but will delve into it more deeply.

“ERIC! Are you going to ask or what?”

So, here I am writing an article called “HELP!” and I haven’t asked for anything.

Typical, eh? (I’d laugh, but probably shouldn’t).

Tina GuoSince you can only lead a horse to water and you can’t make ‘him’ drink (which, unfortunately makes me the horse), maybe I should start making a list of areas where my skills aren’t strong.

Rising Superstar (in my opinion) Cellist, Tina Guo (who plays classical and hard rock (serious yin & yang)…check out her signature piece Queen Bee), is one of four social entrepreneurs I’m following and trying to connect with. They have shown me that while you CAN do a lot of things on your own, you should surround yourself with people who support your passion. Synergize with others to create, pay people who do things easily that you have to work hard to do, and spend your time doing what you love.

It also helps to read lots of self-help, motivational, and inspirational materials to propel you forward (thus gaining textual mentors from many eras). And I’m talking self-help books from interpersonal skills to business skills.

By the way, the other three social entrepreneurs I admire are Chris Guillebeau (The Art of Non-Conformity), Seth Godin (Purple Cow, Tribes, and Linchpin books), and Felicia Day (Actress, Writer, and Gamer: Dragon Age: RedemptionThe Guild, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog, and Eureka).

Is it possible I don’t ask for help because I don’t want to bother others with my ‘stuff?’ Or is it I only want help from others who wish to use their passions to help?

Let’s start with this…

How do you recognize when you truly need help?

Thanks for reading. Thanks for any help you’ve given me (or may give in the future). And remember these words by the Beatles (but my favorite rendition by Joe Cocker), “I get by with a little help from my friends.”

How Not to Start a Trend

How Not to Start a Trend

I realize I may be one of the few to not watch the Super Bowl this year. And even the lure of the commercials didn’t get me to watch.

However, I did check in on Hulu.com a few minutes ago and catch up on the highest rated commercials this year.

And, to my suprise, was shocked and amazed at the commercial from GoDaddy.com. Not because of being risque or anything, not because Joan Rivers was in it. And not because of Joan’s amazing ‘make-over.’

No, my amazement was in the fact that GoDaddy has announced how COOL it is to become one of the first people to get your own ‘.co’ web address.

That’s no typo.

.co

In my 15 years of website development…all the way back to when you had to buy all domain names through Network Solutions…back when there were only three extensions the average person could buy (.com, .net, and .org)… I have never heard a professional suggest to a business owner to NOT try to get a .com extension.

Granted, the field is pretty full with most great domain names being taken.

But that’s the point!

If you’re going to buy a domain name with a .co, and the .com is already taken, guess where your customers are going to go? The .com site, of course.

Personally, as a Graphic Designer, I would take one look at that and assume someone did a shody job at proofreading.

Don’t fall into the trap and waste your money. If someone does buy your domain name with .co AND they do the exact same thing as you, you have legal legs to stand on. Call your attorney to find out exactly how.

Contact us at Blue Zoo Websites and we’ll help you find a domain name right for you.

http://www.bluezoowebsites.com

Blue Zoo Websites Readies for Launch

Blue Zoo Websites Readies for Launch

bluezoo_teaseAs Blue Zoo Websites nears it’s beta launch, we wanted to let you know what Blue Zoo Websites lets you create. You can create a high quality website, populated with your content, quickly and inexpensively.  Blue Zoo Websites provides the following benefits:

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  • Easy to change – You have complete control over the content of your website. No more calling someone else to make edits, you can make changes easily at your leisure on your schedule.
  • Highly customizable – Blue Zoo Websites are based on the WordPress engine, one of the most extensible content management systems in the world. If you need extra functionality such a forums or e-commerce solutions or need help ranking high in search engines your site can be extended with a minimum of fuss and expense.
  • Follow up instruction – Members get access to do it yourself videos that show you not only how to use the WordPress system like a pro, but we also teach you how to market your site and attract visitors.
  • Low price – Some design firms charge thousands of dollars to set up similar website. Our system does the same thing for a fraction of the cost.

Want to know more? Follow our development on Twitter at @collin_bluezoo.