Today we hear from Eli Trier who is an artist, an author and award-winning blogger. I am very excited that she agreed to take part in this series of interviews and share her thoughts with us. I don’t know about you, but I love hearing insights and tips from people like Eli and find it incredibly useful.
You can find out more about Eli’s work further below – please take a look.
How do you form networks and connect with others as an introvert?
There are so many ways for us to connect with like-minded people all over the world, without ever having to leave the house. I am a member of numerous Facebook groups, and I follow a lot of blogs and subscribe to a lot of newsletters from people I feel are on my wavelength. Some of my most treasured friendships have come from striking up a conversation by replying to a blog post or newsletter that resonates. Doing courses and free challenges can be a great way to connect with people as well. I’m always on the hunt for people doing cool stuff, and I’ve been described as a ‘collector of kindred spirits’, which I love! I’ve built my network by establishing myself as a connector of people – I always try to introduce people if I think they can help each other out, or they’re doing similar work etc.
Last year I started doing community projects, where I bring a whole bunch of people together and get them talking about a particular subject – that’s been a fantastic way to broaden my own network, and deepen my existing relationships. As long as you stick with being kind and helpful, and only pursue the connections which make you happy and feel genuine, then you can’t go far wrong.
Occasionally, I find the noise of the internet all too much and need to withdraw for a while, but because I spend time consciously nurturing my network when I’m feeling ‘peoply’ (albeit from behind a screen), I find I can jump back in after a break with very little problem.
As introverts we tend to value a few deep connections over a gazillion superficial ones – this is actually helpful for business because it means that you’re able to build a really supportive community around you. Pay attention to one person at a time and build your network with people you actually know and care about. Say hello to anyone you think is cool or feels like a kindred spirit – not all of them will be, but the more you do it the better you get at spotting them. If you’re shy, just practice – it’s so much easier to send a quick email reply to someone’s blog post than it is to go up to a stranger in real life.
Which of your strengths as an introvert do you value most and how do you use this in your work?
My biggest strength as an introvert, and a fundamental part of my business, is my introspection and self-reflection. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out life stuff, and when I make a breakthrough I feed it into my work to help others – either as practical advice, or just to share my story so people know they’re not alone with whatever they’re struggling with. I couldn’t do the work that I do without utilising that skill.
What is your number one tip for succeeding as an introvert?
Make absolutely sure that you’re getting the downtime and solitude that you need. Fill your own cup first before trying to help anyone else. Know what you need to be a happy, productive, well-rested person, and give that to yourself before you even think about anyone else. Set clear boundaries, and make sure the people closest to you understand your need for space and solitude.
Eli Trier is an artist, author and award-winning blogger who teaches people how to build lives making art. She has been working with and mentoring creatives for nearly a decade. Over the years she has developed tools and techniques to realign creatives with their work, enabling them to be more courageous, productive and confident.
Eli teaches online courses on a variety of subjects around the theme of the creative process. Her first book, The Gratitude Project: A Year of Saying Thank You to The People Who Changed My Life is available from Amazon.
Find out more about Eli and her at her website, http://elitrier.com