Get the Gist: A Book Summary of “The Introvert Entrepreneur” by Beth L. Buelow

Get the Gist: A Book Summary of "The Introvert Entrepreneur" by Beth L. Buelow | jscreative.ca

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The book, “The Introvert Entrepreneur” by Beth L. Buelow, is a guide for introverts who wish to start their own businesses. The book begins by explaining the characteristics of introverts and how they differ from extroverts in terms of their communication, social skills, and energy levels.

Buelow then provides practical tips and strategies for introverts to overcome the challenges they may face when it comes to networking, marketing, and promoting their businesses. She emphasizes the importance of finding one’s own style of networking and building relationships instead of trying to conform to the extroverted norm.

The author also discusses the benefits of introverts’ strengths such as their ability to listen, analyze, and focus deeply. She encourages introverts to leverage these strengths to create unique and successful businesses.

Throughout the book, Buelow shares stories and insights from successful introverted entrepreneurs to illustrate her points. She also includes exercises and journal prompts to help readers identify their strengths, values, and goals.

Overall, “The Introvert Entrepreneur” is a valuable resource for introverts who are interested in entrepreneurship. It offers practical advice, inspiration, and guidance on how to start and grow a successful business while staying true to one’s introverted nature.

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Finding Your Way As a Multi-Passionate Creative

As a multi-passionate creative, it can be extremely tough to narrow down what you want to do. How do you choose which idea to pursue when you have so many, and when they all sound so interesting?

Since we obviously can’t pursue every idea all at once, we need to practice patience. Then, I believe, we need to follow our curiosity.

In my eight years (thus far) of self-employment, I’ve done just that — followed my curiosity.

I originally started with what I knew: I’d gone to school for office administration, and had worked as a secretary for several years. I’d also been a book blogger and independent book reviewer for the previous eight years. So, my first business idea was to be a Virtual Assistant for authors.

Yet, as I spoke to the various authors I met, I discovered that what they most needed help with was marketing and promotion. So, I shifted my business to help these authors get their books seen.

After about a year, I was restless. I knew that doing this kind of work wasn’t the best fit for me, so I questioned what I’d rather be doing. And, with some journaling and self-reflection, I decided to try being a professional blogger.

This didn’t really take off, though, as I would’ve needed a larger audience in order for the ads and affiliate programs to even be available to me, or for them to produce a worthwhile income. So, it was back to the drawing board.

After more self-reflection and journaling, I realized that I had always felt drawn to things like coaching, advising, and mentoring. So, I figured I would try coaching, especially since people seemed to be able to get started in this fairly easily.

Much to my surprise, I landed my first client within the same week! (I had made mention of my new services on Facebook, inside of a group, during one of their promo days, and found someone from that).

Turns out, I had found a piece of my puzzle (the bigger picture of how I was created to serve, using my innate gifts). Coaching felt like what I was meant to do.

► RELATED: Find YOUR unique blueprint for how you can best serve the world, here.

Part way through my first year of coaching, however, I got distracted when a friend (re-)introduced me to network marketing (NWM). [I’d been an independent consultant with The Pampered Chef years before, but hadn’t realized it was part of the larger industry known as network marketing].

Thus began three (3) years of trying to continue building my own coaching business, while also chasing the network marketing opportunity. And, in that same time frame, I ended up testing out seven different NWM companies, looking for one that fit me best… to no avail. (I have since come to realize that it’s because marketing isn’t one of my core strengths.)

My time spent pursuing that industry did teach me a lot about running an online business, mind you. And it helped me to learn more about what does and doesn’t work for me. Plus, as an added bonus, I met a lot of amazing people through NWM — including my own coach, Crystal!

As of 2020, I finally stopped trying to force myself to fit an ideal I’d held in my mind’s eye, and I admitted to myself that NWM wasn’t where I was supposed to be. I also realized that I couldn’t properly build 2 separate businesses at the same time — especially not if I wanted to do things well. Instead, I needed to devote all of my time, energy, and attention to growing just one of them, first. And once that business was running successfully, then I could choose to take on something else, if I still wished to do so.

Sure enough, once I began to give all of myself to my coaching business, I started to make progress, again.

Now, has it been completely easy? No.

Have I decided on a single idea to pursue, at the expense of all the others? Also no.

I still get new ideas all the time! And some do seriously tempt me to change my course.

However, I have done so much self-reflection, searching, and journaling in the past eight years, in order to understand who I am and how I am wired to best use my gifts to make an impact & income, that most of the new ideas that cross my path, now, just aren’t appealing enough to pull me away from the business model I am currently focused on pursuing.

If you need help getting that same level of clarity, so that you can be content with the path that best fits you, check out my “My Unique Blueprint” mini-course. It will walk you through the same process I went through, and help you to find your best-fit path to making an impact and an income (but it won’t take you seven years, like it took me!).

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The Entrepreneur Mindset

When you first start out in business for yourself, it’s so exciting to get everything set up. You choose a name for your company, you set up your website and social media platforms, you pick out a color scheme, and you decide what you’re going to offer to your audience. Best of all, you’re finally escaping the 9-to-5 grind… or, you’re starting on the path towards that. It’s only a matter of time.

After a couple of months of being “open”, and doing promotion and other things you’re supposed to do as a self-employed business owner, you start to get discouraged because, for all of your efforts, you’re mostly hearing crickets… maybe you got a little bit of interest, but it’s been nowhere near the fanfare (or income) that you’d expected.

What’s the deal? Are you just not cut out for this whole entrepreneurship thing? Are you just not trying hard enough?

Here’s a hint: Go back and re-read the first paragraph of this post, and notice the word that appears (in two versions), over and over throughout. Did you catch it?

That’s the problem. It’s been all about you. In actuality, “your” business is supposed to be all about …them.

Who are they?

“They” are your audience and potential customers. Without them, you’ll never have a business, but only have a hobby. Because, they are the ones who are supposed to be paying for your offerings.

Doesn’t it make sense, then, that it should be all about them?

So, let’s come at this from this new perspective. Let’s go back to the beginning and put this together with our audience in the spotlight.


In this book (and TED talk), “Start With Why“, Simon Sinek talks about how the most successful brands (eg. Apple, Inc.) don’t start with what they offer, but instead, why they’re offering it. The reason for this is because we, as consumers, shop first based on our emotional response — and then we justify our decisions with logic. It therefore makes sense to start by thinking about why you’re offering this particular product or service, and why your audience needs it. Also, why did you decide to get into this particular business?


Next, you’re going to need to think about who needs what you’ve got to offer. Whose problem aligns with why you feel compelled to be an entrepreneur?

After all, that’s what business is all about — solving the problems others have, and getting paid to do so. It’s an exchange of value.

The tricky part, here, is finding a balance between who has a problem you can solve, but also who fits the profile of someone you’d most like to work with, or serve.

Depending on your business model, this second bit may or may not matter. For example, if you’re opening a retail store, perhaps the customer’s personality type isn’t going to matter; whereas, if you’re offering a service like coaching others on-on-one (or, even in a group setting), it’s going to matter a great deal whether or not you and your customer get along!

This topic needs far more depth than I have the space to go into, in this post, so I’ll do another post about it at a later date (or, you can dig into this more through my self-coaching guides).


Simon Sinek also says that “customers don’t buy what you do; they buy why and how“.

So, the next question you need to ask yourself is this: How will my product or service help my audience get what they want? How will it solve their most pressing problem?

Notice that you’re not yet touching on what the customer needs. They may not even know, yet, what they truly need. All they do know is that they have this problem, and they want relief… they want it solved.

So, answer the question they’re really asking, which is, “what’s in it for me?” How can you (your product/service) solve their problem?


Finally, you’ll need to come up with what you can offer that answers all of the above questions. To recap:

  • Why are you offering this, and why does your audience need it?
  • Who needs what you’ve got to offer?
  • How does it benefit them? (What’s in it for them?)

There are other questions you’ll need to answer, of course (like how you’ll offer these solutions, what you’ll charge, etc).

The key, though, is to always keep your customer at the forefront of your mind in everything you do throughout “your” business.

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

How has this post opened your eyes to changes you could make in your business set-up or thinking? Let me know in the comments.

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What It’s Really Like to Be Self-Employed

When you read about entrepreneurship, or start looking into becoming self-employed, you’ll hear the usual things: set up a website, have a social media presence, understand your target market, and make sure there’s a need for what you want to offer. And, sure — all of those things are important.

But there’s a whole other side to self-employment that no one really talks about! There are skills you need that no one prepares you for, and there is stuff that comes up that you weren’t expecting.

Here are 9 things that took me by surprise in this entrepreneurial journey, so that you can be better aware of what to expect:


They’re certainly not going to be as passionate or excited about it as you are… but, that’s okay, as it’s not their dream — it’s yours!

It helps to get yourself into Entrepreneur groups — surround yourself with others who get what you’re going through — and to turn to them with your highs and lows in business.

Family will probably worry about you and, meaning well, encourage you to go out and get a “real job”. Don’t let that deter you. Just know that they aren’t going to understand, and continue to do your thing.


As an Entrepreneur, you will learn that failures are simply a part of the success process… so long as you learn from them. If you keep getting up, and keep pressing forward — if you’re willing to fight to see your dreams realized — then, in time, you will succeed. You just have to be willing to do whatever it takes to keep going.


This one really took me by surprise. When I first became self-employed, it was all about me — how much money I could make, what kinds of things I wanted to do or liked doing, colors and fonts and design styles that matched my tastes.

Yet, over time, I’ve come to realize that it’s really about the audience I want to help. They, after all, are the ones with the power to determine whether what I’m offering is worthy of their time, or worth their hard-earned dollars.

My audience and their needs and desires are the most important factor… everything I do as an Entrepreneur must take them into consideration. What do they struggle with, and how can I help? What colors and designs appeal to them? What do they want or need to learn about through my content? What will they see as valuable? It’s all about serving my audience.


A common misconception of new entrepreneurs is that you can set up a website, and put up this great sales page with your amazing offer, and — bam! — you’ll start making the big bucks! Yet, it doesn’t work that way. Firstly, because you need to actually tell people that your offer exists (they won’t just stumble across it, and be amazed), and secondly because, when you’re first starting out, people don’t yet know you. In order for them to buy from you, they first need to have a good understanding of who you are (as a business) and what you can do for them (see point #3, above). So, patience is needed, while you educate others about your business. Which brings me to the next point…


They say “content is king” — and for good reason. In order for your audience to get to know and like you, they need to be educated on who you are and what you are offering them. You need to show them that you know what they’re dealing with, and why you are the best person to help them solve that problem. How you do this, as an online entrepreneur, is through writing.

You write content for your website and blog, you write posts for social media, you write content for your email newsletter, you write copy for landing pages and sales pages and ads … it feels as if writing is your main job, even though you never signed up to be a “writer”! (Don’t like to write? That’s okay — you can hire someone to do it for you. But be aware that, first, you’ll need to be clear on your message, and on the tone you are wishing to convey).


A lot of people have a really negative view of sales, and think “marketing” is a complicated thing. Thus, they try to avoid these two skills. Yet, the reality is, most of us are just misinformed about what each of these things really is, and we only have our experiences with others’ attempts at these to base our knowledge off of.

Based on what I’ve learned:

Marketing is simply creating awareness of your business, and what you can offer other people. That’s it, in a nutshell (not so complicated, huh?).

Sales, on the other hand, is simply educating others about what your offer can do for them, and then giving them options, and the choice of whether or not this is right for them, at this time. The idea that sales is “pushy, icky, slimy, convincing, or coercing” is wrong. When sales is done correctly — from a place of being of service to your customer, and allowing them to choose what’s right for them — it takes all of the “ick” out of it, and ends up being a win-win for everyone involved.

And truth be told, you cannot have a “business” if you aren’t willing to sell, or to marketing your offerings. These are foundational skills.


… that is, so long as you’re willing to stay in the fight, and keep pressing forward!

I never would have imagined how much being an Entrepreneur would grow me, personally. It really is more about who you’ll become in the process, than what you do. I’ve become more patient, more resilient, mentally stronger, and I’ve developed more of a servant’s heart through running my own business.

There are also many mindsets and limiting beliefs you’ll need to work through in order to grow and succeed. It’s definitely not easy! But it is so very, very worth it.


… and I’m not just including this point because I am a strategist/guide! I honestly wouldn’t be where I am, today, if it weren’t for the wonderful people and coaches who gave me their time and shared their wisdom and insights with me, along the way.

There were times, in my journey thus far, where I was so confused and frustrated, and I could not see a way forward. Yet, in reaching out to, and then talking through things with these coaches and other entrepreneurs, they helped me to untangle the messes inside my head, work through the mindsets or beliefs that were holding me back, and they gave me the encouragement and support I needed to remember why I’d started on this journey in the first place. I am forever grateful to each and every one of them for their help!

Side note: I didn’t always have the money to hire someone, so I took advantage of the free 30-minute calls offered by these fellow entrepreneurs — often in exchange for a testimonial they could use. So know that, no matter what, the help that you need is always available. However, if you can afford it, I also highly believe in the value of investing in a coach. You gain so much clarity and confidence in being open and vulnerable with someone else, and letting them hold you accountable!


I’ve always been fiercely independent, and hated limits and being “confined” in any way. In fact, like many who branch out on their own as Entrepreneurs, they whole reason I wanted to be self-employed was so that I could have the freedom to do things my own way, on my own schedule, and without the restrictions one typically finds in a traditional work environment.

Yet, after several years of “winging it” — doing whatever I felt like doing, each day, without any real rhyme or reason — and not seeing the kind of success I’d hoped for, I came to realize that it really is important for entrepreneurs to create (and then follow) some kind of schedule.

Without structure, it is really easy to lose whole days “lost in the scroll” on social media, or to spend your time working on things that seem important but aren’t really moving your business forward, or creating income (again, speaking from experience, here!).

One of my favorite time management / scheduling hacks is Michael Hyatt’s “ideal week” (you can read more about that, here). He groups similar tasks together, and then assigns them to days of the week. So, for example: Mondays might be for marketing & promotion, Wednesdays for research & development, and Fridays for content creation (writing, recording videos, etc).

Personally, I love how flexible this method is — allowing me to still choose what I’ll do on any given day, and how much time I will devote to each thing, so long as it falls under that day’s category. It allows me to still work according to my moods, and to not feel confined.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

LEAVE A COMMENT and let me know which of these stands out as most surprising to you! Or, if you’re already self-employed, I’d love to hear what you, yourself, discovered in your journey that the “business” books hadn’t prepared you for.

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