I can run a successful business but I’m too shy to address my staff – what’s wrong with me?

Dear Aunty B,

I am quite an introverted person who finds any type of public display a nightmare.

I literally start shaking due to a bad experience I had in my first job.

I started a small services business focused on visiting people in their home and it has done really well. I now have eight staff but I feel that my inability to sell is holding the company back. I find it excruciating even to address my staff. I get around this by talking to one or two at a time. I can also go and visit a client, but I can’t make myself sell and so I always have to take a salesperson with me.

This is really getting to me as I have attended lots of entrepreneur seminars and webinars to try to change and I know I can never be like those people, even though we have a really good business and a lot of potential.

Hate the spotlight,



Dear Hate the spotlight,

Look here. You are carrying on like a pork chop! This is becoming a problem because you are making it a problem. Let’s run through the positives. And that is the real question. What really is the problem here?

You have started and grown a successful business. Tick.

You have worked out some strategies around dealing with your personality. Tick

You have worked out (and you can thank your personality for this) that marketing and sales are as different as chalk and cheese and you are doing what all business owners should do: taking along a salesperson to close the deal and ensure that more money comes from that client. Tick

And you have worked out that you are not going to be like those top entrepreneurs who are exceptionally talented and on the circuit. So what? I am not going to be a world famous author or ever learn to cook a roast without it bleeding on the inside and burnt at the crust.

So good for you! Now you can do the following. Talk yourself up, not down. Go and see a therapist and work on that stuff. Might take ten hours, but that’s a better option than all these silly thoughts about holding the company back.

Then look around you. Who can help you at meetings? I am sure you have a loudmouth in the organisation. All companies do. So call the loudmouth in and be very upfront. Tell him or her that you hate calling people together and starting off a talk and can they do it because they are fabulous. Let them do the ra-ra stuff and then you come in with the announcement before they finish off.

Use group emails for rousing speeches. And continue with your strategy of meeting with small groups. You might also like to know that many of those amazing entrepreneurs confess to feeling really nervous. They just make themselves push through it. And one way they do it is to tell themselves that part of their nervousness is actually excitement.

Everyone has weaknesses and the ones who succeed are aware of them, live easily with them and hire around them.

Be smart,

Your Aunty B

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