Embarking on the entrepreneurial journey as an introverted neurodivergent individual presents unique challenges and triumphs. Stephanie Scheller, the CEO and Founder of Grow Disrupt, shares her personal strategies for not just surviving but thriving in the business world. Explore the six key principles that have propelled her success and discover how embracing downtime plays a pivotal role in her entrepreneurial journey.
Stephanie begins by acknowledging her introverted side, coexisting with her ability to be outgoing and engaging. Understanding this duality has been a cornerstone of her success. She shares a personal story of navigating this balance, emphasizing the importance of recognizing and embracing one's true nature in the entrepreneurial landscape.
1. Guarding Downtime:
A crucial aspect of Stephanie's strategy involves unapologetically protecting downtime. Saying 'no' when needed is an act of self-preservation. By respecting her calendar and acknowledging her limits, she ensures she remains at her best for her team and clients. Stephanie advises entrepreneurs to prioritize self-care over constant external demands.
Stephanie underscores the significance of meticulous calendar management. Tracking everything ensures she has a comprehensive view of her commitments, allowing informed decisions on new opportunities. Beyond scheduling, incorporating travel time and buffers ensures a seamless transition between tasks, eliminating the stress of perpetual lateness.
3. The Power of Listening:
In social interactions, Stephanie follows a simple yet effective rule: listen more than you talk. By adopting a curious and inquisitive approach, she not only makes meaningful connections but also alleviates the pressure to continually contribute to conversations. Here's an example script she might use before a social event: "I'm looking forward to our conversation tonight. I might be a bit quiet, but I'm genuinely interested in what you have to say."
4. Safeguarding Hobbies:
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance, Stephanie passionately protects her hobby time. Whether playing the violin, reading, or writing, these activities serve as her sanctuary. She encourages entrepreneurs to unapologetically allocate time for hobbies, reinforcing the notion that self-care is a non-negotiable element of sustained success.
5. Scripts for Space:
Stephanie shares the importance of having predefined scripts for communicating the need for personal space. By being transparent with friends and family about moments when she needs to recharge, she has built a support system that respects her boundaries. Here's an example script: "I've had a bit of an intense day. I'm going to take some downtime tonight, but let's catch up soon. Your understanding means a lot to me."
6. Cultivating Self-Awareness:
The cornerstone of Stephanie's approach is cultivating self-awareness. For neurodivergent entrepreneurs, understanding personal needs is pivotal in achieving a harmonious balance between personal and professional life. Stephanie advocates for continuous self-reflection as the key to unlocking individual potential.
As Stephanie aptly puts it, we are not designed to thrive in only one area of life. By understanding ourselves and acknowledging our unique needs, we can aspire to create a fulfilling and balanced existence. In the realm of entrepreneurship, cultivating self-awareness becomes the compass guiding us toward a thriving business and a fulfilling personal life.