Interview 3 in the Quietly Extraordinary Series is with Yarrow Magdalena. Yarrow has two business – Yarrow Digital a web design and tech agency and Daydreaming Wolves where she supports people through breathwork, ritual and healing textiles.
The aim of this series is to demonstrate that it is possible to create your own version of an introvert friendly business. I have interviewed 4 people so far for this series (the next interview will be published in a couple of week) and each of these wonderful introverts has created a business that works for them in their own unique way.
Why did you decide to start your own business:
I really wanted to work from home to be with my dog and did not love having office jobs in my twenties – I was struggling with office politics and long commutes and just yearned to have more time to myself and to work more creatively.
I knew it might be hard to make ends meet in the beginning, but I also knew that the freedom was worth it for me.
What is the number one thing you have done in your business so that it works with your introversion rather than against it?
The most important thing for me was to have clear boundaries and to focus on the things that come naturally to me. I don’t have client calls before 11am or on Fridays for example – that way I have enough time to decompress and recharge my introvert batteries.
With my content strategy I really focus on the things that are fun – podcasting, blogging and writing zines come to mind. I don’t love being on social media and find Facebook and Twitter particularly stressful, so I don’t use these platforms for my business.
There are many other things that can be just as effective as daily posting – good recommendations and independent media that is authentic and engaging for example.
What introvert super power has particularly helped you build your business?
Being able to really listen to people and to work quietly from home without getting distracted or feeling lonely is really helpful!
What has been your biggest challenge being an introvert in business?
Trusting the process and finding a good balance between honouring my introversion and sharing my offerings.
What does a normal (or ideal) work week look like and have you been intentional in this set up to support your introversion and need for quiet?
I like working from Monday to Thursday with quite late starts in the morning so that I get lots of time with my dogs, to meditate and to have a healthy breakfast. On Fridays I am trying to make time to work ON my business, to rest, get ready for the weekend and do some more creative, off-screen work.
Are there any systems you have put in place that have been crucial to managing your energy?
Yes, a good calendar booking system that works around my boundaries is really important to me. I also like beautifully colour coordinated excel sheets that help me stay on track and keep an eye on the bigger picture.
Are there any other introvert businesses that inspire you that people should check out?
https://www.maraglatzel.com/ comes to mind, I like her podcast and gentle approach.
What challenges have you faced producing a podcast that includes interviews as an introvert? How do you plan for the conversation you are going to have?
I think this is all about getting organised and not biting off more than we can chew – I always prepare my questions and make sure not to book more than one interview a day. Before the interview I am trying to read and explore as much as I can and to also make space for the person I am talking to to say what they are most excited to share about.
Sustainability is one of the key elements of your business coaching. How does this show up in your own business?
Ideally on every level! I try to ask myself if what I am doing is physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually sustainable as often as I can. I am also constantly reminding myself that I started a business to avoid overwhelm and stress – if these things come up I know I have to make some adjustments.
Getting support when needed is a really key part for sustainability in business to me, so I am trying to have regular calls with friends who run similar businesses to feel less alone and brainstorm ideas. I know things can’t always be sunshine and butterflies, but overall I want to feel excited to start working in the morning and know that I will be able to keep doing what I am doing for many years to come!
When you work with clients on an ongoing basis through either your tech and design support or coaching, what has helped you manage boundaries around that work?
I am trying to communicate my offering and services as well as their boundaries really clearly in the first place. I let my clients know that I am always there for them and give them a heads up when I am taking some time off, which I do frequently. I also don’t share my private mobile number with clients to make sure that there are times when I can switch off completely. I think good boundaries are not a compromise to the client experience, but an essential piece in doing good work!
Where can people find out more about your business:
Does your business honour your introversion? Take the quiz and find out.
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