Name Keith McGuinness
Random question: You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What colour would you be and why? I’m Irish, so I’ll go for a vibrant, emerald green.
Are you a bold introvert? Have you always been one? I’d like to think I am now, but I wasn’t when I was younger. In fact, I spent a long time wondering what was wrong with me and why I wasn’t more outgoing like my friends. But everything made sense once I read ‘Quiet’ by Susan Cain when I was in my early 30s. I only wish Susan had written it 15 years earlier.
What do you do? I’m a freelance writer specialising in the financial sector. I mostly work with corporate clients, creating longer form content like blogs and white papers, but I take on the odd copywriting job too. I’ve just started working on my first book (a biography), and I’m also trying to get a short script turned into a film.
What are you most proud of? I’m proud that I can support myself as a freelancer and that I’m leveraging an inherent skill. I was made redundant in 2014 and couldn’t find another account management role (in hindsight, a terrible job for an introvert), so I threw myself into the deep end. I learned from the mistakes I made during a previous stint as a freelancer and most importantly started charging what I’m worth. Within less than a year, a former colleague of my sister got in touch and offered me the opportunity to contract with a bank. I ended up staying for over a year and earned more money than I ever thought possible as a writer.
Do you feel that your personality trait has helped you achieve your goals? Absolutely. I started off working in sales and marketing in the sports industry, which was great fun as I’m a big football fan. I then went into an account management role with a small creative agency and coincidentally read Quiet just before I lost that job. It was feedback from an interview that helped me realise how ill-equipped I was to be an account manager and that I’d be much better suited to self-employment. And of course, writing is generally a solitary endeavour. Having said that, I enjoyed working in a team when I was contracting, but it was comforting to know that I could walk away.
What advice do you have for introverts that are worried about chasing their dreams? I think this advice applies to everyone: you need to be brave enough to chase your dreams. You have to take risks, hold your nerve and believe that the sacrifices will be worth making. More specifically for introverts, you need to be true to yourself. Build on your strengths and be aware of your weaknesses. But don’t ever use your introversion as an excuse- on the contrary, you should try to leverage it.
Bio: Keith McGuinness is a freelance writer specialising in the finance sector. He’s also an aspiring author, screenwriter, and producer.
Follow Keith on Twitter @keith_mc_g