Name Gemma Stow
Random question: You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What colour would you be and why? I would have to be bright red like the lipstick I like to wear when I am feeling fierce (or sometimes when I am not and it gives me a boost).
Are you a bold introvert? Have you always been one? I do class myself as a bold and fierce introvert – and although these two terms aren’t always linked and some have even said they are opposites I like to use them to describe myself.
I haven’t always felt this fierce though. I guess I realised I had been hiding behind my brand and team in my last business. I avoided so many things that I knew deep down I should have been doing myself. I would send the team to the networking events, to do sales pitches to the customers, stayed away from meetings and presentations and mainly stayed behind the scenes. I also knew that as it was my business nobody could sell my business like I could because of the passion that drove me – however, sales was something I resisted for so long. We won awards and built a great reputation, but looking back it could have been so much more.
Since closing that company in 2015 I started again from scratch – just me. No team and back to square one, but this time I was going to do things differently.
I knew I had to find my fierce and do all the things that I thought I couldn’t do in business. Things like being more visible online, putting myself out there, attending networking events, making business connections and selling myself and my services. There was no one to do it for me so I hired a coach to push me and challenge me to do the things that scared me.
They scared me because of my personality and once I started to learn more about myself, I learned how to use the strengths I already have to push out of my comfort zone when needed.
What do you do? I am the founder of The F Movement and my work is all about empowering female introverts who are building their own businesses and want to work for themselves. I help them to do the things that they think they can’t do. They are experts at what they do in their business, but sometimes hold back in the other areas that we all know are crucial to business success.
I work with these business owners in different ways, I have an online self-study course, a Club Fierce membership for continued support and a great network, 1-1 private coaching and host my own networking events especially for introverts to talk business but in a way that suits us.
What are you most proud of? I am so proud that I have been able to step really far out of my comfort zone and do things I didn’t think I could do – but have done them in my own way.
For so long, I was doing what I thought was expected or what others told me I should do to have a successful business, to make money and make a difference – but I am proud to have used all the support I have invested in, to understand myself and use that to my advantage.
Do you feel that your personality trait has helped you achieve your goals? Being an introvert gives me great skills as a coach and helps me take my clients and business to a deeper level. I love questions and I love challenging others to see things differently – this expertise comes from being able to really listen to the answers and often hearing what’s not always being said. I am also bringing together so many more introverts that are running their own businesses and making their own difference to the world. Helping them to find the fierce introvert and do the things that business requires but in their own way so it feels good. I still have a long way to go and would love to start supporting young people and those that still have yet to unlock their potential that they often don’t think is there.
What advice do you have for introverts that are worried about chasing their dreams? Start. Even if it is tiny steps. Because we can spend far too long overthinking – the biggest game changer for me was to say yes to opportunities and then figure it out later.
This is not an easy thing to do as an introvert as we like to spend time reflecting – but I found that this only served to hold me back when I needed to feel the fear and move forward.
Being an introvert is not always associated with being bold in business, but I think this get’s confused with being loud. You don’t have to be the loudest to be heard. Get clear on who you are and get up close and personal with what really makes you tick and then use those superpowers to drive your passion to achieve your dreams. No one should underestimate the quiet appearance of an introvert – it doesn’t mean nothing is happening, it means everything is happening.