Imagine you’ve just been invited to a high-level event, the room is filled with fascinating people, and you know you want to be in their orbit. The problem is, you have no idea how to get there. Instead, you find the nearest chair and stay put for the next two hours.
If you’re introverted, shy or socially awkward, the scenario probably feels familiar. Social discomfort shouldn’t stop you from making connections, succeeding in business, or upgrading your life and lifestyle. Nick Shelton’s An Introvert’s Guide to World Domination, will teach you how to do this and navigate social events with ease.
By breaking the process into bite-sized steps, Nick offers practical, reliable strategies that make lasting connections with others. Shelton speaks from firsthand experience–he’s ditched the lonely chair and made introversion his greatest strength. Now you can too.
Drew Applebaum: Hey Listeners, my name is Drew Applebaum and I’m really excited to be here today with Nick Shelton, author of An Introvert’s Guide to World Domination. Nick, excited you’re here, welcome to the Author Hour podcast.
Nick Shelton: Thank you very much for having me, I’m really excited to be here too, I’m excited to get started.
Drew Applebaum: Awesome, Nick, I enjoyed your book. I thought it was really engaging that the first lines in your introduction are, “You’re reading the book of an incredibly flawed individual who is alone by choice 90% of the time, and goes to bed around eight PM.” I think it’s only fair that we start off with you telling us a little bit about yourself.
Nick Shelton: Sure, the reason why I started off with that, is there’s a lot of other material out there where people try to project themselves as superhuman or something like that. I’m letting people know, I make mistakes, but at the same time, you can overcome those. People also like to think, “Well, you know, will his things work for me?” But then, when you see, this guy has a lot of flaws and he goes to bed really early. I stay up later than that. I might be able to do some of the stuff that this guy is talking about.
The quick story is, growing up, I was cripplingly shy, so much so that I was put in the hearing impaired kids class because the teachers thought I couldn’t hear. I don’t know if that mistake would happen these days but, back then, apparently that’s what they do to you.
It was a really incredible experience, and I did make some new friends that way. Because nobody was really talking, and so then you get along with people a lot better. Growing up, it was always this really big challenge for me because I did want to have access to things, to some cool stuff, and to be invited to things. But, how do you do that when you really want to be alone most of the time and you’re not really big into talking to people?
It was really challenging, and it was really painful at times. I made a lot of mistakes. But going through the process of figuring out how to do it–not by becoming an extrovert but by staying true to being an introvert. Still using the observation powers. I think, observation is like a superpower for introverts. Using the powers of observation to find the path that allows us to still be able to enjoy nice things and excel in life. I think the one thing I’d like my audience to know is, it’s possible to be an introvert and be wildly successful in an extrovert’s world without compromising your integrity or your energy and, so, without burning out.
That’s pretty much what I learned how to do, and it was really challenging. I think the biggest thing was, I got tired of people underestimating me just because I was quiet and spend a lot of time alone. I wanted to be able to actually upgrade my life and lifestyle.
Drew Applebaum: Would you say that’s what inspired you to write the book–your transformation or your feeling that you were looked down upon and wanted to help others in this situation?
Nick Shelton: Yes, first, after I learned how to structure my life in a certain way to actually be able to get invited to certain things and rub elbows with people that I wanted to, a lot of people around me, some friends and some family members, they would say, “I would like to do this too, how do you do this?”
People that I would meet at certain social events, they would say, “How do you do that, how do you get to do that?” I started showing them how to do it and then my brother was talking to me and said, “Hey, you should probably write a book and then this knowledge be would be accessible to a lot more people. Because there’s a lot of people out there that could really use this. It would be helpful and you could really get the message out a lot better if you put it in book form.” And I said, “That’s a great idea.”
That helped me get organized, and put it into book form so that people can actually get access to this and take those steps. Because, there’s a lot of stuff out there that is either trying to get introverts to be extroverts, or it’s not written for an introvert, it’s not written in the right steps. So, you could look at some other people’s material and say, “Well, that’s fine if you were that type of person, but this is written for people like us to actually be able to take very easy steps and get out there to achieve the life that we want.” I think that the book is a good steppingstone that people can say, “Well, how’s Nick’s technique compared to other people’s techniques?” They can grab that book, flip through it really quickly, and they can see, that here is some stuff that would work for you right away.
It’s not theory, it’s not written like hey, lab rat A did this and lab rat C did this and we figure in humans, it would work this way. This is actually me out there doing this stuff and I give a lot of examples. And then, sometimes it doesn’t work out the way that I thought, and I say, “Well, here’s what the backup for that is.”
I wanted to make something that was a good tool for people to be able to just pick up and get some results right away, and that’s how the book came about.
Drew Applebaum: Sure, I will have to say, your book is extremely readable and relatable for anyone who picks it up and gives it a read. Let’s dive in a little bit about your book and your life. You went from college, into the Air Force, and then ended up in Nicaragua, which was a surprising move to move to a new country for an introvert. Talk to us about the decision to head there.
Nick Shelton: When I was in the Air Force, I was living in Japan for about half the time. And I thought, “This is really cool living in another country because you often get treated a little bit like a minor celebrity because you’re a foreigner.” I thought, “I would like more of that.” Part of the thing that I cover in the book is if you are kind of pre-known a little bit, it makes socializing a lot easier. And if you are looked at as maybe a minor celebrity, it makes everything easier because you don’t have to go out of your way to say, “Hey, I would like to talk to someone or someone to talk to me.”
I thought, “Well, this is working well in Japan, helping to ease my way through the social scenes and so maybe, instead of just going back to the States, I can go somewhere else.” I did a lot of research and I was originally going to move to Argentina, then Ecuador, then Nicaragua. The government there was saying, “Hey, if foreigners move here and open a business, we will give you all kinds of incentives.” I said, “Well, let’s try that.” The plan was to go open a bar and just hang out and socialize with people at my bar.
But, as it says in the book, I moved down there and immediately fell in love with a beautiful young lady and that completely destroyed all the plans of that bar.
A Pivotal Evening
Drew Applebaum: Yeah, that’s really interesting that you moved internationally because other cultures tend to break the ice. Let’s talk about moving forward from Nicaragua. Things ended up falling apart in several parts of your life at once and led you down a really dark path, even to the point of attempting to take your own life. Tell us about the evening that you’re in the car and the eventual breakthrough that happened?
Nick Shelton: I had gotten to a point in my life where I knew that this was not sustainable and I just didn’t want to be a part of that world anymore. So, I just said, “Well, I can end this, I can make this stop right now.” It was not a happy time but actually, it was a little bit happy that evening because I was going to be done. I thought, “I’m going to check out and I don’t have to worry about this thing anymore.”
Then there was this very clear voice in my head saying you have to save your own life. I knew that no one was coming to save me, I had to do it myself. Then all these flashes in my mind started falling into place. There’s a saying, or a few sayings that say, “Your network is your net worth,” and, “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future,” and, “You’re the sum of the five people you spend the most time around.”
They just throw those sayings out, but they don’t explain how to do it. I said, “Well, I know how to do this, I know how to change the people that I’m around, I know how to get into different social circles and networks. If I can do this then that will change everything. All I have to do is just do it.”
From that night, I made a decision that I was going to start a new path and design the life that I wanted. Because you always hear people saying, “Yeah, you could just design it like you want.” But how do you do that? I said, “Well, I think I know how to do it, let me do it, and then see if it actually works.” And it did.
Then I realized that it is not as hard as people think it is, so I could show people how to do it. But I was the genuine pig, I did it first. I was able to bring myself out of that really dark place in my life to an awesome life that I really enjoy. I really like seeing other people able to do the same thing. As far as building networks, I’d like to help people build theirs because in helping them build theirs, I build mine as well. So, we all win, and we all get to know people.
Connection is so important, especially these days with everyone being locked down for a while. If you can get some real connection in your life, even if you’re like me, alone 90% of the time and you go to bed at eight o’clock, the times that you are around people, if you’re actually connecting with them, it makes a huge difference. I think a lot of times when people are battling depression or things aren’t going right in their life and their relationships, it’s because they’re not connecting properly. So, once you learn how to connect properly, I think the pieces just fall into place.
Drew Applebaum: Sure, when people are learning how to connect, when they’re starting off with your techniques, the first thing they have to do is look inside themselves and ask what’s holding them back. What do people need to look for or ask themselves in order to find these barriers?
Nick Shelton: Everybody has an idea about where they get caught up or where they get stuck. There might be something that I might say, such as, “Go and look online for a meetup group.” People might think, “Well, yeah, that sounds interesting but I’ll just skip that part and see what else he has to say.” There are certain things that are different for different individuals. There are certain things that are going to be snags for you. I know a lot of those since I’m like you, I know where you might hide out and where you might try to take the shortcut.
I tried to make it easy, so you don’t have to take those shortcuts. A nice story about that is say in high school, when I was going to ask out this girl. I was thinking, “Hey, if I ask her out, I hope she says no. Because, if she says no, then we’re done, it’s done and I’m successful, I had the courage to ask her out and now I can just go on about my day.”
However, if she says “Yes,” now I actually have to do something. That opens up this whole other can of worms. If she says, “Yes,” well, I’m kind of happy but at the same time, oh no. What do I do now?
It’s the same way with these psychological blocks when you’re thinking, “Okay, Nick, I’m going to change my life, I’m going to be a connected introvert and go out there and take on the world.” Then you might say, “Well, I could do this but then if I do this, then it’s going to open up this other door, then I actually have to step through that door. I don’t know if I want to step through that door.”
I find if you can lay it all out early on and you can identify what it is that might hold you back so you’re aware of it and you know it’s coming, then it’s a lot easier to say, “Here it is, here is the spot.” Then it’s a lot easier to get past it by writing it out and seeing where it’s going to be. So, you know in advance it’s coming and then you can deal with it and skip past it and move forward, versus just saying, “I’ll be fine.” Then it pops up and you say, “Well, let me just set this book down and I’ll get back to that in a moment.” Then a year passes and you’re in the exact same place when you could have dramatically enhanced all your relationships and the quality of your life.
Drew Applebaum: Let’s say you want to move forward, what’s the best place for folks to find meetups? Because I imagine it’s not the easiest to start off by just approaching strangers.
Nick Shelton: Right. A good thing that you can do is you can just get on the internet and type in anything that you happen to be interested in, followed by the word meetup, and it will pop up. I also tell people that it doesn’t have to be something that you’re necessarily interested in that subject, but you could just want to meet the people that are into that.
For example, if you are into something like Dungeons & Dragons, then you type in, ‘Dungeons & Dragons meetup,’ something’s going to pop up, you could go there, and you could talk to people about Dungeons & Dragons. But, for me, I tried beekeeping. I didn’t want to keep bees, that’s not my thing, but I’m fascinated by it, and I would like to talk to beekeepers. What’s going on in the beekeeping world?
So, I could type in ‘beekeeping meetup’ and then I could go to those and I could meet beekeepers. Say, with pilots. I’m not a pilot but I said, “I’d like to meet some pilots, let’s see what they’re talking about.” And then polo, I don’t really know a lot about polo, but I go to a lot of polo events because I thought that it would be fascinating to meet the type of people that go to polo events.
Also, instead of just typing in meetup and then going to the event, you can also, what I like to call in the book ‘getting pre-known,’ which there is always some kind of chat group associated with these meetup groups. So, you can get in the chat group and you can see who the lead dogs are–who the people are that are talking the most and kind of piggyback off of them, make some comments off of whatever they say. Then, you can join in some conversations. You don’t have to go in there and be really controversial, just go in there and make conversation.
You can ask some questions and you can piggyback on the leaders. Then you can say, “Hey, at the next thing, Joe or Sara, I would love to introduce myself and meet you.” Then, that way, you’ve already broken the ice virtually, and then when you actually get to the event, you can look for these people. And they’ll be looking for you, so you already have that head start so you’re not going in cold.
This is also something that’s really useful in these times with the lockdowns and things like that. People say, well, what can I be doing during this particular time if I’m stuck in the house? Well, you can maintain the relationships you already have, you can go through your phone contacts, and your email contacts and see who you haven’t touched based with for three months or so. Make a list, and you don’t have to do it all in one day. Make a list and maybe do five or 10 a day.
It’s a great excuse right now, you can say how have you been holding up, how is your family, is everybody healthy? How are things going? That brings you to the top of their mind. You maintain the relationships you already have. Any new relationships, it’s a great time, while people are still pretty much in their homes. They’re connected online, and you can get pre-known.
Type in whatever meetup or whatever organization. Find the chat and make yourself known there by piggybacking on some of the leaders. Then that way, when this whole situation falls out and people are going back out, you have already set that foundation. For example, then you can show up at the beekeeper’s meetup and say, “Hey, what’s going on? Hey, hi Drew, we’ve talked about the difference between filtered honey and unfiltered honey.” Of now you can talk about, “Hey dude, those smoker things, those little things that puff smoke on the bees, what do you put in there, how does it work?”
You can lay that foundation, it’s a really good time to do that.
Drew Applebaum: I found that really interesting, but all events aren’t created equal and some folks want to network at higher-end events. I feel like you found a really interesting way into almost hacking invites into these events. Can you tell us about that?
Nick Shelton: Yes, you’re talking about the lists. I wanted to network socially above where I was because, once again, I wanted to be around people who had achieved things that I wanted to achieve. That would be good role models and mentors that were just examples of what I aspired to be. And I said, “You know, if I can be around these people, once again, your network is your net worth. I said, how would I go about doing that?”
There are lists you can put yourself on. For example, if you go to the Ritz-Carlton website for the hotels, there will be a place for more information. You can put your name and email there and if there’s a mailing address, you can put that in there. Also, for yacht charters, for luxury cars, and for luxury watches. Go to the Rolex website, go to Tiffany’s for jewelry. Put your name in so you’re spamming yourself, basically, for a lot of these high-end things.
This is especially good in an economy right now, our economy’s a little off. So a lot of these high-end places are really reaching out, and trying to solidify their base audience. If you get on that list, what happens is, sure, they’ll spam you, but they will also let you know about events. They will send you ads, but then they’ll also have private events.
Once you get invited to one, you have to go. For example, Maserati sent an invitation to me, and this was right when they were coming out with the SUV. They said, “Hey, we’re coming out with an SUV. It’s not out yet, but we have one of them here and we’re going to have some finger sandwiches, just come down and we’ll tell you about it.”
When you get that invite, you have to go, you have to show up or nothing happens. So, when you show up, then you’re on another list, you’re on the list of people that show up to stuff like this. Then from there, you start getting invites to other things. Naturally, you’re in the room. You’re with everyone else invited. You show up and talk with the people there, and there might be a follow-up event.
Usually, there is a plus one, and you can take someone with you–maybe somebody you met at, for example, the Maserati event. Maybe there is a Porsche event coming up and you say, “Hey Jim, did you know that there was this Porsche event?” And then if they didn’t you could say, “Do you want to go? Just meet me out front, I have a plus one.” So, you’re building these relationships with people that have similar interests.
This person is interested in luxury cars as well and, say you go there, and they might know somebody that’s at this other thing that you haven’t met yet. And you might know somebody. So, you are helping introduce them to people, and they are helping introduce you to people that they might know. A lot of these events overlap.
You are going to see a lot of the same people at these events. And you might not have met them the first time. But you could say, “Hey, I saw you at this other thing. Well, I haven’t met you yet. I’m Nick.” Then you take it from there and it just organically builds.
It’s about getting your name on those lists. Really, first, you get spammed, sure, but then you get an invite. Then once you get the invite you go. Then the highest list is that if you actually buy something and you don’t have to buy a private jet or anything like that.
If there is a fundraiser and you donate $10, then you’re on the same list as someone that donated $10,000. You are now a person that went to a fundraiser and gave money. Now you are going to get an invite to more of those things and you are going to be around people that go to things like that. You will make friends with them and then you will get an invite to other events like that.
Drew Applebaum: What do you think the expectations are when they’ve gotten the invite and they’re attending the events? So, you’ve made your way onto these lists, you got invited to these exclusive networking events. What should your expectation be walking in?
Nick Shelton: Your expectation should be to meet and connect with one person. A lot of people walk in and think, “Oh, what am I going to do? I have to try to meet everybody and try to hob knob and meet all of the movers and shakers.” Nope, one person. You are successful just for showing up, first of all, but you can consider it a grand success if you can make one new friend. It is really hard to make a true connection with, say five people at one event.
You don’t have the time necessarily to really form that bond, but you can really get a good foundation with one person. It might not be the very first person you meet when you walk in, but your goal should be to connect with one person and then you build from there. But you really want to walk out with one. It might be two, might be three, might be zero. But your goal in the expectation should be to find one person that you actually like and at least you think you would enjoy spending time with outside of that situation. Somebody that you think might actually be a friend in the future.
Drew Applebaum: Talk about some of your conversation hacks, because a lot of times things will get stale at events or things die after meeting someone–after the traditional, “Hey, what do you do?” So, what are some good conversational hacks?
Nick Shelton: I like to just go basically off of observation. The reason is there is a lot of other books and material out there that have all of these lists of things to memorize–these small talk memorization things. They even have flashcards that you can take out and it will give you something to talk about. However, then you have to memorize stuff and then you can mess up.
I want this to be as intuitive as possible. You don’t have to memorize anything. So, you’re not sweating, thinking, “Oh no, what was I supposed to say?” Instead, you just walk in, and then you look around and observe, once again, the superpower of introverts is observation. You observe, you look. You don’t have to just walk in and start talking immediately.
I don’t do that, but you can observe something. For example, somebody might have a lapel pin of a seahorse or something like that. You can bet there’s a good story about that lapel pin. You could look at how they are dressed, anyone around you, and you could talk about that. You could talk about the food, “Hey, I thought that last time they had giant pretzels and this time we just had donuts. Maybe they don’t trust us with the cheese. Did we all use the cheese last time? What do you think?”
If you are already by the sandwiches and you’ve had three different types, then somebody new comes up, you can say, “Hey, stay away from these two. This is the one you want.” Or if someone is already over there, you can say, “Which one of these sandwiches is the best?” Or it could be something as simple as the thermostat controls in the room. You could say, “It’s really hot in here do you think that’s on purpose? Are they trying to do something? I saw a movie back in the ’80s where the frat guys turned up the thermostat and then everyone took their clothes off in the place. Is that what they are trying to do with us here? Do you think that is what is happening? Is this on purpose? You know, I would have worn better underwear if that was the case.” Something like that and it gets the conversation rolling because people aren’t expecting to hear that.
Whatever you can see around you or notice, either temperature or something about their earrings, a belt, their shoes, something about the food, something about the art on the walls. You could say, “Hey, I went to the men’s room. There is actual art in there.” This actually happened to me. I went to the men’s room and there was art. I had to come out and say, “Hey, have you been in the men’s room yet? There’s art on the wall–real art on the walls. I haven’t seen that before.”
Then you can start this conversation about the art in the men’s room. “Hey, we are making progress. Sooner or later we are going to have a couch in there like I think they have, or I hear they have in the ladies’ room. We are ramping up–we’re going to have our day in the sun.”
So, it is basically observation, what you can see around you, and then making a comment about it. I find you will always be able to have something to say as long as you just look around and just try to pick something out, it is a really good way to keep the conversation flowing.
Drew Applebaum: Absolutely but networking isn’t always about social situations and I think most people don’t think about networking in their own workplace. What are the benefits of networking in your workplace and how does one go about it?
Nick Shelton: The benefits are if you know that people have a good idea about you, everything goes so much smoother. So, if the human resources people already know you and they have a favorable impression of you. But if they have never heard your name mentioned before and you did something weird, then the consequences could be a lot different.
Then also, there are opportunities. There are so many opportunities if you are known and people feel a connection with you. Then when something comes up, they think, “Have you considered Drew? Hey, maybe I would like him to be on this team or this focus group that we are working on.” Or, “We are going to this conference, we should bring Drew.”
A lot of people say, “Well I just want to be under the radar, do my thing, and I’ll be noticed.”
When you do that, you are not noticed. You’re not noticed, and you’re passed over for opportunities. There are all kinds of different advantages that you can get by networking in the workplace.
You have to engage in conversations, that is really easy to do with new hires. If somebody just got hired on, I always go and introduce myself to them within the first week because they don’t know anybody. They don’t know who I am. They know that I am one of the first people that they meet. If they have a desk, I might bring a Rubik’s cube or something else, their first desk toy, and say, “Hi, I just wanted to welcome you on. If you have any questions, let me know. I brought you a Rubik’s cube for your desk. If you see me around, say hello.”
Then a couple of months could pass, and they say, “Oh hi, Nick.” And then, later on down the line, as they work their way through the company, they still remember you and you can touch base with them.
I like to make the rounds, and touch base with people. This could work when you are in social settings also. It works really well in the workplace. If you know somebody has knowledge about something, such as, if they are a kayaker and you see a picture of them kayaking on their desk, you can ask them about that. You can ask for their advice. People love being asked for advice.
It could be, “Hey, I was thinking about going kayaking. What would you recommend for a beginner to just try it out? Is there a place where I can rent one? Do I need a certain license to do it?” One of the things that I do a lot, because I have a nephew that’s five, and if I know someone has a child that’s five, I will say, “A birthday is coming up. I want to be the winner of the gift-giving, what do you know about what’s the hot toy? Where can I get it?”
Then they’re happy that they know. They’re like, “Oh, you want to get this toy. You are going to win for sure.” Then you might go to them after and say, “Hey, that was a horrible, horrible suggestion. I did not win at all.”
Then you could still have a good laugh about that and now you’ve changed it from, “Hey, did you work on that report the other day?” To, now you have bonded. You’ve gotten there. You could have gone anywhere, and you asked their opinion. You made a more personal connection with them.
So, now when they see you, they’re like, “Ah there is Nick, he’s the one that comes to me when he needs advice about toys.” I have asked vice presidents of companies about dating. For example, “Hey, I went on this date the other night and I think I messed up. Let me run it past you and you let me know where you think I messed up.” They will say, “Yes, what did you do?” Then they point out stuff and as I have mentioned a lot, executives usually give horrible dating advice, but they will give their two cents, and then they are interested. So, you can be in a meeting about something and they’ll say, “Hey, see me after the meeting.”
They will ask, “What happened? Did you go on another date? What happened with that?” Then when there are lunches they will say, “Hey, Nick is coming on this lunch with us.”
You do talk about work, but then you also need to make it about something that’s not work. And if you ask advice, it really opens people up in the workplace, and that helps you get a lot more exposure to opportunities.
Drew Applebaum: Yeah, I really love that. You’ve gone out of your way now, you’ve worked really hard. You have made relationships. What is the best way to maintain these relationships?
Nick Shelton: The best way is face to face. If you can’t do face to face, then you still need to reach out. You have to touch base to just stay fresh on people’s minds. If you meet somebody and then you don’t talk to them for three years and then you pop back up and say, “Hey, how’s it going?” that’s not really a good thing to do. You don’t want to go through all of this trouble–it is not really trouble. It is a pleasure to build these relationships–and then just let them fall by the wayside.
A lot of people do that. You want to maintain them. The best way is face to face by actually scheduling some kind of meeting with them. I have a lot of international connections and colleagues and I will say, “Well, come out there and I’ll see you in Sri Lanka,” or wherever. I will hop on a plane and go and I maintain that relationship face to face.
For example, I met someone in Lithuania, and they were from Estonia. They said, “Hey, you should visit Estonia.” I had no plans to go to Estonia at the time, but I said, “Yes, I will do that. When is a good time?” They said, “Next month.” That was kind of quick, but I did it.
Not everyone can do a lot of international travel, I understand that. Basically, the gist of it is, if you can get there and have that solidifying second meeting with them, you are actually getting to know them a little bit better–talking about family stuff, talking about hobbies and that solidifies that relationship. Now if some time passes after that you’re still good because you have made it a lot more three dimensional than it was when you first met them.
So, the face to face, try to get some face to face time with people as much as possible. And if not, then do video. I will send a video through the messaging apps because I think it is better than sending a text. I will make a little video and send it over. “Hey, I was just thinking about you. Hope your family is well. I heard about the new baby, how’s that going? I know the stress of being a new parent, are you sleeping okay?”
If I don’t do a video, then I will do an audio message. Then, if I don’t do audio, then I might send a text. But usually, I try to do a video or audio. A lot of times they’ll do a video or audio back, and this keeps that going. It keeps me fresh in their mind.
I said earlier about maintaining, I’ll go through my telephone contacts. I will go through my email contacts, both personal and work.
I will ask, “Hey, who haven’t I talk to in a while? Let me just send them a message.” And sometimes we might actually meet face to face and sometimes it’s just a video, or it is just audio letting them know that I was thinking about them, wondering how they are doing, and if there is anything I can do to help out or add value to their lives that I am around. That helps maintain it and keep everything going.
Drew Applebaum: All right, so I have written down a casual trip to Estonia. All right Nick, last question, does this get easier as you go along, or is this something you’ll always have to work at?
Nick Shelton: Oh, that’s a great question. It absolutely gets easier as you go along because once you know what to do, you know what to do. After you learn that here is a simple way to do this, here is a simple way to show up, and here are different observations that you’ve made, and here is how I can attend this. It becomes second nature.
You can default into it. You don’t have to try that much, but you still have to try to get beyond your comfort zone a little bit and actually show up to things and engage people. Once you see how easy it is and once you’ve done it, then the observation gets easier.
The more you start noticing things and exercising that, it is like a muscle. Once you exercise a little bit then it becomes easier and easier to show up, even if you have a little tinge of fear. For example, I was in Sri Lanka, in February and I went to an outing with one of my friends who is a criminal defense attorney. He said, “Hey, do you want to go to a party with criminal defense attorneys?” I said, “Yes.”
Talking about imposter syndrome, I don’t know what was going on there, but I knew what to do. I am not going to talk to them about law stuff because I don’t know the law. If I had questions, I could ask them, but there are so many other things we can talk about. Let’s use some of these techniques. So, you talk about observations such as, why are they playing salsa music at this party? It seems like an interesting choice of music to have at this particular gathering.
Then at the bar, they have scotch and soda and that is all you could get. There is no variety. You are having scotch and soda, or you are not having anything. It was easy for me to navigate that because I have already put the reps. So, anyone who is learning how to get known, how to make connections, socialize, and how to maintain the relationships, I break it down so simply to make it really easy and intuitive to do. Once you know how to do it then it just becomes second nature and it becomes a lot easier.
Drew Applebaum: I like that scotch and soda is the drink of lawyers everywhere, even internationally. Well, writing a book is no small feat so first of all, congratulations and this has been such a pleasure. I am really excited for people to check out this book. Everyone, the book is called, An Introvert’s Guide to World Domination. You can find it on Amazon. Besides checking out the book, Nick, where can people find you? Do you have an online community built around this or a website?
Nick Shelton: Yes, they can go to connectedintrovert.com and there are all kinds of resources there. At the bottom of the home page is a free mini master class that you can check out. It is really, really awesome. I am also on Facebook and Instagram @connectedintrovert. Please come check it out.