Tinkering with OCE

🔍 The secret power of introverts

Published 2 months ago • 4 min read

I’m not sure if you can relate but about 9 years ago, I was interning at this boutique brand consulting firm, chasing after society’s expectations.

I was sitting at another company meeting, and a managing director came up to me afterwards and told me “You need to speak up more.

A little part of me died in that moment.

Unless I have an insight or a good question to offer, I generally stay pretty quiet. Why is there a need for everyone to speak up when I’m not even presenting? Ugh.

In a culture that links success with the ability to speak up, promote yourself, network, introverts may seem at a disadvantage.

YET if you had to guess, what would you say investor Warren Buffett and civil rights activist Rosa Parks had in common? How about Charles Darwin, Al Gore, J.K. Rowling, Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi and Google’s Larry Page?

They are icons. They are leaders. And they are introverts.

So today, we are talking about leveraging the power of introversion to achieving success.


If you are new, welcome to OCE’s weekly newsletter curated for the ambitious youth…here are some articles you missed from previous weeks:


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#1 Focus on Depth

People often ask what the best way to start a business, get a mentor or land that prestigious job at big tech. The real answer isn’t networking or perfecting your resume with 500+ extracurriculars. It is research and the ability to dig deep.


When You become an “expert”. You build your personal brand, define your space, and create niche. There is extreme power in this. It allows opportunities to flow to you instead of you chasing them.

Now you might say, that sounds amazing but isn’t becoming an “expert” difficult?

This is where the power of introversion comes in.

Can you study a subject matter for hours and get lost in it? Have you had that feeling before where you are so engaged that time fades? So ask yourself, what is yours? Write down the last time you felt like that.

For me, when I first dived into investing, I used to get so engrossed in every aspect of running the business – from deal origination to effective negotiations strategies.

I’d create a spreadsheet with 5 tabs 1) Experts 2) Conferences 3) Groups 4) Blogs 5) Books. Each one of these tabs I will fill up with 5 of the top centers of influence in my area to contact them, join them, and read them.

Then putting everything I learned into practice by pounding the pavement – get my name out and start building ;)

Digging deep, a superpower.

#2 Embrace Self-Awareness

Imagine you are on an island with other people, each of whom has the exact same skills as you. To succeed, maybe even to thrive, you need to find another island where the inhabitants can’t perform your skills or perform them less competently than you. Or look to stack skills on top of each other to make your strengths and competitive advantages even stronger.

In this case, simply knowing what your stack of skills are, is a win on its own.

Now applying this to the world we live in.

Being the introvert that I am, my feelings are a lot more profound than my counterparts.

This allowed me to internalize my experiences and realize relatively early on that the traditional engineering path would not allow me to play up my strength as an independent thinker, a creator.

Have you ever thought deeply about yours? What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses? What comes naturally to you? And where can you add the greatest value?

Are you good with numbers and conducting research?

→ Conduct due-diligence and help owners make informed investment decisions.

Do you thrive in interpersonal settings and can recognize win/win opportunities?

→ Use that skillset to build strategic partnerships to amplify a business’ earnings.

Are you an excellent writer and marketer?

→ Bring the community together and turn ‘boring’ subjects into an inspiring stories.

Knowing yourself, a superpower.

#3 Play Up Empathy

Let’s say you are trying to startup a property management biz (like me), and you reached out to community owners and propose a partnership deal.

They get consistent rent and someone to take care of their property while you just built yourself a revenue stream or a new business line.

Simple right?

That’s what I thought initially as well until I get all their objections:

“What if your client doesn’t uphold our community standard?”

“What if there is a default on rent?”

“What if something goes wrong and we are stuck with a lease?”

Here’s how I’d address it:

• Why don’t we start with a shorter contract

• We can even add an additional termination clause in terms.

• Offer personal guarantee if necessary.

• Keep the closed owner in the loop for all the new clients coming into the community.

What I just did is build a strategic partnership relationship through EMPATHY. I gave them additional revenue. Share the risk alongside of them. Hell its win/win for everyone.

The power of understanding another cannot be underestimated. We went from strangers to trusting business partners. The question for you is, can any human really resist that alluring temptation of a human who truly knows them and finds them worth knowing more about?

Play up your introverted LISTENING skills. Keep it brief and avoid unimportant things. This trait makes it easier for people to agree on a subject. When your point is made so convincingly, it’s impossible to resist.

I might be an introverted woman of few words, but I make them count. And that makes me a killer of a salesperson.

Active listening, asking good questions - these are some of the things we will be practicing over the summer with our OCE cohort.

Introversion, a superpower.

Like what you read? Share with friends!

Add me as a contact to ensure you receive the latest newsletter in your inbox!

PS. We'll be diving deep, tackling critical global issues in front of influential leaders. Wanna join?

We run a summer cohort for ambitious youth (high school and undergrads) to work directly with world-class founders while learning from Silicon Valley leaders.

You can also explore purposeful opportunities through our Impact Internship Opportunities Database.

Get Curious.


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