“Are you extroverted?”

Written by Signal vs. Noise - - Aggregated on Saturday January 27, 2018
Tags: entrepreneurship, small-business, startup, life-lessons, marketing

I upload a new video every single day to YouTube about business and just getting through life. A vlog as some call it. So also, every day, I walk around talking to a camera lens in the middle of a street or crowded event.

It’s weird. It’s weird for a lot of people. So I get asked a lot: “How are you comfortable doing this?” “Do you have a history of doing something like this” But the umbrella question that I think most people are trying to ask is:

“Are you extroverted? Is that why you can pull this off and I can’t?”

The fact is, I’m probably one of the most introverted people you’ll meet. Some would maybe even label me fairly anti-social. :)

I really like one-on-one interactions and meeting new people. I love true friends. But I don’t like going to parties. You won’t see me at many conferences. If I am there, you’ll find me in the back row of something or closest to the exit so I can bolt.

And no, I’m not comfortable doing this. Even in front of a camera in a room by myself, I get nervous. Even though I know I have all this power to edit and redo. The first video I uploaded to my vlog was a Live video I recorded on Facebook but made it Private to just me :) And I filmed it 13 times.

And I hate that attention on me as I walk around talking to a camera.

But I do it anyway.

Do I have some kind of inflated image of myself? Hard for me to judge I guess since I don’t know the self talk in other people’s heads, but I’m pretty hard on myself both in what I do and how I look.

I don’t even want to open up that therapist session on all the ways I hate how I look on camera. But some obvious ones. My complexion is terrible. Skin is oily. Now I’ve developed this recurring terrible allergic reaction that comes on when I even glance at a pine/Christmas tree and recurs randomly otherwise.

Kendall Jenner, one of the younger of the Kardashian clan, was at the Golden Globes, and it was crazy how many people called her out for the visible Acne she had on the red carpet.

What were people expecting? That she’d skip the red carpet? Stay home?

This is a huge thing that keeps people back. Vanity that they have to look perfect.

And that’s why the Kardashians are so successful. They have zero fear of putting themselves out there for every single person on the planet to see, flaws and all. It doesn’t matter what the public thinks of their skin or anything else they say or do. They aren’t afraid to embarrass themselves when most everyone else is.

People also commonly ask me if I’ve had a lot of practice doing this.

Not really. I have had some brief on-camera training as part of acting lessons I’ve taken over the years, and a big reason I took those classes was to get over my fear of performing in front of people and cameras. And that practice has helped some.

But there’s been plenty of videos, especially the live ones, where I’m sweating the possibility of saying something stupid or why on earth is my hair sticking out like that today.

So, if you’re holding back from doing something like a vlog because you’re afraid of what you look like, or you’re uncomfortable in front of a camera? I’m there with you.

But I refuse to let those things keep me back. It takes some practice. It’s still uncomfortable. It gets less uncomfortable… sometimes. And it’s worth it.

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting. ― E.E. Cummings

P.S. You should follow me on YouTube: youtube.com/nathankontny where I share more about how we run our business, do product design, market ourselves, and just get through life. And if you need a zero-learning-curve system to track leads and manage follow-ups, try Highrise.


“Are you extroverted?” was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


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