I am an entrepreneur because I fail as an employee. I have been working as an online freelancer for nearly five years, and an online-based entrepreneur for the last 6 months. I provide content and consulting services. For the last year I have been unemployed and making just about poverty level for my family size (which is higher than I ever made as an employee) working from home. My income is about 50% from freelancing and 50% from my businesses.
Since I have been able to survive for a year I would like to grow my business into something viable. Recently, I realized that I would need to network if I was going to grow my business.. since advertising was doing nothing for me. I have a fairly decent online network and do well communicating from behind my screen, but I have found that face to face networking (or at least video) is what’s needed nowadays to seal the deal…
Here’s the problem. I have severe anxiety when speaking to people. I become tongue tied, lose my thoughts, and start to sweat. I’m not shy. I even have trouble doing videos (if it involves talking about myself). I’ve tried going to networking events, but consider it a success if I manage to not vomit while talking. Needless to say, I stumble on my words, and try to clean it up later with an email. I didn’t used to have this problem – it is has been part of a developing medical problem that costs me traditional work. I am not looking for medical advice.. that’s a whole other issue!
My questions are:
- Is viable networking through the internet dead
- Should I focus on social media and save up for an advertising budget
- Could in-person networking actually be hurting me
I am perfectly fine with not talking to people, but I am afraid that my business will not survive if I don’t. Can I truly run a business without opening my mouth?
Thanks for any help.