When it comes to business, entrepreneurship, and creativity, there’s this underlying pressure to be extroverted in order to be rewarded. One entrepreneur who’s doing well in the business world, however, is marketing strategist and introverted entrepreneur Monica Schrock. Monica is an introverted copywriter focused on making the world a better place by writing. She joins Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen to discuss the difference between extroversion and introversion, as well as different views that come with them. They also tackle the concept of business and entrepreneurship in relation to introversion.
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The Spectrum Of Introversion And Social Equality With Monica Schrock
Justice For All
Monica, I was trying to think of exactly how and when we met. I remember moments of seeing you off and on throughout the years in Los Angeles before you moved. I went to my computer and I searched for your name. One of the ways that I’ve been able to track people that I’ve known for many years is back in the day, I had notifications turned on so that anytime somebody followed me on Twitter, I’d get an email. The cool thing about that is I have all this history. You popped up a few times as far back as 2009. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you had usernames with the word, Betty, in them. Low Impact Betty, but then did you initially have one that was Moniker Betty?
That was the first one I found. That’s part of the fun and it’s something that I’m excited to talk with you is all the different phases you’ve been through with your career, which is something I can relate to a lot as well. It’s this process of reinventing. I initially met you as Moniker Betty and then shortly after as Low Impact Betty. I found an email where you reminded me that we work together on some articles for this website, Greenwala. Also, we used to go to the women of the Green Generation events in Los Angeles. Remember those?
Yes, I do. That what was flashing in my head when you were asking me when we met. I was like, “I remember those.” I remember reaching out to you when I started Bare Bones Body Care. You graciously were one of the first bloggers to review those products.
That I found was back in 2013 when you emailed me and you bringing them over to my place. I have this detailed memory of you giving me the products for the first time. Jason, did you ever try the Bare Bones Body Care?
Yes. You have been instrumental, Whitney, throughout the nearly decade of knowing one another to turn me on to a lot of luxurious body care things. You’ve turned me on to many incredible brands. The first experience I ever had, Monica, with your products was via Whitney being the amazing connector that she is. I remember it being luxurious because I like to luxuriate. I’m a person who loves to feel supple and well moisturized. I’m taking care of myself.
I wouldn’t say luxurious. First of all, I want to make sure I get this right. Is the company, Bare Bones, still going without you running it or did you completely close it down, Monica?
It was in transition for a while because having a product-based business is tough. After five years of running it, I learned a lot and I loved the connections I made, making the products and doing what I did and was super proud of it. I realized that having a product-based business was not conducive to the lifestyle that I wanted. I was transitioning to have another vegan body care company in LA. I start making some of the products so I could keep it going a little bit, but then COVID-19 hit. Things have been in limbo. There are hopes that it will still keep going, but now it’s off on a permanent pause.
I hope it comes back. Although I’m excited about what you’re doing from the business world with introversion and tapping into that niche of introverted entrepreneurs. We’re going to talk a lot about that and give a shoutout to Bare Bones because it is such a lovely company. It always felt like a small company and almost a little punk rock. It had an edge to it but also felt eco-friendly. You were doing something creative and unique with that brand. I’m curious if any of the readers have tried your products too. That would be cool to bring it back a little throwback there.
Thank you for saying that. I was going for the punk rock vibe. That’s my history and I’m always thinking like a marketing person, “What is the different lens or differentiator I can bring to these markets that I’m interested in and want to contribute to?” That was one with that as I was thinking, “There are many great products, but they don’t speak to my style and a lot of other people’s styles.” I wanted to make a gender universal product that people could relate to that we’re super punk rock, but still wanted non-toxic vegan, organic, luxurious body care.
That was such a great thing and you’re considerate there because it’s interesting the vegan world and sustainability keep evolving, but it certainly does often have a feminine element of it. Being considerate of different ways, people express themselves, genders, and sexuality and all of those things are important. As we’re learning also keeping in mind the racial side of it because I got an email from somebody who was concerned about cultural appropriation. One of the points of their concern was that they felt like if we were stealing from other cultures or not being mindful of how we interacted with other cultures, then we were doing the movement a disservice. That was a great thing to hear because we do need exclusivity. We want everybody to feel like they’re being represented, heard, and included with things. It makes it more accessible and appealing to people. That’s also part of the brilliance with your work with introverts, and I am an introvert. I love what you’re doing because sometimes I feel, and this comes up a lot on the show is this hustle culture and the socializing.
There’s a lot of research about how extroverts are rewarded. When it comes to business, entrepreneurship and creativity, there’s this underlying pressure to be extroverted. For introverts, it’s a lot about how we manage our energy. At times, I feel like I can hustle and I enjoy socializing, but there are also a lot of times where I don’t enjoy those things, but because of the pressure, I feel like I’m doing something wrong or I’m not doing enough. That’s something that comes up a lot during COVID. This has been an interesting time for introverts because since we’re not socializing in person as much, and we’re redefining our socializing, there’s more attention on introverts or more like appreciation. Likewise, we have all these extroverts who are feeling like they’re struggling because they’re not getting the socializing that they crave so much. Jason, I don’t know if you’ve been feeling that way per se because you identify as an extrovert for the most time. Don’t you, Jason?
This is an interesting conversation. I’m glad we’re opening it up because I’ve noticed some peculiar and interesting things within myself. I have leaned heavier into the extroversion space. A lot of factors with that acting at a young age, my mom putting me on stage young and whatever hesitancies or fear I had with presenting publicly was pretty much nonexistent. I was always comfortable with that public forum, but spending all of this time indoors has been fascinating because I hadn’t been around any substantive group of people until when Whitney, myself, a group of friends and acquaintances went to the All Black Lives Matter and the LGBTQ Pride march here in LA and it was phenomenal. The energy was incredible.
The positivity, the love and the unity, it was real but I observed myself feeling strange around that many people. Whereas in the past, going to concerts, going to festivals, presenting on stage to big groups, it’s like, “I love this energy.” I found myself observing my energy in that tens of thousands of people marching down the streets of LA being like, “It feels weird to be around this many people.” Not bad, but I observed myself being like, “I want to go home and have pizza. Bye.” Due to being indoors this much, there are some introverted aspects of me that are coming to the forefront and it’s interesting to watch those.The social norm is that extroverts succeed. Click To Tweet
I feel like this is interesting to hear your perspective on, Monica, because I know that you’re spending a lot of time studying introverts. One thing that I’m curious about is the spectrum. Just because you identify as an introvert doesn’t mean that you’re always acting or feeling introverted. For instance, there are extroverted introverts. I feel like Jason, for the most part, is extroverted, but as he’s saying, he has introverted tendencies. It’s fascinating to me, all the different ways that we can relate to those terms. Sometimes it’s like, “Why should I even put a label on it?” I personally like letting people know that I’m introverted and then explaining what that means. For instance, letting them know it’s not that I’m shy because I’m certainly not shy, but it’s more about the energy side of it. How do you define introverts? What drew you to doing this work? What have you been learning about the differences between extroverts and introverts in general, and also during COVID-19?
There’s so much to unpack there. I love the dichotomy of introversion and extroversion. As you said, the spectrum is real. I’m in a course, which I’m excited about and could not speak on yet because I started it. Looking at the cognitive functions of Carl Jung’s work and all of those functions underlying the Myers Briggs test and the deeper part of it where I’m looking at I’m an extroverted thinker versus an introverted feeler and an introverted intuitive. We all have the spectrum within us extroverted but I feel introvertedly. That spectrum you’re talking about it’s funny we’re like, “I never thought you were an introvert.” I have to explain to them as you said, Whitney, it doesn’t have to do with the fact that I’m outgoing or that I can be outgoing, or that I can speak in front of a large amount of people.
It’s the energy that strange for me when I’m speaking with small or large groups of people, or speaking about things that aren’t as in-depth or not as beneath the surface that I’d like it to be. It’s this education around that and knowing that we all have those moments of introversion and extroversion. I found that growing up in my life, there were many negative reinforcements around my introversion. Jason was saying, he was brought out of anything that could be a version of introversion by his mom, putting him in acting and doing these innately, extroverted things. For me, my mom even tried to do that and I still was continuously rebellious.
My introversion couldn’t break through in those moments to the point where I was shy as a kid, that they even helped me back in school and said I was socially immature. A lot of negative reinforcement through my life of how my shyness and subsequently my introversion was going to hold me back and was holding me back. That I couldn’t succeed because the social norm is that extroverts succeed. For background, marketing is something that I’ve done my entire career. I went to school for marketing and even in the background of having environmental blogs and doing Bare Bones, I marketed it myself. I did the branding with my friend and was involved in that process. Marketing is something that I’ve always been into and passionate about.
When I got to about ten years into my career, I was thinking, “I’ve been working for these nonprofits. I’ve been marketing my own business. I’ve been doing all of these causes and although I love them, I love the marketing part of it.” I was like, “How can I start something that will be a form of self-expression that I can enjoy that has a lens that is different for people? What struggles and challenges have I had in my career that I’d love to help address for other people?” Introversion came to mind almost immediately because of all the ways people had told me I was doing things wrong. When I looked back and looked at where I was then, I realized that I was still successful and was still doing things well, getting clients, being referred, and able to do all the things that they had told me I couldn’t do.
I love the name of your website and I assumed if you consider it a brand, Unsocially Inclined.
That’s my brand.
Where did that come from? I imagine like, “It’s something to do with introversion,” but it’s a term I don’t think I’ve ever heard before. Is it part of the definition of being an introvert or is it something that you made up? What’s the story behind that?
That’s something I made up.
I feel like something Jason would say to describe himself sometimes, “I’m unsocially inclined.”
There are moods I get into where that would be an apt description and I’m looking forward to finding out exactly what it means, so Monica, indulge.
I’m such a marketer and I love branding. I thought of this idea and at that point, I was thinking, “I’m going to start this Instagram, have it be a form of self-expression.” The challenges that I’ve seen as an introvert in an innately, extroverted profession like marketing, but in a world that like you said, Whitney, rewards extroversion over introversion and see if anyone else relates to it. As a marketing person, I wanted to make it some brand so it was recognizable. What I do when I name things is I write a bunch of adjectives, nouns, and verbs. I start writing things that have to do with the topic. I kept writing things out and I was thinking about my journey with this and how I used to be shy. Even though I’m not shy in social situations, and to clarify, I was shy. I don’t have social anxiety. A lot of people make that misconception with introverts like introverts are socially anxious by nature, but that is not true. I was shy and I looked up the definition between socially anxious and shy because I was curious and shy was, you’re not interested in talking to people.
That was how I was most of my life through early college days. I was not interested. I liked being alone, reading, and being introspective. I was like, “I’m not social. I’m unsocial.” I thought about like, “I can social.” What can I create that doesn’t make it seem like, “I am unsocially inclined, but if I am passionate about something and I want to make something happen, I can push myself and I can get out of my comfort zone to make that happen because it’s what I want.” What I wanted to build this brand around is that these societal pressures that introverts have to be someone we’re not. Putting yourself out there or getting out of your shell seems negative when someone’s trying to push us in a way that we didn’t want to go in the first place. If we’re pushing ourselves in a way that we’re passionate about to build a business that we are passionate about the offer, we’re giving someone to help them with their problem. The life we get to live because we’re building this business and the community we get to create, then we can put ourselves out there and we can get out of our shell in our way, reclaiming those terms as our own.
What specific type of situations or circumstances, Monica, have you been presented with? Off the top of your dome, where you were like, “I’m going to get uncomfortable. I’m going to stretch myself and put myself in a situation that is making me stretch and making me feel like the payoff or the learning lesson or the experience was worth that level of discomfort?” Can you tell me a few situations for you that you’ve experienced like that?
I had one. I’m in a business mastermind and I got on a call and my business coach had a few people lined up to present from our group. As far as I knew, I wasn’t one of them. She asked me, “Could you say a few things about copywriting?” “Does 5 to 10-minute talk off the cuff?” Internally, I was freaking out because I was not prepared and I didn’t come into that call thinking I was going to have to be the center of attention and have all eyes on me, which is something that is not in my comfort zone. I thought about it and I was thinking, “This is what I do. I love copywriting. I know it helps people when I give them tips. I know the fifteen other women here can benefit from my knowledge. I’m going to be okay with maybe stumbling and get some stuff out there that they can use.” It went well and everyone was grateful even those little moments that I can push myself through. Helping people is one benefit of that but also there are fifteen women that know I’m knowledgeable in the copywriting space and can refer me to people that need that help. It’s even those small examples that can drive your business forward and create a community that’s supportive of you.
It’s funny you bring that up because that reminds me of something that happened. Jason and I were both on a panel. To show the difference between us, I don’t know if this is an introvert versus extrovert. I bet you it’s partially that, but also other elements of our personalities. I feel like one of the ways that I handle my introversion is to feel prepared. Similar like you’re saying, Monica, I do fine in an environment where someone asked me to do something on the spot, but like you said, it’s incredibly uncomfortable. I like to process information as much as possible before I do anything, whether it’s something that I say, an action that I take, or a social media post. I like to process it. Jason, I don’t know if this is an extrovert or another personality trait, but he’s more off the cuff. He thrives in that environment. He seems fairly comfortable with it. He also doesn’t seem like someone who likes to prepare as much as I do. When we were on this panel, I had spent weeks preparing for this simple little panel that we did. Jason meanwhile is telling me, “I made all this shit up. This is completely off the cuff.” Do you think that’s a quality of introversion versus extroversion or a coincidence that we have those elements that are different about us?
I don’t think it’s a coincidence at all. It’s generalizing to say that’s all introverts and extroverts and it’s not. From what I can see and what I’ve experienced, having introverted clients and having the membership for introverted solopreneurs, there is information overload and analysis paralysis and the need to be prepared that introverts do carry safely to say more than extroverts. Sadly, sometimes it seems to simply stem down to a confidence thing. When I think about that, I think about all the negative reinforcement that almost everyone I come across, that’s an introvert has gotten in their life about how they’re doing things is wrong and how they’re approaching them is wrong. That confidence starts to dwindle over time as it does. It’s like, “I need to be prepared because I don’t want to be seeing incompetent. I don’t want people to see weakness because I already feel weak because I’m quiet or I have to process too long, which makes me seem like I’m not as competent.” I have to think a little more instead of valuing that we need to have that introspection before we want to respond instead of reacting because for us that makes us able to create a better answer to add to the conversation in a more fruitful way.
It is true. It certainly does feel like a confidence thing. I also think your point about it being right or wrong, good or bad. Even though I work hard not to judge myself in those ways, it still comes up and it might be old thought patterns I’m still working through. I wonder too with that said, because a lot of this is based on conditioning. It’s the conditioning of our upbringing, our parents or a parent figure, our education system and these different experiences. Maybe you’ve done some research on this, Monica. Is it that we’re born as introvert or extrovert or do we learn it as nature versus nurture thing?
From what I’ve seen, temperament is a nature thing. How we evolve in it over time is a nurture thing. To Jason’s question, another situation where I pushed through that, it was about money. I’ve was shy my entire life to the point where people who I went to high school with when they see me now, they’re like, “Who are you?” I talk so much comparatively to then. When I was in high school, I was about sixteen. I was working as a host at a restaurant. I saw that the servers made a lot more money. I knew that serving tables meant that I had to talk to a lot of strangers and I was not pleased with that.
The idea of pushing my opportunities farther and being able to get farther in life, by making a little more money, I was like, “I’m going to get through this. I can nurture my way through this shyness by giving myself some goal to get through it and knowing.” The first couple of times I went up and honestly, I served tables for fifteen years of my life. There is not one time I didn’t go up to a table nervous about speaking to a stranger, but I saw that it gave me the life I wanted. There was a part in time in LA where I was doing freelance marketing, but I was working 20, 25 hours a week at a diner in Echo Park called the Brite Spot. I worked there for seven years.
Did you work at The Brite Spot?
Yes. I saw the life that it gave me. I was able to work half the full-time week and have the other half of the week to go hiking and play basketball like I love to do, read and hang out with my close net group of friends. I was able to nurture myself out of the limiting beliefs and the blocks I had at being more social so I could build the life that I wanted. That’s the jump that a lot of introverts need to make as I said, that discomfort is always continuous, but to see that those discomforts that speak to what you want to build and progress you to that life. That’s what you can do. You don’t have to be uncomfortable because people are telling you to be uncomfortable and that you should put yourself out there, but you can do it on your own terms.
I need to dive into a seemingly innocuous part of that amazing response, Monica. You’re a hooper?
I’m a hooper my whole life. I played in college. I still play, I love it.
What is that?
She’s a basketball player. We have to sidetrack it because that’s my game. I played in elementary school, middle school, and high school. I’ve been a basketball fan my entire life. When you go out, COVID aside, is it more of a solo thing where you’re shooting jump shots, working on drills, having fun or are you going looking for a pickup game? What is your style of hooping?
I will do all of the above. I will go shoot. I look for pickup games in LA for 3 or 4 years I lived there. I played in coed leagues. It’s my jam. It’s my favorite thing to do. It’s the only thing that I can say, I’m getting better at meditating, but it’s the only thing that clears my head so far that where I am not in a place of anxiety and overthinking. I’m just playing and flowing. It is something that I can say built my confidence, especially as an introvert, and taught me that I could lead in a way that is different. I had teammates that were loud and those players on the team that was screaming and hype, which I love because it gets me hyped inside. I was given the captain of the basketball team and started as a freshman on my high school basketball team because I led as an example. I wasn’t loud. Even then I was being shown, even though I didn’t realize until later that I could do my thing and still be successful at what I wanted to do. Basketball is my life. I live and breathe basketball. I love it.
We’re having a bonding moment. Whitney, I hope you give it a little bit of space for this because Whitney’s probably like, “They’re going to go to a basketball thing.” I feel I must.We all have a spectrum of introversion and extroversion within us. Click To Tweet
I still want to know about the restaurant that you got excited about, Jason.
For backup, I knew this was going to get tangential. I welcome it. Brite Spot was one of the first places I ate at when I moved to LA in 2005. When you said Brite Spot, it was one of the first places when I drove my Honda Prelude from Detroit full of stuff and drove cross country to LA. Brite Spot was one of the first 3 or 4 places. I had two friends who had already moved from Detroit. They were here and we were hanging out in Silver Lake. They’re like, “You want to get something to eat?” They took me to Brite Spot. I’m like, “What is this old school diner?” That was September of ’05 was the first time I went to Brite Spot.
I had a similar experience when I moved to LA at that point. I’m from Oakland, California, but I moved to Dallas, Texas around the end of elementary school. I graduated from college, then moved to LA in 2008. I had gone there as one of my first places to eat there. I loved it so much. I transferred from Texas to a restaurant called Mimi’s Cafe, which is the opposite of the uncool to the Brite Spot cool. It’s a corporate restaurant. I was like, “I have to work here.” I started working there in 2009 to 2016.
I want to touch on something about leadership style. You talked about that in the context of captaining your basketball team and being a much more reserved figure. If I think about basketball, Michael Jordan and LeBron celebrated. These larger than life externalized personalities, but the leadership you’re talking about, which to go back to the point is perhaps not as celebrated is somebody like Tim Duncan on the San Antonio Spurs or Kawhi Leonard. That person is known as the Terminator because that person is stone-faced when he’s on the court. When he hit the game-winner over Philadelphia in the semis, I was like, “He showed emotion.” It’s cool that you had this leadership opportunity in the context of a team sport where you got to be you and still have that resolve and that leadership, but also do it your way. For some reason, those two players came to mind. They’re leading by example and they’re killers, but they’re quiet about it.
Silent killers, I love that. Tim Duncan’s amazing. My favorite basketball player when I started playing when I was nine years old was David Robinson, the other twin tower on San Antonio Spurs. That leadership style, I was able to thrive and people gave me the opportunity to thrive. I was giving pair an example in another podcast that I was recording, how I don’t celebrate my wins all that well. I thought about basketball because I’m a three-point shooter. That’s what I do. My nickname in high school was Monica Sure Shot Schrock. I hit the threes. If I pop it in about anything, it’s like, “If we play HORSE or we’re playing and you leave me wide open on the three, you’re going to regret it.”
I am confident all day about that. I was thinking, “In basketball, when you hit a three, you don’t celebrate like Kawhi, you do this all the time. This is normal.” That was the message like, “Don’t celebrate it because it’s supposed to be like a normal thing.” When I think about my wins and business or anything, I don’t stop to celebrate it. I’m like, “This is a little different than that.” I’m the Sure Shot Schrock in basketball, yes. I do this all the time, but I’m like, “These are milestones that I needed to celebrate.” Interestingly, I was like, “No, this is what I do. It’s cool.” Instead of stopping to celebrate those wins. It was a funny parallel.
I feel like with all this nerdy out that the two of you are doing, Jason’s probably bummed that you don’t live in LA anymore. Similar to what happened, we did an episode with our friend, Sunny, and she lives in Portland. Do you live in Oregon as well, Monica?
I live in Vancouver, Washington, but it is the city directly north of Oregon right over the border. Yes, I hang with Sunny.
We’ve also had Paul Jarvis on the show and he’s up closer to you. I feel like every time we talk to someone in the Pacific Northwest, Jason’s eager to move up there and you might feel the deal with all this basketball talk.
I got a basketball friend to go see Blazers games with now.
Jason, Portland is the basketball town.
I know about Rip City. From those battles back in the day, the Blazers had some dope teams and I love that it’s the only major professional sport in that city. That’s it. It’s no wonder people are crazy about basketball also because Damian Lillard is amazing and you got Melo. I love the Blazers. Blazers are a great team. The Pacific Northwest, I feel like I’m unofficially collecting friends and allies without even living there yet. I’m stacking my deck. It feels like life that’s happening.
They have the Portland Timbers, which is a soccer team and they’re popular here, but as far as the big sports, basketball. I have to say, if you follow me on Instagram, you know I talk about basketball all the time. I have a basketball planter back here. I love it so much. It’s such a huge part of my life. It’s a part of my life that gave me the confidence that I have in being a marketer, a copywriter, and reminding myself that I can do what I do in my way because I did it my whole life and my favorite thing to do. Although I’m not a professional basketball player, I got far and it paid for most of my college. I’m proud of that and I still get to play. I’m happy to have a healthy body so I can still play. It was such a confidence booster. Especially as a female, there’s a real difference between male sports and female sports, as far as what it does for our confidence on the female side is being able to feel that badass energy and be independent. Get that teamwork, willpower, and determination that’s team sports bring.
You could get super niched with your work, Monica, and support introverted basketball, loving, sustainable and entrepreneurs, combining all your passions in one. Maybe Jason’s a perfect example of someone that would fit. He’s not technically an introvert, but Jason would pretend he’s an introvert just to work with you. If that’s how you assessed out who you’re going to work with.
I would read that sales copy and be like, “Do you dream of secretly hitting the game-winning shot? Do you get fatigued when you are at a party and have to make small talk with people too much? Do you like pets and vegan Salisbury steak? I have the program for you.” I’m like, “I do all their things. I do vegan Salisbury steak.”
This came up in our episode with Dotsie, who’s an introverted vegan Olympian athlete. Maybe it’s athletes. Maybe you work with introverted athletes. I’m putting it out there. You’ve got to combine your passions, Monica.
I’m loving this niching down. I have to say about half my membership of introverts are vegan or vegetarians. I’m already halfway there, which is amazing.
I wonder if there’s any correlation with that. I feel like a lot of vegans I meet are a bit socially awkward. Wouldn’t you say, Jason? Business owners, I feel like I’ve met a lot of vegan entrepreneurs that may not be the best at navigating social interactions.
It’s a mixed bag. It may come down to a person’s ambient level of emotional sensitivity. I would go out on the limb without seeing any official data or research about this. That one who is gravitating toward a more ethical, compassionate lifestyle has an ambient level of not only awareness about the issues and compassion for animals and the environment, but sensitivity to it. Perhaps because of that higher latent, emotional sensitivity, people might be more withdrawn or reserved in interactions because of that sensitivity. That’s a possibility, no research to back it up. I’m a highly sensitive emotional person. I always have been. In human interaction, I’m always aware of the energy that’s being exchanged with the conversation. That could be it.
It also could be a loner thing. There’s an article I came across that Princeton researchers found. Loners, which are individuals who are out of sync with the coordinated majority, serve as evolutionary insurance plans that ensure the species survive. I thought it was fascinating to dig into the role that loners play. I feel like there is some similarity, introverts sometimes feel alone or they’re the odd ones as we were talking about like extroverts are rewarded. While it might not be true that we’re alone, I don’t know what the percentage is for the population is in terms of how many people are introverted versus extroverted. You know that, Monica.
They say it’s 30% to 50%. That’s because a lot of people are hesitant or don’t know that they are introverts. They even say 30% because I feel like introversion is popular. People are realizing, “I do have those tendencies.” It’s brought up more that there is a spectrum. I would say I’m more of an outgoing introvert and that I don’t get nervous in social situations. People might be like, “I don’t get that you’re an introvert.” I get drained by that energy quickly, need to recover, and need that recharge time. That rebellion, like you were saying, Quiet Rebel is my marketing mentoring program. I have a free Facebook Group called Quiet Rebel Society. It is that group that is rebelling against that societal norm and being like, “No, we could do it this way.” What I loved about my role in basketball teams and even my role in business is that I was always underestimated and was always people would call me their secret weapon.
If you saw me on a basketball court, you would not think that I was good. I’m not short, I’m 5’6″. I could hold my own. I was always skinny and I didn’t look fast and mean. I was always underestimated and coaches loved that I could come out and nail five 3s in the first quarter and catch people off guard. I love catching people off guard when they underestimate me because I’m quiet or mostly because I’m not the loudest in the room or not trying to make my ideas known right away and then come in with that three-point idea. Sync that the idea, the project, the copy, or the marketing campaign in this scenario.
It’s interesting, you sharing that as well reflecting on it. I’m somewhere in between you and Jason. Jason is one of those guys that he has a presence about him and he’s magnetic. People enjoy Jason a lot. It’s a little side note. I was reflecting on this. On that panel I brought up, Jason and I both have the same microphones set up as each other, but for some reason, the host of the panel kept bringing attention to Jason’s microphone and I’m standing there going like, “Why are you singling him out? I have the same setup.” He was focused on Jason. I was thinking like, “Maybe there’s something about Jason that draws a lot of attention.” I’ve found that for a lot of my life, Monica, was that person that was quiet and I didn’t feel comfortable speaking up, but I would feel like I was missing out if I didn’t speak up more. I started to build more confidence. You’re saying too about yourself, you’re not that shy in public situations. I waver it depends if I’m trying to get attention for a specific reason or not. I’ll try to make myself known.
It’s such an interesting thing too because whenever I have that feeling, I like to try to have awareness about why like, “Why do I feel the need to get attention or validation?” It’s almost like it’s a great skill that you developed, which is being okay when you feel overlooked because you don’t always need to be the center of attention. It’s more than when you feel like you want your ideas to be known, or when you want to use your skill to win a game in the basketball sense or whatever you’re working on, that’s when it’s important. A lot of people are after getting attention. There’s not even a reason for it. They just want attention for attention’s sake versus wanting attention because you want your ideas to be known. It’s a fascinating thing to reflect on yourself.
That’s funny because I was thinking about what you said was being okay with being overlooked. That is something I had to realize and accept that sometimes I will be overlooked. No offense to loud people, no offense, Jason, my best friend is extremely extroverted and there will be situations where I’ll say something, she’ll say the same thing and the person will be like, “Great idea.” I’m like, “What?” It’s that confidence that comes. Being animated and a little louder and more boisterous exudes this confidence. I had to be like, “I’m not like that.” That’s where things are at and that’s okay. I get my ideas out there when they matter. I don’t have to worry about being the person that gave the great advice, being the person that has the ideas all the time. I can make sure that when it’s important to me, I make a point of being heard, but don’t always have to be.
There’s an interesting reinforcement that takes place in childhood in a lot of ways where we as kids have a set of behaviors and those behaviors are rewarded and celebrated, then we’re looking for that proverbial cookie in terms of attention, approval, and affection. I’ve talked about this in episodes of once I became aware of it, starting to practice on doing a mechanism of approval and attention that I always felt. I wasn’t aware of this as a kid, but becoming an adult. I had this predisposition to being boisterous, wacky, entertaining and making people laugh and observed as a kid that if I was the one, making everyone laugh and having a good time and like, “Jason’s the extrovert, he’s the class clown.”
It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy where it’s like, “I’m an extrovert.” If I’m honest about it and get to the heart of it, it’s because maybe there’s a part of me that likes the cookies and rewards that I get for it. In years I’ve realized that I like being a homebody. Through this COVID quarantine, I’ve enjoyed not being so much on video, on social media, and not doing many YouTube videos. Even though I missed doing speaking appearances, doing music gigs, and being on a stage, there’s a part of me that doesn’t feel as needy for that attention from people. It’s almost like I get to enjoy it more rather than being run by that mechanism that tries to convince me that I need their attention and approval. It’s a subtle thing, but it’s major for me.
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That to me is majorly about energy. One of the ways I cope is if I can say yes to something, if I know it’s going to have a specific end time because I can monitor my energy and make sure like, “I’ve got enough energy to handle an hour of this.” I suffer when it’s open-ended and they’re like, “Show up at 7:00.” You’re like, “Okay, but are we going to be done at 8:00, 9:00? Am I going to be here all night? When can I escape out the back door?” I like having an escape and a reason. I still feel like even in my adulthood. A lot of people don’t understand that. I don’t want to come across as a bad friend. It’s trying to figure out my boundaries. I’m sure you and Jason can relate to that too. Jason, correct me if I’m wrong about this, but it seems like you have a much higher tolerance. When we go to social or business events, I’m ready to go in twenty minutes. I can show up, look around the room, find some people to talk, eat some food, and then I’m done. Jason, on the other hand, if we go together, I have to be prepared that he’s going to want to stay four times as long as me.
That’s accurate and I also think that I have a mechanism inside of me that it’s almost like a light switch where, when I’m done being social, an extrovert and interacting with a lot of people, it’s almost like an instantaneous thing. It’s how some people can lay down on the couch or sit down to go to sleep and they’re out after five minutes and they’re gone. I feel like I have a social switch like that. Where to Whitney’s point, I do like that social interaction more, especially if the energy is good with the crowd and I’m enjoying talking to people. My energetic stamina is long, but inevitably at some point in the night, and this is without fail. Every social obligation I go to the light switch, the social switch gets flipped to me. I’m like, “I want to go now.” All of a sudden, I’m like, “I’m done.” It’s not like I end a conversation like a dick and walk out like, “All right, bye.” I don’t do that. I’ve observed in myself once that switch gets activated if I say talking to someone, who’s trying to monopolize more of my time, I say to them subtly like, “I got to get going. My dog’s at home.” They ignore that and they keep digging into me. I start to get anxious. My being is like, “Time to go.” This person’s not grokking that. It’s like, “How do I get out the door? Maybe I don’t care about offending them. Maybe I should fucking go.” Once that switch gets flipped, it’s like, “I’m ready to go at that moment.”
I can relate to all of these things. I’m a typical introvert when it comes to socializing. I can do it. Whitney, I identify with that. If there’s no end time, you better believe that I will be Irish goodbye-ing at some point during the night most of the way.
Some people think it’s rude, but I love leaving without saying goodbye because I hate standing around and saying goodbye to people with small talk.
I’m going to say this really quick. As a sweeping generalization, this is endemic of the vegan/eco-conscious/conscious community/yoga or whatever the hell we want to call it, people who give a shit about doing better on planet Earth whatever that community is. It’s not just saying goodbye, everybody wants a hug. Everyone wants to be eye gazed, “I love you.” “I love you too.” “I have twenty more hugs to give.” Walk out the fucking door because you can’t slip out. If you hug one person, legit nineteen other people need hugs.
More than like somebody wants to introduce, “Don’t leave yet or you haven’t met this person yet.” You’re like, “No.” That’s the worst. Thinking about it makes me uncomfortable.
I don’t envy my friends who are some vegan bloggers over good following where they’re always being and most of them are introverts. I can go to the doorway, put my hand up in the air, and be like, “Bye.” I don’t have to worry about that because I don’t have that presence as they do it. I don’t envy that like, “No, you need to meet this person.” I’m like, “That is a lot.”
It’s brilliant that you’ve created a business based on introversion because you also are around a lot of understanding introverts and you’re all in the same boat and everyone’s cool with it. You’re right, your whole brand instead of being about standing out and being well-known. You’re about connecting with people on a deep level, which is, I feel like a big desire of introverts. I don’t like small talk because it feels surface and superficial, but I’d love a deep conversation with somebody. When I feel mentally stimulated, I could hang out with someone for hours. It’s more the idea that I might not get that interaction with people that makes it hard for me to socialize.
What Jason was talking about if I see someone on the street, not so much here, because I don’t know as many people here, but when I lived in LA and more of an acquaintance, not a good friend and they wanted to talk maybe a regular from Brite Spot or I worked at Secret Headquarters, the comic book shop in Silver Lake for five years too. I would be mapping out in my head the escape plan. I’m like, “When is the light going to turn?” I can be like, “I got to catch this light. I got to get out of here.” I would be trying to figure out how to escape the conversation because it was small talk. For a long time, I felt bad about that, but then I was like, “No, I need to figure out a way to be like, ‘Nice to see you. I got to go.’” It drains my energy faster than even being on stage, talking to a large group of people. It’s weird how that is. That small talk drains me. It’s all about the person at the end of the day. Every single best friend that I’ve had in every phase of my life, elementary school, high school, college, now my best friend lives with me. They’re all extroverts. My business coach is an extrovert. I love extroverts because like Jason was saying, he was able to discover the introvert within him during COVID and having to be a homebody. I need that little push to show me that I have an outgoing version of myself.
Extroverts are great to have around because whenever I don’t feel like talking, I tell Jason to talk for the both of us. Those work well at business events. Most of the time because the two of us work together on our brand Wellevatr in this show. Anytime someone’s like, “Tell me more about Wellevatr. What’s your show about?” I turn and look at Jason and make him do all the talking.
It’s tap in and beat. Whenever I tell introverts, they’re like, “What’s your biggest networking tip?” I’m like, “Go with an extroverted friend.” That’s my biggest networking tip.
The only problem I would say, as I mentioned, is that Jason likes to stay longer at events than I do. It’s almost like it’s best if we take separate cars, however, our transportation is so that I can sneak out with the Irish goodbye and Jason can stay longer. Otherwise, if we carpool, I’m miserable for three-quarters of the time that he’s there.
You have given me an incredible new business idea and income stream. Here it is. It’s going to be called YourExtrovertedFriend.com. Introverts can hire me to accompany them as a liaison to their public events. I will schmooze, socialize, wow, magnetize and allow them to slip out the back door undetected while I continue to make business connections for them.
It’s a great idea. You are great at it, Jason. I bet you could find a whole network of people that are equally good at it and create a whole little agency for yourself.
I feel like I need to hire Whitney and Monica, both of you as my madams. Your both going to pimp me out to your introverted friends and be like, “I have a guy named Jason, you have to meet him. His rates are incredibly affordable, and he’s the best in the biz.” You get a cut and you pimp me out.
I am all for this idea.
My best friend would be down. We call her the Hype Woman because she brings me in and she’s likes, “Have you met my marketing and copywriting friend, Monica?”
Sometimes I can’t stand those introductions though. Maybe you handle this differently, but I don’t like being introduced that way because then I feel like I’m about to embark on a small talk conversation. I don’t like it when people are like, “Whitney, tell me what you do.” I’m like, “Please never ask me that question. Go to my website.”
I did a whole Mellow Marketing Monday episode, which is my Instagram little live I do every Monday about when someone asks you that question, “What do I do?” It always comes up. If you’re going to go to a networking thing, even if you have your extroverted friends, it always comes up, “What do you do?” That’s ultimately what we’re there for. It’s that thing where you’re like, “How do I make this not surface level and terrible for myself and still, maybe make a great connection?” I’ve written a one-liner for myself that I can say quickly that tells people what I do? Who I help and how I help them? What the mediums are?
I say, “I’m a marketing consultant and copywriter and I help introverted solopreneurs make a full-time income with their service-based business, through my membership in one-on-one services.” People are like, “Okay.” It answers all those questions and then we can get into a deeper conversation because that’s been covered and out of the way. I always tell my clients to make a little one-liner that they can say and memorize it so you’re not feeling sick and start getting red, sweaty, hiving, and have to go into that like, “I don’t know what to say.” Also, I know this is going to be terrible because it’s going to be manufactured and not a real conversation. I feel doing that has made it possible for me to skip over that quickly and be able to get to a real conversation and make it about them so I don’t have to talk as much. People love to talk about themselves and they love to be listened to. It works out well.
My tactic is I much rather listen. I’m always going to ask that person first what they do so I can listen before I have to speak. Once I learn more about them, then I can find out how or whether or not there’s something that I could do to help them or support them. It makes it easier for me to talk about myself because I have that context. What do you do, Monica? What’s your advice when you tell somebody what you do and you can tell they have zero and they could care less? When you’re at a networking event, everyone’s looking to see the person that can help them the most. If you’re not that person, they start looking over your shoulder and around the room to see how quickly they can get out of that conversation. That’s one of the most cringe-worthy moments. Let’s say you give them your one-liner, how do you get out of an awkward conversation after that? What’s your tip?
Since I’m a copywriter, people are generally interested because people want to know about copywriting. I thankfully get to usually be in a great conversation about their business and how they’re helping people and I can give them a few ideas. When that does happen, it makes it easier for me to check out and be like, “I got to go talk to my friend over there.” I do the typical excuse like, “I’m going to go to the bathroom or I got to go talk to my friend over there.” I’m doing us both a favor because like you said, you can tell they’re not interested anyway. Who cares? I don’t think I’m offending them, but even if I am, I can be like, “We all knew where that was going.” That was a train wreck of a conversation.
What do you do in those situations, Jason? I feel like Jason gets pulled into those a lot and he’s kind. The big difference is I would rather be a little bit rude and get out of that conversation than be kind and be stuck in an uncomfortable conversation. Jason, you might lean towards being kinder versus rude in those scenarios.
There are nuances with all this. To piggyback on what Monica said that people want to be heard and speak. I believe whatever degree on that spectrum of introversion or extroversion people want to have their voice be heard. People want to feel like they are being of contribution. Even when people are rambling on, they’re rude, or the other thing at trade shows or conferences is they’ll stare at your badge to try and assess if you’re worth talking to. I understand like, “This person has their objectives and agendas. I don’t know what their objectives and agendas are, but I’m going to err on the side of thinking that they’re a good person until they prove otherwise.” However, there is a point in a conversation where I feel like someone is for lack of a better word, being like glomming on or being clingy.
Whitney’s been great about that when we’ve done conferences or I’ve done speaking appearances, or we’ve both have where people will magnetize to me because they want to glom on and ask me a bunch of questions and Whitney’s always done a great job. She’ll look at my energy as her best friend and know when I want to go out the back door, she’d be like, “We have another meeting to get to, Jason. We got to go.” She’ll usher me out because I’m almost too kind in those situations because I know people want to ask me about their grandma in Poughkeepsie and their cousin with mental health issues and what vegan cheese they should eat. I get a litany of bizarro questions. I’m not the best at knowing when to hit the eject button. Whitney is good at helping me eject from that seat when it’s time to.
That’s why we need to start hiring an introvert as a business too because extroverts can use the help of introverts a lot as well. That reminds me of something I was going to bring up when I had that brain fart. When you talked about, Monica, how you feel grateful that you don’t have as big of a social media or online presence and so people don’t recognize you. It is interesting because I feel like we live in this time where a lot of people feel the pressure to have a big audience, be famous and well-known. There’s also a downside to that, especially if you’re introverted and I’ve come to appreciate that ability. It’s almost like when you see a celebrity in a way, especially if you live in a city like Los Angeles.
They’re around often, but there’s part of me that feels a little bad for celebrities in certain environments because they can’t escape out the back door and they can’t go grocery shopping. Everyone’s always staring at them and watching their every move or they might want to come up and a picture. One time, Jason and I went to a yoga class and there was a well-known actor. He’s trying to work out like the rest of us, but the entire class was distracted by him and then they want to take pictures with him afterwards. I remember thinking, “That sounds awful.” Especially as an introvert, but even for Jason, I imagine you wouldn’t want to be in that situation all the time either.
This is an important conversation for several reasons. Number one, there’s a double-edged sword. We’ve talked about this in terms of our shame and cancel culture and the weird mixed messages that we get in our society, which is, “Hustle your ass off, work toward your dream. Don’t stop until you get it, get famous, get rich.” All of these societal values are done in a toxic, materialistic egoic way encouraging all that. When you see stories of a celebrity on a press junket of an album or a movie, and they’ve done 150 of these interviews and ask the same fucking questions and they’re like, “So and so got miffed in an interview and how dare they there’s so much privilege.” In exchange for fame and wealth and that level of privilege, we do put famous people and celebrities under a level of scrutiny and removing certain freedoms from their life.Authenticity is not a marketing strategy. You either are or you aren't authentic in what you're doing. Click To Tweet
This is by no means a sympathy plea for the rich and famous. That’s not what I’m saying, but I’m saying people are dismissive of the challenges they go through like, “I want to go to the grocery store. I want to go to the vegan, frozen ice cream place and not be fucking bugged. I just want to get my fucking ice cream.” It’s not sympathy, but I understand how frustrating that could be to be like, “I’ve achieved this level of wealth, fame, and recognition. I can’t even go to the ice cream store without making it a 45-minute affair.” It’s a weird double-edged sword in that way of, we encourage people to chase that and get it. If they are dismissive, they’re rude, don’t sign an autograph or make a snarky comment, then we put them under a crushing microscope telling everyone what assholes they are. It’s a weird schizophrenia type of behavior toward fame, wealth, and privilege in society.
I agree with that microscope. I can’t imagine as an introvert having to deal with that because you’re trying to live your life. Imagine not having the energy and having to give it all the time, because if you don’t, you are rude, an asshole or a bitch or whatever people are calling celebrities. I always hear people are like, “This one time I met a celebrity and they were a dick and now they’re a dick forever.” I’m like, “That’s probably not true.” It’s a momentary thing, maybe you can’t judge them off of one interaction.
The other thing too with this is it’s interesting to see that there are places on the Earth. I’ve lived in a lot of big cities, which is one reason why I’m ready for something slower than a giant megalopolis. Being in a place like LA and New York City, maybe to a lesser degree London, there’s this inculcation of acting, music, entertainment and the cost of living being high. This desire with social media and the rise of influencer culture that as Andy Warhol said, “Everyone’s looking for their fifteen minutes and how to capitalize on those fifteen minutes of fame.” Once you get out of the LA, New York and London bubble to other places, you realize that people aren’t chasing fame in the same way when I go back home to Detroit or I was in Chicago for a few years studying copywriting.
You have a lot in common. Monica keeps saying things and I’m like, “It sounds like Jason.”
I want to get into the copywriting thing and some ethical considerations, but while we’re on fame, people in Chicago and Detroit, I don’t know if you find this way in the Pacific Northwest, Monica, but it’s not that level of acute, desperate, heated, fame-seeking, ala LA and New York. I don’t feel it in those places.
I don’t feel it here. Living in LA for ten years was immersed in it for sure but not being in the industry. It’s interesting because I’ve gotten tastes a little bit with Bare Bones in LA where a stranger would be like, “You’re Bare Bones.” I’m like, “What?” Our friends, I don’t know if you know, Chris and Jasmine, Sweet Simple Vegan.
They’re in Vancouver too.
We live about five minutes away from each other and they’re good friends. We go on their taste test video sometimes myself, my partner and my best friend. Here in Portland at vegan restaurants, people were like, “You were in the Vegan Tastes Test video.” I was like, “What?” It’s disorienting. I’m like, “This is not something I want.” I’ve only had this tiny taste of it. Interestingly, it made me think about how I like social media. I like being on social media. People always push me to have my face out there because I’m good at it. What I’ve realized, especially during staying safer at home in the pandemic, is that I like being behind the scenes. I haven’t built a successful business because of a social media presence. I’ve built it because of the relationships I’ve nurtured over time. That’s why I have these copywriting retainers and marketing retainers I’ve been able to for once in my life, not live paycheck-to-paycheck.
That’s why not because I’ve had a presence on social media. While we’re on the social media topic, when it comes to marketing, it’s something that’s been maybe set up to be the silver bullet in marketing and business. Where I have business owners coming to me and be like, “What content do I put on social media?” I’m like, “That’s great but none of that matters if you don’t have a marketing funnel and sales system in place if you don’t have a copy that connects with your audience.” It doesn’t matter what you put on social media. Even social media has become this monster for many reasons that could be a whole episode probably. It’s great for many reasons, but it’s become this end all be all of everything, society, success, and how we build a business and how we even live a life that is problematic and not holistic.
This is interesting because I do want to dive into the copywriting. Not only because we have that similar background in my previous life before being a vegan chef, podcaster, TV host, cookbooks, all that stuff. I worked as a copywriter in agencies for many years, Monica. I could do a crazy deep dive on that entire world. I want to talk about two aspects of marketing, copywriting and content as a business because you brought it up and Whitney wants your perspective on this too because you’ve done so much business consulting and content creation. I feel like there are some interesting ethical considerations. One of which is deciding even as we are trying to make a living with our craft and our art, our art of writing and consulting, the art that we do.
There have been many times in the past when I was focusing on marketing and copywriting, that there were major ethical red flags with certain clients say on the agency side where I didn’t have the autonomy necessarily to say no because I’m an employee of the agency as opposed to being an independent contractor working for myself. I’m curious of the question A because there’s B question. In life, working for someone else in marketing or your own marketing, how do you handle the decision between like, “This could be a well-paying gig but there are some ethical things about how they run their business that maybe I’m not cool with?” How have you handled that in the past? Have you ever come up against a decision like that before?
I’ve been lucky and fortunate to not have had to run into some ethical decisions like that. Even what has happened with Black Lives Matter, uprising, and the revolution, which is amazing and having to see what my clients, how they responded to, which I was lucky that everyone responded genuinely and has already been doing a lot of work in the space. That has something to do with my marketing also is that I don’t separate myself and my own values and the work that I’ve done my whole life and environmental, racial and social justice, animal rights, public health, all the causes I’ve worked in as an employee and as a contractor.
I’m vocal about those things. Putting that out there has attracted clients that also have the same values as I’ve had. I’ve never worked for an agency for copywriting. I never had to go with the flow as far as who clients were. I was lucky enough to have a lot of nonprofit clients who were doing great things. Even my for-profit clients, I like to attract and I copyright to attract mission-driven businesses who share the values that I share. That’s important now more than ever to be vocal in your values. I did a Mellow Marketing Monday where I said, “This thing where businesses don’t take a stand on social issues is bullshit.” It’s always been bullshit, but now they’re not going to be able to get away with it. I’m excited about that.
I’m curious this goes into, and Whitney, I want you to jump in on the second part too, the B question in this. In terms of what’s happening with Black Lives Matter, in terms of happening with the ecological crisis and COVID-19. The amalgam of things we’re facing as a human society, which is wonderful that the awareness, education, and people’s eyes and hearts are being opened. The thing that I’m trying to discern though, and Whitney and I have talked about this, is authenticity, vulnerability, and realness being these buzzwords in marketing. When you say a company comes out and you know that their attempt is to be authentic, somewhat intentional with their sensitivity around social justice, or a lot of the issues we’re talking about, but it lands in a way that feels icky.
I feel like there’s been so much about #RealTalk, #Authenticity, #Vulnerability, but I see not just content creators, but brands being like, “We’re about to get vulnerable.” I’m like, “If you announce, you’re about to get vulnerable, you’re telegraphing it.” I’m immediately on the defense in suspicion that you’re not going to be vulnerable. My long question is, real authenticity, no bullshit, and coming with the real and coming with real openness and vulnerability does connect with people and there’s a quality to that energy in those words that people feel. What do you think is the qualitative energetic difference between being authentic, vulnerable, real and someone doing it as a marketing strategy? Can you describe the nuance of that?
I’m glad you brought this up because it’s something that I was talking about. I can’t stand using the word authenticity in business anymore. It’s such a buzzword that is strange to me. What I tell my clients and what I’ve said in some of my content is, “Authenticity is not a marketing strategy. You either are or you aren’t authentic in what you’re doing.” That has become problematic in the marketing world for sure. The same with vulnerability. I have a lot of introverts that I work with that are like, “I see everyone being vulnerable and they’re private people.” They’re like, “What do I have to do on social media? Do I have to tell my whole life story?” People are like, “Alert, vulnerable posts.” I’m like, “You don’t have to do any of those things.” This might sound rude but for me, as growing up in my experience, preface that they were something before explaining themselves, usually weren’t that thing. People, my friends that would be like, “I’m independent.” I’m like, “Are you though because you had to say it?”
I was talking to Jason about how it’s an interesting time with Black Lives Matter because it seems like all of a sudden, all of these people are trying to show that they’re not racist. If you’re saying you’re not racist, part of me starts to feel like, “Are you anti-racist or are you saying that because you feel pressured to say it?” It’s tough because in a way it’s similar to authenticity. It’s important to be authentic. It’s important not to be racist. We need to know these things about people. We need to make sure that we align with their ethics and their values and that people are being honest and transparent.
If it feels forced, if it feels like it’s something you’re doing with the timing, that’s where I start to get skeptical. For me, it’s been interesting watching the response to the Black Lives Matter movement that is heightened. When someone for the first time is featuring black people on their content, I feel like, “Why all of a sudden haven’t you been featuring them before?” It’s an overcorrection. Part of me is like, “Maybe we need to be patient because maybe all this awareness is helping people correct themselves so they can do better.” That’s ultimately what’s important. It’s okay to be skeptical. I also don’t want to cancel anybody because we’re all evolving, we’re all learning.
As Jason said, we’re not supporters of cancel culture. We should give people another chance if they prove time and time again, that they’re not improving. That’s one thing. Whether it’s authenticity or showing that you’re inclusive of everybody, no matter what they look like, what they believe or how they live, if you can be exclusive and it’s suddenly emphasized more than ever, then maybe that’s a good thing. I’m going to be a little annoyed by it for a little while. Authenticity going back to that is similar where we’re all learning how to be more authentic. It’s tough because as you know, Monica, we’ve gone through a lot of different phases of marketing.
That is such a big buzzword because years ago, it wasn’t cool to be authentic. It was cool to show your highlight reel. It wasn’t cool to show the things that you were struggling with. It didn’t seem like it was good for business to show yourself as a real person. It was like, “Everybody, shows your Polish side. You should wear a business suit and you should only go on camera if you’re wearing makeup. You should always say things right. You need to edit everything and you should never post photos unless you look skinny in them.” We’re in a time where we’re embracing people’s flaws more and that’s also trendy. It’s like, “Let me show everybody how flawed I am.”
It’s on the other end of the spectrum of, “Are you being authentic by showing your flaws or is that another version of the highlight reel?” It’s strange.
I struggle with that. Similar to you, Monica, in terms of reinvention, I’m in a phase of moving away from this moniker of Eco-Vegan Gal into Whitney Lauritsen. It could be analysis paralysis, but I also feel like I struggle a lot with figuring out what is authentically me because of all these trends. I’ve struggled with the Black Lives Matter time that we’re in, where I want to say something, but I don’t want to come across like I’m saying it just to say it or trying to be posture or presenting, and performative. I want it to truly feel authentic, not a contrived authenticity. It’s tough because the analysis paralysis is like, “I could say this, but what if it’s perceived that way? Maybe I should say it this way.” You start to go down this path of thinking, you’re never going to feel like it’s right. That’s where I get paralyzed.
I’ve seen that a lot with my clients. I have a membership that I help introverted solopreneurs. It’s a monthly low-cost membership. I have office hours for it. I help them with marketing and content. They’ve come in asking these questions and I can give my opinion and as a cisgender white female, I have my perspective and I have what feels right to me. If you’re active on social media and my partner does not use social media, he posts maybe once a year. I don’t think it was as weird that he didn’t go on Instagram, but when on Facebook because he uses it more. I was telling them if you’re posting every day, every week, all the time on Instagram and when the Black Lives Movement came around, I was like, “This is you drawing your line in the sand.” You’re like, “No, I’m committed to being anti-racist.” All of this to me, in my opinion, all of what we’re doing is performative until we prove that it’s not and that’s going to take time.
It’s not something that’s going to happen in the next few weeks. We have to keep working at this and remind ourselves that’s going to be weaved through our values. That’s what people are having to look inward at and myself too. Even being part of movements, I shared on social media and was outraged in the moment when these murders have happened, but what was I doing in between those moments? That’s a reflection that I’m dealing with. I told my clients, “You’ve drawn your line in the sand. Your values are out there. You don’t need to center yourself and be telling people what you’re doing all the time. Do the work and have the conversations and make sure that your business values are reflecting your personal values.” At the end of the day, it is you. I don’t think it’s so much about doing it right as it is about doing the work and then making sure that people know that if they’re not anti-racist that you’re not a good fit for your further business.
That’s something that I made sure of saying, and that was something I wanted to say when this started like, “If you’re not, anti-racist also, we’re not a good fit.” That was my beginning of doing this work is making sure that was known and those values were out there. It’s been hard, especially for introverts who have that analysis paralysis are introspective, quiet, want to hold back, and process things before jumping in. I’ve been telling introverts I work with like, “That’s okay. When you’re ready to say something, say something, but don’t get held back by the perfection because perfection is rooted in white supremacy also.” It’s one of those things, we’re all unlearning things, and this is all inside of us and it’s time for us to unlearn and then learn what we can do to be anti-racist.
I love that about the perfectionism roots. I’d love to hear you speak more about that. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard it positioned that way, but that’s fascinating.
I’m not in authority to speak on it, but I’ve done some racial justice trainings and that was the one thing. It was overworking as a cultural norm, perfectionism, all these things that have been put on us are rooted in that. That structure of white supremacy. I wouldn’t want to go too far into it, but it’s something that stuck with me from a racial justice training that I was like, “That is powerful.” This perfectionism is only making these opportunities available to people who are able to get the opportunities to be more perfect in what they do and have the time, space, and privilege of not worrying about other survival things in our lives. That’s what hit me about that and changed my perspective on the perfectionist in me.
I want to research that more myself.All of what we're doing is performative until we prove that it's not, and that's going to take time. Click To Tweet
There’s so much to unlearn and learn.
The thing that has come up for me a lot in my own internal processing and doing the work to look at my blind spots, my ignorance and all of these things is going back to deeply embedded belief systems and human psychology. At the risk of sounding completely pedantic and maybe even a little bit ridiculous how I’m about to say this is welcome to my mind and the thoughts that I think. In terms of the mechanisms of control and the white male-dominated hierarchy that we’ve been clinging to in a society that is hopefully its grip is loosening and people are opening their hearts and minds to new possibilities. It’s fascinating and doesn’t make sense to me, but in a hierarchy of control, it does. Why would you be concerned about another person’s sexuality of who they decide to love? What did they decide to do with their genitals? What did they decide to call themselves when it’s none of your fucking business? Their sexuality, romance, love, and who, what, and how they want to be, has anything to do with how it affects your life.
That’s one part I trip on that I’m like, “Why do you care so much about this? Let people be, as they are on the basis of their skin color, religion, and sexuality, whatever gender pronouns they choose to.” Whatever it is, from a psychological perspective, why are people reticent to people live and have equal pay, equal rights, and not be under the threat of violence and oppression? It goes back to the systemic part of it, is that from our economic system to our judicial system, and to every fucking facet of our system has been skewed to be advantageous to white males. Maybe on a subconscious level, people who are afraid of things changing or granting equal rights or extending civil liberties to people different than them, I wonder if there’s an unawareness of, “Maybe I have this subconscious motivation of control and my white fragility is getting activated because I’m afraid of losing control, losing my status, losing my wealth or losing my privilege.” I observe it off like, “If we grant everyone these equal rights, justice, pay and we extend basic human decency, love and kindness to everyone, I don’t see that there’s a losing proposition in there anywhere.” It fascinates me that some people would perceive that as a losing proposition.
I agree and can’t understand that as well, but also think it has to do with the equity part of it too, even more so than the equality part of it, where that equity, that making up for that time, where people were oppressed and didn’t have the opportunities to build wealth like white people. As a cisgender white female, I know that with the patriarchy, I’ve had some oppression, but we’re very complicit, but almost just as. Not to blame, but white women that are straight we’re have been a part of the system, have been benefiting from it and not wanting to extend those rights and privileges to anyone else because we got them and we want to make sure we can have our little bit of power too. It’s that equity part that trips people up. When people hear the word, reparations, and things like that, they automatically think that their opportunity is gone, which is not what people are saying or even wanting.
It’s complicated with capitalism, patriarchy, white supremacy, and the fear it’s instilled and the stellar job that the government in this country has put into us to be individuals instead of a community that makes it hard to bridge those gaps. Fear plays a big part in that. I have to think that’s the only reason people don’t understand other people’s needs to exist as exactly who they are. It’s some fear that’s been instilled by we know there are some news channels that perpetuate that. It’s sad, moderating, I have nonprofit clients and they’re posting about Black Lives Matter and support posting and LGBTQIA issues. People are hateful in the comments and I’m like, “I see a lot of hate, but I also see a lot of fear.” That is sad because there’s such a lack of imagination of the better world we could build and how equitable and equal it could be.
Monica, it’s impressive to me and I’m grateful that you’re speaking on a lot of these things even using the term cisgender. That was something that I wanted to explore more because I wasn’t familiar with that term. I saw it being used in a survey I took like, “What do you identify as?” I didn’t even know what that term meant. It’s brand new to me. I’ve heard transgender a lot. Also, people have the option to say nonconforming or gender variant. I love your awareness. Especially in marketing, you are trying to be inclusive and you’re doing racial training. Trying to understand different perspectives is incredibly important and a huge value add that you have for your clients. It’s not introverts clearly, you’re trying to be inclusive, and what a wonderful thing to offer the world. I’m grateful that you offered your perspective on these things during this episode.
I’m happy too. It’s great that more conversations are happening. That’s the challenge with that performative nature of things. My business coach and people, I’m friends with, they’re like, “You could tell people that. I’m like, “Yes, but I don’t think it’s my time to tell people. I need to do what I’m doing.” As a cisgender white woman, I don’t need this for my marketing to be some white savior thing or to be performative and center myself in this work. I just need to do the work and the values that I project will hopefully attract the people who have the same values, so far based on who I get to work with, I can tell that inclusivity is working.
That is encouraging and something that I strive for. I’m like, “I’m going to keep being better. I’m going to have the tough conversations. I was ready to have them with clients if that was what needed to happen.” It’s cool and grateful they didn’t need to happen because they were on board and wanting to get better. We’re right out there to stand in solidarity, which was encouraging. The hard part is that people don’t want to be seen, they’re not talking about it, but then they don’t want to center themselves. I’m like, “Do what feels right to you.” If it doesn’t feel right to you to post about it and say, “You’re doing things,” don’t do that. Just do them. People in your circle, people who come to you will know that you’re doing that work and they’ll know if you’re not, and that’s when you might need to adjust and pivot, but right now focus on how you can be better. Don’t worry about the entire world knowing because it’s an inner circle and your 5, 10 virtual mile radius that is where you can make the most difference.
You’re an amazing role model. I know you’re humble, but I want to acknowledge you for that. What you said is incredibly valuable. The theme about this episode, but your work in general, Monica, is giving people permission to be themselves. That true authenticity that non-performative authenticity like, “Who are you and what do you have to give to this world?” Each of us has so much to offer one another, but it can be tricky when we’re looking for the right words to say, or we don’t know how to present ourselves. It’s wonderful that you’re helping people discover that and ultimately giving them permission, none of us need permission, but a lot of us are looking for permission from somebody. That’s an incredibly powerful gift that you give to your clients and to anybody reading this.
You nailed it. A lot of what I do is give permission and tell people they’re going in the right direction and let them know they don’t have to do that thing that they saw in four different marketing courses. They can do it in another way. It goes back to that leading by example. That’s the theme my whole life is when I think about being a leader, that’s always what I’ve wanted to do within veganism, environmentalism, social justice, business, marketing, and basketball. It’s always been like, “I’m going to do what I feel is right. I don’t always feel like being loud about it and that’s okay. People will notice and people always have noticed.” When I help fellow introverts with that, my aunt always says, which is nice of her, that I’ve known who I am since I was about sixteen. She was like, “You’ve never wavered in that.” That is a luxury that I recognize in myself is that I’ve been confident in who I am from a young age.
I never dress professionally or did things that I didn’t want to, I’ve always done hairstyles and got a lot of tattoos and worn vans with my dress if I had to go to something fancy. I’ve always rebelled in those ways. It’s never hindered my career or my experience because I knew it was attracting the people that were like, “Yes, right on.” I always ask people when they’re like, “I’m afraid to be myself. If I don’t do this, I’ll look unprofessional.” I’m like, “Did I look unprofessional to you?” They’re like, “No, you seemed like you were being yourself.” I’m like, “You deserve that too.” You could be yourself and you’re going to attract the right people to work with you. You don’t have to look a certain way and all these social norms that we’ve been told, we have to do like, “Who says you have to do business in a suit?” I do business behind my computer, in my corduroys and tanked top every day and in my Vans.
I still have had a fruitful career and my business is growing. When people joined my membership, I asked them why they joined the Introverted Entrepreneur Membership? It wasn’t because of the testimonials I’d gotten or the social proof for the outcomes that I said I could help people get. They said it was because I understood that they were introverts and they were feeling this way. They saw that I was doing it my way. That’s why they wanted to be a part of it. For anyone who’s growing a business, a community or trying to grow a movement, be yourself. Don’t try to be anyone else because you’re the only person who’s you. You’re the only person that has your perspective, experience and voice. That’s powerful when you’re trying to build something.
It’s such an important reminder to say those things because as Jason and I have talked a lot about hustle culture being entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, creatives and content creators, each of us has dabbled in this side of the business. Each of us has a passion for working for ourselves and we’ve been trying to figure it out. I know when I started back in 2010, I had no idea what I was doing. I was trying to find people that could help me and resources and what I kept finding back then, and for the past five-plus years after that was a lot of this hustle mentality. The people that I would come across were Gary Vaynerchuk, who is like, “You got to hustle all the time and you can’t sleep.” He’s changed a little bit over the years. Brendon Burchard is somebody that Jason and I have admired and loved. I noticed during COVID, I wasn’t resonating with him as much because he had that mentality of, “If you’re not using this time to grow your business.” He was saying, “If you can’t rest and you need to be hustling all the time.” At least that’s how I was interpreting it. I found myself more and more feeling like that doesn’t resonate with me. Maybe that’s an introverted thing, but this feeling of like, “Always having to go, and it’s not okay to rest.” You always have to be loud and you have to be everywhere.”
That was part of Gary’s message too is, “Be everywhere and be on every social media platform and always be posting. You never got to stop.” I’ve seen many people burn out or feel miserable from that. Jason, I’d love for you to chime in on this. I know we’re wrapping soon, but it’s a good note to end on that you don’t have to do business the same way as everybody else. There’s a new wave, it’s no longer business as usual. We’ve been seeing this happen each of us as we’ve embarked on our career paths. The trend years ago was like, “You don’t have to work the 9:00 to 5:00. You can start your own business and work for yourself.” I remember thinking, “This is amazing.” I broke out of that mentality, but I went right into the hustle culture, and that ultimately did not serve me. I feel like it was a hindrance. I’ve had to learn how to do things the way that works for me and not feel like I’m doing them wrong. Don’t you think, Jason? I know you’ve had your own experiences with this too.
It’s challenging the narratives, belief systems, and programs that are in us. That’s what this is all about. As we grow our awareness and resonant layers of who we are as beings more layers of our beingness, it’s a natural conclusion that as we siphon off what is not us or conditioned programs, ways of behavior, ways of dressing, trying to please people appease people. As that shedding occurs as the layers continued to get sloughed off like an onion, that’s the thing we always hear with meditation is, “Peeling back the layers of the onion of self-awareness.” The closer we get to the core of who we are, even as evolving, changing beings, there’s still core essence of who we are that identifying those programs and ways of being in behavioral coping mechanisms that we’ve been subjected to. We get the choice of whether or not we want to continue using those things or we want to let those things go as our awareness, and sense of self-grows.
A big part of what we’re talking about as entrepreneurs maybe this puritanical work ethic or if we look at the religious implications that whoever toils the most will win God’s favor. Subconsciously, that is still deeply rooted and embedded in people’s consciousness and the way that they operate in the world that, “If you grind the hardest, you bleed the most for it, you have the most breakdowns and the darkest nights of the soul, you prove to God, the universe and the all that is that you are worthy of the blessings.” That’s a deep one because I grew up in a Roman Catholic family with an aspect of that mentality. I grew up in a blue-collar family in Detroit. It was like, “You bust your fucking ass for what you want.” What I’ve also observed over the course of my life is that sometimes if I don’t strain myself out of desperation and feeling like I have to win God’s favor by working the hardest that good things find me when I’m not doing that too.
It also reminds me of this mentality around the universe like, “If you’re not making money, you don’t want it badly enough and you must have a block to it.” There’s some truth to a lot of these things, but it’s not that easy as asking the universe for money. The same thing Jason, you’ve talked about before if it was about how hard you worked, you said your grandfather would have been a millionaire.
My Grandpa Walter had that straight-up old school, Roman Catholic, puritanical work ethic combined with the blue-collar, working on the line and he worked in a Chrysler factory. That person busted his ass. If that’s all it was, and a lot of these whatever we want to call them, thought leaders, business coaches like, “It’s hard work.” I’m like, “That can’t be the only thing.” That’s all you’re saying but if that was true, then my grandpa would have been an extremely wealthy man because he worked his ass off. You’re leaving stuff out of the equation and I don’t quite buy what you’re saying because it’s too simplistic and too pedantic, if you’re mantra, hard work. I’ve started tuning those people out. The energy of it doesn’t resonate with me.
It’s also coming back to the idea of privilege. The privilege of being educated, the color of your skin or your gender, and where you live. There are many factors that go into our abilities to make money. It’s also a position of white privilege to say some of those things. A lot of the people that are saying those things are white males. Even I see a lot of white women saying that. A lot of posts I get advertised on social media are like, “I made X amount of money and so can you if you follow this formula.” You look in the formula and it’s a lot of these things that we said, “I’ve tried and they haven’t worked for me.” Maybe that’s because those are not resonating with me, my tendencies, my personality traits and my way of wanting to do things.
A lot of things are leaving out like proximity to power and nepotism and all these things that sometimes are the things that get people there in those instances. I’m going to blow your mind, Jason. I also have a Grandpa Walter, which is another thing we have in common.
What is happening? What is going on?
You were destined to be best friends and I’m jealous.
I have to agree with all that. Also, when I jumped out of the 9:00 to 5:00 of nonprofit work because I’ve never worked for-profit full-time. Nonprofit is like, “Extra on the like hustle because you’re wearing many hats in there. You’re always stretched thin.” I got into the entrepreneur space and I was like, “This is also a hustle culture and extroverted.” I’m like, “I’m not feeling like I fit in here, either.” That was interesting to want to start this thing because I was seeing that it wasn’t much different than the office life. It was such different kinds of energy drain and hustle culture.
It’s also not that different from high school too, the clicks and the popularity contest. You see this a lot happening on social media with the popular influencers and all of that. It reminds me of being in an office or being in school and those dynamics that are at play.
Who said that being paid well for what you do always had to be completely draining and breaking up your mind and body? I had to accept that sometimes things are easy for me and like copywriting, for example, it doesn’t always take me that long. That doesn’t mean I don’t need to be compensated for the years of work that I put in to not have that take me a long time. My mind wasn’t completely drained for making those thousands of dollars. I feel like that’s something too where that worthiness is something that is a structure within us that depending on our upbringing, our race, and our gender. Many things in our background could be a heavy block and something hard in the entrepreneurial space to be pricing your own services, packages, and products.
There’s that notion that you need to be hustling to make money, but if you’ve spent all this time working on your craft, you can find a way where you are making money because you have spent so much time and you’re great at it now. You could also have another way to work with you. You’re not feeling like you’re charging people thousands of dollars and are not accessible to other people too. I love seeing those models out in the entrepreneurial space where there’s a lot more membership and a lot more things that are accessible. You don’t have to be like, “I’ll never be able to afford her $5,000, $10,000 offers. I’ll never be able to work with her.” There are other ways to do that. That’s cool and encouraging to me.
There’s so much that we can chat about. I feel like we should end this and then I should go. You and Jason should talk for a couple more hours about all the things you have in common.You could be yourself and still attract the right people to work with you. Click To Tweet
We’ve got to talk about the NBA season restarting, COVID, Black Lives Matter or who’s going to sit out, who’s going to play. The rabbit hole has no end.
What if your grandfathers were friends with each other or there’s some tie there? It reminds me, Jason, of when we did the episode with Dotsie. She and I found out we had a lot in common too. That’s the fun of doing these episodes is we get to bond with people and have these deep conversations. Who knows? What if our readers are finding out they have all these things in common with you, Monica? You never know.
I have to say, Whitney, when I’ve done some Mellow Marketing Monday episodes about networking and how introverts can do it and we make such amazing connections over time because we’re into that genuine connection and knowing things about people. I have used you as an example once, because we had met long ago, on Twitter when I was working with three people and then the Women of The Green Generation, and all these things. When I had Bare Bones, I was supported by people like you and Sunny and people that I had made those connections with that at the time I had no ulterior motive or no like transactional situation that I was looking for. It’s like organically came around that people wanted to support me because we had made a connection before. I feel like this has come full circle with this episode. Always nurturing those connections and how great introverts are at making that genuine connection, listening, and staying connected. Even though we don’t talk so much, but knowing that there was a connection there. It’s a cool thing.
I shouldn’t generalize this, but I know Jason and I experienced this, and I’m sure you do at times too, Monica, where through social media, it can feel transactional. It’s like, “What can you give me? How can you help me?” “Here’s how I can help you.” It’s the surface level thing. Going back to what Jason was saying about copywriting and finding companies that he truly feels connected to because a lot of times what we do for money, we want it to feel meaningful. Ultimately, most of us want to make a difference in the world, but we live in a transactional culture where it’s all about what we can do for somebody else and going back to networking. That’s why I feel uncomfortable in networking situations, depending on the context. Sometimes I thrive in them, but a lot of times I don’t want to have a transactional conversation. As Jason was saying, I don’t want someone to be looking at my badge to decide if I’m worthy. I don’t want someone to look at my social media numbers and determine how much I’m worth them paying or if they should even bother talking to me. I hate those transactional situations.
Thank you for bringing this up as a reminder, Monica, that it is about those deeper connections, and having a ten-year history with somebody and watching them evolve is such a blessing. I’m grateful that you talked about these things. We covered a lot of ground. We went deep in ways I wasn’t expecting. I get to see a new friendship blossom between you and Jason. Jason is going to start his new company pimping out extroverts to introverts or vice versa. It’s exciting times.
A lot of opportunities are coming out of this show. I love it.
One more business idea, starting in the Pacific Northwest, an inclusive basketball league that is welcome of all gender sexualities, religions, colors. It’s the most inclusive rec league ever. We also have eco-friendly local goods for sale at a weekly game. We have the vegan food trucks pull up and it’s rainbow party palace on a basketball court.
That is a dream come true and we have to make it happen.
I imagine that and thought that and bring DJs in and bring bands. It’s a basketball food life party where all are welcome. I flashed on it. Let’s do this.
Do you know how well that would do in Portland? That would be well received here.
I feel like if we were to start like that rec league, we’d have to have a great name. We’re both smart. We can do this. We can find a name, but that would crush. I want to start a basketball league with you.
Let’s find the name. I’ll buy some domains and URLs.
Monica, you’re an absolute delight. It was wonderful to get to know you and I will be DM-ing you about all things specific Northwest.
Thank you so much for having me. I didn’t know where we’d go, but that’s such an amazing part of this format of being able to have a conversation. I’m glad we got to talk about many things. I’m glad I know both of you so much better now and have a new basketball, loving, Pacific Northwest, copywriting friend.
With that, my beautiful friends, readers, supporters, we appreciate you being here for another episode. We’re also on all the social media platforms on the biggies like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. We also have a TikTok account. I need to be more active there. Whitney keeps pushing me. I’m going to get there shortly because the demand is high for my extroverted services on TikTok. I got to get there. With that, my beautiful friends dip into all of the great resources we have for you to awaken and activate your talents and your heart on this planet. We are here for you. We appreciate you. We will be back again with another episode. Bye!
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- Monica Schrock
- Unsocially Inclined
- Cruelty-Free Lifestyle, Conscious Beauty and Ageism with Sunny Subramanian – Previous episode
- Data Privacy, Social Media and Website Minimalism with Paul Jarvis – Previous episode
- Instagram – Unsocially Inclined
- Getting Out of the Gold Medal Mentality with Dotsie Bausch – Previous episode
- Quiet Rebel Society – Facebook
- Princeton Researchers Discover How Loners and Introverts Will Save Society – Fast Company article
- Daniel Howell – Twitter
- Sweet Simple Vegan
- Gary Vaynerchuk
- Brendon Burchard
- Women of The Green Generation
- Facebook – Wellevatr
- Twitter – Wellevatr
- Pinterest – Wellevatr
- Instagram – Wellevatr
- TikTok – Wellevatr
About Monica Schrock
Monica is a cautiously optimistic, introverted copywriter with a mean coffee habit and serious nerd streak living in the Pacific Northwest.
Monica revels at the intersection between cause and strategy, hoping to make the world a better place one word at a time. She’s spent the last 13 years navigating the inherently extroverted profession of marketing, helping over 200 clients craft their message, and increase their sales or donations from double to over ten times.
Her true joy lies at the moment she gets to craft a message that captures the essence of why a movement, organization, or brand was created.
Now she helps introverted business owners make a full-time income with their services without the pressure of acting extroverted through marketing confidence and words that convert.
Find her online at @unsociallyinclined.
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