Mind Your Business: How Prioritising Mental Health Benefits Business for Introvert CEOsNov 15, 2023
By Jacqueline Shaulis
July was Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. It began an excellent time to honour introverted women of colour changing the landscape of entertainment, business, politics, and beyond by prioritising their mental wellness.
Each of these world-changing, history-making, brains-meets-beauty powerhouse ladies are self-proclaimed introverts who leave a blazing trail of progress in their wake. These ladies embody the necessity of honouring one's reflective, observant nature as internal processors on the path to greater impact and success. Lets meet some of them:
Beyoncé: Entertainer and CEO/Chairwoman, Parkwood Entertainment
PHOTO CREDIT: Campbell Addy
"I am now grateful for those shy years of silence [that] gave me the ability to connect to people. I'm not sure I would dream as big as I dream today if it were not for those awkward years in my head." - Harper's Bazaar
Mellody Hobson: Businesswoman and Co-CEO, Ariel Investments
PHOTO CREDIT: Forbes
"Mellody made the decisions for her whole life. She knew what she wanted to do and how she wanted to do it. [She's] very, very thoughtful about her future and about the kind of people she allows in her life." - Vanity Fair
Naomi Osaka: Athlete and Founder/CEO, KINLÒ
PHOTO CREDIT: Djeneba Aduayom
"Growing up being [labeled] 'the quiet one' puts you in a box and, even worse, makes you stand out when all you want is to blend in. But now I try to embrace and own it." - Women's Health
Salma Hayek: Actress and CEO/Founder, Ventanarosa Productions
PHOTO CREDIT: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
"No one would know it, but I get it really, really bad [stage fright]. If you take the camera away and put me in front of an audience, I just die. Once I get onto the stage, you can't tell. But then I can't do anything else the rest of the day because I'm so exhausted." InStyle
Rhianna: Singer and Co-owner, Fenty Beauty
PHOTO CREDIT: Pierre-Ange Carlotti
"People don't know that I'm shy. But I'm so shy I don't even want you to know I'm shy. Because I kind of pretend it's not happening, people read me as being confident." - Interview Magazine
Viola Davis: Actress and CEO, JuVee Productions
PHOTO CREDIT: Leon Bennett/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
"It's more important for me to [show] the mess and the imperfection along with the beauty and all of that, for me to feel validated. [I] become a 'human whisperer' inviting the person into [my] life and making space for [their] revelations." - The New York Times
Stephanie Morimoto: Women's Advocate and Owner/CEO, Asutra
PHOTO CREDIT: Stephanie Morimoto
"How inspiring it is to see a fellow introverted woman of c standing proudly in her introversion while leading and excelling in an industry that often c the bold, brash, and loud." - Forbes
Condoleezza Rice: Former U.S. Secretary of State and Founding Partner, Rice, Hadley, Gates & Manuel LLC
PHOTO CREDIT: Noam Galai/Getty Images
"[Condoleezza] has a certain demeanor: assertive yet deferential, eager yet calm, [by rising] above the fray, she preserves her ability to influence decisions, however subtly." - Newsweek
Each of these amazing intersectional introverts™ has leveraged their introversion to create lasting change in the world through their professions and giftings. As fellow introverted women, let us model and implement their lived experiences as influential introverts to craft our own brand of AWESOME™ as only we can.
Prioritise your energy and needs
These leading ladies use introversion to their advantage by acknowledging their boundaries as the container that allows them to bloom and flourish in their craft.
By creating space for how (and when) you best operate, you create space to excel in your lane of genius while fanning into flame the sparks of inspiration and motivation that come from your internal processing.
Work toward big goals
Each remarkable woman has achieved incredible, often historic, accomplishments by dreaming big and pursuing her vision of herself with vigour.
Your audacious aspirations are not limited by your internal processing or your background. In fact, your introversion enhances how you can serve your world and paves the way for mind-blowing opportunities for impact and income through innovation and transformation.
Your complexity is a gift
These women of wealth and wisdom have endured tremendous highs and lows and overcome seemingly insurmountable odds by trusting in the multifaceted depth and giftings of their introverted nature.
Recognise that your introversion - with its introspection, mastery, observation, reflection, solitude, and steadfastness - is not a compromise or liability but rather an essential element of the awesomeness you bring through your Amazing Works of Expression™.
While some of these lovely ladies are well-known introverts, several are surely surprising (Really, RiRi?!) as they demonstrate once more that introverts can be influential. Here's to you being added to the list of world-class introverted women rocking your world for good.
Jacqueline Shaulis is the leading authority on communication-based personal leadership for intersectional introverts. As an introverted woman of colour, she's leveraged her challenging upbringing into becoming a transformational speaker, bestselling author, and executive coach & advisor to Fortune 500 executives…all while honouring her introversion.
The founder of Awesome Enterprises LLC, Executive Director of the National Center for Intersectional Studies, and author of internationally bestselling books "Embrace Your Awesome" and "Yes Introverts Can". When not globetrotting with coffee in hand or loudly singing "tune-adjacent" at home, you can find Jacqueline getting lost in a good (audio)book or hugging her son, his nine cousins, or the nearest tree. You can read more about Jacqueline and her work here.
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