Stephanie Thoma is a networking strategy coach, event host, and founder of Confident Introvert. She has facilitated over 1,000 events and established a fulfilling career helping people generate meaningful connections at online and in-person events. Her mission is to help introverts feel confident and establish relationships that catapult them forward in their career.
As a connector, Stephanie’s views around networking have been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, Entrepreneur, and Thrive Global. She has also been invited to speak at Harvard, Northeastern, and Boston Universities as well as internationally. To date, Stephanie has helped thousands of people celebrate their strengths, step into their authentic confidence, and make meaningful connections.
Where did the idea for Confident Introvert come from?
The idea for Confident Introvert came from the workshop networking for introverts. I recognized that a lot of what kept my event attendees and clients from feeling connected at work wasn’t their introversion, but a lack of self-confidence and that the two are often convoluted: a lack of confidence and introversion.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day begins with a plank and the live reading of a philosophical quote from Ryan Holiday’s The Daily Stoic. Then I’ll head into a 30-minute jog or at-home HIIT or yoga workout and then eat breakfast, shower and head into work mode until dinner time. Then I’m tech free an hour before bed and engage in the Daily 3-2-1 (from my book Confident Introvert) composed of 30 minutes of reading, 20 minutes of journaling and 10 minutes of meditation. I make it productive by having this loose schedule and being active definitely enables me to get more done and feel happier doing it.
How do you bring ideas to life?
When I have an idea, I am usually pretty quick to create an event, workshop, or another type of experience to ease the curiosity around what something that has been living in my head looks like out in the world.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I am warming up to the trend of online events. As someone who loves attending and hosting personal and professional development events in-person, this quarantine has made me rethink what I previously stood for. While in-person was a fantastic medium when it’s not safe to do so, it comes down to connecting with people over deep conversation and being able to do that from anywhere with people from all over the world is exciting!
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Being an anti-procrastinator- ensuring I do what needs to be done before fun, but also balancing that by totally unplugging for at least an hour per day, day per week and week per year (the Tech Free Code of 1:1:1, Confident Introvert).
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my much younger self to start meditating. It will change your life later!
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Pizza that’s light on the cheese and heavy on the sauce is best.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I am open to outsourcing what I am either not skilled at (and don’t desire to be) or the time-consuming stuff with contractors and automation tools. If something seems tedious or beyond my skill set, it’s become a habit to find a smarter way to work.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I have grown my business by initially being a “yes” person- getting experience public speaking, on podcasts and on blogs when the steaks were low and there were fewer eyes on it, and then gaining the confidence and cred to say “no” to more, after learning what best serves me and my community.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Which one? … a failure that comes to mind would be not monetizing what I love earlier. I have learned my financial worth over time with the help of coaches, books, and surrounding myself with people who believe in me and vice versa.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A consumer packaged goods company- one that creates healthy and yummy vegan desserts that show up each week (or perhaps the week of a woman’s period!) to look forward to.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently spent $100 on chocolate. Those Facebook ads sure know how to target me during these quarantined times. I purchased over $100 of specialty chocolate and I think it goes without saying why it was worth it.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I love Calendly since it minimizes the back-and-forth of scheduling. I just share my link and magically have calls scheduled when it works for me.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I would certainly say my book, Confident Introvert, to reframe what it means to feel confident and self-assured to connect with people more deeply at work and in life. But if that one didn’t exist, then I would suggest Journey of Souls by Michael Newton. Plenty to unpack there.
What is your favorite quote?
One that speaks to me right now is a variation of one I grew up loving (“Life is about creating yourself- Bernard Shaw): “First tell yourself what type of person you would like to be. Then take steps to be that person.” – Marcus Aurelius
- You have more control over your destiny than you think
- Say “yes” often to learn what you like before whittling it down to more “nos” – rinse and repeat
- Work hard and relax hard
- Reduce anxiety to uncover confidence to allow for relationships to bud and grow your career