Susan Cain: Unlocking The Disruptive Power Of Introverts

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How do you sell two million copies of your book?

You write a disruptive book, one with a revolutionary thesis that talks about a topic no one else is talking about, a subject that plays to your own distinctive strengths.

If you’re Susan Cain, guest for Episode 14 of the Disrupt Yourself Podcast, you write Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking. You launch a Quiet Revolution. Despite your own introversion you give hundreds of public speeches and a TED talk viewed by millions of people.

The books practically sell themselves.

I hope you’ll listen to the entire episode, Susan’s story of disrupting from Wall Street attorney to full-time non-fiction author, and her aspirations for the potential of the Quiet movement helping introverted people to find a path to maximize their potential in a world that rewards extroversion.

“One out of every two or three human beings is introverted, there is tremendous power associated with having this temperament and we live in a culture that is telling introverts that they should turn into extroverts instead of helping them to capitalize on their powers for the benefit of themselves and of everyone.”

Susan agrees that introverts may be uniquely well-suited to disruption. She describes herself as marching to her own personal drummer from an early age, a helpful attribute in a person who wants to assume market risk, defining a personal niche by playing where others don’t and by leveraging distinctive strengths.

“I think it’s very common for introverts to describe themselves in the way that I did—marching to their own drummer. The result is that you kind of know what you think and feel about things, and you tend to develop your own view of the world, and I think that lends itself to disruption.”

A key to her own disruptive path, she says, was to learn to question and doubt the messages embedded in our culture, rather than questioning and doubting herself.

Listen to hear more good advice for introverts and disruptors. Don’t pass it up just because you’re an extrovert; she has words of wisdom for your disruption, too, as well as all the insight you can gain into the introverts in your life.

Show Notes/Resources Mentioned in the Show and Transcript:

Susan's Website: The Quiet Revolution

Susan's Book: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking.

Gretchen Rubin's habits quiz

Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

Disrupt Yourself (book)

Myers-Briggs Personality Type

The Quiet Revolution Personality Test

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

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