Kylie Saunder is a women on a mission.
After many years working in the fitness industry, Kylie now helps businesses write content that connects and engages with their audience. Kylie is passionate about encouraging and helping her clients embrace the content creation process.
I first met Kylie about 5 years ago at a networking event hosted by my dear friend Melinda Samson. Kylie was helping pilate and other fitness instructors with their online marketing. We reconnected again earlier this year when Kylie enrolled in Marie Forleo’s B School program. (I know,who hasn’t right?!)
Kylie is a self-professed “rare” introvert. She found out recently found after she completed an in-depth personality test and discovered she has a personality type with only about 1% of population.
Read on to find out exactly what type of personality she really has.
1. Can you give us a brief insight into your background. What you were doing before you became an entrepreneur and what led you to this path?
After graduating from University I worked at different companies like Amcor and Motorola in support and marketing roles.
Before I started http://kyliesaunder.com I owned several fitness businesses, including a couple of Pilates studios.
After I sold up, I decided that I wanted low overheads and no staff. But I wanted to use my business experience and marketing background. I started coaching fitness business owners and discovered they also needed help with their online marketing.
From there I jumped into helping them with their social media and content creation and discovered that my writing skills helped them stand out from the crowd.
Fast forward to today – I help small business owners create online content, including social media posts, blogs and website content. I’m also passionate about Google+ and help my clients set up their personal and business pages, create engaging posts and help them build their community.
2. What does being an introvert mean to you?
I’ve known for over 20 years that I’m an introvert but only recently found out I’m a very rare one after I completed an in-depth personality test. I’m an INFJ personality type and with only about 1% of population it’s quite rare.
INFJ’s are typically gentle, loyal, caring, complex and very intuitive. They also love generating ideas and can easily see what outcomes will work the best.
INFJ’s are also perfectionists who thrive on improving themselves. Knowing this has helped me slow down and celebrate my wins, instead of pushing on and on all the time.
3. When did you realise or discover you were an introvert? Was there a particular experience that you made you realise you were or an a-ha moment? How did that happen? What were those a-ha moments?
I’ve always been happy with my own company, even as a small child I loved sitting quietly reading or playing quietly with my brother and the dog.
In my first corporate job, my colleagues kept inviting me out for Friday night drinks. I kept declining, as I couldn’t understand why they wanted to socialise with each other, when they worked with each other all week!
When I said this to someone, they looked at me like I had come from another planet, “What, you don’t want to hang out with us for a few hours at the pub?” It was just after this that I discovered I was an introvert.
A memorable aha moment was when I decided to stay at home from a family function because I was too tired from a full week’s work. I was in the fitness industry and had worked long hours training clients and teaching classes – I remember feeling emotionally and physically spent.
When I let them know I wasn’t going, the world didn’t fall down around my ears. They were disappointed but did understand how tired I was and that I needed to just stay home and rest.
4. How has being an introvert affected or shaped your life?
Years ago, family and friends may have thought I was being standoffish or just “being Kylie” if I wanted to stay home or didn’t feel the need to sit up all night and party on.
Now I’m older and also wiser, I stand firm and don’t ever let myself feel pressured to do something or go somewhere that will make me feel overwhelmed and exhausted.
I love getting out and meeting new people, networking and going to parties and functions. My mindset now is that I will go and have a fabulous time, meet new people, maybe learn something new and then when I feel ready to leave I will.
5. What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned over the years about running a business as an introvert and life in general?
I’ve been running my own businesses since 1998. I invest a lot of physical, emotional and mental energies into everything that I do. Which means that I need to really focus on replenishing them. The biggest key for me has been to develop a solid sleeping, fitness and wellbeing routine that I adhere to – no matter what!
I walk a lot (I puppy care for Seeing Eye Dogs Australia) and make sure that I practice yoga every day. I also schedule a few times throughout the day to meditate for 5 minutes.
These simple routines keep me grounded, calm and balanced.
A lot of people think I’m extroverted, especially when they find out that I’ve been an aerobics instructor and personal trainer. There’s a perception that being friendly, smiling warmly and being genuinely interested in what others are saying and doing is ‘being an extrovert’. But when I read what an INFJ is like, it made more sense.
I’ve discovered that too many face-to-face meetings or functions in one week don’t work for me. My energy levels suffer a lot if I have back-to-back days of meetings.
I now include a ‘buffer’ e.g. if there’s a networking function at night, I make sure the next day is spent at home. I still take client calls, but need to replenish my energies with this buffer.
6. Can you talk a bit about how you approach your work? What are some of the ways you stay grounded and inspired?
I’ve got a fabulous home office that’s really quiet. I don’t work with music or the radio on, as it’s too distracting.
I love listening to podcasts but not in the office – I download them and listen to them in the car.
Social media can feel overwhelming at times. If I sense that I’m getting frazzled by being online, I step away from all my screens for a few hours, or longer!
To work productively, I always create a to-do list the night before. I find this helps me stay on track the next day.
7. What’s been key for you in building your audience online?
I’ve built my online audience by just being myself. Trying to be like others or modeling what’s worked for my role models hasn’t worked at all.
In the online world, people can smell it if you’re not being authentic! I love Twitter and have made some really fabulous connections with like-minded people.
Google+ is also a favorite of mine – there are some really awesome people there who are keen to connect and help each other out.
I recently had to get back onto Facebook for an online business course I did earlier in the year – I only use Facebook for this group of business people, as I don’t feel comfortable posting anything personal there.
8. How do you tackle fear, overwhelm, self-doubt, unexpected surprises etc?
Being a solopreneur can be challenging, but I’ve learned that business has its ups and downs. If there are downs, I reach out to friends (on the phone or in real life) and let them know. If I’m feeling overwhelmed or experience self-doubt, I write it all down in a journal.
I’ve learned that sitting there with the thoughts whirling around in my head for hours or days isn’t good. Pouring thoughts onto the page releases them and allows me to relax a bit and get some perspective.
I’ve also learned that everyone experiences fears and self-doubts – it’s part of being human!
9. What have you been working on? Can you tell us where people can go to find out more?
There are a couple of big things happening. First, I’m in middle of renovating a holiday home in Rye (on the Mornington Peninsula) I’ve developed a website and it will be ready for rental in late September.
I’ve also been working with my friend Melinda Samson on a Google+ training product for Australian businesses, which will be launched soon.
I feel aligned and energetic when… I’m at the beach with my husband and the dog. I write from my heart and the message connects with my audience.
I’m inspired by….how I can help people simplify their content creation process. Reading the fabulous Danielle La Porte and Marie Forleo. Listening to podcasts by amazing Australian businesswomen like Valerie Khoo and Catriona Pollard.
3 big myths about introverts are… they don’t like hanging out with people: I love hanging out with people, but to re-energise and stay balanced, I must have time by myself. They’re shy: I’m friendly and love meeting new people, but I’m also highly intuitive. If I feel jangled energetically, I will hold back and be quieter than normal until I can work out what’s going on. They hold information back and are aloof: I don’t feel the need to share every single detail about my life or what’s going on in my head. Talking for no good reason just seems like a waste of time and energy to me!
Thank you Kylie, I loved reading your answers. What are some key insights you learned from reading Kylie’s interview?
Kylie Saunder is an online content creator and writer who loves helping businesses write content that connects and engages with their audience. Kylie is passionate about encouraging and helping her clients embrace the content creation process. Kylie also loves Google+ and helps her clients develop their profile and brand, while engaging with and building their community.
Did you miss last week’s edition of The Introvert Spotlight? Check out Jessica Larsen’s interview.