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Show Notes

Do you feel like there’s something holding you back in life or work?

If you’re an introvert, you’re not alone. According to the latest estimates, approximately one-half of the population identifies as introverted. Sadly, many introverts feel like they have to hide their true nature in order to fit into a world that values extroversion. 

Join me and my guest, Teresa Huff, as we discuss how to embrace your introversion, and how to design your life and work around your strengths to unleash your full potential.

Check out this great episode discussing Teresa’s journey and then check out my episode on the Grant Writing Simplified Podcast where we discuss my journey of discovering and embracing introversion.

Teresa Huff is the host of the Grant Writing Simplified Podcast and the go-to expert in grant writer coaching and nonprofit grant strategy. She’s helped nonprofits triple their funding and maximize their impact. After winning over $7 million for schools and nonprofits, she now teaches grant writers and nonprofits the strategies they need to develop millions in scalable, long-term funding. Her podcast has been downloaded in over 100 countries across 6 continents, and more than 3,000 students worldwide have completed her online grant writing programs.

Teresa uses her Master’s in Education and over 20 years of experience in writing, special education, and business to help nonprofit leaders take their skills to the next level through her Fast Track to Grant Writer VIP Coaching Program. Learn more and listen to the Grant Writing Simplified Podcast at

Podcast: Grant Writing Simplified


Books Mentioned

Susan Cain Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
Susan Cain Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverted Kids

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Contact the Host of the Quiet and Strong Podcast:

David Hall

Author, Speaker, Educator, Podcaster
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Timestamped Overview

[00:02:09] Learning about being an introvert has been a long process with many strategies to help overcome social anxiety, and self-care is important.

[00:04:22] Discovering introversion through resources like the book “Quiet” was transformative, leading to understanding and acceptance of personal needs and boundaries in work and social settings.

[00:09:36] Introversion and shyness are different things; helpful to understand, need to work on shyness, own and appreciate introversion.

[00:12:05] The process of overcoming introversion includes naming fears, understanding strengths, setting boundaries, and taking action to gain clarity. The fear does not get to decide the next step. Clarity comes from taking action, which leads to more clarity.

[00:17:44] Overcoming fear leads to better judgment in all areas; naming and pinpointing specific fears helps overcome them; shifting perspective to serving others instead of selling leads to more natural and valuable content; taking imperfect action helps start momentum.

[00:21:00] Former special ed teacher became a grant writer and started her own consulting business. She now coaches grant writers to avoid making the same mistakes she did. She met a paralegal who became a referral source for local nonprofits.

[00:25:11] Realized strengths: strategic thinking, problem solving, ability to connect the dots, and organizing logically. Helps others distill information down to next steps.

[00:27:57] Practicing and refining self-care, taking breaks and prioritizing conference goals leads to a more worthwhile experience.

[00:34:02] Strive for work-life balance, but be present in what you’re doing. Mindfulness is key.

[00:36:22] Initially didn’t want to start a podcast. Husband suggested it later. Took online course and decided to launch a podcast. Overcame fear to commit to weekly episodes for one year. Helped with confidence and shyness. Almost at 100 episodes.

[00:40:22] Podcast grew organically, transformed interactions, helps nonprofits.

[00:46:23] Grant writing quiz helps identify skills for the job. Can be done remotely. Impactful work for introverts.

[00:50:38] Connect with me at for blog, social media, and Myers Briggs assessment. Share topics/guests, understand introverted strengths.

Questions and Answers

1. What inspired the speaker to start their own podcast, and what were their initial thoughts and feelings about it?

Answer: The speaker did not intend to do a podcast initially. However, they were lost and unsure about their next direction until their husband suggested starting a podcast, writing a book, and teaching. At first, the idea of podcasting was terrifying for the speaker, who did not enjoy blogging. However, after taking an online course that included a bonus on how to launch a podcast, they realized that starting a podcast was the next right step for them.

2. How did starting a podcast help the speaker gain confidence and overcome shyness?

Answer: Although starting a podcast was initially challenging for the speaker, it eventually helped them gain confidence and overcome shyness. Through their podcast, they were able to share their expertise and connect with others, leading to a sense of fulfillment and purpose.

3. What are some strategies that the speaker uses to cope with their introversion and nurture their self-awareness?

Answer: The speaker has discovered that taking breaks and allowing themselves downtime is essential for recharging during busy times such as conferences. Additionally, the speaker has learned to design their work and social settings around their introversion without feeling guilty. Understanding introversion and how they were wired helped the speaker explain their personality and how they felt in specific situations.

4. What was the speaker’s background, and how did they get interested in grant writing?

Answer: The speaker used to be a special education teacher but decided to stay home with their kids and wanted to supplement their family’s income. They found grant writing to be an interesting way to generate revenue and started looking for information on it online.

5. What challenges did the speaker face when starting their own grant writing consulting business?

Answer: Starting a grant writing consulting business was initially scary for the speaker, as they were in a new community and lacked connections. However, they made friends with a paralegal who became a referral source and connected them with local nonprofits.

6. What strengths does the speaker possess that make them an effective grant writer and coach?

Answer: The speaker possesses strengths such as strategic thinking and problem-solving that make them an effective grant writer and coach. They help others by identifying key factors, connecting the dots, and organizing information in a logical framework.

7. How does the speaker approach fear and self-doubt, and what strategies do they use to overcome these feelings?

Answer: The speaker believes that fear can cloud judgment and lead to a lack of action. They acknowledge that fear and self-doubt exist but focus on how to mitigate them. Naming and defining fear can help to move forward, and approaching things from a mindset of service can help take fear out of the equation.

8. What is the importance of self-awareness and understanding introversion, and how can it lead to better productivity and self-care?

Answer: Understanding the value of taking breaks and downtime can help with recharging during busy times such as conferences and can lead to better productivity and self-care. Additionally, understanding introversion and how one is wired can help explain their personality and how they feel in certain situations.

9. How did the speaker develop their online grant writing courses, and what lessons did they learn along the way?

Answer: Developing online grant writing courses was a process for the speaker, and they learned to push through their shyness and fear to create effective courses. The speaker leaned into their faith for guidance and took small steps towards their goals, which eventually led to the creation of successful courses.

10. What is the speaker’s overall message to grant writers and nonprofits, and what impact does the speaker hope to have on their audience?

Answer: The speaker’s overall message is to help grant writers and nonprofits gain clarity in their next steps. The speaker has encountered people who are unsure if they have the skills to become a grant writer, but upon closer inspection, the speaker sees that they have the necessary skills to excel. The speaker wants to help others avoid the mistakes and learning experiences they went through in the beginning.

Podcast Transcript

Teresa Huff [00:00:00]:

I would just say lean into it. Like, instead of feeling like a misfit, really step back and look at connecting the dots of who you are and how you can lean into those skills and really use those so that it feels good and authentic and really using your gifts with ease and with in a way that lights you up and that serves others well.

David Hall [00:00:37]:

Hello, and welcome to the Quiet and Strong Podcasts, especially for introverts. I’m your host, David Hall, I’m the creator of It’s a weekly podcast dedicated to understanding the strengths and needs of introverts. Entroversion is not something to fix, but to be embraced. Normally, while our each episode on a Monday, be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform, leave a review, Tell a friend. I’ll get the word out there. Teresa Huff is the host of the grant writing simplified podcast and the go to x burden grant writing, coaching, and nonprofit grant strategy. She’s helped nonprofits triple their funding and maximize their impact. After winning over $7,000,000 for schools and nonprofits, she now teaches grant writers and nonprofits the strategies they need to develop millions and scalable long term funding. Her podcast has been downloaded in over a 100 countries across 6 continents and more than 3000 students worldwide have completed her online grant writing programs. As you’ll see in this episode, Teresa has learned to embrace introversion for success in her life and in the work that she does.

David Hall [00:01:41]:

Alright. Welcome to the quiet and strong podcast, Teresa.

Teresa Huff [00:01:45]:

Thank you. I’m excited to be here and chat again.

David Hall [00:01:49]:

Yes. And I was on Teresa’s podcast as well, and we’re gonna get into her podcast and the work she does and how she’s brought her understanding of introversion into all of that. But first, let’s start with tell us a little more about yourself and definitely your journey through understanding that you are an introvert?

Teresa Huff [00:02:09]:

Well, it’s definitely been a long process and an ongoing process. It’s not like a oh, now I’m an introvert. I know it perfectly. It’s been kind of a learning process with a lot of different pieces. It’s like putting together a puzzle that’s becoming more and more clear of what the picture is. And so it’s been kind of fun, actually. of realizing that. And there were things I wish I had known because in grade school and throughout junior high high school, there were times that I was just so painfully shy. And such now I understand such social anxiety or if I had to do a piano recital or anything, I would just shake like a leaf. It was terrible and terrifying. I still have you know, horror memories of those types of things. But I know now that it had to do with that, And if I had understood some of the strategies that I know now, I could have probably handled those a lot better and a lot calmer. But at the time, I just didn’t understand that. I just thought, oh, no. People. And it’s scary and horrible to have to be in front of people. And you know? But it’s been definitely a a growing process, and a lot of strategies along the way have helped in a lot of resources. And that’s why I was so excited to see your podcast and some of the helpful interviews and episodes you’ve done because it is just so practical and that’s why I enjoy talking about it because I think it does help acknowledge and just name that, hey. This is a thing. So many people are introverts, and it’s okay. It’s how we’re wired. And the more we can understand about it, the healthier and more productive and functional we can be. And like you talk about a lot, making sure we’re meeting our needs to really fill ourselves so that we can then pour into others.

David Hall [00:04:16]:

Yes. Thank you. How did you discover the word introvert and then relate to it?

Teresa Huff [00:04:22]:

The first time that I remember it clicking that it’s actually a thing was when I came across the book quiet by Susan Cain. And that was a huge, light bulb moment. to realize, oh, wait. This is actually how I’m wired, and there’s a big difference between introvert to extrovert and it explained so much about my personality or why I would feel really maybe tense in certain situations or just suddenly overloaded even with friends or family. And it’s like, oh, I just Need a break and then didn’t know why, and it finally explained a lot of those pieces. So that was the first time several years ago. when I remember really at clicking for that initial piece of it. And then a couple of other resources along the way, like, to covering the studies about highly sensitive person. And then Holly Girth came out with her book about introverts and then things like your podcast and realizing, okay. More people are talking about this, again, providing more versus, which I think is important because if I didn’t know till I was well into adulthood, then I know there are so many others that don’t either. and it’s really been transformational to understand that. And to be able to design my work in, like, and social settings and different aspects around that and not feeling bad or guilty for that for needing breaks, for needing think time for needing some of those things that maybe are typically seen as either a waste time or what’s wrong with you or why don’t you wanna go to this get together when that’s not my idea of fun, and that’s okay. it doesn’t have to be because each person’s definition of fun or enriching or fulfilling is completely different. And so, really, the big piece was realizing it’s okay, and I can define that for myself. It doesn’t have to be society’s stereotype of what things should be.

David Hall [00:06:35]:

Yeah. That sounds great. And you’re definitely not alone. There’s so many people that found out later what their own strengths and needs are, and Susan Cain has been mentioned on this podcast by guest many times. And I do highly recommend her book quiet. So how’d you even decide I wanna read this book? How how did that happen?

Teresa Huff [00:06:57]:

I think I was just browsing through the library looking for something to pick up and the title and subtitle caught my eye what is it quiet, the power of introverts in a world that wants to stop talking or something like that? Yeah. That sounds about right. Yeah. and just realizing, wait, that immediately resonated with me, and I wanted to read more. So I just picked it up at the library. And then funny enough, my daughter a few months later, I happened to walk into a room, and I saw she was reading quiet, the 114s in kids, the youth version of it, which I didn’t even know existed, but I was like, is that you? And she was like, yeah. You know? And I was like, yeah. I know. And it just clicked, and I was so glad that she was finding this out in her teens. learning it so much younger than I did because I think that would have really made a difference for me understanding that just socially going through college, knowing I needed downtime instead of pushing so hard sometimes. And giving myself a little grace and learning that that’s okay to do.

David Hall [00:08:10]:

Wow. So she found a book you each found Susan Kings work independently?

Teresa Huff [00:08:16]:

Yes. And I didn’t know there was the teen 1, or I would’ve gotten it for her to read. But, yeah, she must have found it at school or something like that. Oh, that’s a great yeah. That’s a great story. Yeah. So I thought it was fun. And then that immediately gave us something we both related to and kinda that connection of, oh, she needs a break. I get it. Or and when she would say to her little brother, I’m over stimulated right now. I just need you to leave me alone. I knew she was processing and learning.

David Hall [00:08:49]:

Oh, that’s great. I I love that she found it early. That’s what it’s all about. There’s too many people that find out so much later. And, you know, it’s all ranges. You know, I’ve had people that were in college. One of my guests said, she was working with an eighty year old. I mean, we needed to happen much earlier. And it this needs to be a normal conversation, a normal You know? This is who you are, but not only that. It’s this is how you can be brilliant. You know? And understanding this about yourself, you really can shine. You know? And that’s that’s the key. It’s not just an excuse and, you know, accepting this lesser thing. It’s like, no. This is how you can be amazing.

Teresa Huff [00:09:36]:

Right. Yes. And one of the big, light bulb moments within that was realizing introversion and shyness are 2 very different things and that anyone could be shy it doesn’t necessarily go hand in hand with being an introvert. And so that was really helpful to realize, okay. I’m both, and I could pinpoint certain feelings or reactions even as a child when I could tell that was from being extremely shy. And then there were other times when I know it was because of being an introvert and needing certain things there. that I didn’t understand at the time, like being overloaded or just needing a break from something. And so that was really helpful to understand that the shyness piece is actually something holding me back that I need to work through. But the introvert piece, like you said, is more of a superpower that I need to lean into and own and not be ashamed of or embarrassed by or apologize for. Yeah. And the other thing on that so with shyness,

David Hall [00:10:46]:

understanding my introversion made it go away. But introversion’s never gonna go away. It’s with me to stay. It’s a great thing, but there was a time where I didn’t understand it. But when I didn’t understand it, I was shy. I had a lot of anxiety, and I largely got away from those things by understanding, oh, I need some time to think. I think before I speak, and that’s normal. And it’s somewhere some of my best ideas come from. And those things really helped. And, yeah, and they’re shy extroverts, they’re shy introverts, it’s a lack of confidence. But for me, understanding my introversion really helped that.

Teresa Huff [00:11:25]:

Yes. Exactly.

David Hall [00:11:27]:

Did you feel like your introversion was holding you back before you understood it?

Teresa Huff [00:11:33]:

Before I understood, I probably felt more like a misfit. and more awkward because I didn’t fit what you were, quote, supposed to be like in social settings or in leadership type roles or just in some of my work that I did. It’s like the expectation was extroversion. and I never quite fit that mold.

David Hall [00:12:03]:

And how’d you overcome that?

Teresa Huff [00:12:05]:

It was like I said, it’s still an ongoing process. but it really started with understanding it. And I read a book called The Next Right Thing by Emily P Fremont. And if she mentions sometimes when we’re afraid or something is kind of nebulous, just naming the thing really helps. then we know what we’re dealing with. We can define it, and we can figure out how to move forward. And so first, it started with the understanding introversion and realizing it’s okay, first of all. And then going through different Season of challenges, which I love in your book how you mentioned season is imbalance. It’s not necessarily a good or bad. It just means things are gonna be out of whack for a while, and that’s okay, which is helpful. to understand that. And so there were several seasons with work and family and moving and just a lot of challenges we were going through that I had to really take the introversion and lean into that and understand my strength. And there were a couple points with work where before I fully understood it, I kinda hit burnout, which was pretty hard because, you know, I wanna do well. I wanna do my work with excellence, then I was pouring into it, but I didn’t understand I needed to set healthy boundaries, and I needed certain types of things that maybe those jobs didn’t really allow for. unless I deliberately did it or allowed certain types of recharging activities or quiet, do not interrupt, do not disturb type zones in that. And so that would have helped at the time. So it was a lot of wrestling and making mistakes with that. And maybe not mistakes, just unknown. didn’t know any better, didn’t know any different, and learning the hard way for sure. And so then with my work, I kinda came to a crossroads where I it could have gotten 2 or 3 several different directions, and I really just was it a loss? Like, I don’t know. I just really have no idea what to do next. And so I had decided to create a few grant writing courses online. and just see what happened. You know, just put them out there. And they started doing pretty well, which was surprising to me because I guess Again, it comes back to the introversion versus shyness. And for me, the shyness translates to a lot of fear. And I had to really push through and get past that fear to try some of these things. And than getting to that crossroads. Like I said, I wasn’t sure what direction to go next, and there were a few months of just kinda like, okay. What now? And wrestling and trying to figure out And so that helped me really lean into my faith more and dig into the bible a lot and a lot of Psalms in figuring out what’s next and how can I not let fear be the driving factor anymore. whether it’s through social anxiety or just, you know, afraid of, well, would this work? Would this not work? Should I try it? Should I not like, I just needed to start taking action and have a little faith and go from there. And then it kind of started snowballing. And I’ve realized that the fear you know, that’s an important factor in our lives to help keep us from danger, but our brains don’t know the difference between this is truly a threat because the lion is about to jump out and bite us, or this is something that I’ve built up in my head that most likely is not ever gonna happen, but my brain doesn’t know the difference. So realizing and being able to name and define that, okay, the fear does not get to decide this next step. that’s out of proportion to the decision. And so being able to take that and set that aside and make a more clear-headed decision without that infiltrating everything. That really helped a lot to be able to take more risks, try some things, and then gain more and more clarity as I went. But it really had to start with just taking the first small steps in the first small actions, and then it just got more and more clear. I often say, on my podcast into my coaching student’s action brings clarity, and then that kind of has a compounding effect. The clarity helps you take more action and so on. So that’s kind of been a part of the journey. And it’s not perfectly clear ahead, but the more action I take, the more clarity I gain. So

David Hall [00:17:15]:

Yes. Thank you for sharing that. Thank you for sharing your faith. Yeah. We could definitely overcome our fears. And especially if you are an introvert and you haven’t understood your introversion, you probably have been trying to overcome fears for some time. But if you learn to understand yourself, then a lot of times those fears could just disappear, and you can realize this is not something to be afraid of. And that’s that’s a big part of his journey too.

Teresa Huff [00:17:44]:

Right. And the thing I’ve learned about, Peter, is If we’re afraid in any area, it has a way of clouding all of our judgment in all the areas. So that’s why it’s important to name it. And, like, say with my online courses, you know, maybe I was afraid nobody would buy, and then that translates into okay. Well, maybe I shouldn’t make anymore, and maybe I shouldn’t do that or that or that. and on and on and on. But by just pinpointing and saying, okay. What am I really afraid of? Am I really afraid nobody will buy it? And is that what it really comes down to? And if it is, if nobody buys it, so what? I’ve made courses. I’ve practiced. I’ve refined what I’m talking about. It’s fine. It’s not gonna be the end of the world. And people have bought them. Right? They have. And they’ve learned from them, and I’m the best part is I’m starting to get messages from people saying, oh, now I understand. It’s been helpful. Thank you for presenting it this way. And so that’s where I’ve gotten a lot of joy is being able to help in that regard. And I recently read the Go Giver with by Bob Berg and John David Van. And that talks about more doing things from a place of service. as opposed to just what am I gonna get? And that has helped also shift my perspective of, okay, how can I best serve And that’s more natural for me to do that instead of how can I find ways to position this to sell? And, you know, that again, kind of the typical traditional advice as opposed to listening and serving and how can you give value, and then that is what draws people to you and they appreciate that value. So then it becomes a really good, healthy way of putting yourself out there. It helps me take fear out of the equation by approaching it from other mindset instead of the paralyzing, oh, no. What if nobody likes this? Like, if they don’t like it, so what? It’s okay. I can always delete it. I can change it. I’ll improve it, but taking that imperfect action and just putting it out there to start. helped start the momentum going.

David Hall [00:20:07]:

Yes. And I’ve had those same dialogues in my head too. But you know what? if you don’t do it, then definitely no one’s gonna read it or buy it or or anything. And just a plus for your show, you mentioned the Go Giver authors. You’ve had both of them on your show. I great great podcasts. So I recommend those. They’re wonderful

Teresa Huff [00:20:27]:

people, and I so enjoyed talking with them. I highly recommend the books. They’re just great reads very practical.

David Hall [00:20:35]:

Let’s get into the work that you are doing and the journey for that. You know? I know that you started grant writing many years ago. Tell us about that and how it’s progressed and And, ultimately, we’ll talk about how you bring your introversion into the work that you’re doing as a grant writer, as a grant writer consultant, as a podcaster. So where did it start?

Teresa Huff [00:21:00]:

Well, I used to be a special ed teacher. And then when we had kids, I wanted to stay home with them. And so at first, it was just doing whatever I could to help supplement our family’s income. But then I decided, you know, I had my masters in education. I had all this training. How could I use it from home? And I had always thought grant writing sounded cool and interesting. But at the time, you know, 2000, 2005, range. There wasn’t much on Google yet. I couldn’t just look it up to find out. So I heard of a lady who lived nearby who did grab writing. And I called her and asked if she would be willing to meet for coffee so I could talk to her about it. And by she did, and by the end of our conversation, she said, you I’m looking to add a couple people to my team if you’d be interested. So I jumped at the chance and ended up working with her for a couple of years She was a brilliant grant writer and such a wonderful mentor. And I will forever be thankful to her for doing that. And so then when we moved away, from there, I branched out on my own and started my own consulting business with grant writing and decided to just make it go of it. It was a little too far at the time. We didn’t have Skype or Zoom or any of those tools yet to really stay in touch easily with my mentor. And I didn’t wanna bother her every single time a question came up of, hey. How do you handle this when a client wants you to change the contract or when you wanna do that or, you know, all the little things. So a lot of it then I kind of figured out on my own the hard way. And that now that I teach grant writers and coach them in how to build their career in grant writing, I my one of my big goals is to help them avoid or fast forward through some of those early learning pieces and mistakes that I made so that they don’t have to go through all that. They can just fast track it a little more than I did. In, you know, branching out on my own, starting the grant writing business that was a little scary at first because we had moved to a new community and still trying to get to know people and get our bearings there. But I met a lady who was a paralegal for a local law firm, and they would often have people coming in needing help setting up their nonprofit or with paperwork and whatnot. So she encountered several nonprofits, plus she was on the board of 2 or 3 nonprofits in town. and just an outgoing, very extroverted, very much a natural Like, it truly just gives her joy to connect people. And so without realizing it at the time, I became pretty good friends with her And she became a wonderful referral source for getting started working with some local nonprofits on their grants. And ended up working with them for several years there. And it just was really helpful knowing someone like that who could balance out my still at the time very shy introverted self with her natural connections and natural just love for helping people find resources.

David Hall [00:24:27]:

Oh, that’s a great story. And, you know, just on the last piece sometimes it’s great to partner. You know? You might be using your strengths, and there might just be something that somebody else is better at, and that’s fine. You you have your gifts, and this other person, you know, has her gifts. And, obviously, that was a good partner tip for you. Sometimes that’s important. It it could be lots of different things that somebody might just really have a gift that that you can lean into and hopefully help them out as well. Right. So what are your strengths in writing grants and and doing the work that you do? How how have you leveraged your introverted strengths and your work?

Teresa Huff [00:25:11]:

At first without realizing it, I did a lot of things naturally that to me just seemed normal. It’s what you do, and it was instinctive. But over time, after having different roles and working with different people, I’ve realized maybe that’s not natural for everyone. So I’ve come to recognize some of those strengths as actual gifts that others may not have. And so, of course, the writing but it’s so much more than writing. It’s being able to think strategically and the problem solving piece of that. How can we put this together in a way that is clear, concise, and compelling, which, of course, takes a lot of practice over time but also being able to identify what are the key factors here. How can we best convey that to others? in a way that’s gonna resonate with them. And so a lot of it comes down to really identifying that and connecting the dots. So to your to answer your question about some of my strengths, realizing it is connecting those dots and also organizing it in a logical framework, which I think is not natural for some people, or maybe they just haven’t refined that and figured out the strategies for being able to do that. But that’s really become a string and then helping others as I’m coaching grant writers and nonprofits be able to do that because we get in the weeds of our own stuff, and it becomes a mess, and we don’t know which ends up sometimes. And we just need someone to help. So being able to step into that and quickly pull out, okay, here are your key pieces. Here’s how you can take action next. and just really help them distill that down to their next steps and gain that clarity, that’s really become something that I’d love to do and have recognized is a unique gift that some people struggle with, or they just need that outside perspective. Yeah. And that comes from you — — strategic thinking to answer your question in a quick way.

David Hall [00:27:27]:

Yeah. So, I mean, that’s part of you being a deep thinking introvert. it’s that strategic thinking for sure. And so you’ve been working from home for a very long time now, long before some of us have been working from home. You know? You you’ve run your own show. You’ve, you know, had your own business. How have you honored your introverted needs and all this? How have you discovered hey, you know what? This is what I need as an introvert and how is the work you’re doing taking care of those needs?

Teresa Huff [00:27:57]:

You know, that has become more and more evident over time and really just practicing over time and refining that. Like, for example, recently, I went to a conference out of town for a week, and just knowing that, okay. This is gonna be a lot. It’s gonna be a lot to take in, and I’m gonna need some downtime to recharge. Otherwise, I’m gonna come home just wiped out and need a whole week to recover. And so understanding that going into it this time around, it was night and day difference from past trips or conferences that I’d been to. Like, it was at a big conference center, very nice place that had, like, some indoor sort of almost a greenhouse walking trail type effect And so for lunch, I would just slip out and go grab something simple and just walk through those trails and just sit in some quiet corner and watch the waterfalls and whatever and just take those little breaks. And then in the evenings after we were done, I didn’t even turn on the TV. I just had the room to myself, I could just rest and recharge. And it was so different understanding that. And just knowing, and I could kind of segment, okay, this daytime, these certain aspects, are gonna be busy and a lot of people and a lot of new stuff coming at me. And I can find little pockets to just walk around even among the people but just walking and not stressing over it and not feeling like I have to be at every single session on the hour, every hour, and fill my schedule back to back. I could just pick out I identify 2 or 3 top priorities that I wanted to take away from the conference. And I felt like I very much did that and I could let go of the rest and get myself a little grace and room to breathe. Instead of feeling like I’m coming, I’m doing all this stuff, I have to cram in everything and make it worth my while. It was so much more worth my while because I gave myself that space.

David Hall [00:30:12]:

Oh, that’s excellent. feeling refreshed

Teresa Huff [00:30:15]:

instead of stressed out.

David Hall [00:30:17]:

So there was a time you wouldn’t feel okay about just walking around alone?

Teresa Huff [00:30:25]:

I would have felt pressured to be to fill my schedule with a session every hour of the day or instead of a block of alone time, that would be way full. I need to make sure and meet with somebody. I need to go meet people and be on instead of, okay. I’m just gonna take it a little bit I’m just gonna wander around for a few minutes. I’m just gonna make notes about the people I met or the ideas I’ve had. and just having that downtime and have my notebook with me pen and paper, not even on my phone, just have a break from that. That made all the difference. having that process time built in and just having that time to breathe.

David Hall [00:31:05]:

Yeah. Yeah. And I’ve had similar experiences where You know? There was a time where I wouldn’t have felt okay about doing that, but it just makes all the difference. And, you know, sometimes over the years, you know, going to conferences out of town. Sometimes it’s fun to go explore the new place or maybe explore the new place with know, some people that are attending the conference. So I’m not saying I never do that. Sure. But sometimes, it’s it’s the best thing to just go back to the room and and chill out. And it’s kinda like a retreat. It’s a retreat from your normal everyday life. You know? Yes. And sometimes people don’t understand that. They’re like, what do you mean you wanna go back to your room? I’m like, you know what? This is the break that I need again. Sometimes I’m I’m gonna go out and explore the town. Sometimes it’s gonna be with people from the conference, and that’s the thing. Knowing what you need. Sometimes it could be the best thing in the world just to chill out afterward.

Teresa Huff [00:32:02]:

And that’s Right. And now understanding that is huge. Yeah. And in the evenings, I knew that we would be having group dinners at different things. And I was there with a group needing a group of people that I would be working with. So I felt like that was really important. That was one of my priorities was to get to know them and build those relationships and learn more about their work. and just knowing that was happening every evening, I knew I needed those pockets during the day. So then in the evening, I wasn’t fried and frazzled. I felt refreshed and ready to interact then with this group on a deeper level. and that really helped pace myself.

David Hall [00:32:46]:

Yeah. Exact excellent. And that’s conference example. Again, you know, definitely attend conferences from time to time. I recently presented at 1. It felt good to actually be out and have a a group gathering again.

Teresa Huff [00:32:58]:


David Hall [00:32:59]:

But, you know, you can apply these same things in your daily daily work, you know, finding those pockets that you need, the break from the work that you’re doing and and making plans that way. What do you find muscle warning?

Teresa Huff [00:33:12]:

Oh, yeah. I’ve had to find little pockets sometimes at home either Now that my family’s home for the summer, either ways to be able to close the door and have some deep work or just to get out for an hour or 2 and go to a coffee shop, or something, but then also to close my laptop and just go be all in spending time with my family. So recognizing those pockets and the importance of each type has helped me too in working from home and that balance or imbalance, like you mentioned in your book, of having those different seasons where sometimes everybody’s at home. And then sometimes I have it all to myself, but I might need a little bit of outside time just to have a change of scenery to help get the creativity going again.

David Hall [00:34:02]:

Yeah. And and what I was talking about is, you know, I don’t think there’s a perfect work life balance that people are seeking. Sometimes you might just have this big project that’s really important to you, and you might have to just push through that. You know, when I wrote my book, writing a book is not easy. You know? And I just had to make it happen. But I think what you’re saying is really key for us and everyone is you have to be present in what you’re doing. It’s especially when like yourself, when you’re working from home, your work is always in front of you. Right? You you it’s always there. Yeah. But you your family’s very important to you too. And it’s it’s a struggle And, you know, I’ve gone through this. I’ve watched my wife go through this. You have to be present in what you’re doing. You know, when you’re working, you need to be present with that. And when you’re with your family or or other things you need to do, you need to be present there. And that’s that’s the kind of mindfulness that we need to work towards, and it’s it’s not easy.

Teresa Huff [00:35:02]:

Right. Yeah. It’s kind of a tug of war. And especially in the early days of working from home, whichever I was doing, I felt like I should be doing the other. If I was working on home stuff or being with kids, I felt like I should be working. And if I was working, I felt like I should be focusing on home things. And so it was that tug of war. And I’ve learned to have a healthier switch between the 2 and a definite like, I’m closing the laptop. You’re done for the day. That’s that. And it helps that the kids are older but still just having kind of certain visual cues. Like, okay. I only do this type of work at this desk or I’m gonna go to the coffee shop and I have 2 hours, I need to get these tasks done. So sometimes just having that type of container around it is helpful too.

David Hall [00:35:55]:

Absolutely. That’s what it is. It’s what do you need, especially what do you need as a introvert How can you be present in what you’re doing? because that’s another thing. You know, we need focus.

Teresa Huff [00:36:06]:

Mhmm. And that’s tough sometimes. Yeah. I wanna do all the things right now.

David Hall [00:36:12]:

Alright. So you have the grant writing simplified podcast. What made you decide to start doing that?

Teresa Huff [00:36:22]:

Well, you know, it’s kind of funny you because I did not intend to do a podcast. And, in fact, back when I was at the Crossroads, I mentioned earlier of, like, I don’t know what’s next. I even had asked my husband, like, can we just go for a drive? I need to talk through because I am so at a loss right now as to what’s the next right direction. So we just went for a drive around town. He listened to me, hash it all out, and then finally, he said, well, I think you should start a podcast, and then I think you need to write a book and you need to be teaching this stuff. and my first reaction was just a podcast. Are you crazy? No way. Are you kidding me? And that was just so terrifying and not me. And so he was like, okay. And, thankfully, in wisdom or whatever, he just let it go. He didn’t mention it anymore, and that was fine. And so I didn’t think any more about it. Like, that was not a consideration. So then a few months later, I took a little 8 week online course. It was, like, how to present your off online, kind of social media building relationships. And that was why I had done it just to you know, again, as an introvert, it’s not real comfortable to put myself out there online, so I just wanted some strategies around that. But she included this little bonus of how to launch a podcast. And my thought was, oh, that’s really nice of her to include that, but I don’t need that. I won’t ever use that because I will not be starting a podcast. Well, a few weeks into that course, it just kinda dawned on me like, I’m gonna be starting a podcast, and that is my next right step. And I knew I didn’t like blogging very much, and that’s a really tough long game that did not light me up. And so I was like, if I want different results or a different thing, I need to go all in with a different approach and try something new. And it was like, I’m starting a podcast. And so I set myself a deadline of about 2 weeks out, which I know is quick and kinda crazy. But I thought if I don’t do it, I’m gonna take the chicken next it, and I will never do this thing. So that was I said, okay. October 1st, that was 2020. I’m gonna have something ready to go and launched. And I had done already kind of a lot of the work of who am I talking to? What would I teach? I knew it would be about crime fighting and nonprofit work, so I had a general idea. And so then in that 2 week window, I was like, okay. Here we go. I’m gonna do this thing, and I’m gonna go all in and commit for 1 year and I’m gonna publish a podcast every week for a year and give it full effort. I’m not gonna flake out. I’m not gonna decide okay. Maybe not. Maybe once a month. I just thought, nope. All in. for a whole year, give it a fair shot and see what happens. And so that was over a year and a half ago. I’m almost to the 100th episode. and still going strong with it. And it’s helped me really gain a lot of confidence, overcome a lot of the shyness but I really had to get out of my own way and just do the thing. And that was the biggest barrier was just standing in my own way and all this fear and what ifs and whatnots. And so when I was talking about fear earlier, that was a big hurdle in a probably the biggest challenge of doing the podcast was overcoming that fear because I was absolutely terrified to start it. I didn’t even tell my family for, like, a month that I had started 1.

David Hall [00:40:20]:

Oh, no. Nobody knew.

Teresa Huff [00:40:22]:

Yeah. My husband knew, but that was it. It was, like, oh, I don’t want anybody to listen. But even from the get go, from the first day, I started getting downloads. And I was like, what in the world? who is listening to this? And, you know, they’ve just grown steadily over time. And at first, it was only organic. I was not promoting or publishing or anything. I was just quietly dropping an episode every week, and that was that. And then it just started gaining momentum, and it started truly helping people and helping nonprofits And now people come to me, and they start talking like we’re old friends, and it’s really transformed. the way I interact with people. I’ve met people from all over the world because of it, and it gives me a reason to approach people or to invite people onto the show or whatever and build relationships And that way, it’s not about me. It’s not about, hey. Come listen to me. It’s just more about here. How can I help you? Or here’s a way that you can maybe learn and help you in your work. So it’s shifted the narrative for me. But, boy, it has been a process.

David Hall [00:41:39]:

Yeah. And definitely a a deadline helps. I had done something similar for myself.

Teresa Huff [00:41:45]:

Yeah. You did that with your book, didn’t you?

David Hall [00:41:48]:

Both both. Yeah. So the book has been about 4 years ago. The podcast I did just a little bit after you, January 2021. My deadline was World introvert Day. January second. I like it. I might put it out by then. Here, you know, here we are. Having a great conversation, a couple introverts. Some people might say, wasn’t that difficult as an introvert to be a podcast host? How do you what strengths and needs do you bring into that into being a podcast host?

Teresa Huff [00:42:21]:

You know, I think that’s actually been helpful because I really like to listen to what people are saying, and I would really prefer to listen and ask about them and their work and help them connect the dots as opposed to talking about me and myself. Like, my solo episodes are fairly short And I tend to be more actionable of here are 5 tips. I have to work to pull in the personal stories and some of the information. An interview like this probably draws a lot more out than what I would on my own because of the questions you’re asking and the stories that it brings up. So I think as a podcast host, it’s been a lot of fun getting to know people at a deeper level and being able to connect with them and find out more about them. I tried to do a mix of solo episodes and guest interviews to have that balance of people getting to know me, but then also bringing other skills and viewpoints and advice into the nonprofit realm in the grant writing world, they may not be exposed to otherwise.

David Hall [00:43:37]:

Yeah. And I think you hit on something right there. It’s we all need connections. As introverts though, we really like the deep connections. And I think that’s what we experience on our podcast is is having deeper conversations about things that are important to us And so it really shouldn’t be a surprise that we like to do podcasts or, you know, I like to give speeches, and it shouldn’t be a surprise because we do have a lot to say. We do wanna connect. It’s just we prefer the deeper connections is is the thing.

Teresa Huff [00:44:09]:

Right. And often the smaller group or smaller container is helpful, at least for me, because it seems like say if I’m in a group of people that are bouncing ideas back and forth or talking, the bigger the group, the less I tend to talk. So for me, it’s more in those smaller one on 1 or maybe 4 or 5 people conversations. That’s where I’ll give more input. But as the group gets bigger, I tend to get quieter even though I may have a lot going on in my head. And that’s Again, just how I’m wired, but I also have to balance that with the confidence of when do I need to speak up.

David Hall [00:44:53]:

Yeah. And I think that’s the key too. Yeah. We’re gonna have big meetings, big conversations with lots of people, but we really thrive in the one on one and the small groups like you’re saying. So there’s a place for all of it. But, you know, we do our best work sometimes in the 101 in in small groups like you’re saying. So

Teresa Huff [00:45:13]:

Right? Yeah. Recognizing that’s helpful. And, again, coming back to not letting fear determine that, but rather knowing when to speak up and when to listen and make the connections.

David Hall [00:45:28]:

So I’m often asked what’s the best job for introverts? You know? As if there are just these jobs that introverts should take. And, you know, my answer is the one that uses your strengths and you’re able to fulfill your needs. And I think a lot of jobs could be held by introvert or extrovert. I think that they might be done differently. Easy one is, like, sales. Like, a lot of times people think, oh, that’s definitely extrovert job. It’s not a job that I want. Okay? But there’s lots of great introvert salespeople, and they just go about it differently. You know? So as far as the work you’re doing, you know, definitely, it sounds like there could be some real advantages you have a way for people to just explore grant writing and see if it’s a fit for them. Tell us about that.

Teresa Huff [00:46:23]:

Right. Yeah. And I agree with you that it really does depend on you and your skills and the way to use those. A lot of people come to me saying, well, I don’t know if I have what it takes to be a grant writer. And I don’t know if my skills would translate. But when we dig in and we get to talking, It’s like, wow. You have some incredible skills in your background and experience. That sounds like it would be a really natural fit for you. So I created a quiz. It’s called do you have what it takes to be a grant writer, and it just walks you through some questions of how are you with these different factors in different areas? And like I mentioned, it’s a lot more than just writing. It’s strategic thinking. It’s problem solving. It’s communicating clearly, it’s a lot of different elements. So I created the quiz to help people think through and realize where they’re skills land and that maybe they actually would be ideal for grant writing. And not to say that it’s only for introverts because it could be either way, But I know a lot of introverts are drawn to that type of work, and it’s been great for me because I can go deep on a client’s project, and I can connect the dots and do the research and figure out what’s important and help explain that. And it’s about a bigger mission that I can make an impact on. It’s about helping make a better difference for an entire community or an entire school district, and that’s been the coolest part is having that ripple effect. that I did this little thing from home with my laptop, my kids running around, and I was able to bring in funding for a food pantry for an entire county or a school district in a rural place to get so many resources for their library. and all these cool things that I could do from home using my strengths. Instead of having to be out there, as the front person. I just like that behind the scenes work. And so the quiz would be great for people to think through and to identify what are your skills, and would this be a good fit for you?

David Hall [00:48:33]:

Yes. And I took it and it said I would it would be a good fit for me. So we’ll have see where that goes. That doesn’t surprise me. But — Well, I know of some trainings you could take. Yeah. Yeah. I think the most job could be done by either one, but you have to find out, okay. Where can I really use my talents, my passion? What will pay the bills? and, you know, what’s out there and connect all those things. And an extrovert could do a similar job and just would do it differently, and and that’s okay. You know? That’s the thing to remember. So while we talked about a lot of things today. This has been a great conversation. Is there anything that we missed that you wanna bring up, Teresa?

Teresa Huff [00:49:15]:

Oh my. I don’t I mean, you have so many great resources. I would just say lean into it. Like, instead of feeling like a misfit, really step back and look at connecting the dots of who you are and how you can lean into those skills and really use those. so that it feels good and authentic and really using your gifts with ease and with in a way that lights you up and that serves others well.

David Hall [00:49:46]:

Well said. Thank you. And, of course, where can people find out more about you? And I will put all this information in the show notes.

Teresa Huff [00:49:56]:

Sure. Well, the podcast is grant writing simplified, and that’s in any podcast player. My website is The quiz is And, yeah, feel free to connect. I’m most active on LinkedIn if people wanna connect over there, and I love meeting again, one on one of the people that are on the other side of listening to the podcast. It’s fun to connect and get to know them, and their skills and their unique drive and passion for helping their causes in the world. So feel free to reach out.

David Hall [00:50:31]:

Thanks again, Theresa. It’s really been a pleasure having you on the podcast today.

Teresa Huff [00:50:35]:

Thank you. I’ve enjoyed talking with you.

David Hall [00:50:38]:

Thank you so much for joining me today. I look forward to further connecting with you. Reach out at or check out the website, which includes blog posts and links to social media channels. Send me topics or guests you would like to see on the show. If you’re interested in getting to know yourself better, there’s now a free type finder personality assessment on the Quiet and strong website. This free assessment will give you a brief report including the 4 letter Myers Briggs code. And you can also have the option of purchasing the full report if you’d like to learn more. I’ll add a link to the show notes. So many great things about being an introvert and we need those to be understood, get to know your introverted strengths and needs and be strong.

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