What do Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and J.K. Rowling all have in common? Aside from being brilliant business minds who’ve amassed personal fortunes of several billion dollars, these household names also explode the myth that extroverts make the most successful entrepreneurs.
Just as with them, your own introverted character traits could make you the perfect entrepreneur.
You Crave Solitude.
People often say that starting a business is a lonely game. This can be off-putting for extroverts, but the promise of time alone usually excites introverts.
Whereas extroverts get their energy from other people, introverts recharge their personal batteries during time spent alone. Being an entrepreneur offers plenty of opportunities for solo time, both while establishing the business and while helping it grow.
Working as an entrepreneur gives introverts the chance to structure their own working environment to best suit their needs. They can get out of the big office they find so emotionally draining and work in a more suitable space. Many introverted entrepreneurs work from home, either full- or part-time, or on the road, working as sales representatives for companies such as Amway, for example. Others helm small businesses in which their colleagues spend more time on projects requiring a lot of interactivity.
Introverted entrepreneurs get the opportunity to find the balance between social interactions and the time alone that they need to perform their best. Extroverted entrepreneurs have less flexibility; funding limitations often mean that they can’t work with the number of people they need to in order to thrive.
You Don’t Need External Affirmation.
Introverts march to the beats of their own drums. They don’t look to others to validate their actions or opinions, as extroverts often do. Although this trait can make life difficult for introverts who are employed by others, it’s ideal for entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs must be decision makers. Although making decisions can, and in some cases should, involve some level of collaboration, business owners should make the final calls. Because introverts don’t rely on external approval, they find it easier to trust their convictions than extroverts do. This allows them to make the best objective decisions for their businesses, unswayed by the views of others.
You’re an Excellent Listener.
Introverts might enjoy spending time alone and in quiet reflection, but it’s a common myth that they don’t work well with others. According to Fast Company, introverts are typically better listeners than their extrovert peers. That’s because they feel most comfortable observing and reflecting before offering their own points of view. This natural skill helps introvert entrepreneurs build beneficial relationships in the business world.
When employees feel listened to, they then feel valued and appreciated. When employees feel as if their boss values them, they’re more likely to work harder and be loyal to their company. Companies that have loyal, productive workforces have the greatest profits. When entrepreneurs listen to their clients and customers, they can better resolve problems and anticipate their needs with improved products and services. This encourages repeat business and aids company growth.
You’re Driven by Passion.
It takes true passion to succeed as an entrepreneur. This passion drives business owners to devote the time and effort required to grow their organization and make it better. It helps them bounce back from setbacks, overcome obstacles, and manage the stress that running a business invariably brings. Introverts are innately passionate people, according to Susan Cain, the author of “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” and this makes them well-suited to running a company.
“By their nature, introverts tend to get passionate about one, two, or three things in their life . . . and in the service of their passion for an idea, they will go out and build alliances and networks and acquire expertise and do whatever it takes to make it happen,” she explained to the Wall Street Journal.
This is not to say that extroverts can’t also possess the passion necessary to drive a company toward success. However, the natural enthusiasm for their interests that introverts share is certainly an asset in the business world.
We’re living in the golden age of introverts. Celebrate the traits that make you unique and that give you the edge over your extroverted peers in the business world.