Are you an introverted entrepreneur?
Doing business as an introvert is like being a gazelle in the savannah. There is nothing wrong with you if you are a gazelle. You are beautiful and everything, but….you are still prey. When others see you they want to attack and destroy. How then does a young gazelle..I mean… entrepreneur, survive in the wild..oops I mean, the business world?
As a business person or entrepreneur you are expected to be extroverted, bubbly, outspoken and a good speaker. If you are shy, reserved, contemplative and sensitive these qualities are sometimes seen as faults or weakness. Others may not see leadership qualities in you.
They are wrong. The proof is that some of today’s most successful leaders are introverts.
Fast Company’s Samantha Cole wrote about them here. Her list includes the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Marissa Mayer as well as President Barack Obama.
However despite all the examples of introverted highly successful leaders and entrepreneurs; public perception is so strongly geared toward extroverts that, society will often make the assumption that natural leaders and people with introverted personalities are polar opposites.
What does this mean for you as an introvert?
First off, you being aware of the fact that this perception exists is important!
Remember the gazelle analogy from before? Others who are not like you will see you as frail and attack.
Knowing that others are prone to view you differently than your extroverted counterparts makes you a step ahead.
Next, you can begin to use your introverted skills to your advantage instead of suppressing them.
What are these skills you may ask?
- deep thinkers.
- Which makes them good problem solvers and highly creative.
- naturally cautious.
- In business this is a great skill to have. Risk adverseness can be very beneficial.
- the best listeners.
- Listening on a personal and professional level can deepen relationships with colleagues and friends as well as with clients and customers.
- team builders.
- Internal contemplation often makes an introvert more sensitive to the feelings of others. They are therefore, able to build up members of their team effectively.
The good news is that like a gazelle you should be fast and agile in order to survive. Using the skills listed above correctly you can be just as an effective entrepreneur and leader as the extroverted individual sitting across from you. Just because you may do things differently than an extrovert does not mean that you can not be as effective. In fact these are skills that often the extroverts of the world are lacking. So cut yourself some slack and believe in yourself!
Are you an introverted entrepreneur? I want to hear the pros/cons of operating your business as an introvert in the comment section!
Also what are some of the skills that I missed?