Introversion and extroversion are signature traits that ordinarily define how a person prefers spending his or her time.
Introverts tend to prefer quiet, solitary, and introspective experiences, while extroverts prefer energetic, collaborative and social environments.
Clearly, neither is inherently better than the other, but for introverts, entrepreneurship can be especially challenging.
Why do introverts struggle in an entrepreneurial position to begin with?
For starters, entrepreneurs tend to do better when they’re charismatic, a trait usually associated with extroversion.
Charisma helps you make more connections, inspire your employees, earn trust faster and grow your audience. Being social and outgoing also helps you meet new people at networking events (or even be willing to attend them in the first place); and the entrepreneurial lifestyle is an overall chaotic and noisy one - something few introverts enjoy.
Top 4 Introvert Traits - is this YOU?
- You ARE one of life's great observers.
- You notice things other people don't.
- You are your own shining unique self who can find it hard to reflect your thoughts to the outer world.
Keep reading to discover how entrepreneurs have been able to use their introversion to succeed...
It's a myth that introverts can't become successful entrepreneurs. In fact, about four in 10 top executives are introverts, according to USA Today, including Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Steven Spielberg.
So, how are introverts not just able to survive, but to thrive?
Introverts are not shy by definition, but they become drained by social encounters and need time alone to recharge. Extroverts, on the other hand, are energised when with people and find time alone to be draining. Extroverts typically have many friends. Introverts prefer to know a few people well, which fits many CEOs who often say that it's lonely at the top and that they confide in a small circle of friends.
What lessons can other introverts learn from these amazing leaders?
- Introversion doesn’t dictate your behaviour. Just because you’re introverted doesn’t mean you can’t socialise. Take notes from Elon Musk or Warren Buffet, and work past your introversion by developing yourself into a more communicative, charismatic figure.
- There are some advantages to introversion. Take pride in your introversion for what it is. Introverts tend to be more contemplative and more thorough thinkers, so use those advantages to come up with better solutions for your business.
- Nature doesn’t predict success or failure. Neither extroverts nor introverts are guaranteed to succeed in the business world. Your success is determined by the actions you take, not by who you are as a person.
Self-Promote Like an Introvert
The ability to sell yourself is a critical one in business, but self-promotion can be particularly difficult for introverts. The trick is to self-promote in ways that accommodate your skill set.
For example, introverts often excel at writing, so you can use a well-written piece in an industry publication to reach more people.
Or, you might put together a thoughtful social media campaign or series of blogs from the privacy of your own office.
You can’t, however, shun face time altogether. What you can do is approach social events with greater purpose.
Rather than attending a networking event and pacing aimlessly around the room trying to make small talk, try hosting an event.
Hosting makes you a go-to person and forces others to come to you.
The same goes for public speaking. Taking the podium lets you reach many people at once instead of being bogged down in many smaller conversations.
Introverted New Yorker journalist Malcolm Gladwell observes that speaking on stage “has nothing to do with extroversion. It’s a performance, and many performers are hugely introverted.”
Many people (falsely) assume introverts are automatically shy, unassertive and even nebbish — not qualities associated with leadership.
The truth is introverts can be as social and interpersonal as extroverts; they just prefer to return to an inner world to recharge. In fact, their many strengths -- introspection, analysis, awareness -- make them effective and successful leaders, perhaps more so than those who feel at home entertaining a large group of coworkers.
LISTENING - CURIOSITY - EMOTIONAL CONNECTION
Introverts are great observers, which means they get more opportunities to study what other people want; on the other hand, they may not be as comfortable elbowing their way in front of people to get their ideas out there. But using their curiosity and emotional connections will create their own path.
"Introverts say they succeed because they have inner strength and think before they act. When faced with difficult decisions, introverts worry little about what other people will think of them" SkyeTec CEO Chris Uhland.
The internet is an introverts friend..
- you get to be an onlooker without ever having to show your face.
- you can hide behind a picture of your dog, or a flower...
- You get to choose who you interact without others knowing you are reading everything they say.
- Do you feel overwhelmed often by the overload of messages and reading about others lives yet your life seems so dull in comparison - what do you have to share?
BUT... Introverts need to communicate too - we just do it in a less "shouty" way than the extroverts out there.
And here is the thing.
I am an Introvert Entrepreneur
Many people I meet are, but this shows the power of colour when used to our advantage!
I would love to share my knowledge with you.
For the Introvert Entrepreneur, colour should hold a special place in your marketing strategy. Understanding how colours can help you speak out in your way, before you have even said a word.
Colour should be at the forefront of your brand as an Introvert Entrepreneur. Utilising the power of colour will boost your confidence and success. Learn how to harness the power contained in different colours to perform in the extroverted world that we live in.
On my website I have some great photos of myself working, looking confident and extrovert...
I made sure that when the day of the photoshoot came I surrounded myself with the colours that give me confidence and energy.
Deep magenta brings out my passion, orange ignites my creativity and blues help me find my voice.
It is so difficult to walk into a group of large people knowing no-one.
I have had to do this many times in my life, and several times in a situation where I am new to the language and culture - super scary!
And here's the thing... I harness the power of colour to help me in these situations.
I would love to help you feel more confident too in such a situation.
As your Colour Expert and Business Strategist, I am here to help light up your world with colour, confidence and knowledge on how to tackle things in a way that suits your personality.
- If you love colour but are not always sure how to use it to your best advantage, then delve into my colour blog posts today to learn more.
Harnessing the power of colour will provide you with strong and powerful ways to create your message online - in your unique introvert way.