Did you know that some of the greatest entrepreneurs and inventors were, in fact, introverts? Most people tend to underestimate their skills and chances to reach success.
In a world where extroverts are predominant in numbers, an introvert can easily feel pushed to the sidelines. Introversion and extroversion should not be seen in the sense of belonging to either one side of the spectrum or the other. In reality, it’s more like a line and each individual falls somewhere in between.
However, a stereotypical introvert is a person who prefers reading a good book to throwing a crazy party that involves a mind-blowing number of people in crowded spaces. It’s not that introverts hate human interaction or anything like that. It’s just that they are easily drained by it and need to recharge their mental batteries in solitude.
With extroverts, it’s exactly the opposite. But the beauty of it is that our world needs both. By knowing yourself and recognizing your own unique strengths, you can play the cards you’ve been dealt with to your advantage – yes, including in your career.
Some of the Word’s Greatest Entrepreneurs Are Introverts
At first glance, hardly anyone would associate entrepreneurship with introversion. We tend to envision the likes of Steve Jobs, the iconic face behind Apple’s story of success and a silver tongue unlike any other. The man certainly had a way with words and his vision for the future inspired many to follow in his footsteps. He not only mastered the art of public speaking – he lived and breathed it.
But not many realize that introversion brings its own set of advantages. Just look at Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and CEO. His programming skills and introverted nature gave birth to a Harvard project that later became the go-to social networking platform we all know and love.
Had he been born as an extrovert, would he have chosen to dedicate his energy to similar projects? Would he have acquired the knowledge necessary to create Facebook in the first place? We’ll never know. But that’s some food for thought right there.
The fact of the matter is that introverts have all the skills to become great entrepreneurs.
So, what exactly are the reasons why you should try your hand at entrepreneurship if you’re an introvert?
Introverts derive pleasure from working alone
While extroverts need other people around them to thrive, introverts, for the most part, prefer working alone. That’s not to say that forming partnerships or assembling a team isn’t important to your entrepreneurial success. It’s just that you’re probably going to have to do a good portion of the work on your own, often in the confines of small office space with no one around. Luckily, as an introvert, you don’t really mind.
Imagine a typical computer task or back-end office work. It’s something you’ll more than likely going to encounter during your life as an entrepreneur. An extrovert would struggle where you’d probably experience some form of joy or satisfaction.
Indeed, most inventors are at their very best when they work alone. As an introvert, you’re perfectly cut out to become the next great entrepreneur in the history of humankind.
They are detail-oriented
Introverts absolutely cannot stand small talk and would rather dedicate their time to something more meaningful. In a social setting, this works against you. Still, as with most things in life, there are two sides to every coin. In this case, it’s their natural tendency to pay attention to details. If there’s someone who’s the first to point out a spelling mistake or examples of bad grammar, it’s got to be an introvert.
Indeed, they are deep thinkers who prefer to focus on what’s important. They despise trivialities. At the same time, it would be unfair to say that they aren’t keen on discussion. In fact, as long as the discussion is stimulating and intellectual, they’d love to converse their heart out.
They are no strangers to creative thinking
Take close look at some of the history’s greatest entrepreneurs, inventors, writers, and artists. In general, you’ll see a pattern emerging; most of them were introverted. We can only wonder whether it was the solitude that sparked their creativity or was it due to their brains operating on a different level. But one thing is for sure… there is a link between introversion and creativity.
Obviously, as an entrepreneur, there will be challenges to solve, which is a task best suited for a creative mind. Yes, it’s true that shy, creative individuals may not excel at public speaking. However, they tend to give the extroverts a run for their money when it comes to expressing one’s thoughts in written form.
Calmness and patience comes naturally to them
Despite taking the precautions needed, there are times when disaster strikes right out of the blue and there’s simply no way to avoid it.
The entrepreneurial world is full of uncertainty and risk. But it’s the introvert’s mind that has an easier time remaining calm. They understand that in order to profit, one must often subject oneself to some form of risk. But not the reckless kind – taking calculated risks is the name of the game. This quality is common among great entrepreneurs.
Moreover, patience sure does come in handy when learning something new. Whether it be a foreign language or something niche-specific like knowing how to operate a job shop manufacturing software, patience is a virtue. All in all, expanding your horizons is a lengthy and demanding process that tests every aspect of your personality. As luck would have it, introverts are at an advantage.
Their discipline and motivation come from within
Extroverts draw their energy from interacting with others. As a result, they often find themselves seeking their validation, both when it comes to their self-image as well as their ideas. Whereas introverts, for example, only need reinforcement from themselves to garner the courage needed to introduce a new idea or concept.
Much in the same vein, their motivation comes from within. It’s not that they don’t need encouragement or support from others. It’s just that they choose not to depend on it, realizing that peer pressure can often lead you astray.
And sometimes, people’s minds are not as welcoming when it comes to revolutionary ideas that challenge the notion of how society should function. Introverts know this on an inner level and choose to rely on themselves.
They base their decisions on rational thought
Some might argue that being too rational will make you err on the side of caution. This can also lead you to avoid taking the risk when it can be avoided. Still, basing your decisions on rational thought and not letting your emotions dictate them is an advantage in business. Many great entrepreneurs know that very well. Great fortunes have been lost when the wielder of resources gave in to purchasing on impulse, and introverts are better cut out to resist it.
Introverts love the analytical side of things. They love to explore the ins and outs of a problem before calculating the best possible solution or simply the one that has the highest chances of working out based on the data available in the given moment.
In the end, it’s next to impossible to know how your decisions will pan out before you’ve had a chance to make them and observe the outcome of your actions. Often, the only thing we can do is thinking things through and engage in risk-taking behavior only when the payoff is far greater than what we potentially stand to lose.
That way, we can stand behind the move we chose to make even when the outcome is not what we would have hoped for to see, allowing us to be free from regret no matter what’s left to unfold.
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This was an awesome article on introverts and extroverts. I absolutely loved #5 as it really made me reflect on how introverts don’t need self-validation and it’s best to simply rely on ourselves. This was a very motivational article and I am happy to be more introverted as I am discovering more and more about myself in quietness. Thank you for sharing! 🙂