Are you an introvert? Then you know how easy it is to feel overwhelmed by the everyday hustle and bustle of the office. But being an introvert can be a great asset when it comes to making your business thrive. Introverted entrepreneurs can use their alternative perspective to grow their companies sustainably and innovatively.
Now, I'm not talking about shyness here. I'm typically talking about where you get your energy from. Introverts tend to get their energy by spending time alone with themselves. Extroverts tend to recharge by being around people. So as you read through this blog post, keep that in mind.
Many of the successful business owners that I interview on the Online Business Launchpad podcast are introverts. For example, Sophie Howard, Founder of Aspiring Entrepreneurs, describes herself as a total introvert. And she’s turned her introversion into a superpower that’s helped her build multiple 6 and 7-figure businesses. You can listen to her interview here.
Here are 10 tips for turning your introversion into strength and growing your company in the process:
1. Use Your Listening Skills:
As an introvert, you’re probably used to listening more than talking, which is valuable when running a business. You can use your ability to listen intently to gather information from employees, customers or partners that will help take your business in the right direction.
Need an example? There are so many businesses where listening skills are vital. Coaches listen a lot. So do therapists and mental health professionals. Market research experts focus on deep listening and how to ask great questions.
The list is huge. I could go on and on.
2. Take Time to Think:
Introverts tend to be deep thinkers. Reflecting and thinking about everything in the office can lead to breakthrough ideas or innovative solutions. Directing resources can be tricky, but with careful consideration and strategising, you can increase efficiency and create effective action plans.
And if you use those thinking powers to help other people increase efficiency and create effective action plans, then you’ve definitely go the makings of a successful business.
3. Set Aside Alone Time
Don’t let other people’s energy drain away your energy before meetings or important decisions have to be made. Be sure to set some time aside every day where you can plug into yourself without distraction and come back ready for whatever challenge lies ahead.
I do this on a daily basis AND once a week, I set aside at least 4 hours where I focus completely on the task of working ON my business (rather than tasks related to things in my business).
I highly recommend that you do the same.
You can use these dedicated blocks of time for strategic planning, research, and creative thinking to foster innovation and develop new ideas to drive your company forward.
Think of it like a long-distance athlete. You need energy to keep going, so you’re going to carry highly nutritious snacks with you and eat them on a regular basis.
Setting aside alone time is exactly the same … you’re making time to power up your reserves and your thinking muscles. All of which will help you grow your business.
4. Connect with Other Introverts
If a lot of your team members are extroverted, try connecting with fellow introverts on LinkedIn or at networking events. Connecting with others like you means that you’ll find others who truly understand what it’s like running a business as an introvert.
And connections with like-minded others can open up new avenues of growth without having to worry so much about competition. I’ve done so many collaborations with other entrepreneurs … even ones who work in the same space I do … and I have always gotten something of value from them.
Sometimes it’s just been the joy of connecting with like minded people. But much more commonly it’s helped both of us bring in revenue and grow our businesses.
5. Leverage the Power of One-on-One Interactions
While introverts may struggle in large networking events (too many people, so much NOISE), they thrive in one-on-one settings. So schedule one-on-one meetings, coffee chats, or video calls to build connections with staff, potential clients, partners, and mentors. And be sure to take the time to recharge. Even 1-to-1 meetings and Zoom calls can suck up your energy.
Still, by building these personal connections, you become someone these people can speak to about a range of issues, turning you into a person of trust. People like to do business with people they trust.
In fact, if people don’t trust you, then almost invariably, they WON’T be doing business with you. But by combining your great listening skills with 1- to – 1 or even small group interactions, you’re going to rapidly build up that trust, so that eventually people will work with you.
6. Delegate and Trust Your Team
One key benefit of being an introvert is recognising that not every detail has to pass through you directly for something great to happen; there’s no need to spread yourself too thin! And there's no need to micro-manage, which is exhausting to do and horrible to experience if you're the person being micro-managed.
You can delegate tasks easily since even small decisions don't require exhaustive thought processes from you, freeing up space for reflecting on overarching goals and objectives instead.
And delegation is the secret to growing your business beyond the solopreneur stage. When you delegate tasks that you’re not good at or don’t enjoy to someone else, it means you can spend your time on things that WILL move the needle more … more revenue … more enjoyment … more time back for you.
7. Get Writing
Introverts often excel at written communication, which can be a major asset in the digital age. Improve your company's email marketing, social media presence, and website copy to make your messaging clearer and more compelling.
Personally, I intensely dislike making phone calls. But I do like talking to people. It's just that I'd rather talk to someone over Zoom, so I can see their facial expressions and body language. You can't do that on a phone.
So, if possible, leave the phone calls to the extroverts on the team, they love it!
When I was leading a major training program a few years ago, I made sure that I had someone else handling the phone calls. This person was responsible for interviewing potential program participants to see if they were a good fit for the program.
If I’d been handling the phone calls, the program would have been a flop. Why? Because I really, really HATE making phone calls. And I would have found every excuse under the sun not to do them 🤣🤣
8. Make Your Office an Escape Room For Productivity Sprints
Set aside certain times during each work week to dedicate exclusively to productivity sprints where everybody turns their attention entirely towards completing tasks within deadlines while eliminating all other distractions. This way, not only does everyone gain focus power, but it also keeps collaboration sessions short, so nobody has to overextend their ability to be around others.
I use this technique myself with my Quiz Creators Community. We have co-working sessions where we show up, say what we’re going to do in the next 20 minutes, then knuckle down and get to work.
At the end of those 20 minutes, we briefly share what we’ve accomplished and then repeat the cycle. You would be surprised how much work you can get done in 20 minutes when you are intensely focused, with no distractions.
9. Create the Office You Wish You’d Had
Introverts understand the importance of solitude and downtime for recharging. If you have a team, then encourage a balanced work environment by offering flexible work arrangements, quiet spaces, and opportunities for employees to take breaks and recharge.
And if it’s just you on your own, then make your office a welcoming place to be. This can be tricky if you’re working from home and sharing a space with other family members.
For me, I try to work from a cafe or library once a week. Somewhere that’s not my home office. I particular do this on days when other family members need to work from home (they usually work from an office) and the noise levels get a bit much.
And in my home office, I’ve made sure that my desk is comfortable and set up ergonomically so as to reduce strain on my neck and back. And my desk is surrounded by plants, which help raise the oxygen levels, which helps with thinking clearly.
Do whatever works for you, but be deliberate about it. Think about work flow and energy levels and how you can set up your office so you can show up as your best self.
10 . Rise to the Challenge and Embrace What Makes You Unique
Sometimes you might be tempted to downplay or suppress your introvert qualities just because society tells us that ‘introversion' equals some form of deficiency.
My challenge to you is to recognise those introvert qualities as superpowers that are just waiting to be unleashed. Embrace your superpowers and learn how to get comfortable in your own skin. The more you understand your introversion and use it to your advantage, the better off you’ll be. You can do this!
So if you’re an introvert and you’re wondering whether you can be a successful entrepreneur and business owner, the answer is definitely yes. Use the skills and abilities that you already have, because they are both valuable and useful.
And if you’d like to listen in as I talk with successful introverted entrepreneurs, here are some Online Business Launchpad podcast episodes you may find helpful.
- How Aspiring Entrepreneur Sophie Howard Found A Way To Work From Home And Build More Than One Thriving Online Business
- How To Sell Effectively (Even If You’re An Introvert) Without Feeling Slimy With Sales Expert Nikki RauschWithout Feeling Slimy With Sales Expert Nikki Rausch
- How Getting Comfortable With Being An Introvert Can Lead To Online Business Success With Karthik V.
- How You Can Become Good At Sales Even If You're An Introvert With Alan Cheesley
- How Having A Podcast Can Help You Grow Your Business Even If You’re An Introvert With Cliff Duvernois
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