Most people don’t understand introverts except, of course, introverts. But sometimes introverts don’t even understand themselves.
If you’re an introvert and feel like you could never be an entrepreneur, you don’t understand either yourself or entrepreneurial online business.
In fact, you’ve probably never realized that some of the most incredibly entrepreneurial people in the world are introverts. I mean, I just watched Mark Zuckerburg stand up in front of thousands to introduce new VR technology. I would never have guessed that man is an introvert.
Introverts like Zuckerberg and Bill Gates have been the backbone of Silicone Valley for years now. How did they do it? Not by sitting back and saying, “I can’t” that’s for sure.
While you might not build the world’s most successful social media outlet, you will succeed in your own way. Let’s look at how introverts can actually thrive in online business.
1. Why Are Introverts Actually Good at Business?
When I worked in social services, I knew an extreme introvert. She was an incredible person who hated small talk, loved solitude, and could only handle a certain quota of “people time” before needing to recharge.
But she was the savviest business person on our team. And now she’s the head of social media marketing.
How do people like that become the Zuckerbergs of the world? They don’t fit the Hollywood picture of an entrepreneur.
Sure, some Joe MacMillans (Halt and Catch Fire) exist. But it’s the Cameron Rendons of the world who readily come to mind.
It’s their introvert qualities. Those qualities that set them apart from the rest of us.
1000 Years of Solitude? No Problem! I’ll Just Get This Project Done!
But it’s not about diligence. Yes, an introvert’s ability to be alone for long periods of time without any social interaction is a boon in the business world. But it’s more about how they approach a project or task.
An introvert uses their solitude for several things. Thinking, recharging, and observation.
Beware the introvert in a crowd. They may not be stimulated by the crowd the same way an extrovert is. But that allows them room to observe.
They may not speak much at a meeting. But when they do, it’s important and relevant.
If you’re an introvert, realize your potential. Even if you don’t speak up as much in a meeting, when you have an idea, don’t hesitate to raise it.
Introverts also tend to be detail-oriented individuals. They won’t hit execute until everything is worked out.
This is particularly useful when creating a business plan.
There Is No “I” in Team…Except…
When there’s an introvert in the team, the team functions better. An extrovert is watching the clock, waiting for that next social engagement. An introvert isn’t motivated by social engagements.
But they do make the best team players.
It could be several factors. Extroverts, being motivated by social interaction and by proxy competition, might not work as well with others as you would think.
But introverts don’t care as much about competing with their peers. The anticipation of winning doesn’t get their dopamine dripping.
Thus, introverts are more likely to be collaborative, more so than their extroverted peers. And if you’re attempting to start an online business with other peers, if you’re introverted, you’ll be the one to bring everyone together.
“I Can Touch My Toes…Figuratively Speaking”
If you think flexibility is something you need in a typical business setting, just wait until you start an online business. There will be some group activities or networking events.
But there will be long hours of solitude where you’re wrestling with yourself or your business.
You have to do both group-ish things and solo-ish things. And you have to be great at both.
That’s where the introvert shines. While they might not look forward to group things, they’ll do well there. And yet, they’ll be even better at working independently.
They’ll close deals faster, they’ll get things done, and they’ll enjoy the time they have to analyze and construct. This is the kind of flexibility that builds empires.
2. How to Leverage Your Introversion to Start an Online Business
So, you get why I’m excited about introverts (apart from the fact I’m married to one). But if you’re an introvert, you’re wondering how you can use your introverted powers to build your own business online.
There are a few things you can do to make it more likely for you to succeed as an introvert in a fairly extroverted world.
Mark Zuckerberg started out with a small idea. He wanted to connect people on his campus.
He was just a college student with a computer. He didn’t need a whole building full of employees yet.
And neither do you. Especially with an online business, you won’t have to scale up until you make enough money to do so. If the bigness of scaling up overwhelms you and makes you want to crawl into a ball somewhere, think smaller.
Your goal should be only your own success or the success of your idea. Worry about hiring employees later.
Partner With an Extrovert
You’ll be the yin/yang of business. A Moses with his Aaron.
If you can’t handle certain social situations, your extroverted partner will be right there to soak up the social energy while you plan ahead. A great team is about “covering weaknesses with strengths.”
Your analytical mind and observation skill will supplement their propensity to charge ahead without thinking. There are many ways in which extroverts and introverts complement each other.
Online Interactions Are Your Friend (Building a Website and Using Email)
The internet is the introvert’s best tool. You can communicate with the world without small talk or uncomfortable social interactions.
And your website will be your store-front. So, build a website and primarily use email to communicate. You can learn more here about where to host your own website and email server.
But email, Skype, and other messaging services will be your portal to the world. Even if you have to conference call with strangers, you can do it from the comfort of your own environment.
Conclusion: The Boss
When you build your own online business, you’re the boss. You set meeting locations. You determine how things are run.
This means you can build your business to suit your needs too. If you someday open an office, make it introvert-friendly. That’s one of the biggest benefits to starting out on your own.