If you’re an introvert, there’s a good chance that – at some point in your life – you’ve been told that you need to ‘be more outgoing’, ‘you’re too quiet’, or something to the effect of ‘who you are isn’t enough, you need to change in order to be successful’.
Thanks to the opportunities that the online world have afforded us, more and more introverts are taking the plunge and ditching their corporate jobs to start online businesses. Not many people can imagine working from home, only interacting with their cat for an entire day. But, for more introverted people, this is the place where our creativity and our brains thrive.
There are, of course, challenges and aspects of starting your own business or working for yourself that are not necessarily in an introvert’s comfort zone. NB: uncertainty, risk, self promotion, ‘networking’ and of course, the unknown – but if you find a way to navigate these, the benefits far outweigh the negatives.
You get to dictate your own schedule
Slow in the morning and in need of a quiet start? You can schedule your day to fit into this. Don’t like meetings? Don’t have them. Need a break at 3pm to chill out, solo, and regain some energy? Done. It’s completely up to you how you plan out your day and that means you can do everything on your terms.
You get to choose the style you like to work in
In the ‘usual’ workplace, you’re forced into a certain working style that can cause struggle and overwhelm or burnt out for introverted types. When you work for yourself, you can create a business that suits your personality – like working one-on-one, or one monotasking projects – instead of ‘group brainstorming’ or constantly flitting from one project to another.
You get to work for someone who totally gets you
Ever had a boss who just doesn’t get you? The criticism or even shaming that can come from this misunderstanding (whether intentional, or not) can be destructive to a quiet person’s confidence. When you work for yourself, you learn more about yourself than you ever thought possible – but you’ll also learn where you thrive and how to create a business that showcases that.
You get to balance out your ‘quiet time’ and ‘people time’
Modern workplaces are often bustling, fast paced, open plan, social environments that an extrovert craves, but an introvert finds draining, disruptive, and uncomfortable. When you work for yourself, you decide the work conditions you want to work in and, when you do need connection with others, you can plan that into your week as well.
You get to capitalise on all your best bits
Warren Buffett is an introvert renowned for creating a billion dollar business by focusing on his strengths, instead of trying to ‘fix’ his weaknesses. If you’ve been told in your career that you need to be ‘more’ outgoing, or you’re ‘too quiet’, you’re constantly being directed to focus on perceived weaknesses, don’t think it means the business world is not for you. Instead, create a business that’s aligned with your strengths: you’ll not only have a business that you love, you’ll also be creating a space to operate at your absolute best.
Katherine Mackenzie-Smith is a life and business coach helping introverts understand themselves, create businesses that light them up, and cut through the noise to connect with the people who need to hear what they have to say. Connect with her at katherinemackenziesmith.com