In the world of business, we’ve been conditioned to believe that brash is best. We see TV shows like The Apprentice and movies like The Wolf Of Wall Street or Glengarry Glen Ross and form a very specific image of what the quintessential successful entrepreneur looks like. Inevitably they’re white, middle aged, aggressively male and while they may be decidedly lacking in charm, they have an animal charisma that allows them to bend their “underlings” to their will. In the Trump era, it’s all too common to think that only brash, loud and extroverted people can find success as entrepreneurs, but this is far from the case. The digital realm is a wonderfully level playing field, that enables even the most introverted of us to make a success of ourselves.
Many introverts find that they don’t flourish in spontaneous social situations. They like to have the time and space to compose their communications in a “safe” and stress free environment. Thus, while things like business meetings and power lunches may be anathema to us, the idea of running our business remotely from our laptops of tablets is often far more palatable. If you have a great idea for a business, don’t fool yourself into thinking that your lack of a brash social veneer is an impediment. Here are some ways in which introverted entrepreneurs can level the playing field in their favor…
Outsource where you can
Okay so this is really good advice for all entrepreneurs, but it’s especially important for introverts. Many introverts find asking for help troublesome and thus, can feel the need to take on virtually every aspect of their business on by themselves. This is admirable, noble even, but it rarely makes the best business sense. You may be a seriously multi talented individual but even if you can do everything it doesn’t mean that you should. Outsourcing is certainly the way to go in the more idiosyncratic elements of running your business. Thus, allowing managed IT services, marketing consultancies and HR providers to help lighten the load can make running your business a lot less stressful. Plus, it allows you to spend more time playing to your strengths and making you feel more in control.
Get a virtual receptionist
There are few of us who are at our best over the phone. Introverts, in particular find the combination of spontaneity and impersonality of phone conversation troublesome. Thus, when you’re in the middle of something really important, the sight and sound of a ringing phone can fill you with anxiety. This is why a virtual receptionist is invaluable to the introverted entrepreneur. They are very inexpensive, but effective. They can take a call for you and reroute it if you want to take it, but if you don’t they can arrange for you to make contact with the caller on your terms.
Partner with an extrovert
You may think that people like Donald Trump or Alan Sugar are the guys who get the job done, but research suggests that introverts make great leaders as they’re typically sensitive and receptive to their employees ideas. Nonetheless, extroverts have their useful characteristics, too. They tend to be great motivators and forces of nature. Thus, consider partnering with someone whose skills and personality complement yours.