Jul 072017

How Can An Introverted Entrepreneur Be Successful?

Are you an introverted entrepreneur trying to figure out how to be successful?

Let me start with the good news. It’s definitely possible for an introvert to be successful as an entrepreneur.

In fact, according to a recent Entrepreneur.com article, the following mega-successful entrepreneurs are introverts:

  • Larry Page
  • Bill Gates
  • Warren Buffet
  • Mark Zuckerberg
  • Elon Musk

This is a list of successful introverted entrepreneurs I would imagine that you would not mind being part of! Each one of these “introverts” is a billionaire, most of them several times over. We’re talking about some of the richest people in the world on this list. So, that is quite encouraging.

Ok, we started with the good news. Now, let’s talk about some of the not-so-good news, for you, the aspiring introverted entrepreneur.

First, let’s acknowledge that in order to be successful as an entrepreneur, you will typically have to interact with a wide variety of people. These interactions will usually take place daily if not many times per day. So, many times when you’d like to be on your own, enjoying some time to yourself, you will need to get out of your comfort zone and play the role of an extrovert. In entrepreneurship, perhaps even more than in most other endeavors, great things typically are accomplished by teams, rather than by entrepreneurs working alone.

Next, we should consider that the “extrovert world” is full of small talk, with which you probably are not particularly comfortable. You will need to work on striking a balance between getting right to the point and not seeming standoffish and/or aloof. Is this starting to sound familiar? You will have to work on being willing to listen to some personal or sports stories that aren’t relevant to the task at hand, as sharing such information is a mechanism for bonding with your colleagues. Who knows, you may even learn to enjoy some of these interactions.

Now, we’ll talk about the fact that he or she who talks the most or the loudest often has a disproportionate impact on the outcome of decision-making conversations. It is here that you will need to develop your “assertiveness muscles” and come to terms with the fact that if you’re going to be a successful introverted entrepreneur, you will need to be willing to argue forcefully for your ideas. Don’t worry, with time, it’s likely you will become more and more comfortable with this reality.

At this point, we should talk about what may be one of the hardest leaps for you as an introvert, which is selling. As an entrepreneur, it’s often the case that you are selling from the time you wake up, until the time you go to sleep. You sell your ideas to your partners, your product development ideas to your engineers, your products and services to your customers, and the list goes on. Selling when you don’t see yourself as a salesperson is one of the hardest things for any entrepreneur, but perhaps even more difficult for the introverted entrepreneur. Take a look here for some ideas on how to sell better if you’re not a salesperson.

Finally, for now, let’s talk about how physically and emotionally draining it can be as an introverted entrepreneur to face the challenges mentioned above, as well as the many others you will encounter each day. The fact is, you will likely end each day completely drained! It is, therefore, extremely important that you find activities and hobbies that allow you to regenerate. These activities can include meditation, yoga, running, or hiking, among others. They could even include just reading a book or listening to music, but try to mix some physical activity in as well. If at all possible, try to do at least one such activity each day, so you can face the next day as an entrepreneur completely charged and ready to go.

How do you approach being an introverted entrepreneur?

I look forward to your thoughts, ideas, and questions.


Paul Morin