Written By: Megan Sanders
There’s long been a skewed perception of what an introvert actually is.
As a fellow introvert, I’ve been the subject of misguided proclamations of what I can and can’t do as a career from both friends and family.
Back when I decided to become a K-12 English language arts teacher, this path shocked the people that knew me. Standing at the front of a classroom in front of twenty-five-plus students didn’t seem like something an introvert would enjoy.
But year after year, my introverted personality helped me thrive in the classroom. I was able to listen and understand my students’ needs. Despite our generational differences, I was able to connect with them in ways that other teachers couldn’t. I even provided a safe space for the students that other teachers would label as “difficult.”
When I decided to leave the profession, I could tell that my family wasn’t surprised. They equated my introverted personality to my decision to leave. They thought I was too “shy” to cut it as a teacher.
But I decided to go against the stereotype even further. I decided to start my own business as a copywriter for animal and pet businesses. I can’t say that my family was unsupportive. But their deafening silence at the news made it clear that they didn’t think I would succeed.
They, like many others, believed that I was too introverted to put myself out there and connect with clients.
However, I argue that introverts possess special traits to become successful entrepreneurs.
Luckily, I found the support I needed to unlock my natural skills as an introvert in Sarah Tuner’s online copywriting course. When I say that a majority of the students in the course are self-proclaimed introverts – I’m not exaggerating. I was able to connect with other introverted copywriting business owners, and to this day, we celebrate our successes together and prove to the world that introverts make exceptional entrepreneurs.
Misconceptions of Introverts vs Extroverts
Do you consider yourself to be an introvert? Have you thought about starting your own business? Maybe you’re afraid that being an introvert will prevent you from being a successful entrepreneur.
But, I promise you, that’s not the case. You can use your introverted traits to become a thriving entrepreneur. And, I’ll explain exactly how to use being an introvert to your advantage further down.
First, let’s clarify the definition of an introvert before we talk about what makes them exceptional entrepreneurs. How does it compare to the definition of an extrovert?
As my fellow introverts know, we are often given the misguided definition of being “shy”. According to Myers and Briggs, if you can say the following about yourself, you’re an introvert:
I like getting my energy from dealing with the ideas, pictures, memories, and reactions that are inside my head, in my inner world. I often prefer doing things alone or with one or two people I feel comfortable with. I take time to reflect so that I have a clear idea of what I’ll be doing when I decide to act. Ideas are almost solid things for me. Sometimes I like the idea of something better than the real thing.1
I don’t know about you, but as I read this definition, it resonated with me. Maybe it’s all of the anti-imposter syndrome training I do, but I read all of these statements as positive attributes I bring to my business.
I do “get my energy from dealing with the ideas, pictures, memories, and reactions that are inside my head.” It allows me to stay in touch with my creative side and provide fresh ideas to my clients.
I do prefer to do things with “one or two people I feel comfortable with.” That’s why I make it a goal to get to know my clients on a personal level. Keeping communication lines open helps me stay in tune with their business goals and mine.
I do “take time to reflect so that I have a clear idea of what I’ll be doing when I decide to act.”I utilize this reflection to set clear and attainable goals for my clients and myself to propel their business forward.
Let’s go over what an extrovert is just for comparison.
If I asked you to think of one person that you would describe as the life of the party, I’m sure there’s someone that instantly pops into your head.
They’re the person that seems to effortlessly mingle with every person in the room without making anyone feel left out. They always have a funny joke or quip to impart to the group. They exude confidence.
Myers and Briggs would define you as an extrovert if you can describe yourself as follows:
I like getting my energy from active involvement in events and having a lot of different activities. I’m excited when I’m around people and I like to energize other people. I like moving into action and making things happen. I generally feel at home in the world. I often understand a problem better when I can talk out loud about it and hear what others have to say.1
People flock to extroverts. Extroverts are often the first people hired by companies, especially as CEOs2.
But, that doesn’t mean that an introvert doesn’t have the same, if not more, skills to offer. According to Harvard Business Review’s article, “What Sets Successful CEOs Apart,” a study “revealed that while boards often gravitate toward charismatic extroverts, introverts are slightly more likely to surpass the expectations of their boards and investors.”2
If introverted CEOs can do it, you can certainly use your skills to impress clients and be your own boss.
The Introvert’s Advantage
1. Introverts Are Impeccable Listeners
Since you prefer solitude, in social situations you often allow others to dominate the conversation. You’re much more content to sit and listen.3 And it’s through this listening that you’re able to come up with meaningful responses that create deeper connections with others. You’re speaking to provide meaningful content to a conversation.
And after you make that connection with your client, you continue to use your listening skills to comprehend your clients’ wants and needs, then you develop goals to meet them.
2. Introverts Are Team Players
Remember in school when you were given a group project and there was always that one person who ended up doing all the work? Maybe it was you. Though I tried to keep the group dynamics even when I assigned groups as a teacher, it was tough for my middle schoolers to understand the value of teamwork.
Despite loving your quiet time, you can easily work with a team.3 The key to working in a team is listening.
You understand that listening to the team’s needs is far more important than dominating the conversation or pushing your own agenda. So, instead of creating a “too many cooks in the kitchen scenario,” you lead with silence.
Since you’re a great listener, you have a natural ability to work with others. Your team of clients will feel heard and want to continue working with you.
3. Introverts Are Solo Artists
Even though you work well in a team, you also excel when working on your own. You thrive in solitude3. And with any job, let’s face it, at some point you’re going to have to work individually. Especially if you want to be an entrepreneur.
When first starting a business or if you maintain a small business, like mine, there are a lot of solo work sessions. There’s no one around to set your schedule, to provide you with daily and weekly goals. Your income relies solely on you.
In a high tech world, where everyone is connected to each other through social media, you have the ability to turn it all off and just focus. Your clients will appreciate you for this quality because you can provide impeccable service in a timely manner by blocking out distractions.
4.Introverts Are Self-Starters
A huge factor in the success of your work sessions is the ability to motivate yourself.3 Introverts don’t need incentives to get started on a project. You don’t need someone patting you on the back after each goal is reached.
You have the ability to set goals and reach those goals for the sake of your own satisfaction.
This is the ultimate skill needed to be a successful entrepreneur because entrepreneurs venture out on their own. They have to be able to put in the work necessary to get their businesses off the ground.
Harvard Agrees, You’re a Born Leader
Need more convincing? If you still aren’t convinced that you’re cut out to be your own boss, let’s talk about what the Harvard Business Review found when they studied the most common traits found in successful CEOs.
According to Harvard Business Review’s article, “What Sets Successful CEOs Apart,” the skills needed to be a successful business person do not include being outgoing. The article describes a ten-year study on the success of introverted and extroverted CEOs.
It revealed that the four skills that made the difference between a successful and unsuccessful CEO were as follows:
- Decisiveness: Successful CEOs are not afraid to make the wrong decision. More importantly, they don’t delay making decisions for fear of being wrong. They make decisions and deal with consequences as they arise.
- Adaptiveness: They do not avoid or fight problems. They adapt and learn from mistakes to be more successful in the future.
- Listening Skills: Successful CEOs listen to their clients’ needs with the purpose of understanding them. Then they set goals to meet those needs.
- Reliability: Client’s know they will get what they asked for in a timely and efficient manner.2
If we compare these four skills to the introvert traits listed above, we can see that they go hand-in-hand. You got this!
Write Your Way to Freedom with Sarah Turner
So, are you realizing that you’re an introvert that wants to start your own business?
If you’re STILL doubting your ability to go into business for yourself, just think about this fact from the Harvard Business Review study mentioned earlier,
“Only 7% of the high-performing CEOs we studied had an undergraduate Ivy League education, and 8% of them didn’t graduate from college at all.”2
The only thing holding you back is yourself.
For me, taking Sarah’s Write Your Way to Freedom course was the answer. She provided all the information I needed to start my copywriting business. The course is broken down into digestible bites. And if I had any questions or needed support, she was readily available.
Not only could I consult Sarah, but I also had access to a community of other copywriters taking the course. She has created a community of writers that love and support you through your entire journey.
Sarah’s course not only teaches you how to become a copywriter, but it also teaches you to get in the entrepreneur mindset. The lessons her course teaches applies to any start-up business because effective copywriting sells.
So if you’re looking for some financial freedom and a way to put your introvert skills to good use, check out the course!