If you’re an introvert, then you’ve probably already discovered that you work best alone. You might have always disliked working in groups and in teams. I know I have!
That’s where entrepreneurship comes in. I believe it’s usually the best path for introverts like you and me. Here’s why.
Why Introverts Should Become Entrepreneurs
Introverts need to be in charge of their own schedule, environment, time, and energy in order to really show up in their strengths and shine in their work.
And we need plenty of quality alone time. Being self-employed allows you to be in control of your own work schedule, how much you want to work, when you want to work, and how much you want to interact with people.
Depending on what your business is, you can create “passive” income like a self-paced online course. This allows you to scale your business and make money doing what you love while also having lots of time to yourself. Ultimately, this can give you more energy to spend quality time with the people closest to you.
Self-employment allows you to be in control of how you spend your energy. Since introverts tend to get overstimulated easily, you get to be in control of how much outside stimulation you want to engage with. It’s a beautiful match.
It’s Better for Your Mental and Physical Health
Not having a 9-5 job, boss, or coworkers can feel more freeing, energizing, and calming to you as an introvert. Working for and by yourself gives you more space to access your creativity and use your unique gifts to bring value to the world.
It is this control of your time and space that will help you thrive in life. Making money doing something you love can be more fulfilling. You have a lot to offer, and being in control of your schedule and how you give your energy away is essential for you to feel at your best.
You might feel enticed to work for someone else in order to receive a consistent paycheck. But if you don’t listen to what you need as an introvert to thrive, then you can jeopardize your happiness — and sometimes even your physical health! We’ve all been there — completely exhausted at the end of a day spent working for someone else, unable to cook a healthy meal, go to the gym, or relax. And this can make us more susceptible to anything from the common cold to more serious health problems like high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and more.
Yes, being an entrepreneur takes consistent courage, confidence, drive, and risk, but it can be totally worth it in order for you to shine as your introvert self.
For any introvert who does not want to be an entrepreneur, I strongly encourage you to make sure that you are at your dream job. And if you’re not, then it’s time to start searching for and taking action to land that dream job.
But if you’re ready to make the leap, here are five tips to help you shine the most.
5 Tips to Help Introverted Entrepreneurs Shine
1. Know when you work best.
Do you work best alone? Or with a friend in the room while you both are doing your own thing? Or in a coffee shop?
I’ve never heard an introvert tell me that they enjoy teamwork, but some do enjoy collaborating if it’s a good fit (sometimes you don’t know until you try it). I, personally, work best when absolutely no one else is around — in the quiet and privacy of my home, sipping my coffee or tea.
Are you a morning person, daytime, or evening person? When do you feel the most energized, motivated, and inspired? What kinds of things help you start your day with the most energy? When do you feel the least energized?
If you need long, slow mornings to yourself to wake up and feel ready for the day, then give yourself that. There’s no hard and fast rule that says you need to wake up at a certain time and do certain things to start your day. You might need a lot of time in the morning to meditate, visualize, exercise, stretch, eat breakfast, and drink coffee before you start work — and that’s completely okay.
Do what works for you.
Some entrepreneurs will tell you to hustle, but that may not be the “right” way for you as an introvert to approach your business. Get clear on what feels most supportive of your well-being, and use that as your foundation.
It doesn’t have to be hustle or nothing — you can still take massive action with a gentle approach.
2. Respect your own creative process.
Do you know what your creative process tends to be? When do you get your best ideas? Is it in the shower or going for a walk in nature? When do you feel most creative?
Your creative process might be very different from someone else’s. Listen to your own creativity, when and how it wants to be expressed — and give it proper time and attention.
Know when you get your best ideas and connect the most to your creativity and inner wisdom. Listen to that, and commit to it.
Do something creative or inspirational every other day, whether that’s getting out in nature, creative writing, painting, dancing, taking a bath, or letting yourself daydream. Notice how you feel engaging in your creativity.
3. Know your limits.
Get clear on how often it would feel good to you to work, and what work supports you best.
For example, if you see clients 1:1, how many 1:1 sessions per day/week/month can you have without burning out and feeling depleted? What’s your limit? What number helps you feel well? If it’s not many, and you’ve been making your main source of income from 1:1 sessions, consider creating some kind of “passive” income for your clients and audience like an online course, program, book, or product.
Be honest with yourself. Most introverts I talk to need 2-4 hours to themselves in the morning (that’s their ideal, anyway). Sometimes, parenting or other responsibilities conflict with that, and if that’s the case, what’s one way you can give yourself a little more time in the mornings?
In other words, what works for you? What are your limits? What boundaries do you need to create for yourself and your business?
Put your limits and boundaries in place. Maybe that’s only being available to clients on certain days or blocking out certain times for self-care. Maybe it’s allowing yourself to sleep as long as your body needs or always eating protein for breakfast. Whatever your limits and boundaries are, respect them.
4. Do you.
Don’t follow the grain because it’s the grain. Don’t do something because some business expert told you that you should. Do things YOUR WAY. Go against the grain, create your own schedule, life, and business. Yes, read books, listen to podcasts, hire coaches and consultants, read blogs about business and marketing.
Learn all that you can, but always prioritize your own voice and intuition. Other people do not know you or your life better than you. You are the expert of your life.
Always take others’ advice with a grain of salt, including my own! If your intuition is telling you not to go in a certain direction, don’t do it. If your desire isn’t what the experts are pushing you to do, don’t do it. If your body is saying no to someone else’s idea, don’t use it.
What is YOUR way of doing your business that you are in love with, that feels really damn good to you?
Implement one thing in your business life that your intuition and body say HELL YES to — even if that’s not what you’re hearing from other experts. Practice listening more to yourself.
5. Listen to your intuition.
You are very intuitive, and your intuition knows best. Let it guide your life and business. It won’t always make sense to your mind, but if you’re feeling a nudge, listen to it.
Your intuition might be telling you to let go of a collaboration, go in a new direction, do something completely different than you are now, move to a different location, or surround yourself with different people. Whatever it is, you will save yourself some misery and confusion by listening to your gut early on.
Join the introvert revolution. One email, every Friday. The best introvert articles. Subscribe here.
Sometimes, this requires you to trust the unknown and take some big leaps without a clear path in sight. It’s okay if it’s scary, but if you know deep down in your soul and gut that this is where you need to lead, then trust it. Your intuition always wants the best for you.
As an introvert entrepreneur, you need to decide what is best for you and give yourself that. Do business your way, and you will be happier and shine in what you do. If you pay attention to what you need and put it into practice, then you are more likely to experience sustainable success!