An introvert struggles with a variety of challenges, whether at work, at home, and even in society. Many misinterpret their behaviors.
I always wanted to enter entrepreneurship for years. It didn’t matter what kind of business it is. I silently aspire to be my own boss. However, a part of me consistently holds me back and say, “Entrepreneurship is not for me. I’m way too much of an introvert. I don’t even know how to convince people, much more of talking to them for hours. I’m not smart enough to enter the business arena.
These thoughts crippled the confidence in me. It made my aspirations get stuck for years. The worst thing was, it made me not believe in myself.
Every time I go to work, I always think about the chance of working for myself, in my personal space, and my own time. Until one day, coupled with a few realizations, I took up all the courage and resigned.
Defining an Introvert
When people think of introverts, they usually associate it with being shy, silent, or reserved. I even read some myths like an introvert is a bookworm and a nerd. Say what?! By this kind of perception, you would not expect them to thrive and prosper in the business world.
Here’s a quick example of how to define an introvert rather than just considering them as being reserved.
- Introverts love being alone; extroverts love being in the crowd.
- Introverts listen then talk; extroverts talk and listen later.
- Introverts get their energy from being alone; extroverts get their energy from other people.
- Introverts don’t share often, but when they do, people are likely to concentrate on what they have to say; extroverts share a lot, people don’t get high interest on what they say over time.
3 Realizations Why I Resigned, Set Up a Small Business, and Overcome my Introvert Struggles
1. You can do whatever you want. Contemplating on your flaws only degrades how you see yourself. Take those flaws as your shield to say – “I can do this!”.
2. Success does not determine your behavior, whether you are an introvert or an extrovert. Anyone fails, anyone succeeds. Success is determined by how you take action, not by who you are.
3. A successful business is not only about people; it is a combination of skills, action, and consistency. While it’s true that business is all about networking with a massive community, you can objectively explore your horizons. Learn from any possible source as there are plenty of ways to succeed in business, albeit you are not pushing yourself to the crowd.
How to Deal With Introvert Struggles
Dealing with introvert struggles is a process. It is not a quick-month scheme to make you successful. It requires patience, understanding, time, and consistency. But, it is all worth the ride.
Here are my top 5 keys to deal with introvert struggles, which I’m glad I started a few months ago. Frankly, it did change some of my results for the better.
1. Be a keen observer
I always didn’t go with the flow, it’s not my thing. My love for being unique sometimes exaggerates people when they learned about it. When I started my business, I crafted items that are out of the current fashion.
While a lot of people appreciate the item’s creativity, unfortunately, they were not generating an income. Therefore, I’ve wasted my time, my energy, and a fair amount of capital.
Entrepreneurship is not all about what you want to offer. It is not creating a product and searching for an audience to market it with. It is about solving your market’s problems.
Observe what people are struggling with and how they are coping with the troubles. Explore the existing solutions and what is it lacking. Now, think about how you can provide a better solution to their problem. Then you can now create your product. Let’s take a timely example below.
a. What people are struggling – scarcity and costliness of facemasks
b. What are the existing solutions – entrepreneurs selling cloth or washable facemasks in replace of surgical masks
c. What is a better solution – Copper mask – a company in the Philippines created a copper mask to help kill 99.9% of germs. Researchers note that the coronavirus can live in copper surfaces for only four hours, which is a lot lesser comparing to ten hours or days on glass, stainless steel, paper, and clothing.
That being the case, your business can still generate an appealing income even if you are a strikingly introvert person because people will seek you and your products. You don’t have to beg for sales.
2. Expect to challenge yourself
Entrepreneurship is never easy, especially when you are just starting. The motivation to step out of your comfort zone will be dread challenging. Your support system will be lacking.
Being an introvert with hardly 3 – 5 good and genuine friends was the biggest challenge for me when I started. In business, the demand for other people is crucial. You need connections. Honestly, I suck in this. I always didn’t want to put myself in a crowd.
However, it made me realize that it’s okay to suck at things in the beginning. Don’t blame your being an introvert. It is part of the process – you suck at the beginning, you meet challenges and adventures, you make a plan, you learn and grow, then you become successful.
3. Use social media as a stepping stone
During this pandemic, technology is drastically escalating. You not only see Tiktok posts or diaries of people in social media but is now a profitable business even to those who are in the corporate world. You can use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, to set your stage before personally meeting people.
I am not a fan of cold pitching or cold emails. It is not in my range of expertise nor in my technique of attracting business. But remember tips #1 and #2, I thought I needed a change out of my usual ways and try to get out of my comfort zone to experiment on results.
I tried to jump from website to website to cold pitch. Luckily, out of the tens of cold pitches I made, an online magazine agreed to publish my article.
You see, it just takes a step further and cracking your shell off to pave your way. As our friend Albert Einstein quoted – “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. Won’t you agree?
4. Focus on your strengths while enhancing your weaknesses
The biggest capital in starting your business is your strengths. Choose a business that caters to what you can offer competently and to what you enjoy. Make sure that it will not be a source of exhaustion two years from now.
Some way or another, you will find multiple ways to promote your business without changing your introvert personality 360 degrees. Of course, there will be some adjustments from the challenges along the way, like what I did in tip #3, but you don’t have to change your entirety to fit in the business world.
If your strength is in writing and you enjoy placing all your thoughts in a pad, use that in a business setting that requires writing like blogging or copywriting. You can even create an eBook!
Suppose your weakness is you don’t know how to sell your products or how to let the market know that you exist, go back to tip #3. You don’t have to have a lot of friends to market your products.
Sometimes the higher prospects to buy your products are out of your friends’ lists. Explore your social media and try cold pitching once in a while.
5. Surround yourself with people whom you can learn from
Select a model. He/she doesn’t have to be creditably as successful as Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. Find someone among your group of friends who knows the world of business and who knows how to convert opportunities into successes.
Ask help from them, from how they start a conversation with people, what are the words to be uttered and what is not, what are the do’s and don’t’s.
If you are reluctant to ask, go back to tip #1. Observe. Notice how he talks, how he gets out of an awkward situation or conversation. You can learn a lot from the people around you.
Additionally, if you don’t have friends in the business world to model with, read – a lot. Read success stories of underrated entrepreneurs, educational or self-growth blogs like this, uplifting magazines, etc.
Final Thoughts on Introvert Struggles
While not all businesses suit you, there is plenty of opportunities and prospects that suits your personality perfectly.
Starting the perfect business for your personality starts with discovering who you are and determining the type of business that goes with your preferences. You have to consider and accept that you are not the problem – the type of business you are entering is.
Being an introvert is not an obstacle but a gift to reach your dream business. Finding the right approach and ideal mindset is the challenge to make it work.
How about you? How did you deal with the struggles of being an introvert in the business world? Let’s share your thoughts on the comment box below.
Photo Credits: Pixabay