If you’re an introvert and an entrepreneur, you’re going to face more than a few business hurdles. So much of business is about selling yourself, projecting competence, drawing people and customers to you– all things that an introvert naturally shies away from.
However, it is possible to be an entrepreneur with an introverted side. Introverts have wonderful ideas and business plans to share with the world. There’s no reason to think your natural inclination has to hold you back. All you need is a survival guide to help you navigate challenges you may face. Read on and learn about how to not allow your introversion to keep you from reaching your business goals.
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DO: Give yourself breathing space
Introverts tend to struggle in the company of others, so it’s important to have alone time in your schedule. Always plan meetings with a five-minute breather to give yourself time collecting yourself and gathering your energy. Forcing yourself into a relentless schedule isn’t going to do you any good mentally, and you’re not going to perform to the best of your abilities.
DON’T: Hide yourself away
Hiding from big networking events or trade shows is not a particularly beneficial tactic for an introverted entrepreneur. It might feel like the best choice in the moment, but you need exposure to these situations to be able to cope with them. Take it slowly. Take breaks if you need to. Give yourself plenty of time to recover, but don’t outright avoid events that might be beneficial to your business. There may be a time when your business wants to throw its own event. While you can use successful event planning specialists for the organization, you need to be prepared to actually attend your own event.
DO: Use technology to your benefit
Once upon a time, business transactions always took place in person. Modern technology has made this unnecessary, but it can be used to your advantage. Suggest Skype meetings with clients or set plans in motion via Google Hangouts. While you may still find virtual meetings stressful, they are usually easier to cope with than being face-to-face with someone. What’s more, your request won’t be seen as odd in this technology-focused world.
DON’T: Expect yourself to be fine
The most important lesson about owning a business as an introvert is to understand that you’re an introvert. It’s vital you don’t just expect yourself to deal with a situation. Anticipate the worst and plan a few ways to survive, such as scheduled breaks or time-outs. If you don’t need those breaks, then that’s great, but it’s always helpful to have them planned just in case you need them.
These tips should give you an idea for how to negotiate life as an introverted entrepreneur and ensure that your introversion is not a barrier to reaching your business goals.