Introverted Entrepreneurs - Gaining the Advantage
Many people believe that an introvert is shy and would not fare well in the extroverted world of entrepreneurs. The truth is, introverts may keep to themselves more when they are in a situation where they are not comfortable, but that doesn't mean that they are shy or that they don't talk. Introverts and extroverts are determined mainly from where they get their energy. Introverts need time with themselves and extroverts need people.
I am an introvert myself, and when I used to be asked to speak, I would get extremely sick to my stomach. Now that I have given hundreds of speeches, it is not as hard to get up in front of people, although I still feel nervous. The more you do something the easier it becomes. I used to hate networking meetings. Now people don't believe that I am introverted. There is this thing called, "situational extroverted." The more I do things, the more I become comfortable and the more at ease I am when I show up. The same principle will work for any introvert.
I have worked with an introvert who threw-up before giving a speech in front of five people. After diving into what she wanted to create, and why, that person exercised an incredible amount of courage, and built a whole business where she'd create events and speak with confidence and ease in front of rooms full of hundreds of people. No one would have imagined what she was like before, unless they had seen her earlier.
There are many successful entrepreneurs who are introverts. An extremely well –known, successful introvert entrepreneur that I know personally is Jack Canfield. I have talked to him about how he still is very much an introvert and how he sets up his life to honor that. He also has given hundreds of speeches to help him overcome his personal limitations because it was also part of his journey to become a great orator.
An important concept to remember if you are an introvert and you want to play in a more extroverted world of entrepreneurs, is to honor your introverted nature. If you do something extroverted, like networking or speaking, be sure to schedule downtime afterwards. Introverts need time to process and to get grounded. The key to being introverted and be in business, is to honor yourself for the way you are, and to find the courage to take the next step toward your dream.
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