When we hear the terms introvert and extrovert, we often think of two extremes — confident and outgoing vs. shy and quiet. But that is not exactly what the two personality traits mean. There is a lot more involved. For example, most introverts are thoughtful and analytical, private in terms of emotions, more comfortable with small groups or one-on-one, and very self-aware.
So does this mean introverts don’t have what it takes to succeed in business?
Absolutely not. It just means they need to approach business a little bit differently.
Explore Possibilities in Your Comfort Zone
If you are an introvert, you know what comes easy to you and what makes you work a little harder. The good news is that there are a lot of opportunities for business development that can happen in your comfort zone.
Start by looking at what you enjoy — meeting with clients individually, networking online, having time to think and analyze before responding. Make a list and see what comfort-level activities exist that are relevant of your business goals.
Break Out of Your Comfort Zone Regularly
Once you have a clear idea of what makes you comfortable, it’s time to get out of the zone. If big networking events or business conferences are an area where you struggle to feel comfortable, it probably means that these are activities where you can get a tremendous amount of value.
Identify a few activities that will stretch your comfort and go for it. While you don’t need to go beyond what you’re comfortable with every single day, pushing yourself from time-to-time will give you added confidence, teach you things about yourself, and get you closer to business success.
Use What You Got
Whether it’s networking or sales or customer service, you can make any business situation easier by using introversion skills to your advantage.
As an introvert, you already have the ability to thoroughly think through situations, listen closely, and act in a measured and strategic way. Use these skills to devise a plan so you are prepared for each and every situation.
Team Up with an Extrovert
One way to manage business challenges as an introvert is by doing what you do best, and teaming up with someone to pick up the slack. This can mean partnering with an extrovert, or even creating a team that reflects a number of different personality traits, work styles, and communication preferences.
Not only will this provide support for you in managing the day-to-day responsibilities of the business, but it is also likely to help everyone on your team grow by having regular opportunities to learn from each other.
Know When It’s Time to Recharge
You know when you’ve hit the wall and need to take a break. Respect the signs by taking some time off from work, spending time by yourself to reflect, or doing something you enjoy that always centers you. Make sure you do this before you push yourself too far and reach the burnout stage!
Not everyone is the same and not every business is the same. The key to being successful in business, regardless of your character traits, is to figure out a plan that works for you personally, and taking it step by step.
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