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Shy. Quiet. Withdrawn.
These are some of the words often used to describe a person who would consider themselves an introvert. And believe it or not, none of them convey what being an introvert actually comes down to.
See, an introvert may be shy in social interactions, or they might be the life and soul of the party. An introvert may be quiet, or (like me) they might never shut up. An introvert may be considered withdrawn, or they might be an open book. And similarly, an extroverted person may be shy standing up in front of a crowd, or quiet when part of a group of friends.
I’ve been reading up on introverts a lot lately, as I realised that resonates with my personality. I wanted to understand more what positive and negative impacts that will have on my business. And it really opened my eyes when I discovered the one key thing that causes you to lean more towards one way than the other.
It’s all about energy flow people. To give an example:
In a social situation, an extrovert’s energy will be fuelled by the people and social interactions around them, whereas an introvert will find their energy depletes in the same scenario.
It made so much sense to me. I’d often been baffled by my tendency to shy away from social gatherings, yet have no issue speaking up in a group of people. I wasn’t shy. I’m not totally quiet all the time. And I’m not closed-off with everyone. Likewise, I know some of my friends that have no issue attending social events but probably don’t wish to speak up too much. And this made so much sense as well. They may be quite shy, but their energy does not deplete the way mine does.
I need solitude to re-fuel. To re-focus, re-energise. It explains so much about the things that motivate me, compared to the things that motivate some of my friends. There’s nothing wrong with being introverted or extroverted. In fact there’s incredible benefits in both. But when you understand which way you lean more towards, it can help you tap into those incredible internal traits that will help you succeed.
Usually we all have an element of both in us, but we tend to lean towards either being more introverted or extroverted. So, as I’m mostly introverted, I’ve listed 5 quality benefits of this trait that will help you thrive in your business. And remember, whilst you’re an introvert you’re also still a complete individual, so not every trait will resonate with you 100%.
Oh and if you want to check out the book that opened my eyes to how being introverted can really benefit your business, it’s Introvert Entrepreneur by Beth Buelow and you can grab a copy here.
1: We listen
Introverts tend to hold back before we speak. We like to take it all in and listen to everything you’re saying before we address with a response. This can be an incredible tool to aid you in your business because you can get to the heart of what your customers and clients really want rather than jumping in with what you think they want.
2: We analyse
Introverted people tend to like crunching numbers. As an introverted creative, I often baffle myself with my love of spreadsheets, data and statistics as I should hate all that ‘non-creative’ stuff right? But it’s because we like to understand everything thoroughly before we take action. This means introverts are often confident in their decisions as so much thought and effort has gone into it.
3: We think outside the box
Now this one may come down to our avoidance of networking and business promotion. We’re not massive fans of saying ‘look at me and what I can do’ as we know how much energy that will cost. So we tend to think of other creative ways to collaborate, find new clients, new customers and reach out to new businesses. It can often be a very effective way of standing out.
4: We work better alone
It’s always a standard to have ‘good team-player’ on your CV, but in reality, introverts tend to work better when left alone. Our attention span and focus is always super focussed on the task at hand and we can often achieve much more by not needing to use up our energy in team environments. As solopreneurs often working alone, this can be a huge benefit to ticking off your to-do list.
5: We have a thirst for knowledge
Introverts have a tendency to want to know it all themselves, as we prefer to work alone. So if there’s something we need to know about, we’d rather learn it, than ask it. Whilst this can be a draw-back at times, it often means we understand all the components of our business very well. We’re also very curious, and highly driven by what we still don’t know, which often means we tap into new opportunities for our business.
But be careful…
It’s important to note all the above traits can hold you back if you’re not careful. Not asking for help because you’d prefer to know it yourself can hold you back from meeting your deadlines. Not working as a team can stop you from finding awesome collaboration opportunities. Avoiding social events can deplete your confidence making it even harder in the future to approach potential business clients and friends.
That’s why it’s so healthy to understand where your energy comes from, and where it depletes. It will help you maximise the skillsets you already have to take your business off the ground, whilst overcoming the obstacles that you find difficult – *cough* networking *cough*.
To counterbalance, here are 5 benefits of being extroverted, of which you may find you share some qualities with:
1: They’re easily motivated
Extroverts act quickly and are energised by new ideas. They don’t dawdle, delay, or make excuses. They trust their instinct more and have confidence that their efforts will pay off.
2: They can sell their services
Extroverts, being fuelled by social environments, often have no problem telling people how their business can help with their problems. Self promotion comes easy to them, and their confidence often seals the deal.
3: They work great as a team
Extroverts tend to love bouncing ideas around, working together and sharing their creativity. It can often pave the way for new opportunities for work, business partners and collaborations.
4: They’re problem-solvers
Everything is solvable for an extrovert, and rarely do problems cause a panic. Extroverts tend to think quickly and can often come up with multiple ideas at once as they’re energy is almost always over-flowing.
5: They’re approachable
Extroverts tend to wear their heart on their sleeves, and are often an open book. This means they are often very welcoming and friendly, and can put you at ease in a social situation, especially if you’re slightly introverted.
Bottom line is it all comes down to energy flow. What feeds it for you, and what drains it. When you start to understand your personality type a little more, you can overcome the obstacles that hold you back, and utilise the traits that will propel you forward.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Comment below with what your best traits are!