November 29, 2021 | 4-minute read (669 words)
You aren't alone if the prospect of speaking in front of a group of investors or networking at a huge event makes you feel anxious. Introverts make about 40% of corporate executives, meaning they likely find it exhausting to interact with a large group or give a public speech. But being an introvert doesn’t rule out the chance of becoming an entrepreneur. In reality, evidence suggests that the reverse is likely to be true.
In a 2019 study cited by Forbes, which assessed the profiles of 2,000 CEOs, the majority of successful ones were introverts. While some traits typically associated with entrepreneurship may be challenging for introverts, who prefer to work alone rather than in big groups, introverts are also well-positioned for entrepreneurship based on the 10 qualities listed below.
Introverts may not be the most outgoing in public, but they are excellent listeners. Introverts can leverage the active listening skills they use with clients, employees, investors and vendors to build lasting connections. Good listeners also tend to be strong learners and leaders who have a solid understanding of people. These listening skills can not only foster new ideas, but they can also prevent costly blunders.
Attentive listeners and learners
Introverts usually make decisions based on logic and data. Rather than immediately responding to a problem, they usually take in the information first to think critically about possible solutions to a problem. They will delve into the root of an issue before deciding on the best solution, based on the information at hand.
With their strong ability to listen, observe and evaluate situations before acting, introverts can effectively manage ambiguity. Introverts are more likely to remain objective during uncomfortable situations and can consider many points of view to come up with solutions.
Relationship-building is key to running a successful business, and introverts excel at it. Introverts are good listeners and observers, traits that lend themselves to lasting connections when combined with their natural empathy. While large networking gatherings may not be their strong suit, a face-to-face encounter to complete a new business transaction may well be.
Introverts don't usually seek outside validation for their initiatives because they already believe their ideas are sound. While they value external affirmation, they frequently have a clear idea of what is or is not worth pursuing. Introverts, even under challenging situations, tend to stay on track. Being self-sufficient allows them to maintain control and make sensible judgments in the face of even dire problems.
Determined and self-assured
Introverts are accustomed to evaluating ideas, providing meaningful criticism and determining what others bring to the table as entrepreneurs. They frequently digest information internally and do a preliminary analysis of new business concepts. When implementing a business strategy or tasks that demand a lot of attention to detail, this form of analysis comes in handy.
Introverts with high leadership characteristics are more likely to be successful entrepreneurs than their extrovert counterparts, some research suggests. Introvert leaders are also more likely to welcome initiative from employees and to be more modest than extroverts. These traits help introverts support and develop subordinates.
Leaders who take initiative
Introverts pay close attention to what's happening around them, and watching others closely implies they may understand people better. Using these observation skills helps them make fact-based choices.
Introverts are usually self-disciplined and determined, and they don't need much encouragement to summon the guts to present a new idea or notion. It's not that they don't need others' encouragement or support; it's simply that they don't want to rely on it.
Self-disciplined and motivated
Introverts are generally zealous about their ideas and the process of producing something new. They form teams and gain experience so they can do whatever it takes to achieve their goals. Since entrepreneurs who are just starting out need to be able to focus intensely on their critical goals, these traits associated with introverts also lend themselves to success in their business ventures.
Self-reliant and enthusiastic