7 Tips For Running a Startup As an Introvert
Entrepreneurship is never simple, and having an introverted personality can make the process even more difficult. Starting your own business involves countless interactions and exposures to judgment from various people. However, there is nothing to suggest that introverts can’t succeed as entrepreneurs. Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are two of the most successful business leaders in the world, and both identity as introverts.
Here are seven survival tips for running a startup as an introvert.
1. Set up the perfect environment for yourself
You have total control of your business, and as an introvert, it’s important to create an environment that fully enables your comfort and productivity.
Here you can play to your strengths. Set up a preferred method of communication that you feel comfortable with and promote it instead of less appealing means of interacting with clients and stakeholders.
You also have the freedom to set up an office that’s optimized to boost your own performance. A spacious and minimalist floorplan could work wonders for peace of mind. Or maybe an intimate and cluttered desk is just what you need to have all of your information within arm’s reach.
2. Do what you do best
It’s important to focus your productivity. Focus your energy on the aspects of entrepreneurial life that enables you your success. For example, while networking events can be seen as essential means of building connections with clients, you could be much more comfortable with conducting email marketing campaigns or tapping into talent on Twitter. The main takeaway is to use a platform that brings the best out of you. Choose wisely.
This also applies to your chosen method of work. Figure out what means of output works best for you and go with it. Whether you prefer to focus on one task at a time or to dabble in multiple workloads at once to maintain an overview – it’s all up to you.
3. Avoid a setup that’s prone to interaction
As a startup owner, some forms of interaction may be inevitable, but you’ll get to have control over the types of communication that takes place.
Find a form of communication that you’re comfortable with. If you’d rather talk with clients and customers via email, it can be arranged with ease. If you prefer to meet face-to-face instead of speaking on the phone, then this can also be arranged.
4. Challenge yourself with deadlines
Deadlines can be a burden. However, they can also encourage you to grow. Many introverts work best when they can fully commit themselves to their work and avoid distractions. Consider setting challenging deadlines to enable yourself to give your work the undivided attention it needs.
Reward yourself for meeting deadlines as an added incentive. Perhaps a longer break time or takeaway food will be enough to give you that extra push.
5. Bring personnel that suit your style on board
As an introvert, a likeminded extrovert could be a perfect fit to balance your company out. Someone who will share your vision and have no difficulty pitching ideas to large numbers of people could be a very valuable asset.
It could also be advantageous to hire personnel that will be happy to discuss ideas and strategy with you. While the business will be your vision, it’s a great approach to have bounce ideas around with someone that’s capable of providing input and understanding the company’s goals.
The ideal office should have a blend of personality types. Introverted and extroverted personalities both have strengths and weaknesses. If utilized appropriately, the two can become a powerful combination when setting up a new business.
6. Embrace one-on-one meetings
For some introverts, one-on-one meetings may not sound appealing. But to be able to actually see and respond to somebody that you’re speaking to in person is a much more nerve-settling experience than to explain yourself on the telephone.
Unlike phone calls, conferences and email, meeting with a client or stakeholder allows you to better monitor their responses through facial expressions and tone of voice. This makes for not only a better understanding between yourself and the person you’re meeting.
Of course, the same rule may not apply to introverts meeting with multiple clients – because it’s a much less personable interaction. The best course of action for this is to offer one-to-one meetings as an alternative to large-scale ones – you’ll probably accomplish more with fewer people involved.
7. Jump out of your comfort zone occasionally
As your business grows, you’ll certainly encounter some circumstances that could push your boundaries. Perhaps it’ll be a key networking event or speaking to advertisers and outreachers.
The only way to rectify this, apart from climbing into a cupboard and hiding there, is to gain some experience outside of your comfort zone.
This experience can be found anywhere and doesn’t necessarily have to be directly related to your startup. Try attending an industry conference to get a feel for the environment and challenge yourself to talk to professionals or share a little bit about your business. If you would prefer to start smaller, you could work on building up a social media presence. Getting yourself to launch a conversational Twitter account could work wonders for enabling business interactions from the comfort of your own home or office. Give it a try. Who knows, it could be your first step to industry domination.