5 Reasons Introverts Make Great Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneur's New Year’s Guide
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
Nerds, geeks, weirdos, and now introverts: the bashfully extroverted society we live in has always nurtured some odd biases towards bookish people. But, take Warren Buffett. One of the richest and most influential entrepreneurs in the world who takes pride in both his reading habits and his introversion.
Because, against all odds, introverts truly make exceptional leaders.
- Quiet People Are Fond of Listening
Carl Jung described introverts as “preferring small groups of people to large groups, and enjoying activities such as reading, writing, and thinking”. Another thing they like is keeping quiet and listening to what those around them have to say. And, in terms of entrepreneurship, that’s not a common trait.
A capital work on this phenomenon, written by Susan Cain, was aptly titled Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. According to the author, this power comes from a surprisingly unique ability to hold tongue and engage another valuable leadership skill, active listening.
Not only is this crucial in business situations, when customers need to be heard and acknowledged, but it’s also very important for teamwork and employee engagement. Being ready, willing, and able to hear other people’s ideas, introverted entrepreneurs are more likely to solve issues and encourage growth.
- Introverts Feel Cozy in the Shadows
Instead of the limelight, which they don’t mind sharing, introverts seek creative aloofness. But, although they thrive in creativity and are very passionate about their ideas, these people never crave glorification, nor do they particularly enjoy it. They are artists for art’s sake, indifferent towards fame.
Because of this, we can always rely on our introverted leaders to retreat to the shadow and keep working on the problem until they come up with the best solution. And, if somebody else beats them to the punch, they will take none of the credit. In that sense, introverts make admirable team players.
- Solitude Sparks Creative Thinking
An introvert is a one-man-band, and solitude is their chief instrument. Being comfortable working alone is a huge benefit to entrepreneurs, especially in the early days. When push comes to shove, they don’t mind making big decisions, even when that implies taking sole responsibility for the outcomes.
Besides, solitude sparks creative thinking. Another research, done by Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Flow, gives scientific evidence to the claim that exceptional creators are usually introverts. Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, and James Clerk Maxwell, all ingenious thinkers, have all worked alone.
- Introverts Are Driven, but Humble
Creating in solitude is easy when you are your own source of motivation and reward. While extroverts seek external affirmation, introverts are intrinsically driven, self-motivated, and self-sufficient. They seldom need professional guidance or emotional support, as all their creative juices flow from within.
Needless to say, such a level of self-sufficiency eliminates all distractions. Not having to wait for anyone’s confirmation and approval, introverts work towards their goals with utter commitment and laser focus. All of this contributes to their productivity, making them highly efficient as entrepreneurs.
Because they seek affirmation from themselves rather than from others, introverted people are also refreshingly humble. Humility is a long-forgotten virtue in this mainly egotistical business world, but it’s still a vital people skill that prompts others to help you when you fail, not revel in your misfortune.
- Introverts Are Way More Realistic
It’s in the introvert’s nature to repel yes men. By encouraging other people to voice their opinions, and by staying silently analytical, these leaders have an opportunity to gain a much deeper insight. Because their outlook is so holistic, introverts are way more realistic than feedback-hungry extroverts.
A 2006 study conducted by researchers at Yale and Stony Brook universities proved this by giving participants, introverts and extroverts alike, a Snoop test – words of various emotional content written in different-colored fonts – and giving them the task to quickly identify the color while ignoring the word.
Introverts scored better than extroverts, showcasing that they cannot be easily distracted by emotional content. In the context of entrepreneurship, this less emotional and more realistic mindset allows introverts to stay clear-minded under pressure and maintain composure in the face of adversity.
So, the next time somebody calls you a socially unadjusted weirdo, just pick up your books and find another quiet reading place. It’s in your psychological profile to stay immune to these obstacles, so allow your nature to do what it does best – to stay calm, consistent, and ready to DIY any enterprise.