The stereotypical images that comes to mind when someone says Introvert is someone who’s shy, quiet or somewhat of a loner.
We don’t often think of them having the social capabilities of climbing the corporate ladder, but history tells us that introverts often make better entrepreneurs.
Take Warren Buffett, currently the third wealthiest person on this tiny planet, worth $68.2 billion and one of the most influential investors who has ever lived, is an introvert. J.K Rowling, author of – what I believe to be – the best fantasy series ever written – remembers being too shy to ask anyone for a pen to jot down her ideas when she first came up with the concept of her book series will sitting on a delayed train. The list goes on and on.
Before we can get to what makes them so great at business, let me clarify what the term introvert actually means.
What is an introvert?
Simply put, an introvert is someone who draws energy from solitude, or being alone. That is contrasted from extroverts, who feel energized in a crowd of people. While often linked with being shy or antisocial, introversion is a spectrum and different people fall into different places.
Introverts can still enjoy company, going to parties, and public speaking, but are more likely to be drained more quickly and need time to recharge alone.
Sound like you?
Solitude Breeds Creativity
Entrepreneurship requires all kinds of creativity in all aspects of running the business. The idea creation phase is a given, but small businesses deal with an array of constraints – financial, scale, time, you name it. In order to thrive and grow under these restrictions, you need to be able to find creative solutions.
Group brainstorming sessions are great, but are limited in scope. True creativity requires an element of solitude, having the time and space to think and evaluate possible solutions and their consequences.
The most famous creatives were introverts – Henry David Thoreau, Dr. Seuss, Tom Ford – who are all introverted souls who used solitude to create great artistry and innovation.
Thoughtful Decision Making
Making rash, quick decisions isn’t always rewarded in the business world. Of course agility is important, but big, business critical decisions should always be well-considered. When your small business is at stake, you want to examine every possible outcome, every conceivable consequence of any decision you make.
For introverts, this kind of thoughtful problem solving comes naturally. It’s in your nature to deeply analyze and consider every choice you make. Extroverts need to be surrounded by people to thrive, which doesn’t leave much room to sit with their thoughts and build a well-thought out plan.
Super Powers of Observation
Aside from business, introverts, in general, are better at listening and empathizing with people. Instead of reacting quickly to an issue, an introverted manager would take that information and think critically about the best solution possible.The value of innovation is conveyed through an organization from top to bottom, but the actual ideas? The often come from the bottom. When the employees are given the space to create and ownership over their own hours, truly magical things happen.