This question originally appeared on Quora: How can an introvert be successful in business? Answer by Joseph Kennedy, owner of Content Pathway.
Many industries require people who are great with people, especially in the sales world. But there are different ways of successfully handling people, and different strengths you can bring to the table. If an introvert wants to create a business without constantly dealing with swarms of people or being a part of the customer-facing side of the business, fear not—it’s entirely possible.
Introverts must never see their introversion as a liability—it must be seen as a weapon. How many people reading this can think of one extrovert they know who is borderline annoying, a big talker, who pursues quantity over quality? The secret power of the introvert is that they are observers of the world, and by engaging with it less frequently, they can have a greater affect with their selectiveness.
Here’s a few reasons why I believe introverts are better at business:
- They’re better listeners. This means the team around them feels more supported and heard, and are more likely to have their suggestions taken on board.
- Introverts make great business partners. Pairing an extrovert and an introvert together makes a power couple that can provide two interesting perspectives.
- Introverts prefer social quality, not quantity. This means better action on a small group level. An introvert will be more effective going from team to team and department to department, whereas an extrovert may attempt to treat the employees as a collective.
- Introverts are often better writers and express things more powerfully through the written word. A great deal of business is in this medium, so make good use of this asset.
- Alone time is a recharging time for an introvert, so if they use this space to deal with problems pragmatically and logically, it will serve the business well.
How do I know all this? I’m an introvert entrepreneur. I get scared by big groups, and am always anxious about talking on the phone. People think I’m a sociable guy, but I spend a lot of time recharging on my own, and much prefer to be around one to three people than five or more. As an introvert, I plan my words carefully, and feel that I am great at expressing ideas, especially now I work one-on-one with clients, rather than in a large team scenario. So if you’re an introvert and tentative about succeeding in the business world, take solace in the fact that other introverts have been able to do just that for many years.