Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert being an entrepreneur can teach you a LOT about yourself and your leadership style, and help you to hone in on your skills. Entrepreneurship also has a tendency to point out the areas where you don’t quite shine! I’m breaking down the pros and cons of being introverted and extroverted as an entrepreneur and how to maximize whichever one you are to rock your business. I’ll also break down how I feel like my journey in entrepreneurship has changed me and taken me from being an extremely extroverted girl to someone who is definitely and entirely introverted.
What Am I?
I’ll be honest, growing up I always thought that being extroverted was the favorable of the two types of people. You think of the extroverts as those people who are loud, noticed, and they shine. They love to be seen, heard, acknowledged and I feel like society (or at least my world) painted this picture of introverted people being shy, withdrawn, and quiet. I thought it would be super fun to dig into these personality types today.
When I think of my life journey and even just the joys of running a business and now being a personality, I’ve changed a lot. I used to consider myself an ENFJ but now I am most definitely an I on the Meyers Briggs Scale. Growing up I had tons of different groups of friends, my mom would get mad because she couldn’t keep up with all of them. I loved to be known, to be seen, to be out and about. I loved being around people and got energy from humans.
Now? I need to be alone to recharge. I could go a week without seeing a human and not feel a thing. I can’t do small talk, get exhausted at events, and my idea of a perfect day is checking myself into a hotel and not leaving the room. I think there are a lot of reasons for this shift but I first want to talk about how being an entrepreneur that is introverted can actually be a huge blessing — and I know, I know, you’re probably thinking: but Jenna, you’re not REALLY an introvert, you’re all over the place, doing events, and showing up online every day but let me tell you: I AM THE BIGGEST INTROVERT YOU’LL MEET and turning more introverted every single day. I seriously might need an introversion intervention.
Pros of Being an Introvert
Introverts tend to be exceptionally deep thinkers. They internalize their thought process and are able to tune out the noise of the world to turn inward into what they are thinking about. Introverts tend to take longer to think through things and are generally more thoughtful because of the way they process the world. Introverts also tend to be more cautious which can be a pro and a con as an entrepreneur.
Because of their thoughtfulness, they often weigh out the different possible outcomes and being cautious could be a natural safeguard as an entrepreneur. A lot of extroverts tend to be more spontaneous, making quick decisions and so the thoughtfulness and cautiousness of an introvert can be both a blessing and a curse in the fast paced world of entrepreneurship. Introverts happen to be the most creative minority. They love to dream, create, and get inspired on their own accord, so introverts actually tend to be more creative than their extroverted counterparts.
Another pro about introverts is they tend to be observers and listeners. Instead of leading conversations, they generally listen, pay attention, and glean insight from their observations. As a leader being able to listen and process feedback can change the way you’re able to show up and serve others well. Instead of trusting that they know best, introverts tend to ask a meaningful question and then really pay attention to the responses. Being a strong observer as an entrepreneur can be both a good thing and a not-so-good thing. You love to watch what others are doing but if you focus more on observing than doing, you can get paralyzed in your own thought process or in overthinking your next step. Remember that imperfect action is better than waiting for perfection.
Introverts are also more likely to master challenging subjects because of their desire to learn and study. They focus easier and want to master a task instead of moving on to the next thing. Introverts may not have the biggest social networks but they are the queens and kings of having an idea and executing it until completion.
Lastly, one of the biggest differences between introverts and extroverts is in how they view and consider others. Most extroverts tend to be focused on expressing and executing their own ideas while introverts focus on the thoughts and actions of others. As an entrepreneur, introverts are naturally accustomed to analyzing the ideas of others, offering thoughtful feedback, and organizing what others bring to the table. For me, I am highly empathetic, and sometimes to a fault.
Pros of Being an Extrovert
Extroverts tend to be more comfortable engaging with others and tend to have wider networks, which let’s be honest, as an entrepreneur can be a huge bonus. Since extroverts are more interested in expanding their circles, they are more open minded about creating and developing relationships. Clearly having a bigger circle can be a great thing as an entrepreneur because it gives you more access to potential contacts that could turn into employees, clients, or mentors.
Communication is another handy trait for extroverts since extroverts tend to be more outgoing and comfortable communicating with others, so this natural tendency is a huge win. Extroverts also tend to be more persuasive which can play a huge role in selling yourself, your product or your service. Persuasion and the ability to shift mindsets is a linchpin in marketing for an entrepreneur and extroverts tend to have a leg up in their ability to persuade others.
Extroverts tend to be better at coordinating and communicating with their team and help create a positive team dynamic through the way they tend to lead. Extroverts love to work with others and tend to want to talk through the process, where as introverts take their marching orders and connect only when necessary.
Charisma can be a huge win for extroverts because it helps establish a true personality that helps increase your popularity and visibility. Extroverts tend to garner the attention of larger audiences and thrive on the energy given to them from the eyes that are watching them, giving them more influence. They love to be the face and so they are usually easier spotted and attention grabbers. Extroverts love to lead others and be front and center and this is never a bad thing when it comes to running a business or a brand. Their ability to communicate, the ease in which they do so, and their increased odds of popularity and visibility? It’s kind of the jackpot in entrepreneurial land.
Extroverts get energy from being around people and so the level of their creativity is endless and can change based on who’s presence they are in. While introverts tend to be more creative, it’s more of an inward creativity while extroverts thrive off of the energy of others which can absolutely impact their business, ideas, and the way they show up in the world. Their outgoing tendencies can lead them into conversations that help them generate ideas they may not have gotten on their own.
More from This Episode
Are you having a hard time identifying which camp you fall into? In the full episode, I share a long list of traits that indicate if you’re an introvert or an extrovert, along with a few famous names known for being introverted and extroverted. I mentioned that my entrepreneurial journey has lead to a personal transformation for me, and in this episode I dig into the changes to my personality, my work style, and my overall approach to digging my biggest goals that have shifted me from the extroverted social butterfly to the more introspective introvert I am today.
The jury is still out on if there is a “better” personality type and a lot of people end up falling in the middle of being an introvert or extrovert. You’ve likely heard people call themselves “introverted extroverts” or the other way around, which is awesome because why label who we are? What I do think is interesting, is as I dug more into all of this, it really made me reflect on me, my skillset, my gifts, and how it all plays together to help me shine as a leader and as a CEO.
Regardless of where you fall on this spectrum, you possess gifts and personality traits that will set you apart. Really reflecting on what you love, what fires you up, and what fuels you the most can help you continue to create a life that you not only love but a life that helps reach and impact others. I’d love to hear which personality type you identify with most, so hop over to Instagram @goaldiggerpodcast and let me know: Are you an introvert or extrovert?