By Jen Smith Run your business The introvert’s guide to business 20 Apr 2016 If you’ve dreams of being your own boss, having flexible lifestyle and running your own business, but are worried that your introverted personality type might let you down, I’m going to help you see things in a new light today with this introverts guide to business. Because introverts make excellent business owners. History proves it, and the countless friends, colleagues, clients and service providers I hire who are introverts prove it too. They’re some of the best business owner’s I’ve met. What you might consider as weaknesses are actually your greatest strength. Here’s what I mean: 1. You aren’t particularly loud or like dominating conversations = you’re a great listener In business, the customer wants to be heard and understood. They want to know that the company or person they’re working with really gets them and takes on board what they’re saying and how they’re feeling. As a great listener, you’ve an advantage over other types who just want to talk about themselves, and their products and services. Customers will be compelled by the fact that you took the time to really hear them, and help them. 2. You’re independent = you don’t need anyone else to succeed Introverts tend to be very self sufficient and able to get on with doing things without the need for constant support. You need to be independent and self-reliant when starting and running a business, and you’ll know only too well that it’s down to you to make it happen. 3. You’re not thrilled about public speaking or networking = online networking comes naturally There’s this myth flying around the business world that you absolutely have to do networking or public speaking to grow your business – and that’s a scary prospect for someone that gets drained by being in those situations and doesn’t relish them. But what I’ve found with introverted entrepreneurs is that they thrive on social media. They find the online world far more comfortable and are able to embrace it much quicker. And in this day and age, that’s a real boon for your business. 4. You’re not driven by flashy goals or targets = you focus on what’s really important Introverts tend to enjoy the simple things in life. A good book under a blanket, a walk in the woods, coffee with a good friend. Whilst you might not see yourself as the ambitious type, in that you’re not chasing flashy things and partying, that helps you really focus on what’s important. Don’t feel you have to be always motivated by money or material goods to be successful… actually those business owners who’re focusing on making a difference, and driven by purpose are becoming increasingly valued by customers and clients who’re tired of the commercialism in this world. And that’s not to say you can’t also be hugely profitable. Some of the best purpose driven businesses are very successful – take Toms shoes for example. 5. You take things to heart = you’re conscientious and always looking to improve One of the biggest things my introverted business friends worry about it how much they take negative feedback to heart. But in business, you’re going to get feedback that’s not all rosey, and customer complaining or asking for refunds. That’s business. You being so conscientious is such an asset – because you’ll look for ways to ensure you don’t have those experiences with your clients and customers in the first place, and if you do, you’ll do what you can to make it right. Both these things combined help make a great experience for your customers, and keep them coming back for more. 6. You need a lot of downtime = you don’t get burnt out Introverts, although are often misunderstood as very shy types, usually find they need to recharge after social situations or after busy periods. They’re good at taking that time for themselves because they know they can’t function properly without it. This is a good thing! Too many entrepreneurs struggle to switch off or take time out which leads to burnout and sloppy decision making or work. You may feel a twinge of guilt taking the day off after a big event or finishing up a project, but it’ll help you be more refreshed and raring to go for the next client, project or customer. So much of what we think is our greatest downfall is actually our greatest asset in life, if only we’d see it from a different perspective. I hope this guide has helped you see that what you might consider a problem is actually something really valuable you can bring to the table. In this day and age we’re so lucky to be able to do business our way. Build a business that supports how you like to work, and you’ll have no trouble competing with the extroverts out there! Jen Smith coaches entrepreneurs in social media.