I often hear that people think that because they are shy that they can’t be an entrepreneur and they are having a hard time picking the right business for them. They assume that you need to be meeting new people and going to networking events regularly. That is partially true. But there is more to it than that.
First, there are plenty of introverts that are entrepreneurs. The internet makes it easy to build a successful business without having to meet a ton of people physically.
When creating your idea, it is essential to keep in mind how you are wired before you go too far doing something that is not a good fit for you.
Here is a personal example of my own mistake with this.
I happen to be an extrovert. I love being around people and meeting new people. Networking events and live events are exciting for me (most of the time).
I love working WITH people. I enjoy bringing fun to a project and inspiring people to meet big goals.
When I transitioned out of my day job into my dream job, I didn’t realize how lonely I would be. I was so fixated on getting out of the post I couldn’t stand that I forgot to take into account the blessing I had of working with great people that I enjoyed being around.
I wasn’t in a toxic environment or at a corrupt organization. It was just the field I was in that wasn’t a good fit.
Now, I have a team of people working with me, but we are all virtual. I don’t have the physical presence of people- which is something I realized is significant for me.
Since I’m building an internet-based business, most of my networking happens online. Once again taking away the desire for meeting people in person rather than virtually.
Don’t get me wrong- I love meeting people either way. But I am most fulfilled with live, in-person interaction.
Once I realized this void, I made more of an effort to participate in live networking events and meeting other entrepreneurs for coffee a few times a month. I also created a meet-up group and started doing more local workshops.
This helped bring more fulfillment into my work. The initial efforts were not staying true to my wiring. The key here is to be clear on how you what works for you, and what your strengths are.
In the beginning, I built a business that is ideal for an introvert. I hardly had to leave my house or meet anyone at live networking events. Everything I did was one-sided. Videos, podcasts, and blogs are usually unilateral activities (unless you are interviewing someone).
Speaking, live events and training are more extroverted activities. That is what I transitioned my focus.
To keep you fulfilled while you build your dream job, here are three ways to make sure you are staying true to your personality and strengths:
Be clear on your strengths. There are many personality assessments out there. I highly recommend the DISC profile. It is simple to understand, easy to remember and very accurate. I have had people with over 20 years of experience with personality assessments write to me about the Moved by Purpose DISC assessment stating that this is the best assessment they have come across in their twenty years of study. Why is it so important to be clear on your wiring? One, it helps you understand the gift you bring to everyone. There have been many people that have taken this assessment that has cried when they saw that it was OK to do the things they do that may have gotten someone else mad. It permitted them to embrace themselves for who they are and to stop trying to be someone they are not. For example, say a parent would comment that they wish their child were quieter or would talk so much. Or perhaps they wanted their child would move at a faster pace and stop analyzing things so much and make a decision. So that child grows up trying to make quicker decisions or maybe to not talk as much when it’s in their nature to be those things. An assessment will highlight these things for you, and hopefully help you see that these are not defects, they are gifts. Everyone brings something valuable to the table.
Know what you like: To ensure that you will have lasting fulfillment in your business, you need to know what it is that you want. If you like to travel, then have goals where you can move in your industry. Learn the ways you can incorporate what you enjoy into your business goals and plan. If you like being around people, make sure that your goals get you around people. If you like being alone, make sure you create a model where you can be alone more often.
Know what you don’t like: Just as important as knowing what you want, you need to be clear on what you don’t like. You probably don’t need to think too hard about this. However, when you build a business, there may be things that you try or do that teach you that you don’t like. For example, as much as I love live events, I do not like coordinating all the details involved with making that event happen. I already stated that in previous posts that I thought I wanted to be an event planner in the past. I interned at one and quickly learned that there was a lot of pressure involved in event planning. Many details are, and you need to be extremely organized.
My wiring and strengths are in building trust and rapport with new people and influencing them to take action. Other personalities are great at details and are super organized naturally.