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The Introvert Entrepreneur: Problems and Solutions

Entrepreneurship is about ideas, innovation and vision, hard work and dedication, but also much about communication, networking and constant meeting with other people, about leading a team and establishing strong relationships with partners, other entrepreneurs and, very importantly, with investors. While the part with the ideas and vision can be very comfortable for people who define themselves as introverts, the second part, the one that requires all the communication, can be really frustrating and sometimes even a reason for giving up for them.

As introverts concentrate more on their own feelings and thoughts, they tend to put their contact with other people to a minimum. So, how do introvert entrepreneurs cope with the challenges of entrepreneurship such as managing a team, networking, public speaking, presentations, relationship building and negotiation? Just because you are an introvert, doesn’t mean that you have to give up your startup and turn your back to your ideas. There are some things that you can do that will help you overcome the problems of being an introvert entrepreneur.

The introvert entrepreneur and the investors

Introvert entrepreneurs may feel uncomfortable to pitch in front of investors in big conferences and events, even though this is very important process of winning funding for their startup. It is always important to search for options when it comes to presenting your startup to investors. Try to schedule more one-on-one meetings with investors, if possible. This will give you more confidence and eventually success.

The introvert entrepreneur as a leader

Leadership is very important for the success of every startup. As the leader of your team, you should be prepared to face many challenges when it comes to communicating, managing and delegating tasks to your team members. Introvert entrepreneurs can choose carefully the people they hire and can make the right choice of team members that will match or compliment their personality.

The introvert entrepreneur and public speaking

Even though it might be uncomfortable to present if front of many people, it is important for the growth of your company, so the best thing you can do is to push yourself harder. Entrepreneurship is all about challenges and this will be just another step out of your comfort zone. The best thing you can do is practice, practice, practice: your speech, your posture, your time management on stage. It is all about preparation.

The introvert entrepreneur and networking

Many introverts, even if they attend specific networking events, still rarely talk or connect with someone. It doesn’t matter if you are present, you need to be active and make the most of the event. So, the best way to feel obligated to network with the other people during a networking event is to organize this event yourself. During the organization process you are to keep in touch with all of the attendees and at the actual event you will have to present yourself and take a big part at it. As crowded events might be difficult to organize, better invite small group of people – it will be easier for you.

Introverts feel exhausted after long meetings with a lot of people and their energy quickly drains out. They have problems with conversation starters and often can’t maintain long conversations with others. So, the best thing you can do, if you feel this way about conversing, is to keep your talk straight to the point. Summarize the most important aspects for your talk and try to keep the conversations short yet very informative and useful.

─ February 12, 2015