Introverts have always been vilified as shy and timid. Nerd, bookworms, home-alone, incapable, and ineffective(1) were the terms that were always associated with them.
Pop culture is rife with extroverts trying to coax introverts into being more social, more assertive, or being less of who they are. First characterized by Carl Jung, the famous psychologist, introverts derive their energy from themselves rather than from their interaction with the world outside.
In the business world, about 40% of working professionals identify as introverts. This figure is significant because there are no real introverts or extroverts. Majority of the professionals are ambiverts, assuming roles as needed
But that is not where the problem comes from. The problem is that, in a poll conducted by USA Today, about 65% of the surveyed said that introversion is a liability in senior executives.
Several studies later debunked it, but the myth persisted. Even if we went along with that myth, introverts do not stand much chance in the corporate world. They need to develop that entrepreneurial spirit. So here are some business ideas for the truly introverted in you
A professional blogger should be the first thing on this list for a lot of reasons, the most important of them being the lack of interaction with everyone else.
The general myth is that introverts are drained from social activity. Once again, that myth has been debunked. Again, if we were to go along with it, introverts are more analytical than extroverts because they pause to internalize events, which makes them more productive at work.
If they need to start a small business, professional blogging is a great way to go because it requires deep research and understanding of the client market(2). Blogging is also a relatively cheap business to start with because all it needs is a platform for blogging like WordPress, a hosting server, and a web domain. If you are just starting out, you can get all of this for under $50 a year, excluding the cost of a computer.
With options such as AdSense and affiliate programs, you have a chance to earn a lot of money. Just ask Holly.
Disclaimer: making such huge amounts of money from blogging is not a common thing. However, you can always expect to earn a decent livelihood.
The life of a graphic designer can be both exciting and stressful. Susan Cain, in her book, talks about how introverts are drawn to quiet concentration and focus. She also talks about how they want time for themselves. Introverts are more sensitive to stimulation(3). This means they’d rather prefer to spend time by themselves. Graphic designing is the perfect job for that because it is long hours just with you, your thoughts, and your creativity.
In public speaking, introverts have anticipated more anxiety than extroverts. However, in more than 84% of the cases, introversion-extroversion had no role to play in the act of public speaking. Even assuming it did, graphic designing would tread that fine line between staying to oneself and going out. So, in this role, you can choose to be an outgoing introvert or not.
As a graphic designer, you’d need skill in tools like photoshop, illustrator, lightroom, canva, or others. The cost of setting this up would involve having a high-performance PC and access to the Adobe toolset. The only costly element here is the package. Otherwise, you have a chance to exercise your creativity as you want
Online tutoring is a convenient way for introverts because there is no social interaction beyond that of the subject. So, if you’re good at something, you might as well make money from it. Sometimes, online tutoring classes need you to send pre-recorded videos for various classes.
If you have social anxiety or if social interaction drains you, this is a great way to push yourself because your only interaction with the subjects will be professional. It is a great way to brush up on your subject knowledge as well.
In general, both introverts and extroverts had similar successes(4) as leaders. In businesses where employees need directions, extroverts performed better. But in a situation where employees wanted to be more interactive, introverts were better bosses. And in the case of online tutoring, the interaction of students is vital for a successful class. Extroverts tended to hog all the spotlight in a way that made the other employees feel belittled.
The fees for the online classes for academically good tutors can range anywhere from $65 – $80 depending on the exams you are tutoring for and the needs of the students – whether it is SATs or any other standardized tests.
Coding is a great career choice for introverts. Introverts are more detail-oriented and meticulous so they can contribute to a detailed analysis of every subject. For that reason, introverts make great employees.
For small-business introvert owners, coding is a great job because it requires a lot of detail and analysis of the project. Coding is also a niche skillset, and with the increasing reliance on technology, there is a lot of demand for coders.
Freelancer coders save the company cost, and therefore companies rely on them. Apart from the technical skills, coders require a lot of patience and concentration. Some traits that define stereotypical introverts are patience and concentration. Since we are going with the myths and exaggerations of introverts, we might as well go ahead with this.
Coding doesn’t require much infrastructural support. It only needs a good-performance computer and the required infrastructural platforms for coding. For learning coding, one doesn’t have to spend a fortune.
There are so many platforms like Codecademy for introduction to various languages. Most new coders start here before moving on to other platforms. This platform has several plans, as well. Apart from that, there are platforms like Coursera, Udemy, or EdX among numerous platforms.
Being introverted is not a bad thing. The number of stereotypes that people associate with introverts is just that – stereotypes. Don’t let tests like MBTI tell you whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert. A lot of people identify as ambiverts while leaning towards introversion. Whatever you choose, know that there are a lot of options for you to start your own business.