I promise you, it’s not a big deal. If you’re an introvert, thinking about taking a dive into entrepreneurship or already on the grind and just trying to find somebody that’s like you, then stick with me. In this article, I’m going to give you some advice as to how to be an introverted entrepreneur and go over three things that have surprised me as an introverted entrepreneur.
Read this article until the end, so that you can get started on your entrepreneurship journey and skip some of the mental blocks that I personally had to deal with.
Surprise #1: People actually perk up more to you whenever you speak
The first surprise for me was that people actually perk up more to you you whenever you speak. Let me explain. In case you’re new here, for over five years, I led the sales, marketing and customer success teams for a VC-backed company, as we went from no revenue to multi-seven figures in revenue.
So one of my biggest responsibilities was making sure that we scaled our customer facing teams properly. So in that process, I had to grow my team from one person just being self to 25 people. What I noticed was that even when I was no longer managing every single team member on my team, because we had a middle layer of management introduced, it was something in which whenever I shared feedback to any of the people on my team, they would definitely perk up when I mentioned something.
If you’d ask me at a younger age, being a relatively quiet person, if people would weigh my opinion so heavily, I would have told you, ‘heck no’, but what I realized was that the main value that I was bringing to my team at that point in time scale, was making sure that I always listened to as much as I could to first understand the situation before then addressing or offering suggestions as to how to potentially solve that situation.
As a result, this meant that I spent most of my time listening as opposed to just talking and telling people what to do. So the biggest piece of advice that I can share for you here is, if you’re an introvert and you’re concerned that people will never really listen to you in your thoughts as an entrepreneur, I hope that you’ll find the courage to share some of it in a smaller way. And then over time, build up your confidence to share it on a wider platform. It’s something in which your voice matters. And it definitely does make a big difference in any workplace that you work in.
People will respect you more when you’re willing to share your opinion and also help guide them through challenges that they’re facing as they try to solve problems to help your business grow. So, key insight here is to be selective when you speak your mind, but do so with confidence.
Surprise #2: People buy into action more than words, 9/10
The second surprise for me was that people buy into action more than words, nine times out of 10. I still remember when I was growing up and Barack Obama was entering the political scene and I honestly didn’t know all that much about politics nor do I know as much as I should right now.
But it was something which I could recognize at that moment that this man could move a crowd. From my perspective, as an introvert growing up, I had this mental model that extroverts were the ones that had their voices heard. And the reason why was simply because they spoke up more.
As I started building our businesses though, one of my key responsibilities was securing our first few millions in revenue. To do this, this required sales. And what I realized as I honed my sales skills was that people always valued actions over words especially when it came to a transaction or a deal being made.
Let me elaborate. You see, it’s always the sales person that’s taking diligent notes, providing the summaries, putting together marketing assets and other helpful materials for the prospects that ultimately close the biggest deals.
It’s not the sales person who can just go into a room, talk a big talk, but not support it with any of the things that they mentioned in the meeting. It’s the person that’s going to be able to actually execute at the end of the day. The same thing goes for when you’re leading a team. People are going to look to the leader that is taking the action to actually move their team forward and not the one that’s just simply saying what they want to see the team do.
So every day for a few years, I would be on the grind in the bunker with my team running sales deals. And my actions always spoke more than words because they always saw that I was first one and last one out. And I was always working the pipeline.
So as a result, they grew to respect that the culture that we were putting in place of really making sure that we gave our customers and our prospects the best sales experience possible.
I thought growing up that I would always need something sort of inspirational rally in order to get my team to get something done. What I realized was that all I needed to do was get started and show them by leading them the way as to what actions needed to be done, to get the job done.
Surprise #3: Your hyper-awareness coupled with relentless execution always led to your next milestone.
The third surprise for me as an introverted entrepreneur was that my hyper-awareness coupled with my relentless execution always led to my next milestone. Let me explain. If you’re an introvert, you’re probably super aware of the sorts of things that happen around you, whether it’s the little things that change around you or you recognizing whether or not you’re in flow or being productive. You’re highly attuned to these sorts of things.
And when I quickly realized in my entrepreneurial journey was that it was this hyper-awareness that allowed me to then focus intensely on any particular task for an extended period of time. One of the things that a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with is focus, but what I realized as an introvert was that because I didn’t have to always talk to another person about an idea I had and I could just focus on the actual execution itself, it allowed me to dial in and not only produce a high quantity of work, but a couple of that quantity of work with a high quality of work. Because I was so aware of everything that was going on.
And it was through coupling this hyper-awareness with this relentless execution that then allowed us to fight another day, so to speak and startup talk. So in other words, whenever we would hit a big milestone for our team, we would always be thinking about the next milestone. And as a result, we would create this feedback loop, which would then allow us to scale our business.
And then as we scaled our business, we saw greater successes with our customers. As we saw more customers, we then saw our revenues grow. And as our revenues grow, we were able to provide a better customer experience, and so on. Reaching each success of milestone gave us greater control over our so called destiny.
It made us feel like we had some semblance of control over the chaos that often exists in startups. This is an area that I think introverted entrepreneurs particularly excel in. We can often just carve out an entire day, building a new system or a process that can then be used consistently for the business, because we can stay focused for such a long period of time.
For example, when I started my YouTube channel, I didn’t want to set an arbitrary subscriber goal. So instead I focused on what I could actually do in terms of the work itself. And so I set my goal to be 25 videos by the end of the year. And by the time this article is released, I’ve already passed that mark.
You don’t have to be pitching your company every single day in order to be an entrepreneur. All you need to do is show up every day to the work that you’re committing to and continue to build the idea, that you have in mind to provide value for your customers.
Two big takeaways from today’s article.
- Make sure that your voice stands for something. I’m speaking about this from the lens of an introverted entrepreneur, but honestly, it can apply to anybody. And what I mean by that is make sure that you lean in when you feel compelled to say something, but at the same time, don’t feel forced or obligated to say something in every single meeting. Be selective as to when you decide to chime in.
- If you can execute, then you can be an entrepreneur. It doesn’t matter if you’re an introvert or an extrovert. It just matters that you’re committing every single day to the work and actually doing the work.
When we were first starting out, our content marketing efforts are blank gotten zero page views. Today, it gets several million page views every single month, but it didn’t happen in a day. It was a marathon. Not a sprint. We had to commit to building out processes, staffing team members and releasing content every single day for our readers in order to build up that following.
Remember as an introverted entrepreneur hyper-awareness plus relentless execution equals your next milestone.
If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out my YouTube channel to get new videos every single week I’ll help take you from zero to self-starter as you grow your business, get more customers, and hone your business acumen. Also, feel free to share this with anybody that you think might benefit from learning about these three things that surprised me as an introverted entrepreneur.
In the next article, we’re going to go over how to onboard your customers effectively, five simple steps for beginners.