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Introvert or Extrovert: Who’s A Better Entrepreneur?

Trick question! Neither—at least from my perspective. Historically, I’ll admit, we’ve been exposed to many attention-grabbing extroverts—and perhaps, for the foreseeable future, we extroverts may continue to receive partisan exposure—leading one to erroneously conclude that, to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to be an extrovert.

But how much more of Donald Trump do you really want to see? As it turns out, there are an increasing number of prominent entrepreneurs who are introverted and at the same time among the most successful of our era, including Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Charles Schwab.

I spoke with Nancy Ancowitz, a self-proclaimed introvert, who is now a nationally recognized expert on the matter. (Nancy Ancowitz is a business communication coach and the author of Self-Promotion for Introverts®.)  Nancy says introverts tend to:

- Be deep thinkers

- Listen more

- Think before speaking or acting

- Get more “energy” from downtime

- Are more inclined to make deep conversation

- Are reflective and appear calmer

Do these attributes describe you more than 50% of the time? If so, then you’re probably an introvert.

Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, it’s critical to find the right business. An introvert is probably less likely to launch a successful PR business, although he or she may start something in technology, writing, or graphic design. The right business will capitalize on your strengths. As an introvert, will you be comfortable wining, dining, and schmoozing every night to build and maintain your PR business? Just because that answer is “Hell, no!” doesn’t mean you won’t be a brilliantly successful entrepreneur.  Get into a business that can leverage your abilities so you’ll be the best entrepreneur you can: introvert or extrovert.

Bryan JaneczkoFounder, Wicked Start
Bryan has successfully launched multiple startups. His latest venture, Wicked Start, provides tools to plan, fund, and launch a new business. Also author of WickedStart: Guide to Starting a New Venture with Passion and Purpose, Bryan is committed to helping small businesses grow and succeed. | Facebook | @WickedStart | LinkedIn | More from Bryan

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Discussion (5) Comment

  1. Be SuccessfulVisitor

    oooh. This is interesting. As introvert, you should allow your natural ability to focus and concentrate for long periods of time to develop your business and your business skills. You communicate best one on one or in small groups and so you can develop solid business relationships with clients, customers, and business partners.

  2. AllyVisitor

    Thanks for your note Robert, I found it inspired me to question something (I am an ambivert so there was a lot of early life research behind this question.) Are you sure your enthusiasm for your company just reveals itself in conversations that elicit more meaning from your interactions than is often possible by “opening” the conversation in a typically ‘salesy’ way? Would you say you could expand on the value your company offers if the conversation were already started, invested in and at a level of intimacy that you felt integral to the conversation?

  3. Hi Bryan, well, as you know, I’m biased! I think introverts make great entrepreneurs, if, as you say, they get themselves into a business that aligns with their skills, passion and energy. Beyond that, finding a niche within that right business is critical; otherwise, our energy – our most precious asset – is spread too thin.

    It’s also important to show up for what we see as more extroverted activities (networking, schmoozing) in our own introverted way… we don’t have to show up as extroverts to be successful. Our charisma and energy has a different flavor, and owning that is powerful.

  4. Nice to know… I’m definitely an introvert and frankly I’ve worried if I could pull off communicating the enthusiasm I have for our business.. I’d note that it is easy for me to be more ‘extroverted’ on-line…. if this were 100 years ago… I’d never make it. For that matter though… our products would not exist if this were 100 years ago so I guess everything is coming together:)

  5. Rodney HigginsonVisitor

    Yes, I am most definitely an introvert, but I feel I can be outspoken when there is a need to be.


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