When you hear the word “entrepreneur”, what images come to mind? Do you maybe see a young, male, extroverted, hyper-energetic, highly educated person running from meeting to meeting and speaking on big stages?
This is a very common stereotype. And sure, a lot of entrepreneurs fit this image. They are the ones who are comfortable enough being in the spotlight and therefor, they are the ones everybody else sees in the media.
But there are many different types of entrepreneurship - and entrepreneurs. A lot of them are rarely seen in public. They thrive in the shadows, so to speak, and are very happy (and successful) doing so.
Today, thanks to technology and the internet, basically anyone can become an entrepreneur. It’s cheap, the barriers-of-entry are low and the playing field is leveled. You don’t need an education. And you certainly don’t have to be extroverted.
The silent and sensitive type can make an awesome business person, if they have the right mindset, tools and ideas.
I’m of course not saying all highly sensitive introverts should become self-employed. Or that they are all suited for the entrepreneurial life. Not all people are.
But if you are highly sensitive/introverted, and are held back from starting your own business due to fears and insecurities - this post is for you!
The qualities that make you an awesome entrepreneur
Apart from the very high possibility that you currently work in a job you dislike and are not too excited about the prospect of being someone else’s employee for the rest of your life: Being your own boss would likely not only be a better option for you, it could be perfect for you.
You are creative
If you are highly sensitive, you are likely creative as well.
Creative people are problem solvers, outside-of-the-box thinkers and idea factories. They can imagine new possibilities and visualize the results of their actions. They love creating beautiful things and making something out of nothing.
A lot of creative people are turned off by the thought of all of the other tasks involved with building a business, such as marketing, networking and finances. And yes, a successful business requires those things as well. But there are ways to build relationships and promoting your business in a more introvert-friendly way, and you can always get other people to help you with the boring and tedious stuff.
A creative mindset is paramount in building a successful business. If you have it, you also have entrepreneurial potential. And what is a business if not one of the greatest creative challenges one can pursue?
You have empathy
One of the biggest make-or-break factors in business is: Do you understand your audience and potential customers? Can you make them feel seen, understood and taken care of? Can you build trust with them?
Because if you can, you can also serve them and sell to them.
People want to do business with people they like and trust. And you, being a person who naturally cares about others and can put yourself in their shoes, have a huge advantage.
Your empathy and ability to connect on a deeper level with people is your entrepreneurial superpower.
You are curious and multi-passionate
As an employee, you are generally pigeonholed into a role and expected to do this one thing day after day, year after year. And the more you do this one thing, the more subsequent employers will want you to do it as well.
This is one reason why so many creative introverts are unhappy in their jobs, or switch careers regularly, or have resumes that look like a patchwork quilt. They are simply too curious and multi-talented to stay in one place.
Being good at something and having experience in it is not the same thing as wanting to do it all the time, right? You might have many other interests and skills you’d also like to explore.
Why should you put a lid on your curiosity? As an entrepreneur, loving variety and learning new things will be a huge advantage. Running your own business means wearing many hats, juggling many different tasks and adapting to changing circumstances. It’s exciting. It’s an adventure. It’s an opportunity to embrace all of your talents, not just a few.
You are a skilled communicator
Has anyone ever told you you are a great listener? Or that you have a way of explaining things in an appealing way? Or that you’re a good storyteller.
That’s because you probably are. 😊
Introverts and HSPs tend to be good with words. They think before they speak. They make more of an effort when explaining things. They are natural storytellers. And this, my friend, is a goldmine in business.
No matter how interesting, innovative or valuable a product or service is: if the person behind it can’t communicate effectively about it, nobody will want to buy it.
The better you are with words, the better you will be able to sell your products or services to others. The better you will be able to connect with them and serve them. The more successful you will be.
The sensitive entrepreneur
So you see, you really might be a natural born entrepreneur after all. Many of the fears and doubts you may have about going solo and doing your own thing are actually not real issues, they’re limiting beliefs.
If you think you’re too shy or too sensitive to be an entrepreneur, there are thousands of shy, sensitive (and wildly successful) entrepreneurs out there proving the opposite. And the book I’m currently working on is my own mission to show you just how capable you are and how very possible it is for you to walk that same path.
I really do believe we sensitive creatives are meant to do our own thing. It is the best way for us to truly harness our full potential. And the best way to make a living doing what we love.
And that's what we all want, right? 😊