You may not know this about me, but I am actually an introvert – or at least I may consider myself one. The thing is that not everyone is ‘introverted’ or ‘extroverted’ to the same degree.
The point I want to make before I get into this post is that if you consider yourself to be an introvert, and think that it’s this personal quality that is holding you back from starting your own business, there are ways to ‘work around’, or perhaps a better phrase would be ‘work with’ this.
Why We Feel Introversion is a Hindrance
When I think of CEOs, entrepreneurs, and startup companies, I think of charismatic and engaging people, people like Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates. What these people are like behind closed doors, I have not idea.
But in the public eye, they look like THE BOSS. They know what they’re doing, and they can tell people what they should be doing. They at least seem to be awesome at their job, and their companies show for it.
For us introverts, it may seem impossible that we will be directing people in their daily tasks. It’s crazy to think that someone will listen to mild-mannered, go-with-the-flow type leaders. These descriptions may or may not fit you, but I think you understand the point.
It seems like NOT being an extrovert in our ideas, opinions, and manners may force us listen to the leaders, rather than become one.
The Internet and How it Changed Things
Now that we can do so much more on the internet, it’s actually possible to start a company completely online, without any brick-and-mortar store, without any employees coming to an office, without any physical products, and with people of all types at the helm.
Yes, even introverts.
I can’t speak for everyone, but I can speak from personal experience.
I need time to think things over. I’m not pushy about my opinions. I don’t like confrontation.
But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to start a business. It doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the freedom of being the boss instead of being an employee. I DO have great ideas I would like to see put together with the help of a team
Being on the internet allows me to work better with these personality traits. By using email, chat, and scheduling, I can actually get all my ideas down on paper. I am allowed a longer reaction time, and I find it easier to convey my opinions in writing, rather than in words.
I am also able to solve conflict better because I can write out an email, check it for tone and meaning, then send it, rather than have to stick with whatever jumped out of my mouth the first time around.
You can read more about me here.
Online Business Models For Introverts
You don’t have to be the head of a major corporation or entity to be considered an entrepreneur or business owner. Here are some ideas to get you started from behind the scenes.
1. Freelance writing company. You can start doing all the writing first, then move on to contracting out work for other writers or subcontracting for employers. Depending on what you like to do, you can concentrate on the writing yourself, or you can focus on finding writers and hooking them up with legitimate companies at prices that both parties can agree on.
2. Tech support. Just because you’re an introvert, doesn’t mean you don’t know anything. If tech is your ‘bag’, there are lots of people out there that need it. Get a phone number, charge by the minute, and advertise in Google for your area of expertise. Using things like video chat, Skype, and Teamviewer, it’s pretty easy to fix, or show people how to fix stuff.
3. Niche Marketing. By learning what people are searching for, and what they want to buy, you can position yourself in Google so they find your website, and buy things after reading what you have to say on the subject. Reviewing products you actually use is another method to do this. You’ll need to learn about affiliate marketing, but this can be a really profitable business.
4. Authority Websites. Do you know A LOT about one thing? Is it beer? Audio? Gourmet Italian food? Whatever your area of expertise is, if you blog long enough, and get enough exposure, you can become an authority on the subject in the ‘blogosphere’. Advertisers will be salivating at your monthly visitor stats, and you can make a full time income from ads, promotions, and other monetized portions of your site. It might sound hard, but I learned how to build profitable websites in about 6 months.
5. YouTube Partnership. You don’t have to be one of those knuckleheads doing pranks and silly things on YouTube. Simply showing people how to do stuff can be practical and profitable. DIY channels are great, but really anything that a specific group of people are interested in could get you earning money just by uploading videos to YouTube. Heck, funny cartoons can make money too.
6. Sell Digital Information Products. You can be an expert, or know where to find them. Once you get any kind of knowledge down into a PDF or video format, you can sell online. This is a very good way to make money if you can figure out what kind of knowledge people want. I talk more in-depth about selling digital information products online in another post.
So you can see that there are plenty of ways that introverts can start businesses right from the comfort of their own home, in the spotlight of the internet, but behind the safety of a computer screen. You don’t have to be an attention-seeking spazzed out extrovert to get people to read a blog, view a video, or buy something they need. A successful website is about connecting to people just like you, and that can be very powerful…yes…for your wallet too.
Helpful, hard working, and knowledgeable people are the millionaires of online business, because information is the currency of digital media.
Want to add a business model that works for you to this list? Do so in the comment box!
Also, please share your introverted business experiences with me, I’d love to hear what you found works for you.