By Melissa Batai
The world notices extroverts. Many of our recent presidents such as Bill Clinton and George Bush were extroverted. So was Steve Jobs. The world just seems to be made for extroverts.
Yet, introverts like Hillary Clinton, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett can also be wildly successful.
If you think you can’t make it as an entrepreneur because you’re introverted, Nate Nicholson asks you to think again. In fact, he says in his book, The Introverts Guide to Entrepreneurship, as an introvert, you have valuable skills that will help you succeed.
Introduction: Introverts Can Make Great Entrepreneurs
In the opening, Nicholson hints at what he will write about and urges all readers to take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test to understand the specific aspects of their introversion.
Chapter 1: Your 5 Main Strengths as an Introvert to Help You Become an Entrepreneur
While extroverts are the movers and shakers, Nicholson says that in many ways, introverts may be more suited to business. Unlike extroverts, they’re not easily distracted. They have the ability to look deeply at themselves and their business, and they are better at forecasting where their business might be or what the trends might be in the next few years. Nicholson compares introverts to the tortoise and extroverts to the hare.
Chapter 2: The 5 Most Harmful Weaknesses You Need to Be Aware of When Running a Business
Most introverts will be well aware of the weaknesses listed here—over thinking, being judgmental, dislike of collaboration, dislike of networking, and being reserved. This chapter is most useful when Nicholson offers ways to network that still get results but don’t require introverts to go through a draining social meet and greet.
Chapter 3: How to Lead Your Company as an Introvert
As an introvert, you can lead your company by listening to your employees. Nicholson mentions that this is how Richard Branson, owner of the Virgin companies, runs his business. Nicholson also gives other suggestions for managing a company, including having no employees at all, if you can manage it. If you do have employees and don’t want to be the boss, you can always outsource that to someone else, as Branson does.
Chapter 4: Introversion, Entrepreneurship, and Other People
If you don’t own a business that is ideal for an introvert, consider pairing up with an extrovert. Nicholson uses the example of Steve Jobs (extrovert) and Steve Wozniak (introvert) as a great pair who helped rocket Apple to one of the most well-known companies in the world. In addition, Nicholson gives 5 key attributes of a good business partner for an introvert.
Chapter 5: The Introvert’s Guide to Self-Promotion
If you partner up with an extrovert, the extrovert can handle the promotion of the business. However, if you work alone, you have to handle self-promotion. Nicholson gives some creative ways to self-promote that will be more comfortable for introverts such as blogging or writing a book or becoming a speaker at a conference so afterward, others will approach you rather than you having to approach them.
Chapter 6: Types of Businesses Suitable for Entrepreneurs
Nicholson has a list of qualities an ideal business for an introvert should have—easy to automate or outsource, with minimal customer interaction, with no fixed business hours, location independent, analytical. He also gives general businesses that you may think about starting such as online stores.
Chapter 7: Choosing the Right Business for You
Nicholson, who is an introvert, made the mistake of starting a business that played on his strengths, but required him to make 20 to 30 calls to customers a day. The business failed because he burned out quickly. Nicholson suggests you recognize your weaknesses as an introvert and choose a business that plays instead on your strengths.
Chapter 8: Introvert-Friendly Ways to Come Up with Business Ideas and Test Them
The Internet makes it very easy to research what types of jobs there may be a need for. Nicholson suggests following Twitter, discussion boards, and blogs to see what people are complaining that they need (so you can provide the service) and what jobs are in demand. Then, see if you can get a few clients before you can launch into a full scale business.
Should You Read This Book?
I’m an introvert, and I found some of Nicholson’s assessments of introverts fascinating because they were traits I possessed. However, there were other traits he mentioned that I definitely don’t possess. Even among introverts, skills and strengths vary widely, so don’t be surprised if sections of this book don’t apply to you.
However, this book is a great book to help introverts see that they can succeed in business, even if they’re not as charismatic as their extroverted peers. In addition, this book is a quick read and fairly low cost at $2.99. I do wish, though, that Nicholson would have delved deeper with examples and ideal jobs for introverts.