How to Survive in Your Online Business When You're an Extrovert

business wisdom coaching energy wisdom May 05, 2016

There is this myth that extroverts have an easier time being in business, because they are more outgoing than introverts.

But is that true?

The difference between extroversion and introversion is not that extroverts are loud and introverts are quiet. It’s all about energy. The distinction between extroversion and introversion according to The Myers Briggs Type Indicator – is where you get your energy.

Extroverts are energized by being with people. Introverts are drained by being with people too much. Introverts are energized by being alone with their thoughts and ideas. Extroverts are drained by being alone and with their thoughts and ideas too much.

You can be shy or quiet and still have a preference for extroversion. When you are self-employed, particularly working on-line, it’s important to know what your needs and preferences are so that you can create the business that fits you perfectly.

You know what having an on-line business is like for an extrovert? Hours and hours of being alone in your own mind, writing and thinking.

The problem is that extroverts need to talk so they can think. They generate ideas by verbalizing not by quietly reflecting. They need to interact with others to get energized. They need community, support, distractions and people. That’s how they get ideas.

An on-line business is the perfect platform for an introvert. Not so much for an extrovert.

Those with an introverted preference can take control of their interactions with others, schedule them with enough alone time to maintain their energy. They can spend hours of undisturbed time thinking and creating. And thanks to Mark Zuckerberg, they can get their social connection needs satisfied by posting on Facebook. My guess is that Facebook’s creator wanted to even the social connection playing field for introverts…and he did!

I’m a shy extrovert. That means that while I might sometimes appear to have an introversion preference, I don’t.

I need to talk things through to know what I’m thinking. I’m a verbal processor. Whenever my husband tells me to think about something, so I can make a decision, I look at him quizzically. I don’t need to think about it to make a decision. I need to talk about it.

Extroverts do need down-time but not as much as introverts need.

People with an introversion preference need to formulate their thoughts before they speak. People with an extroversion preference need to speak so that they know what they’re thinking.

Introvert working alone? Rock on! You’ve found your happy place. Interact with people when you feel like it on social media. Have a few appointments with people here and there. Schedule your creative alone time to build and design your business and offerings.

Extrovert working alone? Danger zone. You need to interact with people. Here are a few things you can do to make it work:

1. Have a regular phone meeting with a group of colleagues.

You need to connect, share, talk and get feedback. This is not just a “nice to have”. This is essential to maintaining your energy and your motivation in your on-line business.

2. Hire a business partner – a coach, mentor or strategist.

You might not even need help to overcome or create something. You just need to talk through the nuts and bolts of what you’re doing, so that your ideas get clearer and become real to you. Then you can do what extroverts do best, come up with creative ideas in conversation. Once your ideas are clear, you’ll be able to do them.

3. Schedule a regular group activity that involves being around live people.

Chose to join a regular yoga or fitness class, a regular networking meeting at a coffee-shop, or something else. Find something that is pre-scheduled that you can join, become a regular and feel like you belong. This will give you the camaraderie that you got in a job without having to work for anyone. 

It is the interactions with people that feed you, so make sure they are a key part of the work you do. Move from creating on-line products to creating live courses and classes.

Do you have a clear preference for extroversion or introversion?

 

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