Quiet, reserved, thoughtful, and careful – this is how most people would describe an accountant, not an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are expected to be “strong” characters, where strong means loud and in your face.
Not surprisingly, as entrepreneurship becomes systematically less male-dominated, and business becomes more inclusive, we are learning that gentle and focused often leads to greater results. In some cases, in certain industries, being an introvert leader or entrepreneur is a great advantage.
J.K. Rowling – introvert.
Mark Zuckerberg – introvert.
Bill Gates – introvert.
Larry Page – introvert.
Warren Buffet – introvert.
Elon Musk – introvert.
I pretty much just listed some of the wealthiest people of the 20th and 21st century. All introverts.
So what can we learn from introverts and how they operate?
Deep Focus and Deep Knowledge
Introverts have a natural ability to shut out the world and focus, and they are able to do so for a long time. Their motivation for learning and doing isn’t external, they are doing this for themselves because they enjoy it. Their passions are deeply personal and their insight into their interests goes deep.
Introverts often are singular in their interests. They lock in on one field or concept and they spend their time on that one thing obsessively. They spend most of their time enjoying, learning or crafting at that one passion.
For a long time, partly because of popular culture, introverts were called “nerds” or “geeks”. Today these nerds and geeks employ most of the popular kids from high school. In fact, many people happily call themselves nerds or geeks or fanboys today, because they have a connection to success and precision and appreciation.
Introverts aren’t interested in praise. In fact they are very self-critical. With introverts, respect is earned. And mostly, they will focus on challenging themselves for the sake of it, not because success will make them popular or admired.
This puts them in a prime position to add real value by designing innovative solutions that actually make a difference. They look at their life in a way where everything can always be better, and they are excited to share their solutions or recommend a solution to almost anyone.
Introverts are always creating better solutions. They are always solving the same obsessive puzzle and their work never ends because they understand that things are always changing. They are in competition with no one but themselves, and only care about creating the best solution for themselves, and if that helps others, fantastic.
When you don’t take your competition into consideration you are able to move into a space where you can have a single focus, which is to adapt and grow. They aim isn’t to make money, the aim is to solve the problem for yourself and everyone else.