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Can An Introvert Be An Entrepreneur?

Does being an introvert or an extrovert define how successful you are as an entrepreneur?

I am not one for labelling people. 

In fact I think that quite often when labels are given to people, it gives them an excuse to do, or not do in order to conform with the label they are given, or adopt for themselves. 

However it goes without saying people will continue to label people or pigeon hole them as I like to call it, because easy categories make life easier for others!

Two of the labels that are used to categorize people on many occasions are those we use to label an  introvert or an extrovert.

Introvert (.noun)  A shy, reticent person.   

Synonyms: introspective, reclusive,  soft-spoken, collected, cool, quiet, restrained, shy, withdrawn, bashful, cautious, close-mouthed, cold, demure, modest, offish, secretive, solitary,  standoffish, uncommunicative.   Psychology: A person predominantly concerned with their own thoughts and feelings rather than with external things.

Extrovert .(noun)  An outgoing, socially confident person.

Synonyms:utgoing, personable, demonstrative, friendly,  social, unreserved.life and soul of the party, mixer, mingler, social butterfly, socialite.

Psychology: A person predominantly concerned with external things or objective considerations.


You may already be aware but the word entrepreneur comes from the word ‘entreprendre’ which translates to ‘to undertake’.

To undertake means to do something.

I think it is fair to say that any entrepreneur requires a unique mindset and set of skills.  So when you think logically how could an introvert possibly be an entrepreneur demonstrating typical qualities like being withdrawn, cautious, uncommunicative etc?

Well I think that there are two ways of looking at it. 

There are the people who want to go out there and help people - typically the extroverts.  And there are the people who want to solve their problems - typically the introverts.

Then you look closely, they are essentially the same thing : both, can have a profound impact on other people. In my book Introverts as well an extroverts can be entrepreneurs.

I think it’s fair to see from the above that regardless of your traits you have an ability 'to undertake' and regardless of whether you are solving your problems or helping others you can make it a success.

There has been plenty of famous introvert and extrovert entrepreneurs over time.

Here is a list of a few:

Famous Introvert
Entrepreneurs

Famous Extrovert
Entrepreneurs

Bill Gates

Richard Branson

Mark Zuckerberg

Steve Jobs

JK Rowling

Simon Cowell

Warren Buffett

Jordan Belfort

James Dyson

Alan Sugar


I am sure you will agree that the names in the introvert column are just as successful, if not more successful, than the extroverts. 

Labels are unhelpful

You either want to go out there and make a difference people, or you want to solve your problems. The key is that you take action and do it.

Will Polston

Will Polston

Peak Performance Expert, Founder, Director


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