In today’s podcast episode, I’m going to be answering the question:
“Is it really easier for extroverts to succeed at online business?”
This is a common reason people give for not growing their business as fast as other people or for struggling with some parts of online business and marketing.
Here for the links referenced in the show notes?
Fast-Track Your Start-Up free training: tashcorbin.com/fasttrack
I want to address this because I think it’s a really important one to unpack, and I hope you’ll find this really helpful.
Let’s jump in!
This topic arises as a common reason why some people say they can’t grow their business faster, and is also given as a reason for wanting slower growth or for not reaching goals as a business owner.
Many people I speak with say things like, “Well, that’s all well and good for you Tash, you’re an extrovert, you’re a skilled speaker, but I’m an introvert so I can’t do what you do.”
In other cases, they may say they can’t do the specific things that are needed in order to be a successful entrepreneur online. As a result, they believe they just need to expect slower growth because of being an introvert. So I think it’s a really important conversation for us to have.
Yes, I am an extrovert and I’m wayyyy over in the extrovert side of being an extrovert. But I also know many of the things I do in my business are more suited to introverts than extroverts.
It’s not that extroverts have different or better skills.
Instead it’s about understanding what extraversion and introversion really mean, and whether it truly impacts your ability to grow an online business!
1. Let’s get clear on what introversion is
It’s actually about energy. It’s not about skills.
It’s not about speaking skills. It’s not about social skills. It’s not about being an exhibitionist or being on stage. I know a lot of exhibitionists that are also introverts.
Introversion versus extraversion is about your energy.
As an extrovert, I get energy from being around others, and I recharge by being around others. I get depleted when I’m on my own too long or spend too much time solo. When I don’t have other people around me, I can feel quite low on energy.
That’s why I often say when I take a week off from my business, whether it be after conference or after a big launch, sometimes it feels like it’s a punishment rather than a reward, because I actually do get depleted if I spend too much time solo without other people.
If we look at extraversion versus introversion based on energy, then extroverts want to be surrounded by people. That’s what actually energises us. But Introverts are energised by alone time and are depleted by time surrounded by lots of other people.
So that let’s get clear on what introversion is, because a lot of people say they’re an introvert, and therefore they can’t be a public speaker. And those are actually two very different issues. By lumping them all in together, you’re creating labels and boxes and pigeon holes for yourself that aren’t helpful.
2. The internet was built by introverts for introverts
A lot of the things I do online, like recording this podcast, are solo activities. I’m here on my own. I’m speaking into a little yellow light on my laptop.
For me, I actually need to visualise other people listening to this podcast when I’m putting together my structure for it, and I need to visualise people listening to my podcast before I record it, so that I’m nice and high energy.
I can’t record too many of these things at once! If I were to spend a whole week just recording podcast episodes, it would feel really depleting to me.
When it comes to creating a business, you’re in the driver’s seat, and the internet is built by introverts, for introverts. So you actually get to choose how you show up, and you can create a business that feeds and energises you.
3. Recognise that you are in the driver’s seat
It helps to balance some of that required “extrovert” time with other people, so that you are consistently recharging yourself effectively.
You get to create a business model and business structure that works for you. What better way to create the perfect work environment for yourself as an introvert than to create an online business?
Some of my most amazing mentors and successful women in business I know are total introverts – that’s what drew them to having an online business.
They are able to control how much time they spend online and how much time they spend in the presence of other people. They get to set up their workday in a structure that really works for them and energises them.
I actually find that for a lot of extroverts, online business is a little trickier. Sometimes extroverts may find themselves hiring more team members than they need, or joining more online courses, or running more masterminds than what is truly beneficial.
They may also spend more time with their clients and struggle to keep good boundaries, because they’re actually getting an aspect of their extraversion satisfied from that time with their clients.
4. Sometimes it’s a mindset issue
There can be a belief that we need to be a certain way in order to be successful. We may think we cannot be as successful because of this aspect, and often that belief comes from childhood programming.
Introversion may not work well in a very busy classroom when you don’t get a lot of solo time to recharge. Introversion can be seen as social awkwardness or shyness in early years, and then it’s become a “label” and you carry that along with you through life. That label stays with you, and it becomes a programmed belief.
A lot of the introverts I work with have actually been told they’re “socially awkward” from a very young age.
When we look at the journey that got them to that conclusion, and how have they reinforced that belief through their behavior, we uncover that it’s actually a belief rather than an ingrained trait they cannot change.
So if there’s something coming up for you about running a business, and thinking you can’t be successful because you can’t do Facebook Lives or doing the same things as other online business owners – it’s definitely worth spending some time paying attention to where this belief comes from.
What was the earliest memory you have of someone saying this about you or to you?
Is this something you want to keep telling yourself is true for you?
Or is this something you might want to change?
I had a beautiful client I worked with a couple of years ago. We were talking about this whole shyness and social awkwardness concept. When we talked about introversion and her journey as a child and what was said to her, she’d basically set up her whole life to fit someone who’s really socially awkward.
But she actually wanted to go to more events. She wanted to get out and make more friends. She wanted to be more active on social media. But she had this belief that she was “socially awkward,” that people didn’t like talking to her, and that she was a bad conversationalist.
So we had a conversation about whether she wanted to keep that belief, or if not, what it would take for her to let go of it.
Fast forward to six months later and she was facilitating group masterminds, belonging to an amazing group mastermind, and had surrounded herself with six really amazing business BFFs.
She made her own little miniature ladyposse wolf pack and she started going to local trivia nights. Everything had started to change after she unhooked this belief of being both “socially awkward” and an “introvert.”
She’d actually unlinked “socially awkward” from “introvert,” so they no longer went hand in hand for her.
We created business processes and a marketing strategy that worked for her as an introvert, such as doing more pre-recorded versus live stuff. She focused more on time working on things behind the scenes, and having one to one coaching and debriefings.
Building lots of space into her day was really important for her. So we did that for her business.
Then we started shifting this belief that being socially awkward was something she was going to be for the rest of her life. It was a really beautiful shift to see.
So ask yourself: Is this a belief I want to hold on to? Is this something that’s serving me or not?
5. Look for inspiring role models
As I said, many of the successful women entrepreneurs I know are total introverts, and they’ve built successful businesses based on that.
Their business model is set up to work with the fact that they’re an introvert. So keep an eye out for it, and if you’re following people and are curious about it, ask them if they identify as an extrovert or an introvert. For a lot of people, you’ll be very surprised at the answer.
No one is surprised when I say I’m an extrovert, but there are a lot of people I see online and might assume they’re extroverts, but when you ask them, they’re actually total introverts.
They take control. They’re in the driver’s seat, and they’ve built a business around making sure they replenish their energy, making sure they give themselves lots of space and alone time, and making sure they’re supported in the way that works for them.
So If you want to build your business your way, I want to write you a beautiful permission slip right now.
If you’re an introvert and you’ve been believing you can’t be as successful in online business as other people purely because you’re not a raging extrovert, I want you to just stop and ask yourself these questions.
- Is this belief helping me and serving me?
- Can I build a business model that works for me and plays to my innate strengths?
- Am I using this as a reason for keeping my business small?
- If it does get big, and I end up with thousands of followers, is there a fear of the unknown or a desire to keep myself safe that is keeping my business small?
If you’ve been listening along to this, and thinking you’re ready to “fast track” your business, get it off the ground, and build a business model around your strengths, I have a great free resource for you!
It’s called Fast-Track Your Start-Up.
It’s all about building your business, and getting money in the door quickly by building a business to your innate strengths.
I’d love for you to go and check that out, and I’ll pop a link over with the show notes to today’s episode tashcorbin.com/210 because this is episode number 210.
Until next time, I cannot WAIT to see you SHINE.