Are you an introvert or extrovert – have you ever thought about that?
It’s not about being shy or a bit loud – that’s a myth.
In truth, most of us are somewhere on a scale in between the two – and have aspects of both personality types. But it’s useful to know where you fit on this spectrum – because it can be crucial to help you succeed.
What are the true features of introverts and extroverts?
There are distinct features that define people, quite broadly, as being a bit more in one camp or another.
If you’re self reflective, contained and thrive in your own company, for example, then you’re introverted. And if your energy comes from being with others, bouncing ideas around – you’re an extrovert.
So how does this affect you in terms of self employment?
Well, people with both traits can really thrive as their own boss, once they understand what they’re best at. Or might need to work on. Their strengths and weaknesses, if you like – in this particular situation.
So let’s take each in turn below – explore the challenges each personality type might face – and some solutions.
An end to open plan offices, small talk at the water cooler – or presentations to give in front of your team. If you’re an introvert that sounds blissful – doesn’t it?
Self employment can be a great option for anyone who feels this way – it allows you to control your own environment. Which you crave desperately, we know.
Introverts need time for self reflection after all – to be quiet, take a break and recharge their batteries. And if that’s you – you’re probably creative and individually minded – which doesn;’t always fit best with corporate life. Does it?
So much of that environment can be more about conformity than being a person who thinks outside the box.
What opportunities are there?
There are lots of opportunities out there that would suit introverts – from blogging and web design through to gardening or floristry. Anything that allows you precious time to yourself and reflects your analytical, creative mind will suit you.
What are the challenges?
A big stumbling block seems to arise around networking or selling yourself – as this doesn’t always come naturally to an introverted person. And in getting overwhelmed by the range of tasks you need to be responsible for at the beginning. That can cause burn out – which nobody wants…
What are the solutions?
Try to focus on what you do best – if networking is difficult, focus more on online marketing, perhaps. But don’t hide away from attending events or face to face meetings. Ease yourself in gently and gradually build up. Try to identify ones in environments which chime best with you – and you’ll gain confidence as you get more experience.
Then you’ll feel less overwhelmed and more energised – and build a more rounded, productive skill set.
Set boundaries for yourself
It’s really important to have regular quiet time to reflect – if you’re an introvert – to get inspired and recharge your batteries. So set boundaries, take regular breaks and get out for a walk every day. And don’t be afraid to ask for advice from experts when you need it – your business will thrive if you avoid burn-out.
Find like minded people
Try to build a supportive community you connect with around you – become a member of an online social network for example. Find other business owners to speak to those who are like minded and you can relate to. Share ideas and advice, look at joint working possibilities or other ways to collaborate. This can also help you build connections that work for your business – so it’s time well spent in all ways.
Advice for extroverts could be almost the opposite – who are generally great at networking and sharing. And you don’t tend to be a shrinking violet about self promotion either, do you – if you’re honest? But spending time alone, working at home, is where you can come really unstuck, if you’re not careful.
That’s because extroverts tend to find it easier to solve problems, get energised and tap into ideas in a group setting. And you love interaction. So remote, isolated environments can kill your creativity.
When you’re thinking of going into business, then, consider opportunities that will bring you into contact with lots of people. Business coaching, running a shop, bar or cafe – even perhaps a salesperson or speaker.
And, if your work is by nature more isolating, try to maximise client sessions, skype meetings and other interactions. If you can’t face working at home, consider different environments – and that brings us neatly onto our next topic…
How coworking spaces work for introverts and extroverts
This might sound surprising, but coworking spaces offer a solution for the challenges faced by both personality types. As long as they provide different areas which work best to suit introverts and extroverts.
What do we mean by that?
Introverted people are more likely to enjoy a quiet and small space, which is less overwhelming than large, open environments. This is because volume levels can prove too distracting – so, if that describes you, use a quiet screened area.
Or find a personal desk where you’ll feel less pressured and “safer” – that will help increase your concentration and productivity. Most coworking environments offer a whole range of working space nowadays – just check that your chosen one does, before you sign up.
On the other hand, if you’re extroverted, you will probably want to site yourself in the main open area. That’s where you’ll find lots of like minded, outgoing people to bounce ideas off – and boost your productivity. It will also help you network and open up possibilities – which are great for your business, as well as your personality.
Your type of brain actually recharges itself when surrounded by people, noise and activity – so get in the middle of the action. And you’ll really get on…
The flexibility of working alone and together
You might wonder why we brought this subject up at all, in terms of introverted people – that wouldn’t be surprising. Why don’t introverts just work at home, you might think – and it’s a good point.
Well, it is a solution many introverts find useful – but there comes a point where it’s not quite enough. People do generally work well in a community – and if you choose the right coworking space it can be really helpful.
Imagine being surrounded by other self reflective people? That’s nothing like being in a loud open plan office, is it? Everyone can benefit from having their own ‘tribe’ around them, so don’t dismiss these spaces as the wrong kind of location.
They can offer a great chance to get to know others within your own specialism – and form great connections. In a comfortable way. They’re well worth considering, even if you’re more self reliant and quiet. Because they can provide the gentle nudge you need to succeed.
Give coworking a try and keep your home as a sanctuary
And, importantly for an introvert, it means you keep your home as a sanctuary – which really matters to you. So it’s still a welcoming, relaxing place to come back to, at the end of the day. And a coworking space can give you the motivation to get on – and engage – as we mentioned. Without pushing you completely out of your own comfort zone.
Coworking space managers understand your needs and requirements these days, so don’t be afraid to give them a try.
Re-energise your business – if you’re an extrovert
If you’re an extrovert, be honest, you probably don’t feel as excited as others about remote working. Maybe you’ve always been based in a large open plan office – and you’d really miss the buzz of being around co-workers.
So why not re-energise your enthusiasm for self employment by checking out your local coworking spaces? You’d feel really enthused and motivated in open spaces, such as hot desk areas – they’re perfect. Because extroverts thrive in collaboration – pitching ideas and making connections.
For you, there are obvious benefits to everything about this kind of environment. The networking is unbeatable, because there’s such a wide variety of people coming in and out of the space every day. That kind of busy energy is just what you need to make you and your business really fly.
And when introverts and extroverts get together in these places – that’s when great connections can really be made. As long as you each have your own appropriate corner – you could find a lot of kinship – and complementary ideas or solutions.
So whatever end of the personality type spectrum you’re on, spaces like Bond Collective Coworking could be the answer..
We hope you have found this post useful, if you’re considering whether self employment is the right option. We think, whether you’re outgoing or quietly reflective, there are great reasons to become your own boss.
With a bit of planning, and by addressing challenges head on, you’ll find the best way to make your business succeed.