According to a marketing coach I know, an online business is the peachiest earning situation for introverts. She offers several valid arguments for her point: You can easily set up the business in a way that suits you; you don’t have to get dressed up to impress others in person; and you can eliminate stressful in-person interactions by dealing with clients on the web, by phone and via email.
However, I’m wary of her overall claim, for these reasons:
- Most introverts are not anti-social and do not need to withdraw from all face-to-face contact. Being an introvert just means that too much social interaction is draining and you need to recharge your energy alone. I know introverted therapists, actors, car mechanics, teachers, dentists, carpenters and pastors who cope very well with a daily work life involving person-to-person contact. As an introvert, you don’t have to rely on Internet Age technology as your life raft.
- After you catalog your strengths and talents, you may discover you find the greatest joy in something that isn’t best pursued online, either for practical reasons or because the customer base you’d most enjoy serving isn’t interested in getting their needs met online. Why disqualify otherwise appealing professional options because they’re incompatible with the lifestyle of a hermit?
- The image of someone who thrives best at a remove from society can get you to overlook talents you have not yet noticed or have discounted. For example, it took me decades to realize I can do very well at public speaking, because my distorted self-image was of a quiet person who preferred to stay out of the spotlight. On the contrary, many reserved people do very well in the public spotlight, from politicians like Calvin Coolidge to actors like Meryl Streep and broadcasters like Diane Sawyer.
- Most of us, whether introvert or extrovert, need a degree of balance. Running a 100 percent online business, using 100 percent online marketing methods, can be too isolating even for someone solidly in the introvert column. After all, solitary confinement is considered an extreme form of punishment, and communicating with everyone online can be one small step short of that.
In counteracting society’s stereotypes of introverts, it’s essential not to fall victim to other unnecessary limits. My approach involves not assuming what’s best for an introvert, but rather creating the inner and outer conditions for self-discovery, exploration and effectiveness.
Are you ready to find your unique path to success?
Copyright ?? 2010 Marcia Yudkin
—- A bookworm as a child, Marcia Yudkin grew up to discover she had a surprising talent for creative marketing. She’s the author of more than a dozen books, including 6 Steps to Free Publicity, now in its third edition, and Persuading People to Buy. She also mentors introverts so they discover their uniquely powerful branding and most comfortable marketing strategies. To learn more about the strengths and preferences of introverts, download the Marketing for Introverts audio manifesto