Is there such a thing as an introverted entrepreneur? Tell us what you think

You usually keep your thoughts to yourself. We'd like you to share them

(Photo: Daniel Ehrenworth)

(Photo: Daniel Ehrenworth)

Our colleagues over at are once again looking for your tips on how to help introverts succeed in business. Every issue, we—as in the new, combined PROFIT and Canadian Business—feature the “Crowdsourced” column, where readers chime in with real-world advice on issues affecting entrepreneurs.

The quintessential entrepreneur is usually thought of as being a more extroverted, go-getter type, but that’s not necessarily true. Introverts make up about half the population, and many are thriving as entrepreneurs—they just might not talk about it as publicly. Here’s PROFIT senior editor Deborah Aarts explaining:

Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg reportedly all work best when they’re alone—or, at least, not surrounded by throngs of others.

There are many different definitions of the phrase “introvert,” but in broad strokes the term describes a person who prefers solitary activity to group situations. According to estimates, this describes one-third to half of the general population. That means there are a heck of a lot of introverts running businesses. And that can create all sorts of issues.

Managing a company requires a leader to engage in many activities that suit extroverts perfectly: chairing meetings, dealing with a constant stream of interruptions, networking with potential clients and investors, even just chatting with staff around the water cooler. For an introvert, these tasks can be counterproductive—if not downright excruciating. […]

Are you an introvert running a business? What are the biggest obstacles you face, and what are the biggest misconceptions surrounding your personality and preferences? What tricks, policies and exercises have you adopted to make your work more productive and comfortable? What duties have you delegated to others to better suit your personality? In short, what have you done to succeed in a business landscape that is designed for—and heavily favours—the extroverted?

Hop on over to and tell Deborah about how you get ahead as an introvert—or how you help your introverted colleagues succeed. (And yes, introverts who don’t want to jump into the comments section, you can email Deborah to contribute your thoughts anonymously if that’s your preference!)