Self employment ideas for introverts
9 Best Business Ideas for Introverts Who Want to Be Self-Employed
What do Eleanore Roosevelt, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, J.K. Rowling, Einstein, Chopin, and Steven Spielberg have in common?
Answer: They’re all introverts.
Introverts make up one-third to one-half of the population, depending on which study you look at. We’re everywhere. And yet, we live in a society that highly values our personality’s opposite: the extrovert. Extroverts dominate public life in entertainment and in business. Corporate America especially values extroverts over introverts.
Introverts are often described as “shy,” “taciturn,” “serious,” or “reserved.” However, introverts have a lot more to offer than those unflattering labels. Introverts are deep, creative thinkers who are able to sit and focus for long periods of time in the right environment. Additionally, introverts often make excellent entrepreneurs because of the very tendencies that get them overlooked in other situations.
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As an introvert, you might be dreaming of leaving corporate America and starting your own business for the freedom, the chance to work in quiet solitude for awhile, or both. If so, you’ll dramatically increase your chance of success if you choose a venture that’s suited to your unique personality type.
Why It Pays to Understand Your Personality Type
Many people know, at least on some level, some of the nuances of their personality, likes, and dislikes. You probably know if you’re a “people person” or if you prefer spending time alone. You know through past experience if you like to work under tight deadlines or if you need time and space to really do your best.
However, when you understand your personality on a deeper level, it gives you greater self-awareness and heightened emotional intelligence. This understanding can provide insight into all areas of your life. It can help you play to your strengths, work with your weaknesses productively, manage your time better, resolve conflicts, and find a career you truly love.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality test is arguably one of the best and well-known personality tests in the world. According to Forbes, it’s administered 3.5 million times each year. The Myers-Briggs test organizes personality types into 16 lettered combinations, which are determined by how much you like or dislike interacting with others, how you like to process information, how you make decisions, and how much structure you prefer in your life.
It’s important to keep in mind that while taking a personality test is useful, it can’t and shouldn’t entirely define who you are. You are much more than an introvert or extrovert. These are labels, and labels are limiting. If you do decide to take a personality test, keep in mind your label is meant to be a helpful guide, not a box.
The Unique Power of Introverts
So what does it mean to be an introvert? There is no set definition, mainly because psychologists constantly argue about what being an introvert really means. The simplest explanation has to do with a person’s energy orientation. Introverts get their energy by being alone, while extroverts get their energy from being around other people.
Other signs you might have an introverted personality include:
- You’re a good listener.
- You prefer spending time alone versus in a large group.
- You often communicate better in writing than talking.
- You generally dislike parties. After a while, you feel so drained, you begin to shut down. It takes you a long time to recuperate and recharge the next day.
- You feel drained after too much visual or audio stimulation, especially in social situations.
- You dislike being the center of attention.
- You hate small talk.
- You have no problem concentrating for long periods of time.
- You have a small circle of friends you’re very close to.
- You often think carefully before you speak.
- You hate multitasking. You’d rather focus on one thing at a time.
- You enjoy working slowly and with focus, rather than finishing a project quickly “just to get it done.”
In her best-selling book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts In a World That Can’t Stop Talking,” author Susan Cain argues that introverts are dramatically undervalued in the business world. After all, people who are more extroverted are often the ones who get noticed. They’re more sociable, more outgoing, and more willing to be in the spotlight. They’re the ones pitching the big ideas in the meeting room or getting the team roaring with laughter during a stressful project.
In short, extroverts are often preferred in corporate America because many people assume they make the best leaders and business owners, make the best decisions, or bring in the most sales. To be fair, extroverts are important. They have plenty of their own unique gifts, and we need both extroverts and introverts for the world to thrive. But as an introvert, you have a lot to offer the business world too.
Introverts often make good entrepreneurs because they have the focus, persistence, and creativity required to keep a business going when things get tough. However, your success and happiness depend on choosing the right business for you, one that plays to your strengths instead of your weaknesses.
Best Business Ideas for Introverts
Whether you’re looking to earn extra income in addition to your day job or a create full-time career, these business ideas are well-suited for your introvert nature.
Introverts make great freelance writers. Writing requires you to sit alone doing research on your computer for hours on end. For many extroverts, that sounds suffocating. For an introvert, it’s a dream come true. Need some extra motivation
There are many different types of freelance writing you can do. You can freelance for blogs or magazines, start your own blog, be a commercial copywriter for businesses and websites, or write and self-publish a book on Amazon. Just make sure you learn how to set freelance writing rates so you don’t shortchange yourself.
Two of the best platforms for finding freelance writing opportunities are Upwork and Mediabistro. You’ll likely find higher quality opportunities on Mediabistro, but they often require solid writing experience and an extensive portfolio. Upwork is often better suited for those starting out in the field.
Editing and proofreading are great side gigs for introverts because, like freelance writing, they require solitude, attention to detail, and the ability to focus.
Editing and proofreading opportunities are plentiful, in large part, because so many websites and blogs need help polishing their articles. The rise in self-publishing has also increased demand for good editors.
You can find editing and proofreading opportunities on Upwork and Mediabistro as well.
Pro tip: If you’re interested in starting a proofreading business but not sure where to start, consider taking an online course that will teach you the basics.
3. Amazon Seller or Delivery Person
Amazon is an introvert’s dream because it provides so many different ways to make money working from home.
One of these opportunities is called retail arbitrage. In retail arbitrage, you buy a product at a low price, either locally or online, and resell it on Amazon for a higher price. You can either ship products out yourself when they sell or ship them directly to Amazon and let them handle sales and customer service.
To get started with retail arbitrage, you’ll need to download the Amazon seller’s app. It can help you start learning which products will sell best on the site, as well as give you an overview of current prices so you better understand what you should pay for each item to make a profit.
There are other ways to make money with Amazon besides retail arbitrage. If you have a car, you can deliver packages for Amazon with Amazon Flex. Pay is competitive, and you get to work alone.
You can also make money on Amazon reselling used books. As an introvert, chances are you have tons of books you could resell anyway, and you probably already know when all the used book sales are in your area. You could be monetizing this knowledge.
If you decide to start your own blog, you can earn additional revenue as an Amazon Affiliate. Every time you mention a product Amazon sells, you embed a custom link that takes readers right to Amazon. If a reader buys something on Amazon using your link, you get a portion of that sale.
Pro tip: Amazon isn’t the only way you can make extra cash as a delivery driver. You could deliver groceries through Instacart or food through DoorDash or Postmates.
4. Online Instructor or Tutor
Many introverts thrive in helping others do their best. When you combine this strength with the opportunity to do it alone or one-on-one, then you have a formula for success. That’s why being an online instructor or tutoring kids or adults one-on-one can be a great side-gig or full-time business for an introvert.
Platforms like Udemy and Teachable can put you in front of millions of potential students. If your course is good, you can make a great living as an online instructor. VIPKid and Education First let you tutor Chinese students in English online on your own schedule with their premade material and lessons. Sitting behind a computer may be less intimidating than teaching a lesson in front of a classroom in person.
You can also choose to tutor in person. Tutors who can offer specialized help, such as helping high schoolers prep for SATs or write a winning college essay, earn a premium.
5. Car Sharing Host
When you work from home, your car sits in the driveway for a good part of the day. You could be earning during this downtime with Turo or Getaround, a car rental service that allows people, known as hosts, to rent their car directly to other people who need it for the day.
If you have a particularly unique or useful car, like a Tesla or Ford Superduty truck, you might be able to earn $1,000 or more per month renting out your car. And best of all, you just drop it off where it needs to go.
While this income won’t meet all your financial needs, it can be a lucrative side gig while you’re earning money with another business venture.
6. Business/Life Coach
Introverts are naturally good listeners. They think carefully before they speak, enjoy working with people one-on-one, and often have a strong desire to help others live better lives. Because of this, becoming a business coach or life coach can be a great career for this personality type.
One of the biggest challenges to this business venture is that you’ll have to promote yourself through advertising, social media, or even offering group classes or talks to people in your community. However, investing in life coach training and certification, and getting better at public speaking, can boost your confidence and credibility and help you learn how to work publicly with groups.
You don’t have to go this route, though. Many business and life coaches find clients using a wide variety of different channels, including starting a blog and using social media.
7. Virtual Assistant
More people than ever are working from home, which means there are plenty of opportunities to be a virtual assistant.
A virtual assistant is someone who provides administrative help to entrepreneurs and other professionals remotely. A virtual assistant might help with:
- Online research
- Scheduling travel and meetings
- Database entering
- Creating presentations
- Screening and managing email
- Managing social responsibilities (such as writing holiday and thank-you cards to clients or employees)
- Researching business opportunities
- Managing social media accounts
- Keeping up with industry news and trends
- Performing customer service
- Managing a blog
All it takes is one client, and you’re in business.
Many virtual assistants go into business for themselves and find their own clients through social media and platforms like Upwork. However, there are virtual assistant firms that will hire you and then find clients to match your particular skills — for a fee, of course. Some of these are Belay, Fancy Hands, and Time Etc.
8. Dog Walker/Pet Sitter
If you love interacting with dogs more than you do people, then starting a dog walking business might be a perfect fit for you.
It’s a great low-cost business that allows you to get plenty of exercise and work on your own with animals. However, it can be challenging to find clients when you’re first starting out. After all, people have to trust you enough to give you a key to their house and, more importantly, take their beloved dog out on a walk while they’re gone.
Another closely related business is offering pet sitting services out of your home. It could be on a daily basis for people who want their pet to have company while they’re at work, or longer stays for people who want to board their pet in a home while they’re on vacation.
When you first start out, you might need to offer friends and family free services to get some testimonials and references under your belt. You can also join Rover, an online platform that connects dog walkers and pet sitters with pet owners.
9. Social Media Consultant
Many businesses realize old-school advertising, such as running print ads or commercials, is no longer the best way to reach potential customers. Today, businesses must have a social media presence if they’re going to thrive. However, many businesses, especially small to midsized companies, don’t know how to use social media successfully.
If you have marketing experience and know how to use platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook to create a following or build brand awareness, you could become a social media consultant.
An Introvert’s Tale of Entrepreneurship
The type of business or side gig you start plays a huge role in how successful and happy you’ll be. I know because I learned this lesson the hard way.
Entrepreneurship appealed to me at a relatively young age. I started my first business when I was 23 because it was something I could do on my own. I wanted to work alone yet help people at the same time. However, I made a big mistake early on by choosing the wrong business to start. I started freelance writing in college — a great fit for an introvert — and then decided to start a professional organizing business.
On the surface, being a professional organizer seemed like a good fit for my personality. I could work with people one-on-one and help them live a better life. However, while I enjoyed working with one person at a time, I found that going into their homes and dealing with overwhelming amounts of clutter was far too stimulating for me. Decluttering and organizing was also a highly emotional experience for my clients, and while we worked, they would often share deeply personal stories and feelings with me.
After hours of this, I would come home so drained and emotionally overloaded it took days to recharge. When my business became successful and I worked with one client after another, day after day, it became too much. I decided to close the business simply because I had no time to recharge after each session, and I was miserable as a result.
Fortunately, my freelance writing took off at exactly the same time, so making the transition to solitary work was a welcome relief. Now, almost 20 years later, I have a successful writing business that allows me to live and work exactly how I want. I love what I do because writing aligns perfectly with my energy, values, and natural rhythms. I never finish work feeling drained or overwhelmed; I feel happy and rewarded because I still get to help people but on my terms.
Understanding the nuances of your personality can help you avoid making a mistake like I made. Introverts have a lot to offer the world, but you can only do your best work in an environment that fits your unique strengths.
Choosing the right business to start plays a huge role in how happy and successful you’ll be as an entrepreneur. As an introvert, there’s a good chance you’ll be unhappy in a business that requires you to make frequent sales presentations or rely on a network of people you don’t know well.
Cain sums up the importance of knowing yourself: “The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting. For some, it’s a Broadway spotlight; for others, a lamplit desk. Use your natural powers — of persistence, concentration, insight, and sensitivity — to do work you love and work that matters.”
Do you have an introverted personality? Would you consider starting your own business? If you’ve started one, what is it?
12 Low-Cost Business Ideas for Introverts
If you identify as an introvert and are interested in your own low-cost startup, you could be an ideal candidate for starting your own business.
Introverts are powerful in their own right. They are productive thinkers with strong opinions who can achieve much. Despite what the media says -- often stereotyping them as “shy” or “socially awkward” -- introverts can make great business leaders and entrepreneurs. In fact, many successful business leaders are introverts, including Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Warren Buffett.
Related: 9 Business Ideas Under $1,000 You Can Run From Anywhere
At least one-third of all Americans are introverts, says Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking and the leading voice today on lost opportunities when undervaluing introverts.
“They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams,” she says.
Here’s a list of 12 low-cost business ideas under $1,000 to get you on your way.
Related: 10 Business Ideas to Make Easy Money and Change the World
Hero Images | Getty Images
Startup costs: up to $1,000
Equipment: computer, design software
For highly creative and visual introverts, freelance graphic design can be a great way to make a living. With digital businesses on the rise, demand is higher than ever.
Jacob Cass is a graphic designer who started design business Just Creative in 2012. Solving clients’ business problems through visual communication such as creating logos, websites, stationery and marketing materials are only some of the many projects he undertakes on a daily basis.
“Web design can be self-taught -- that’s how I learned,” Cass says. “You need to know software to do this, but most importantly you need to understand the principles of design as well as understand clients needs, not wants.”
It’s simple to get started. Cass registered his company with the government as a sole proprietorship, then began reaching out to clients. Both tasks that can be done from your computer. Other than acquiring certain software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, startup costs were minimal, he says.
Related: 5 Low-Cost Franchises You Can Start for as Little as $4,000Coder
Startup costs: up to $1,000
Equipment: computer, training courses
Detail-oriented and meticulous, introverts make excellent coders. The combination of patience and focus makes coding a great option for an introvert seeking self-employment. Because coding is such a niche skillset, there is high demand for freelance coders, and much of the work can be done from the comfort of your home.
It gets better. There is an abundance of free resources online such as Code Academy and Udemy where you can educate yourself. Also General Assembly offers one-shot classes and intensive six to 12 week training sessions online and in-class for a cost ranging from $140 to $3,500 -- that’s what jumpstarted coder Yin Mei’s career.
To the contrary, back-end development refers to the “server-side” -- basically everything you can’t see on a website. It operates the site with updates and changes made on the front-end. If it’s back-end developing you’re looking for, Java, Scala and Python are the primary languages. And don’t let those technical words scare you off.
“If you are a functional human being, you will be able to learn to code,” Mei says.
Related: Low Cost Business IdeasOnline retail consigner
Startup costs: up to $1,000
Equipment: digital camera, computer
Passion for fashion? Or just own way too many clothes you don’t need anymore? Rather than hoarding those unused belongings in your closet -- or trashing them -- sell them online. Online consignment offers introverts a great opportunity to make money through a completely virtual process. Today there are a number of online platforms -- such as The RealReal, Tradesy and ThredUp -- specific for selling your unwanted clothing, jewelry and accessories.
Linda Lightman, an eBay seller of 15 years, built an e-consignment empire, Linda’s Stuff, which currently brings in $25 million a year. She began her online career by simply selling her son’s old video games, eventually moving to items in her closet and later selling items for friends.
It only took passion and a can-do attitude for Lightman to start her business, now operated out of a 93,000-square-foot office space in Hatboro, Pennsylvania. “I was always so passionate about fashion and for me it was a no-brainer,” she tells Daily Mail.
Startup materials? You will need a computer and a camera to take photos of your clothing. The rest is easy. Do your research, pick a great user ID or name for your shop, using quality images and vivid descriptions of what you’re selling and providing online customer service. And once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to start selling for others too!
Related: Why Freelancing Is Perfect for IntrovertsInstagram consultant
Startup costs: $100 to $500
Equipment: smartphone with a good digital camera
Social media doesn’t necessarily mean “social. ” Many businesses today have abandoned traditional marketing methods and taken to social media networks such as the ever-popular Instagram to promote their products and services. A majority of companies may not be well-versed in this new marketing technique, which is why outsourcing an Instagram consultant is often a great option.
Instagram consultant Emelina Spinelli helps firms grow a sustainable Instagram following and influence. She’s passionate about the photo app and providing resources for others to learn about this unique and extremely popular social channel, which has over 1 billion users worldwide.
Like Spinelli, if you have a love of Instagram, knowledge of basic marketing and simply, motivation, Instagram consulting can be a great path for you. You’ll be able to monetize these skills by charging a flat rate per project or by the hour. Market and promote your services online, blog on other related sites providing free tips (don’t give all the secrets away) and, ironically, using social media channels, build a following and reach out to businesses or individuals. All of which will come with little to no startup costs.
Related: Need a Business Idea? Here Are 55.Hero Images | Getty Images
Writing serviceWriter/copy writer
Startup costs: up to $1,000
You don’t need to be a best-selling author to craft a compelling narrative. If you’ve got the drive, copywriting is a great option for many introverts. Megan Hill has been a freelance copywriter for 13 years. She’s written for a number of publications, from Upscale Living Magazine to Forbes Travel Guide.
Although freelance writing doesn’t require a formal education, it does require a certain level of motivation. Networking and marketing are key to get your name out there and pick up projects, which Hill was able to do mostly online by creating a website and social media accounts.
“[Being] driven, focused, organized and able to go with the flow,” are what it takes to become a good copywriter, Hill explains. For a writing career that exists almost entirely online, costs are minimal, she adds.
Related: 5 Affordable Franchises You Can Start for Less Than $10,000
Startup costs: up to $1,000
Have a specific interest but don’t know how to make money from it? Blog about it!
Many successful entrepreneurs have found success in blogging. As a marketing blogger and owner of Fluxe Digital Marketing, Joel Widmer says that writing, editing, copywriting and marketing are requirements for a successful blogger. It helps to have good content marketing skills, such as knowing how to create content that will engage readers and meet your client’s goal and knowing how much content to give away -- and Google analytic skills too -- if you want to be a marketing blogger like Widmer.
All you really need is a computer and good internet connection to start. Today, there are plenty of platforms (mostly free too) that will basically build your blog for you -- all you have to do is add information about who you are and what your blog is about and start writing.
To build a strong client list, Widmer recommends blogging for other people and companies for free. Once you’ve developed deep personal connections with these people and/or brands -- which introverts are naturally inclined to do -- you’ll grow your network and can begin charging as a contributing blogger for others’ sites.
Related: 4 Networking Tips for IntrovertsTechnical writer
Startup costs: up to $1,000
As naturally deep thinkers with the tendency to connect things in their minds, introverts who have a good understanding of technology make great technical writers. Amy Winkler, a technical writer for more than 18 years, in 1999 helped launch Alva Consulting, Inc., a firm for technical and business communications. Winkler says that a day for her can consist of writing content for software user guides, online help, FAQ’s, job aids and instructional designs.
If you can write, interview subject matter experts, be organized and have flexibility, then you have the potential to be a great technical writer, Winkler says. There’s no specific academic route to develop skills as a technical writer except writing and the ability to pick up technology software quickly.
Winkler, who’s had much success as a technical writer, went to business school. Freelance technical writers are highly sought after in a variety of company, from Fortune 500 companies to smaller technology startups, most are willing to pay big bucks.Aliyev Alexei Sergeevich | Getty Images
Fashion and the artsLandscape photographer
Startup costs: up to $1,000
Equipment: high-quality digital camera
Landscape photography takes focus and observation, qualities many introverts naturally embody. Opportunities for a landscape photographer can be enormous, and there’s immense room for learning. There are a number of ways to generate income from being a photographer: shooting for websites or publications, selling prints or usage rights of your images or, if you’re skilled enough, offering classes to other aspiring photographers.
Today, the internet makes it easy as ever to market your services. Jason Benjamin has been a fashion and wedding photographer for six years and has run his own company, Wedding Headline, for four. He markets his services on social media, a great way for introverts to build a client list.
“Anyone can be a photographer, depending on your level of creativity. … I am completely self taught," Benjamin says. "I went to school for software engineering to write code. I taught myself everything I know about photography using YouTube.”
The steps to create his business were simple: coming up with a name and purchasing an LLC. Although equipment can be expensive, there are alternative ways to keep down costs -- renting equipment and studio space is a viable way to save money in the beginning.
Startup costs: up to $100
Equipment: musical instrument, sheet music
Stick to something you know and love. You’ve spent years -- maybe decades -- of your life developing your skills as a musician. So why not make money while doing it?
That’s what musician-turned-music teacher Kaila McIntyre-Bader did. After getting her bachelor’s degree in music, this music lover took her fine-tuned talents to the classroom, where she taught private lessons as well as voice and flute classes at Red House Studios, a music school, concert venue and recording studio based out of Walnut Creek, California.
Teaching and creativity are the main components of being an excellent music teacher. As an introvert, using personal knowledge to help others and developing deep one-on-one relationships with students and peers is a major strength. By creating individualized curricula for each student and asking them about their goals, McIntyre-Bader helps students “achieve the level of musicianship they desire.”
As a musician, it’s likely you already have the instruments and gear you need to jumpstart your teaching career. Startup costs are limited, according to McIntyre-Bader. For the most part, all you would be paying for is gas driving to and from students’ homes, or you can simply teach out of your own home.Shutterstock
Consulting services and educationBusiness and life counselor
Startup costs: up to $1,000
Equipment: life coach certification (not required)
Introverts are great at listening to and empathizing with people. Author of The Successful Introvert: How to Enhance Your Job Search and Advance Your Career Wendy Gelberg says introverts tend to have a calm demeanor, they think before they act and speak and they use analysis and thought to add an important dimension to any situation. Their ability to internalize events and closely listen to others make them great for a career in consulting.
Business and life coach Val Nelson began her self-employment journey in 2009 by coaching people to thrive in business as well improve their lives. As an introvert herself, her listening and empathy skills drove her decision to help others. Nelson chose to get life-coach training, which took her six months and cost her around $5,000 -- something she recommends -- although you are not required by law to get certification to call yourself a “life coach.”
“Good coaching training combined with strong business experience” is what it takes to excel as a successful life coach, explains Nelson, who adds that the “overhead for a coaching business can be fairly low.”
Another plus: most coaches work solely through the phone or online with their clients -- a setting that most introverts thrive in.
Related: 75 Ideas for Businesses You Can Launch for Cheap or FreeCollege application advisor
Startup costs: up to $1,000
Rather than working in groups, introverts typically prefer to build deeper one-on-one connections with individuals. Often possessing an ability to provide thoughtful advice through planning and research, an introvert makes an excellent college application advisor.
Gael Casner has been an independent educational consultant for 14 years through her business, College Find. Helping students explore educational options, creating college lists for students, reviewing admissions essays and helping students narrow their options to make a final decision are only a few of the things Casner does on a daily basis.
She develops relationships with parents and students, and spends much of her time researching colleges and industry trends. Like Casner, if you do your research as well as get to know the strengths of your students, you’ll be able to successfully guide them toward their future while generating some income for yourself.
A quick way to find clients is to tap into some school networks in your area and get your name out there. It starts with a simple email. Setting up a time to meet with the local principal of some schools and faculty members to introduce yourself and your services will help build your credibility and rapport with parents, plus create partnerships with schools for referrals.
Related: 5 Franchises You Can Buy for Less Than $18,000Online tutor
Startup costs: up to $1,000
Creating your own online tutoring business is a great way to explore your intelligence and provide assistance to others. Carl Arnold is an online tutor helping middle and high school students develop composition skills, as well as assisting with application essays for aspiring college students.
You too could hone in on your academic specialties and use them to teach and guide students. Arnold communicates with students through phone, Skype or email, so for those introverts who thrive in a virtual medium, this career path could be a great option.
With fees ranging from $65 to $80 an hour depending on a student’s needs -- sought-after SAT and standardized testing tutors can charge up to $150 an hour -- you can charge per session or offer a package deal, which also covers the costs of materials.
825 business ideas for introverts
For introverts, a business that they can do on their own is suitable , where you do not need to constantly be among people, communicate personally. The first and most logical activity will be work on the Internet: website promotion, writing texts, blogging and channels. For specialists in the IT field, it would be a great idea to create and layout websites, programs, applications, computer games, add-ons, etc. Without knowledge and experience in this industry, it is possible to provide services for maintaining and analyzing statistical data, collecting and grouping information.
In the field of trade an introvert can open an online store. It will also be a good business to provide services for tailoring and repairing shoes, organizing a workshop to restore computer equipment. Another option is the development of "smart" technologies for the home, market, commercial production. Moreover, all these types of business do not require large investments. If these funds are not available, you can contact relatives or take a microloan. Introvert women suitable remote or related work in areas such as finance, analytics, journalism, marketing.
Read more ideas for introverts in this section.
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Superpower of introverts: why it is better to think alone and what the ideal office looks like
In a world where success requires networking, being proactive, and speaking loudly about your accomplishments, reserved and shy people have a hard time. And yet, as studies show, introverts have many advantages. For example, when working alone, it is sometimes easier to maintain clarity of mind. We tell you what problems the collective mind creates and why sometimes even introverts work better in a crowded cafe than in their own office
Susan Cain received a BA in English and an LL. straight. And then she abandoned a promising career in order to write a book in silence and solitude about introverts and about what power helps them to succeed in a modern society that systematically underestimates their dignity.
So Susan Cain became perhaps the most famous introvert of our time, and her book became a bestseller. It is still referenced by business publications when they talk about how to better manage introverts in your team or how introverts can be good leaders.
Kane herself, despite her natural shyness, regularly lectures to the public about the advantages of quiet people "in a world that never stops. " As it turned out, there are not so few introverts in modern society - the topic turned out to be quite in demand. Susan Cain's book in a new translation with the title "Quiet Power. How to Succeed if You Don't Like to Be the Center of Attention” is published in October by Mann, Ivanov and Ferber. Forbes publishes an excerpt.
During the 1988-1989 basketball season, two NCAA basketball teams played 11 games without a single spectator due to a measles epidemic that forced schools to close. Both teams played much better (for example, their players made more free throws) when there were no fans in the hall at all - not even well-disposed fans of the home team.
Behavioral economist Dan Ariely noticed a similar phenomenon during a study in which he proposed 39participants to complete the anagramming task, either alone at their desk or in the presence of observers. Ariely believed that study participants would perform better when working in public, because in this case they were more motivated. However, they did worse on the task than those participants in the experiment who worked alone. Public work can be inspiring, but it can also be stressful.
The problem with the fear of evaluation is that in this sense, not so much depends on us. You may think that this fear can be overcome with willpower, or special training, or a set of rules for teamwork, like Osborn's rules. However, recent neuroscience research suggests that our fear of being judged by others is much deeper and has far more serious consequences than you might think.
Between 1951 and 1956, at the same time that Alex Osborne was promoting the idea of collective groupthink, the psychologist Solomon Asch conducted a series of experiments on group pressure. Ash gathered student volunteers into groups and asked them to have their eyes tested. He showed them a picture of three segments of different lengths and asked them to compare them: which segment is longer, which one is equal in length to the fourth (reference) segment, etc. His questions were so simple that 95% of the students gave the correct answers. Ash then included his people in the groups, who confidently gave the same wrong answer to his questions, and the proportion of students who gave the correct answers decreased to 25%. In other words, an astonishingly large number of participants in the experiment, 75%, gave the wrong answer to at least one question under the influence of the group.
Solomon Asch's experiments demonstrated the power of conformity around the same time that Alex Osborne was trying to free us from its chains. However, experiments do not explain why we tend to agree with the majority opinion. What goes on in the minds of participants in Asch's experiments who agree with deliberately wrong answers from other group members? Did group pressure affect their perception of the length of the segments, or did they deliberately give incorrect answers so as not to look like black sheep?
This question has haunted psychologists for decades. Today, thanks to brain-scanning technology, we may be closer to answering this question. In 2005, Emory University neuroscientist Gregory Burns decided to do an improved version of Solomon Asch's experiments. Burns and his team assembled a group of 32 male and female volunteers aged 19 to 41. During the experiment, each member of the group was shown two different three-dimensional objects on a computer screen and asked to determine if the first object could be rotated to match it with the second. The experimenters used the fMRI scanner to record the brain activity of the participants in the experiment at the moment when they agree or disagree with the opinion of the majority of the group members.
The findings were both disturbing and enlightening at the same time. First, they confirmed Solomon Asch's findings. When the volunteers played the game on their own, they gave incorrect answers only 13.8% of the time. But when playing with a group that all gave wrong answers, they agreed with the group's opinion 41% of the time.
Gregory Burns' experiments shed light on why we tend to conform. When the volunteers played alone, the tomograph recorded activity in areas of the brain such as the occipital and parietal lobes, which form visual and spatial perception, as well as in the frontal lobe, which is responsible for conscious decision-making. When the participants in the experiment agreed with the incorrect answer of the rest of the group, their brain activity indicators spoke of a completely different thing.
As you remember, Solomon Asch tried to find an answer to the question whether the participants of the experiment agreed with the opinion of the group, knowing that the group was wrong, or group pressure influenced their perception of the length of the segments. Gregory Burns and his colleagues suggested that if the first statement is true, then increased brain activity should be observed in the prefrontal cortex, where decision making is formed. In other words, the scanner will register increased activity in this part of the brain in those volunteers who consciously choose to give up their beliefs in order to adapt to the opinion of the group. However, if the tomograph registers increased activity in those areas of the brain where visual and spatial perception occurs, then the group was somehow able to change the perception of the experiment participant.
This is exactly what happened: Conformists showed lower activity in the frontal lobe, which is responsible for making decisions, and increased activity in those parts of the brain where perception occurs. In other words, social pressure is not just an unpleasant phenomenon, it can change your point of view on a particular task.
Judging by the results of these experiments, groups have the same effect on the human brain as psychotropic substances. If the group thinks that the correct answer is A, you are more likely to think that A is also the correct answer. And it's not that you consciously agree with the opinion of the group. “I’m not entirely sure, but if they think the answer is A, then I’ll agree with it,” or “I want them to like me, so I’ll just pretend that the correct answer is A.” No, you are doing something much more unexpected - and dangerous. Most of the participants in the Gregory Burns experiment said that they agreed with the majority opinion only because they believed that they really came to the same conclusion. So, they were completely unaware of how much influence the other members of the group had on them.
How does all this relate to social fears? You remember that the participants in Asch and Burns' experiments did not always agree with the group's opinion. Sometimes they gave the correct answer despite group pressure. Gregory Burns and his colleagues discovered an interesting aspect of this phenomenon. They found that it was associated with increased activity in the amygdala, a small area of the brain where negative emotions, such as the fear of rejection, are formed.
This experiment was also carried out in several other forms - for example, when the participants of the experiment played together with a group of computers, and not with a group of people. It was found that the activity of their amygdala does not change when they do not agree with the answers offered by computers. This suggests that people who disagree with the opinion of the majority are afraid not so much of making a mistake as of being rejected by the group.
This phenomenon, which Gregory Burns calls "the pangs of independence," has very serious consequences. Many of the most important civil institutions—for example, elections, jury trials, even the very idea of subordinating the minority to the majority—depend on the voices of people who express their disagreement with certain aspects of these institutions. But if the group can literally change our perceptions, and if the desire to have our own opinion leads to the activation of a primitive, powerful subconscious fear of rejection, then all these institutions are much more vulnerable than we think.
However, I, of course, somewhat simplify the situation with cooperation through personal contacts. After all, Steve Wozniak still worked with Steve Jobs; Without their collaboration, there would be no Apple. Any relationship in a couple (for example, between mother and father, between parents and children) is an act of creative cooperation.
In fact, studies show that face-to-face interaction creates trust that is not possible with online interaction. In addition, research suggests that population density determines the level of innovation: for all the benefits of quiet walks in the woods, the network of interactions offered by city life benefits people living in big cities.
I have experienced this phenomenon first hand. In preparation for writing this book, I carefully organized my home office with a desk, filing cabinets, space for a computer, and plenty of natural light. But then I felt too cut off from the outside world in this office, so I never pressed the key. Instead, I wrote most of the book on my laptop while sitting at my favorite coffee shop near my house, which gets quite a lot of customers. I did it for the very same reasons that the new groupthink might say: the very presence of other people helped my mind make associative leaps. The café was always full of people hunched over their computers, and judging by the look of deep concentration on their faces, I wasn't the only one working there.
However, this cafe became my office also because it had special attributes that are not found in modern schools and offices. Thanks to the atmosphere of easy communication that reigned there, where everyone can come and go as they wish, I did not have any unwanted contacts, and I could "consciously engage" in writing my book. It was possible to alternately play the role of either an observer or an object of observation. In addition, I had the ability to control the environment in which I find myself. Every day, I myself chose the table at which I would sit - in the center of the hall or closer to the wall, depending on whether I wanted to be seen in the same way that I myself saw those around me. And I also had the opportunity to leave as soon as the need arose in a quiet and calm environment to edit what I had written during the day. As a rule, I was ready to do this after a few hours of work in a cafe - and not after eight, 10 or even 14 hours, which most of us spend in offices.
It seems to me that the way out of this situation is not to abandon close cooperation, but to improve the approach to it. First, it is necessary to find such a way of interaction between introverts and extroverts, in which leadership and other tasks would be distributed taking into account temperament and innate strengths. According to research, the most effective teams are the optimal mix of introverts and extroverts; the same can be said about many governing structures.
There is also a need to create a work environment where people can move freely in an ever-changing kaleidoscope of interactions and yet retreat to their own personal workspace when they need to focus or just be alone. Our schools need to teach children how to interact with other people - group learning can be very effective if this method is applied correctly and in moderation. However, children should also be given enough time and training to enable them to engage in deliberate practice on their own. It is very important to recognize that many people (especially introverts like Steve Wozniak) need quietness and solitude so that they can do their job at the highest level.
Some companies are beginning to appreciate the value of silence and privacy and are organizing so-called flexible open-plan offices, with isolated workspaces, quiet areas, social meeting areas, cafes, reading rooms, computer nooks, and even “streets” where people can communicate with each other in a relaxed atmosphere, without interfering with the work of others.
In the heart of Pixar Animation Studios' 6.5-hectare campus, a football field-sized atrium has been built that includes mailboxes, a cafeteria and even bathrooms. This atrium is designed to ensure that employees have the opportunity to communicate with each other as much as possible in an informal setting. At the same time, Pixar encourages employees to customize their offices, cubicles, desks, and work areas as they see fit, decorating them the way they want.
At Microsoft, many employees also have personal offices, but they have sliding doors, collapsible walls, and other features so that their inhabitants can decide for themselves when they want to work with colleagues, and when they need to retire to reflect on a particular task.
Matt Davies, a systems design researcher, told me that this arrangement benefits both introverts and extroverts because it provides more privacy than traditional open-plan offices.