7 Tips To Be a Successful Entrepreneur Even If You Are a Dedicated Introvert

Karen Repoli
5 min readFeb 19



7 Tips To Be a Successful Entrepreneur Even If You Are a Dedicated Introvert

If you’re starting a small business or have only been in business a short time, you know it can be tough. In fact, according to research from JP Morgan Chase, “Roughly a third of new businesses exit within their first two years, and half exit within their first five years.” That is a sobering statistic! Now, what if you’re an introvert? Does that lessen the odds that you can be a successful entrepreneur? Not at all! As I mentioned in a previous post there are many former U.S. Presidents, First Ladies, artists, writers and other prominent business men and women who are introverts. I am also an introvert and have had a successful business for 16 years. So before you think all is lost, try these tips.

Play up your strengths.

Do what you do best and do it well. Ultimately, that is what will set you apart in business. Let your strength be the main selling point for your organization and don’t let others convince you to focus on your weaknesses, or the areas where you are less confident. Your strengths make you special. Confidence can be built over time. If you’re faking confidence you don’t feel, however, you risk coming across as inauthentic with your target audience and that could alienate the very people you’re attempting to bring into the fold.

My first years in business, I tried to “do it all.” My mindset was that I never wanted to tell a client, ‘no, I can’t do that.’ I learned a lot but the most important lesson was to be very clear about my scope of services. I’ve also developed a network of other professionals I can refer clients to. So if someone requests work outside my scope I can answer, ‘I don’t do that type of work but I can refer you to someone.” In this way both my client and I win!

Start small when building your business.


Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither, in fact, were Apple, Microsoft, Nike, or Pizza Hut. It takes time and dedication to build a business. One thing most big businesses have in common, though, is that once upon a time, they were small businesses.

Don’t try to make your first million dollars in your first year. Instead, focus on incremental, sustainable growth over time. This gives you plenty of room to grow and helps you keep the focus on providing the best products and/or services every step of the way. Quality is what people will remember. Consider this:

62% of customers say they share their bad experiences with others (Salesforce Research).

It takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for one negative experience (Ruby Newell-Legner’s “Understanding Customers”).

Define your own style. It’s your business; make it your own.

You’re pouring your heart and soul into building your business. There are pieces of you in every aspect of your business. Don’t fret over the secrets to success someone else followed 10 or 20 years ago to succeed. Define your own style and own that style as you build your business.

That doesn’t mean you should not be willing to take advice or be coachable. It does mean that you shouldn’t have to change major aspects of who you are to accommodate someone else’s idea of what your business should be.

Sometimes you have to step outside of your comfort zone.

comfort zone

Your comfort zone is something you may need to leave occasionally for success in business. It doesn’t matter if you’re an introvert or an extrovert. Every successful entrepreneur has to, on occasion, embrace the other side of the equation to make things happen for your business.

In my case, this happened with the popularity of video calls. I am really not comfortable on video calls but, in the world of many of my clients, they are the standard mode of communication. So I learned to be okay with it.

Something else happens, though, when you do step outside your normal comfort zone and routines. You grow; not only as a business owner or entrepreneur, but as a person as well. The rewards may be epic if you allow them to be.

Listen to your intuition when it’s trying to tell you something.

One thing introverts have going for them is an incredible ability to listen. Most of the time your impressive listening abilities are turned outward to other people in your circle. However, when you’re working to grow your business you need to learn to listen to yourself and your own instincts as keenly as you listen to the advice and recommendations of others around you. Don’t dismiss it when your intuition is trying to tell you something. You may regret pushing that tiny voice aside.

Be intentional every step of the way.

Social media offers excellent opportunities to grow your business. However, it can become a trap you set for yourself if you’re not careful and thoughtful in what you say in social media circles. Resist the urge, for instance, to overshare. In a politically charged climate, it could do more harm for your business than good to share your political thoughts, religious affiliations, and other information some may deem too personal. By the same token, having a plan in place for your actions as a business owner is as important as your word on social media. Be intentional in the actions you take on behalf of your business to achieve sustainable growth.

You can be a successful business owner even if you are a dedicated introvert. Your natural tendencies for thoughtful discourse, mindfulness, and careful listening will be your biggest assets moving forward.

business buildingbusiness tipsEntrepreneurintrovertintrovert business



Karen Repoli

Business Strategist passionate about helping motivated entrepreneurs. KarenRepoli.com