Self-employment Ideas for Introverts

Is this you?

  1. You realize you lean towards introversion and that’s an OK thing!
  2. You’re thinking maybe you just need to find the right path that fits your introverted style. No more extrovert mask to fit in!
  3. And you think self-employment might give you the freedom to create work the way you want it. (Yes!)
  4. But, you’re nervous about what self-employment avenues will work for you as an introvert. (“Ack, and what about marketing?!”)

Sound familiar? You’re not alone. That self-employment excitement combined with worry is common for introverts. And yet there are plenty of introverts making it work. Without wearing an extrovert mask!

I love the freedom of self-employment, and it’s working for me in my own introverted way. But I was nervous to take the leap because some part of me thought that was extrovert territory. Both introverts and extroverts can make it work, if you find your unique path.

In this post, I’ll explain why and how self-employment can work well for introverts, including a few specific ideas for you. 

Self-employment Is a Natural Fit for Introverts

I asked some folks in my Facebook group for introverts, “What types of careers feel most suited to your introverted nature?” and the overwhelming trend was related to self-employment. It’s a natural fit for independent thinkers like us!

Here are some insights from self-employed introverts:

  • “Since I have my business, I loooove working alone and deciding when I meet with people.”
  • Making my own schedule, creating my own rhythm is huge for me and my well being as an introvert.”
  • “I’ve been pretty drawn to the ‘solopreneur’ notion. I’m realizing that I really feel flow when I’m in deep focus as opposed to social overstimulation.”

Self-employment Paths that Work for Introverts

Here are some in-demand paths that I’ve heard introverts say has been a good fit for their energy and natural flow:

  • Healing arts professionals (acupuncture, massage, hypnotherapy, etc.)
  • Tech support/ I.T.
  • Designers and illustrators (graphic design, illustration, web design, landscape design)
  • Video production and editing
  • Anything involving a lot of research or writing (For instance, good grant writing is in demand.)
  • Life coach
  • Nature-oriented work (ranger, guide, farmer, gardener)
  • Training and workshop facilitation (You’d be surprised that when you’re in charge and you feel passionate about the topic, public speaking is much easier.)
  • Accounting/bookkeeping
  • Creating a tech startup with an extroverted business partner for a nice balance
  • Doing the parts you loved about previous jobs, but now for your own business

Anything sounding up your alley? Are your own ideas coming to mind now?

Here’s the key to finding the right fit FOR YOU.

You’ve got to align these 3 things in order to be successful, fulfilled, and relaxed:

Work-Life-Harmony-ValNelsonFinding that golden sweet spot in the middle of the diagram is not something you figure out over night. But it is possible.

It takes some soul searching about your values, skills, and personality… and it takes some research and market testing about what people will pay for. (Psst, these are the kinds of things people see a career/business coach to figure out. It’s tough to figure it out alone.)

Learn more about that Work-Life Harmony Roadmap here. You’ll find a video explanation as well as a sample story for a self-employed introvert.

My Top Words of Advice

  1. If you’ve got an idea for your own self-employment, and your heart says Yes, it’s worth some more exploration.
  2. Don’t let that “I can’t” voice in your head stop you from exploring.
  3. If the type of skills needed come easily to you, that’s a sign to go in that direction. Your true work with the best potential will come easily. Work doesn’t have to be hard to “count” as work.
  4. Take one small step at a time. Don’t commit to one specific idea right away. Explore.
  5. Get support. NO ONE does it alone, even introverts.

Questions? Connect with Your Introvert Tribe Here

Come to the Introvert Clubhouse where you can ask questions and find your kindred spirits.

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  • Such a great post! I’ve been mulling around a similar idea. Maybe one day I’ll even get around to posting it, lol. Thanks for this!

  • Tanja Gardner

    Awesome post Val! Something I’d add to it is that your first idea for self-employment doesn’t have to be your “forever business” – one of the briliant things with working for yourself is that you get to change the direction of your business when you need to.

    I started off my entrepreneurial life as a copywriter. It made sense – effectively, it’s what I’d been doing as an employee for nearly 5 years, so I didn’t need to learn a lot about the actual skill of copywriting: I could focus on figuring out the whole “how the heck do I run and grow a business????” thing.

    About a year or so in, I started realising that copywriting wasn’t where my heart was, and that, having discovered my own introversion, I was really drawn to helping fellow introverts in the heart-based business space (and WOW there are a lot of us) to grow their businesses without exhausting themselves.

    I’m still in the midst of changing direction right now – my copywriting business is still running, but my intention is to gradually transition out of it and into introvert coaching. It’s awesome to be a position to be able to create that change myself, rather than rely on a whole host of external factors to “allow” me to change it 🙂

    Blessings

    TANJA