Self-employment for introverts — can it work? I think we introverts can love and excel at self-employment. I’ll explain. And I’ll give you a list of self-employment ideas for introverts, and tips too.
Is this you?
- You’re thinking maybe you just need to find the right path that fits your introverted style and/or high sensitivity needs.
- And you think self-employment might give you the freedom to create work the way you want it. (Yes!)
- But, you’re nervous about what self-employment ideas will work for you as an introvert. (“I don’t know what kind of business would work for me.” and “Ack, what about marketing?!”)
Sound familiar? You’re definitely not alone.
I’ll explain why and how self-employment can work well for introverts, including a few specific business ideas and tips for you.
In this post:
- Self-employment worries + excitement.
- Self-employment is a natural fit for introverts.
- Self-employment ideas that work for introverts.
- How to choose the right path for you.
- My top words of advice for self-employment choices.
- “Maybe I’ll just get a job for now.”
Self-employment Worries + Excitement
That self-employment excitement combined with worry is common for introverts. And yet there are plenty of introverts making self-employment work. Without wearing an extrovert mask.
Personally, I love the freedom of self-employment, and it’s working for me in my own introverted way, even during economic ups and downs.
Both introverts and extroverts can make self-employment work, if you find your unique path. And if you learn a few things about how to make it easier.
Before or after you’re clear on your idea, it’s helpful to learn about how real-life introverts manage to take the self-employment leap, so that you won’t be as nervous about it.
Self-employment Is a Natural Fit for Introverts
I asked folks in my Facebook group for caring introverts, “What types of careers feel most suited to your introverted nature?” and the overwhelming trend was related to self-employment. Interesting! Same with me. It’s a natural fit for independent thinkers like us!
Here are some insights from those 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 a few in-demand paths that I’ve heard introverts and highly sensitive people (HSPs) say has been a good fit for their energy and natural flow (and there are many more options than these):
- 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 and résumé writing is in demand.)
- Social media/ online content manager
- Online community manager
- Copywriter/ content creator or strategist (See more career ideas for writers)
- Life coach/ career coach/ executive coach
- Wellness coach/ nutrition coach
- Nature-oriented work (ranger, guide, farmer, landscaping)
- Dog walking or pet sitting
- 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.)
- Transformational workshop and/or retreat host (sample training on how to do this)
- Online course creator (Teach something you already know.)
- Accounting or bookkeeping
- Virtual assistant or online business manager
- Psychology-related fields (see 50+ alternatives to being a therapist)
- Creating a tech startup with an extroverted business partner
- Join (or form) a worker-owed cooperative with a caring team of co-owners. (Examples: Find worker co-ops in the US, in Latin America, or in Europe.)
- Doing the specific parts you enjoyed about previous jobs, but now for your own business and for clients you love.
- Combining multiple ideas into one business, such as yoga teacher + retreat leader
Anything sounding up your alley? Are your own ideas coming to mind now? (Find more ideas here.)
How to Choose the Right Path for You
Now you have a few ideas that intrigue you perhaps. But how do you choose the right path for you?
If you want to know what will fit for you personally, and we’re all unique, there are ways to uncover your best path. I found that knowing more about my values, my strengths, and more about my personality were critical to choosing well.
Self-employment can be easier than you think, IF you choose something that really fits for you.
I discovered that figuring out my best fit is not easy to do by yourself. As a result, many people end up thinking it’s too hard and they hit a wall and give up.
With a little outside help, and some simple steps to walk through together, the picture of your best fit can come into focus. What a relief.
Taking the time to look closely, before choosing your path, is an investment that saves you so much heartache and expense down the wrong road.
It takes some soul searching… and it takes some research and market testing about what people will pay for. And that can be done, step by step. Don’t give up.
To choose well, you could get support from a career/business coach (for less than the cost of investing in the wrong direction).
There’s also a way to walk through the career clarity steps in a budget-friendly (or no-cost) course.
I’ve created an online course to help walk you through the career clarity steps:
“Simple Steps to Uncover the Best Use of You Now”. I explain some of it in this video:
My Top Words of Advice for Exploring Self-employment Ideas
- If you’ve got an idea for your own self-employment, and your heart says Yes, it’s worth some more exploration.
- Take one small step at a time. Don’t commit to one specific idea right away. Explore.
- Don’t let that “I can’t” voice in your head stop you from even exploring.
- If the type of skills needed for your idea come easily to you, that’s a sign to explore that path. Your true work with the best potential will have a sense of downstream swimming for you. Work doesn’t have to be hard, or like swimming upstream, to “count” as work.
- Get support. NO ONE does it alone, even introverts.
- Learn some basics about self-employment and how it can work for introverts. Taking a peek behind the curtain can help you know what will work for you:
“Maybe I’ll Just Get a Job for Now”
If you’re starting to think maybe a job for now is the right next step, that’s cool too.
Once again, be sure to choose what will work for your introverted energy because we can easily be drained by the wrong work environment. I’ve gathered some ideas for that here:
Best Careers for Introverts, HSPs, and Other Sensitive Souls