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.
  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. (“I don’t know which direction is right?” and “Ack, what about marketing?!”)

Sound familiar? You’re not alone.

Brainstorming self-employment ideas for introverts

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 through a recession. But I was originally very 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 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 (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 resume writing is in demand.)
  • Social media/ online content manager
  • Life coach/ career coach/ executive coach
  • Nature-oriented work (ranger, guide, farmer, landscaping)
  • 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
  • Virtual assistant or online business manager
  • 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 and your natural flow zone (strengths and personality factors)… 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.)

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 even 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.

Consider learning some basics in online workshops and courses by people you trust.

“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. 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

In the Meantime, Here’s a First Step

In my 8 steps for finding and living your sustainable and fulfilling path, the first step is to take care of your energy and groundedness. When you do that, you can reduce the damage of stress AND keep your heart and mind open for discovering your truer path. Not to mention you’ll be more confident in trying out new paths.

Check out these grounding methods for sensitive souls.

If you want to learn the rest of my 8 steps, check out my mini-course about Resilient Business.

Connect with Your Introvert Tribe Here

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

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7 thoughts on “Self-employment Ideas for Introverts

  1. Pingback: The Pain and Recovery of Losing Your Job | Val Nelson

  2. Pingback: Self-employment Myths and Reality. It's OK To Be Wobbly. | Val Nelson

  3. Pingback: Best Careers for Introverts, HSPs, and Other Sensitive Souls | Val Nelson

  4. I like your post, it made me feel included. I’ve been a nurse (sub contracted), owned my own dog grooming shop, hypnotherapist for smokers, sold caskets door to door (YIKES and not recommended). Now I am looking for self employment but I just don’t know where to start! Your ideas helped but I still feel a bit stuck.

    • I’m so glad you felt included. Way to go on trying many things. That’s giving you good information and courage.
      Of course this post couldn’t solve it all. Wish it could. I’d love to hear what is now stuck.

  5. 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

  6. 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!

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