The INFP personality type isn’t usually associated with entrepreneurship, probably because entrepreneurship often brings to mind images of go-getters who won’t stop until they reach that six-figure income.
Unfortunately, that’s the stereotype that surrounds entrepreneurship. As an INFP the way I view striking out on my own is different from the imagery of “entrepreneurship” I see thrown around out there.
From March to August I will be writing on the topic of The INFP Entrepreneur. I believe that INFP’s have something unique to bring when it comes to the way that business is done.
Before I dig into my view of entrepreneurship as it relates to my personality type, there are a few things I want to get straight. First of all, I am still learning about being a profitable entrepreneur. So if you dream of making that livable income, I’m not there yet myself.
Right now when it comes to business, I’m in the weird in-between zone. I’m not yet making enough to live off but the potential is there 100%. Making enough to live from writing is in my reach, but it’s going to take another year or so to get there.
Okay, so if I’m not sharing the “Latest Key to Success!” what am I writing about? I’m writing about the things that have given me a solid start in my online solopreneurship journey as an INFP.
Over the next several months I’ll be sharing how I transitioned my hobby into a business, how having a helping mindset has been key for me as an INFP business-maker, and the things I’ve done to make working for myself enjoyable and less about the hustle.
What I have to share is more about independent work ethic, work wellness, and narrowing down business ideas than the nuts and bolts of running a business. It’s more big picture than details.
I’ve been fascinated with entrepreneurship since forever. I was reading business books back when I was in elementary school, before the internet as we know it today. It’s thrilling to see that starting a business is so much more accessible now. I am especially interested in creative/artistic online businesses and solopreneurship.
When it comes to entrepreneurship, it irks me when business success is only looked at through the lens of how much money is made. Yes, making a profit is important! That’s what makes it a viable business.
But for me, it’s not about the specific dollar amount, but the amount of money I need to live the life I want. And the lifestyle I enjoy is simple, light on resources, and doesn’t cost much to maintain. In fact, as an INFP, a self-made business can feel unsuccessful regardless of how much money it’s bringing in when it doesn’t align with my emotional needs.
Starting a business is challenging, especially since there’s so much competition and a high risk of failure. But I can’t help doing it anyway, and here’s why:
I Want Work that Aligns With What I Care About
In previous jobs I’ve held, I noticed that as soon as I stopped caring, my work performance suffered. I think this is true for everyone, but I must say that since I place so much emphasis on activities feeling worthy of my time, I can’t keep working. My job performance doesn’t take a slight decline, but more like a nosedive off a cliff.
Some people can plug away at jobs they don’t care about without complaint. I, on the other hand, feel like I am dying inside when I do work that lacks personal significance.
I wish I wasn’t this way. It would be great if I could disconnect from how I feel and keep working. But going through the motions puts me into a depressive funk. I become the most useless, miserable employee ever. Feeling content while working for others is a major struggle.
No matter what I do, the way my job feels is right up there with how much income I make from it. When I build my own business, I can create something that matches my values and what I want to experience.
I Want to Feel Useful and Indispensable
Usually, after two years of working at a new job, I’m hit with the irrational fear that my employer doesn’t want me anymore, and they’re going to let me go. This has happened at every job I’ve had that’s lasted over two years, and it doesn’t matter how well I am doing.
I’m hit with the thought, “What am I doing here? They don’t need me.” I dislike feeling replaceable. I’ve had the privilege of working with people who were higher up in the workplace than me who were so skilled at what they did that they were indispensable. I knew my employer would hold on to them for as long as they could because there was no one else like them on the job.
As for me, the positions in which I was employed were not using my unique skills. I could be easily replaced, and that insight made me want to leave the hierarchy and do my own thing.
I Want to Set My Own Schedule
I want to work when it is right for me. Overall, I’m more focused on quality of life over income. I’m willing to accept a lower-paying job and a simpler lifestyle if it gives me the time for the other things that are important to me.
Recently I read an interesting article on Vox entitled, The Problem is Work. What I loved about this article is how it highlighted how work culture in the United States is designed without family responsibilities in mind. Typical work positions require people to work as if they don’t have a family.
This is not the life I want to live, so I feel compelled to do my own thing. Working with family and loved ones in mind also can mean settling for a lower-income because less time is spent working. This means that I work with less hustle than is typical for entrepreneurs. As a result, I have to bootstrap more and maintain a live well on less mentality.
My husband also runs his own business. He’s an ENFP and only works two days a week. He could work more and make more money, but having time for friends, family, and the other things he cares about is more important to him.
Along with making my own schedule, I dislike feeling pressured. I prefer working at my own pace. I also don’t care for having a manager staring at me all day. I’m an adult. I don’t need a baby-sitter.
So this is why being an entrepreneur is attractive to me as an INFP, and I can’t wait to share with you the tips and tricks I’ve learned so far about doing business online as a sensitive introvert.
Does anything in this article resonate with you? If so, feel free to reach out via Twitter or Email. I would love to know what you think!