Can a Shy Person Run a Business and Be Successful?

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One of the most critical aspects of business is communication. With that being said, there is a question that has constantly bothered the introverts: “can a shy person run a business?”

It seems that there’s a problem if something, like shyness, can suppress many extraordinary abilities and ideas. Shy people can be more afraid of failure, and therefore, this article will serve as a guide to them. 

Can a Shy Person Run a Business? 

Can a shy person run a business? Yes, of course. In fact, any person can run a business as long they have a sound mind and an able body. 

It doesn’t matter if a person is shy or not since some of the most critical factors in business are one’s knowledge and skill set.

Can A Shy Person Be Successful in Business? 

Can a shy person run a business successfully? Frankly, I think a shy person will have difficulties if he/she chooses a field that involves a lot of social engagement. 

Any business wherein its nature of operation requires a shy person to interact constantly will have a high chance of failing. Fortunately, there are many businesses nowadays wherein introverts can thrive and even dominate. 

What Is the Definition of Being Shy? 

For a start, shyness is defined as having a fearful or discomforting feeling that inhibits one’s action. Because of this, it’s no wonder why such the question, “can a shy person run a business,” is often asked in a concerned tone. 

Shyness is linked to low self-esteem or being socially anxious. All acts of shyness are involuntary, and each one can be a positive or negative trait, depending on the situation. 

Being introvert, on the other hand, is much more a general term. While shyness can be part of being introverted, introversion is generally a collective response to being shy and all other related feelings. 

Introverts often choose to be comfortable by themselves and prevent social interaction. The reason isn’t that they have low communication skills; they simply find being alone more productive and satisfying. 

Man laying down and looking outside the window

What Are the Advantages of Being Shy or Introverted? 

Can a shy person run a business, similar to extroverts? Maybe not, since shy people have capabilities that extroverts may never have, which is also true vice-versa. 

Although being shy or introverted is often seen as a socially negative trait, it can have considerable advantages. Here are the most common benefits of being shy or introverted:

Thinking Before Speaking

Introverts choose to stay away from social engagement. If a situation arises when they need to engage, conversations can be limited. However, one thing is for sure – they are observant. 

With their frequent experiences of isolation, their observation skills are higher than extroverts. It is already part of their routine as observant people to listen to what the person is talking. 

While it may appear less as an act of courtesy and more as information gathering, it is still a win-win situation. 

Moreover, on top of being observant and listener, introverts tend to be more careful when speaking. This means that they speak accurately according to the information they have gathered. 

However, it doesn’t always mean that the conversation will be interesting. However, at least there are fewer possibilities that they will say something senseless or illogical. 

Select Social Circle

As mentioned, introverts will often avoid social engagement since they find the activity uncomfortable. 

If you manage to befriend an introvert, that speaks a lot of how highly they think of you. Most introverts trust themselves more than others over the tasks they are capable of. 

For example, in a video game, they might choose you to be part of their virtual team. Chances are on the next round; if you gain their trust and interest, you’re likely to be chosen again. 

Introverts often don’t like to have their time wasted by dealing with other people. Because of that, there can be a level of loyalty found there. 

Thoughtfulness in Building Networks

Introverts often do their tasks in isolation. In this age of fast internet connection and bulk data transfer, it seems that introverts have found an even more comforting outlet apart from drinking in bars or going for a hike. 

They slowly accumulate certain skill sets and valuable knowledge because of these outlets, particularly when reading a wide array of articles and internet content. Additionally, there may be a situation where they have to establish a connection with other people and build a network. 

As they do so, they have this sense of urgency to maintain that connection because their capabilities are more appreciated. 

Thus, they will exhaust their knowledge and skills with utmost thoughtfulness to build a lasting impression that will keep the network connection. If you ask, ‘can a shy person run a business without any networks’? I think that is unlikely. 

A Refresher Discussion About Business and Entrepreneurship 

Before we connect shy people and business more, we first have to define the latter’s meaning. Through definition, we can prove whether or not can a shy person run a business. We can also identify the factors of how a shy person can be successful.

Business is simply the process of exchanging something with a particular value in response to demand. If you need a haircut and can’t do it, you will really require the services of a barber. 

Once availing of the service, if satisfied, you will exchange that action with a monetary value known as ‘payment.’ 

Entrepreneurship is simply a business with a goal not only to make money but to start an advocacy, movement, or following. 

Why is this topic being brought up? Well, it illustrates how hard it is for a shy person to run a business since it is social by nature. 

Interaction with people like customers and employees is required in most business transactions. However, there are now many platforms wherein introverts can compete and excel at. 

A Group of people in suits gathered around a table - Can a shy person run a business and be successful?

What Lifelong Learning Can a Shy Person Obtain from Running a Business? 

Can a shy person run a business? Yes. Can they succeed? It depends. Can they improve? Definitely! 

Since business, at its very core, is a social activity, shy and introverted people can gain skills to improve themselves and succeed. 

Here are the most common skills a shy person can obtain to help them attain success. 

Communicating Confidently

Confidence is often what shy people lack. As they continue to run a business and experience many ups and downs, they will develop a certain tolerance level. 

This means that they can tolerate other people’s opinions now because they have experienced many things and learned from them. 


Can a shy person run a business without any network? Again, I think that is not possible. Networks will always be a part of developing a business. 

A shy person will be in such an uncomfortable situation. However, as soon as they realize that a network is only as good as one’s capability and that they are indeed capable, it is inevitable that they will become good at networking. 


One of the most fundamental business skills is negotiation. As shy people continue to run their respective businesses with the urgency of surviving in the market, they will inevitably develop the art of negotiating in no time. 

Saying “No”

Shy people tend to limit words, and you already know the saying that ‘silence means yes.’ Later on, there will come a time that they will have more than needed on their plates, and failure is in sight. That experience alone is frightening enough to make them learn to say no. 

Discreet Self-Promotion

Can a shy person run a business without self-promoting? I think not. Shy people may not say anything, but given the opportunity, they will also want to showcase what they do.

Since they are spending more time developing a wide array of skills, their pride in their acquired abilities will slowly grow. 

This is even more validated if they have done an excellent job for a task. However, because they are shy, they will find ways to promote their capabilities more discreetly, which can be a humbling marketing approach. 

Influencing Others

With all their learning that they have acquired, they will have developed an interest in leaving a legacy. 

That mindset can encourage them to impart knowledge and teachings to the newcomers and become a significant influence in their respective successes later on. 

A downfall isn’t needed for a shy person to become a thought leader. Just as Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha says, “Your motive influences your motion.” 

Public Speaking

Public speaking may be the worst situation a shy person can be in. Still, there are certain situations that a person has no choice but to speak in public. 

That can be overcome with excellent preparation. Moreover, with just one successful public speaking performance, they can gain more confidence and improve further.

How Can a Shy Person Be Successful in Business and What Are Needed to Prepare First? 

Can a shy person run a business and succeed? Possibly. Moreover, the chances of success can increase as long as they consider the following tips.

Choose a Business Wisely

As I have mentioned, there are certain businesses that a shy person is not suited for, such as the entertainment business. 

On the other hand, there are also businesses where being an introvert can be a great advantage. In short, to have a successful business is to start something you are good or great at. 

Find Complementing Partners

In business, it can be challenging to proceed without the right business partners. If I am a shy person, I will want to secure my efforts.

Having business partners that can compensate for the business aspects I can’t cover is definitely one of the keys to moving forward. 

Create an Environment You Want

Can a shy person run a business as they please? Yes, of course. If I am that person, I can build the environment I wanted to because it is my company, after all. 

Moreover, it will serve as a part of my brand. Because of that, my business environment has to be healthy and room for expansion. 

Use Online Resources

Most of us have fast internet connections nowadays, which can serve as a temporary escape for introverts.

It is perfect since anonymity can be maintained at all times, and facial interaction is minimal. However, there can be introverts who are not techy enough. 

Still, if you are in the business sector, digital marketing has to be one of the business’s strengths. 

Practice Socializing

Yes, it can be incredibly challenging for introverts to socialize. However, there will be unavoidable situations that warrant such action. 

One can later develop socializing skills. However, considering that time can be limited, the best way to socialize is to make appropriate preparations beforehand.

Learn to Step Out from Your Comfort Zone

Everyone has a comfort zone, but introverts tend to stay in theirs too much. However, from a business perspective, taking risks is incredibly common. 

If risk evaluation seems to be at its dead end, sometimes you need to gamble and hope for the best. An introvert can only make an educated guess which side to risk if they know how to handle uncomfortable situations. 


What Businesses Are Best Suited for Shy or Introverted Persons? 

To support the affirmation to the question ‘can a shy person run a business and be successful?’, here are some of the best businesses I believe that suit a shy or introverted person.

  • Graphic designer
  • Program coder
  • Online retail consigner
  • Social media consultant

Writing Services

  • Book writer
  • Online blogger
  • Technical writer  

Fashion and Arts

  • Landscape photographer
  • Music teacher

Education and Consulting Services 

  • Life and business counselor
  • College application advisor
  • Online tutor

What Are Some Tips on How a Shy Person Can Gain Confidence?

If you still doubt if a shy person can run a business and become successful, then maybe it is time to overcome that shyness. Here are some tips for gaining confidence gradually.

  1. Don’t advertise your shyness.
  2. Keep conversations light.
  3. Change the manner of your speaking.
  4. Stop practicing self-pity.
  5. Recognize your strengths.
  6. Choose who to befriend with.
  7. Avoid harmful and toxic people.
  8. Constantly evaluate yourself.
  9. Learn from mistakes always.
  10. Give yourself the credit you deserve.

Practice those things consistently until they become part of the daily habit. If you’re shy and want to improve your communication skills, here is an excellent book entitled “Communication Skills Training: How to Talk to Anyone, Connect Effortlessly, Develop Charisma, and Become a People Person.” 

Communication Skills Training book by James W. Williams

The book discusses practical approaches like reading individuals, connecting with various personalities, getting messages across effectively, providing feedback without the risk of offending, and many more. 


With all that said, I believe that the answer to the question “can a shy person run a business and be successful” is a resounding yes. After all, being shy or introverted is only normal, even if you choose the path towards building a business. 

However, given that business is social by nature, there will be times that you need to be confident to succeed. So, you might need to work on your shyness if you want to succeed as a business owner.

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