As an introvert and INFJ personality type, I’ve struggled between my ambitions and the reality of putting my intuitive visions into practice. I often know what I want the end goal to be, but how do I even start the journey to getting there? This is something many INFJ entrepreneurs ask themselves when setting out to start their own businesses.
The OPP recently published a study investigating the relationship between MBTI personality type and entrepreneurship. The study found that people with a personality preference for iNtuition and Perceiving were more likely to become entrepreneurs. Individuals with a preference for Sensing and Judging were less like to become entrepreneurs. Extraverted iNtuition (Ne) dominate types (ENTPs and ENFPs) were the most likely to be entrepreneurs. Introverted Sensing (Si) dominate types (ISFJs and ISTJs) were the least likely to be entrepreneurs. Out of all of the types, ENTPs showed the highest levels of entrepreneurship.
Introverted iNtuition (Ni) dominate types (INFJs and INTJs) reported moderate levels of entrepreneurship. Ni types scored higher in certain qualities that are typically present in entrepreneurs, such as creativity and impulsivity. However, INFJs and INTJs scored lower in qualities like risk-taking and autonomy.
Strengths of the INFJ Entrepreneur
What does this mean for the INFJ entrepreneur? The study also addresses strengths and weaknesses of each type when it comes to entrepreneurship. INFJ personality types have many strengths when it comes to entrepreneurship.
- INFJs are hardworking, driven, and persistent. Once we get started on something we’re passionate about we want to see it through until completion.
- INFJs enjoy finding creative solutions. Ni is skilled at visualizing effective solutions and problem-solving. However, it can be difficult to explain our visions to others.
- Our Introverted iNtuition gives us internal drive and motivation. We have high expectations for ourselves and strive to meet them. Therefore, we have to be careful of this causing “perfection paralysis”.
- INFJs are caring and supportive of others. Our Extraverted Feeling (Fe) auxiliary function helps us to connect with and empower people who work with us or for us. This is perhaps an undervalued but crucial aspect of effective entrepreneurship.
- Many INFJs are open to new ideas and opportunities. We enjoy learning from different perspectives and will willingly shift our goals and plans if what we learn convinces us it’s best for the business as a whole. However, we have to be careful not to get so focused on one vision or goal that we’re not willing to listen to other ideas.
Challenges of the INFJ Entrepreneur
A healthy and developed INFJ personality type can be a successful entrepreneur. However, they will like still experience a few challenges. Here are some of the biggest challenges of the INFJ entrepreneur.
- As introverts, we may struggle to promote our businesses. We find networking and self-promotion incredibly draining, so it’s important to develop our Extraverted Feeling and recognize when we’re pushing our social limits.
- As mentioned above, our tendency to place high expectations on ourselves and overthink can cause “perfection paralysis”. This can happen in the beginning stages of starting a business. Many INFJ personality types feel like getting started is the hardest part of being an entrepreneur.
- INFJs often find it difficult to explain our Ni visions to others. We will have a groundbreaking idea that seems to fall flat when we try to explain it to someone else. This can cause the INFJ to decide not to share any ideas with others and refuse to pursue entrepreneurship. Having a supportive and understanding circle to share ideas with is crucial for INFJ entrepreneurs.
- INFJs may suffer from self-doubt caused by our idealism, need for authenticity, perfectionism, and sometimes simply laziness caused from over-stimulation and lack of self-care.
Being an INFJ entrepreneur can be challenging, but the ultimate reward from turning our vision into reality is worth overcoming any obstacles we face.
Are you an INFJ entrepreneur? What obstacles have you faced in your entrepreneur journey? Do you have advice for other INFJ entrepreneurs?