Running a business is hard work. Besides the long hours and never-ending demands, there are more subtle challenges like dealing with rejection and criticism on a daily basis. The inherent uncertainty of entrepreneurship can also take a toll.
These stressors can be especially intense for highly sensitive people who make up an estimated 20% of the population.
How to Know if You’re a Highly Sensitive Person
You can take a test to determine if you fit the highly sensitive profile, but in general, it refers to individuals who feel everything in the world around them more intensely. While it’s related to introversion, highly sensitive people (HSP) react more strongly to a range of stimuli including emotions, sights, sounds, pain, and caffeine.
As an HSP, you may have felt weird growing up. Now you may feel out of place as a kind-hearted entrepreneur in a world that glorifies hard-driving hustle.
Fear not, because your sensitivity is a strength you can leverage for success.
4 Habits of Highly Sensitive Entrepreneurs
You have a rich inner world
Your imagination is always on over-drive. You’re constantly dreaming up new projects, which makes you an excellent innovator. Just remember to get outside of your own head. Share your vision with others who can help you bring it to life.
You take feedback seriously
Criticism can be hard for anyone to digest, but it hits you really hard. It may even derail you for days. But, the upside is that you have a remarkable ability to take feedback to heart and then enact change. You’re the person who leads the charge for sweeping changes and champions deep integrity.
You’re a compassionate, connected leader
HSPs are able to sense conflict and help mitigate it before it becomes a problem, which keeps their teams running strong. However, due to their difficulty with decision-making, highly sensitive people need others around them who can help them evaluate options without overthinking.
You have strong intuition
Have you ever made a tough call based on what your gut told you was right? If you’re highly sensitive, that might be a daily occurrence for you. That’s because your brain is great at making complex associations and spotting patterns, much of which happens outside of your conscious awareness.
Empathy: The Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur’s Secret Weapon
While being an HSP may come with its fair share of challenges, it’s far from all bad. By leveraging your deep capacity for empathy, you can differentiate yourself.
Selena Soo, a highly sensitive – and highly successful – entrepreneur sums it up perfectly:
Before I viewed my sensitivity as my biggest weakness. Today, I see it as my greatest strength. My sensitivity allows me to notice all of the subtleties around me. My sensitivity allows me to see things from many different perspectives. Most important of all, my sensitivity allows me to connect with people on a deeper level.
Are you a highly sensitive entrepreneur? How do you protect your energy and keep your stress levels down?