What advice would you give to a shy introvert on how to hustle in business? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Peter Lynch, VP Private Equity; formerly at JPMorgan and Rabobank; founded ASimpleModel.com, on Quora:

Introverts have many advantages as it relates to starting a business, but it is all too often focused on their ability to solve problems or generate products in solitude. An article in the WSJ did a great job of describing this:

Introverts not only have the stamina to spend long periods alone--they love it. "Good entrepreneurs are able to give themselves the solitude they need to think creatively and originally--to create something where there once was nothing," says Ms. Cain. "And this is just how introverts are wired." [1]

But it's a mistake to think that this strength does not transfer to sales and marketing efforts. "Hustle," used in a positive context, seems to conjure the mental image of human interaction for the sake of persuasion. There's the idea that you have to press palms and schedule meetings from sun up to sun down to get your business's product or service in front of people. It's not true.

I recently spoke with a successful entrepreneur who told me that he still could not believe what ultimately made his company successful. They had tried just about everything you can imagine, then one day he changed six characters of text in the metadata on each landing page of the company's website. Amazingly, in response, the number of daily subscribers grew by a multiple of 50. [2]

What was interesting to me about the conversation was that none of the tactics he discussed leading to the breakthrough involved traditional sales strategies. They avoided direct email / cold-calling strategies because it was not a strategy that played to their strengths, and they decided seeking press was too much effort for one-time traffic gains. These strategies were replaced by a high level of digital marketing experimentation, or more concisely, growth hacking.

In retelling the story, he said it felt nearly unfair that something so seemingly trivial was what ultimately defined success. His parting comment was that equal time should be spent between sales and product development because you have no idea which strategy (or tweak) will cause you to reach a tipping point, and the product will be ready before you think it is.

Fortunately, for the introverts of the world, generating customers no longer requires interacting with them.*

[2] I recall the numbers working out to a multiple of 50 while we were talking, but as I write it today, it seems high.

*There are plenty of businesses where this is not the case, but if you are starting your own business, you have the luxury of deciding how customers will be reached.

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Published on: Jul 26, 2017