How Getting to Know Yourself Improves Your Business
Knowing your personality type, your communication style, and the inner workings of your mind will help you in EVERY area of your business.
Quick Summary if you're in a rush.
What, how, why > The better I learned about myself, the better I got in life and business
Personality Test Options > MBTI / Enneagram / Astrology / Gallup Strengths
In Business > Creating your Dream Team
KMD/Brand Spin: Stop beating yourself up, hire out what you need, and focus on where your magic is
The Better You Know Yourself, The Better Your Business Will Be
First off, get to know yourself really well. Some people are really opinionated and anti-personality tests! And I don’t understand why. I love them! I love examining what my natural tendencies are, my strengths, my struggles, and understanding the psychology of my subconscious better. Because let’s be real, your subconscious is, well, deep down in your subconscious. (Uh yeah duh!) Which makes it really hard for you to see yourself from an outside perspective to understand what areas you may need to watch out for.
As the owner and leader of your business, your weaknesses will be the same areas where your business is weak.
Thanks to personality tests, I’ve learned that I am a big, dreamy, creative thinker. I am energized by problem-solving on a large scale, looking at the whole picture, and coming up with creative, out of the box solutions. (Woohoo! Makes sense why I‘ve done so well with branding.) I see patterns and connections and I enjoy pulling what seems like distant concepts together to create a new vision. (Again, branding and marketing!)
What This Means in my Personal Life
I've learned to accept myself for who I am! Isn't that what we all struggle with? I recognize what I'm really great at, give myself credit and love for that, and then I don't sweat not being perfect at the rest. Acceptance has been such a huge factor in helping me surpass all the dark, icky stuff I struggled with in my past.
What This Means in my Business
This has helped me set up my entire business around how I can provide the most value. When I create packages, sell services, or talk to potential clients, I highlight where I'm strong. >> Clarity and vision, the bigger picture vision, creative solutions, etc. And then, I stay mindful of where I'm weak, and have now built up to where I can hire out the areas I normally struggle. (Ahh numbers, routine, prioritizing my own projects!)
Personality Test Options
There is a MAJOR range of personality tests out there to choose from and they all have a slightly different focus. You definitely don't have to take them all , but I recommend checking out a few to get a clearer sense of how you work. I think what you'll find is after taking a few, there'll be a common among all of them.
Myers-Briggs / 16 Personalities - One of the most popular, oldest, and well-known tests, as well as my favorite! Will give you a four-letter code that corresponds with different categories and a detailed breakdown of your personality type. I love this one because of it's accuracy and insight.
Enneagram - Will give you a number 1-9 that corresponds with a base personality descriptor.
Gallup Strengths - Will explain your "talent DNA" with a focus on your strengths. Focus on what you're best at, delegate the rest. (Versus beating yourself up for not being good at everything! 🤦🏻♀️)
DISC Personality Test - Built on the four primary emotions: dominance, influence, steadiness and conscientiousness. Will give your one or two main emotions and help identify your communication style
If none of these are doing it for ya, check out some more options listed here!
FYI, my Personality Test deets:
MBTI: ENFP / Enneagram: 7, 2 / Astrology: Cancer / Gallup Strengths: Maximizer, Positivity, Strategic, Activator, Woo
What to Do After the Test
Taking the test is the first step, but actually implementing your findings is where the real growth occurs. Study your results, read through the paragraphs that explain WHO you are, HOW you work, and WHAT your strengths are. Then figure out how to use what you've learned to grow yourself and your business in the best way.
After these personality tests, I learned more about the way my particular personality works, what work/life settings it responds best to, what actually motivates me, and what tasks drain me or having me spinning in circles. All of that, along with WHY I'm that way. With all that insight, I've been able to work around both my strengths and weaknesses to create a work flow system that works for me!
How to Use in Business
Once you know your strengths, you can identify your pain points and weaknesses. THIS is where you hire people to fill in the gaps! There's a reason there are SO many different combinations of results you can get from those tests. Everyone is unique!
Numbers Make Me Go Cross-Eyed
I am terrible at all things numbers, math, etc. >> One of the first things I did to level up my business was to hire a regular accountant to help with invoicing, taxes, and budgeting.
Creative Bursts vs. Routine Daily Tasks
I work best in short, intensive, creative bursts, but struggle with daily, routine, maintenance of things. >> Hired someone to help me make sure I'm posting to social media regularly!
Big Idea Generator vs. Client Priorities
One of my strengths is coming up with lots of great ideas that could really build a brand or business, but when it comes to my own projects, I struggle with prioritizing them over client work and they end up falling to the side. >> So I hired a project manager and accountability partner. For a minimal fee a month, we meet once a week to make sure I'm plotting
PLUS: Get to Know The People You Hire
These tests are a great tool for learning about your team!
When You're Hiring
When I do contractor interviews, I always try to gauge what their personality types may be like, or I'll sometimes ask straight out if they've taken these tests.
For example, with MBTI, my letters are xNFP (Intuitive, Feeler, Perceiver) which means I work really well with someone with complimentary traits. I intentionally look for people who are also intuitive, because then we speak the same "language" in a sense and see the world in a similar way. But what I need in a contractor are people who are Thinkers or Judgers (opposite of Feelers and Perceivers) because their natural strengths make up for where I'm weak. This is literally hiring your weaknesses.
Understanding the personalities you are working with will allow you to customize your communication style to each employee in the way that they will best respond. Some people love in person calls or video chats, and thrive off of sociable meetings and settings. Others prefer light touch, text, and emails. Some people work great with a detailed task list, and others prefer more freedom to explore and come up with the best service/delivery they can come up with for you. This is how you get the most out of your team and create incredible work!
Acknowledge where you thrive in your business and find people whose bread and butter are the things you struggle with. This will drastically change your productivity and success rate.
KRD SPIN: Work Your Worth
As I mentioned above, I am a creative big-picture thinker. So what I struggle with, is executing and focusing on the small details. So what do I do? I hire people who THRIVE in those categories.
I have someone who helps me with my business logistics and everything that has to do with money (thank goodness for her because my brain does not do numbers), I have someone that helps me hone in my personal brand (because stepping out of your own brain to brand yourself as a brand designer is harder than you would think), and I have someone that helps me implement my ideas and create my presence on social (because yay accountability and routine).
Where Are You Investing?
Since learning about myself through these tests, implementing my strengths, and finding help for my weaknesses, I have created a seamless team for my business. What this means is I get to focus on the work that I'm worth, and that's worthy of me and my best talents. It's so much more than a financial investment. By working to your strengths, you're investing in giving yourself the time, space, and clarity you need to dream up and do the big important work you've been called to do.
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About the Author
Hi I'm Kat! I've been a graphic designer for over ten years, five of which I've specialized in Brand Identity Design. I AM ON A MISSION to help business owners deliver their gifts, services, or products to the audience that needs them through cohesive, effective Branding that helps them stand out in the market place. To learn more about me, my branding process, or my design background, check out my site, katmaidesigns.com.