Updated: Apr 15, 2021
How Getting to Know Yourself Improves Your Business
Knowing your personality type 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 > Working your worth
KMD/Brand Spin: Stop beating yourself up and focus on where your magic is
The Better You Know Yourself, The Better Your Business Will Be
Getting to know ourselves better as a way of improving our businesses is not something we often think of first. When it comes to business, we typically feel like the solution is outside of us, something that lies in the numbers, statistics, different sales techniques, or a new marketing approach. However, the truth is, as the owner and leader of your business, your strengths and weaknesses will inevitably be your business' strengths and weaknesses.
If you struggle with...
Setting boundaries in your personal life → You may find yourself struggling to set boundaries with clients in business.
Embracing your uniqueness → You may struggle with showing up in your marketing.
Valuing yourself → You may be under pricing your offerings!
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. (Ahh numbers, routine, prioritizing my own projects!) Now I've built up to where I can hire out the areas I normally struggle.
As the owner and leader of your business, your strengths and weaknesses will inevitably be your business' strengths and weaknesses.
So now that you understand the value of self awareness, how do you do it?
Personality Test Options
Some people can be 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.
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!)
There is a large 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
Self Observation Option
If you're insistent about not taking a personality test, try self observation. The trick here is to catch yourself as you're doing things. To pay attention to when things feel good, and when they don't. Notice what you're drawn to, what you can do well naturally, vs. what you don't and what you avoid. If you find yourself constantly organizing, but your brain gets stuck when someone asks you to come up with an out of the box solution, then you may be someone who thinks more linearly. If you're someone who struggles with routine or doing things the way you've been instructed, you may be more of a creative mind.
Ask yourself questions like...
Do I enjoy when things happen in a specific sequence and order? Or do I like to just jump right in and prefer messy but done?
Do I like day dreaming about what ifs and possible theories and ideas? Or do I prefer to think about what's really happening right now?
How well do I do when having to speak in front of others, meet new people, or show up on camera? Do I lean toward it or away from it?
Do I feel more focused when working alone? Or collaboratively with others? Which makes me feel more energized? Which produces the best work?
Do I prefer a lot of structure in my day? Do I like to break work up into small, even chunks to tackle over time? Or do I like a lot of freedom to do what I feel called to do first? Do I work better under pressure?
I could go on and on, but the point here is to think about an area you want to improve, and then ask yourself questions that will help enlighten you to how you naturally work best in that area. Then to support more of that.
What to Do Next
Getting to know yourself 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. Then you build out your business and life accordingly. The goal is to support a life where you can focus MORE on your strengths, because that's where your specific magic happens. Then later, ideally, you can hire out the areas where you're weak.
How My Personality Works
I'm a big thinker, dreamer, bigger picture vision person. I love puzzles, riddles, and problem solving. I think more cloud like (vs. linearly in a row) which means I'm able to pull different concepts from different areas together for new, creative solutions.
→ aka. I'm great a creating, designing, and big brand thinking.
Work/Life Settings I Respond Best to
Because of the above, I work best when allowed time, space, and freedom to explore.
→ In Work, I've built my services to be in set packages and a process that covers the amount of time I need to explore vs. working hourly where my creativity becomes limited.
→ In Life, I know I need a healthy amount of time to rest, play, and travel. Otherwise I start to lose my creative edge.
What Actually Motivates Me
While we're all motivated by money as a reality in the world, some of us find it more motivating than others. I've learned I prioritize home, community, and contribution more than material wealth.
→ I focus my work around attracting clients with similar values. By supporting their business growth, I feel like I'm making a better contribution to the world at large, and the need in me to prioritize home, community, and contribution gets filled.
What Tasks Drain Me or Have Me Spinning in Circles
Anything having to do with routine, numbers, or rigid structure drain me. I also spin in circles when I don't have enough to go off of, or don't have a specific problem to solve.
→ As I mentioned before, I moved away from hourly work and focused on packages to give me room to explore, vs. worrying about every nickel and dime my process incurred.
→ To give me grounding to work off of, I start every brand project with an in-depth consultation and plenty of research, no matter what. Even if I think I have an idea of what to do. I do this to help me have a solid foundation to design off of.
Where I Hired Out My Weaknesses
What does hiring out your weaknesses look like? This is what it looks like for me.
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. Best decision I ever made!
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, we meet once a week to make sure I'm plotting out all my projects realistically, including my own.
PLUS: Get to Know The People You Hire
When you do hire, these tests are also 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 ENFP (Extroverted, Intuitive, Feeler, Perceiver) which means I work really well with someone with complimentary traits. I intentionally look for people who are also Intuitive (N), because then we 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 they tend to work more linearly and enjoy routine and structure. Their natural strengths make up for where I'm weak. This is literally hiring your weaknesses.
So PS. >> I've found everyone I work best with, as well as many of my closest friends, are ENFJs in the MBTI test. I'm an ENFP, so our personality types are only one letter off. This means we understand each other well, and "speak the same language" so to speak. No wonder I also work well with this personality type!
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.
KMD 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 create systems in my business that leverage my strengths, allow me space to counter any weaknesses, and hire people who THRIVE in areas I could use support.
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.
PIN IT to Read Again Later!
For More Personality Tests:
Learn more about working to your strengths with the book, Strengths Finder 2.0: https://www.amazon.com/Strengths-Finder-2-0-Upgraded-Discover/dp/B00DDR6WJK/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=strengths+finder&qid=1618521099&s=books&sr=1-4
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.