A few weeks ago I was talking with a client over dinner in NYC about a juicy topic.
Here’s the gist: in the Myers Briggs world, she’s an ENFP. To the max. (If you’re not sure, what I’m talking about, go take this test, stat!)
In a nutshell, as a creative, she feels all the feelings and would rather be out and about with other people than working away on her computer.
Here’s how her story translated: her first two years of biz, she was striving to be as J (organized/spreadsheet-ey) as possible. After all, many would argue, it’s a J’s World out there. And she was doing well with a couple of six-figure revenue streams under her belt.
One of her advisors, though, upon hearing that she is a P, immediately challenged her to throw out her rigid style of operating and stop handling the admin and very teensy details of her company. It was time, her advisor basically said, to sink as fully into that P and get as creative as possible.
My client went on to 5x her revenue the following year, taking her over the 7-figure mark.
NOW, before anyone goes down the: wow! I need to be more creative and more in tune with my emotions if I want to make it, let me give you another story.
I am an INFJ. Introverted. Intuitive. Feeling. And judging. That J, by the way, means I inherently LOVE and ADORE structure, calendars, spreadsheets, and organization.
The women in my family are artists, and, through no fault of anyone, I adopted a lot of J shame in my life. To be creative, I somehow came to believe I had to unlearn—structure had to be thrown out the door.
This way of operating left me with a massive mountain of tasks in my brain, in one giant unorganized heap. It was almost as if something would enter into my brain, fly right onto the heap, and then all of my energy was poured into beautifully and highly capable BrainTeam c-suite officers who were demoted to become task watchers in a cycle of sorting through the pile and counting the number of tasks, CONSTANTLY, to make sure nothing was missing. I had nothing to help me categorize, organize, calendarize or clear the pile. Just a heap of unruly, unprioritized tasks. And a company that was begging to expand.
Ironically it was about the same time that my client was challenged to start living from her P that I threw my hands in the air and began “caving in” to systems and structure since a more “creative and flowy” schedule and business structure was just causing me massive frustration. What’s hilarious is that my family has always known me to be the organized one in the family and yet it was this same natural instinct that I was running from.
A few spreadsheets later and I was suddenly feeling less pressure, more calm, and way more optimistic about my growing company—like, yes, okay, we can actually handle this growth. It became first peaceful and then really, really fun. Within a few months of that realization and shift we doubled our monthly revenue and even developed a profitable new branch of the company (Facebook Ads Management). By the end of that year we had tripled monthly revenue. I owe it all to my team and my spreadsheets for that kind of growth.
If you caught my Q&A in April, you’ll notice that I wrote that I believe that leaning into my true personality has made all the difference in the growth of both my agency as well as my personal coaching practice. I cannot tell you how much of a difference that has made, both psychologically as a business owner, as well as financially in terms of our bottom line. I’ll do a follow up to this article in a later post on how this all gets applied, in practice, but for now, if you haven’t taken the test to know your personality type, I suggest you do so now.
I’ll leave you with this important takeaway. I’ve not seen a case study yet where a company can exist without a massive level of organization and structure. But I have seen enough to positively say, if you’re not naturally into structure and systems, the only way for your company to sustainably grow is to outsource those skills to someone who does love it (as my client has done).
If you’re a J, you’ll love creating these systems and structures yourself (or you may still want help, that’s cool too) and you’ll want your business and personal life to be as planned as possible for you to truly thrive.
If you’re a P, you’ll want to hire people who can handle creating structure for your company. Structures are what free us up and take us to the next level. So you actually do want structure in your life, but you need it to be more free flowing. You might have, for example, an entire day to work or a week or even a month to work on a project as you see fit instead of, say, planning in certain 2 hour blocks on certain days of the week to work on specific projects.
Either way, tune into your natural rhythms and just see how it is that you desire to work. That should help guide you to any gaps you have in your current systems and the next steps you should take.
If you’re reading this in the newsletter, reply back and let me know your personality type and how you see that reflecting (or how you’d like it to be armed with this new information) in your own company. I’ll respond back to every email that I can with a little additional insight for you.
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p.s. I’m writing a guidebook…on the journey to your first (or next!) 6-figures! Stay tuned for more details, coming soon!