At Apple, they taught us that every person is at least one of four core personality types. We’re all a mixture of these four, to some extent, but as a general rule, we all identify better with one than with the others.
None of these personality types are better or worse than the others. They’re just different. As you read, ask yourself, “Which personality type do I tend to be? How does this impact my business?” When you’re aware of your own personality, you can use your strongest traits to your advantage, and learn to improve in other areas.
Directors tend to take control and get things done quickly and efficiently. They are very leadership-focused and might come off as harsh, not worrying about people’s feelings. There is a time and place for a director, but make sure you’re not running over people and burning them out while you’re so focused on getting things done.
Entertainers are the life of the party; they’re always having fun and are very inspiring speakers. Entertainers are great visionaries, but they can become egotistical and overly critical of people who disagree with them. If you’re an entertainer, leverage your time in the spotlight, but don’t make it all about you. Remember to focus on helping others with your business, because no one’s personality is dynamic enough to carry a business forever.
Feelers connect well with people. They’re passionate, merciful, loyal, and dependable. However, feelers can also be too conforming, agreeing with things they don’t actually agree with just to make others feel good. As a feeler, leverage your ability to have one-on-one, heart-to-heart conversations, but don’t conform just to make others happy, and don’t let people take advantage of your loyalty.
Thinkers love facts and details, are extremely logical, and always ask clarifying questions. Thinkers are very intellectual and probably like to lead. However, thinkers tend to be critical and look down on people who don’t know as much as they do. As a thinker, use your knowledge and intellect to lead, but don’t look down on others. Being right isn’t always the most important thing.
Next comes the tricky part: putting these personality types together. Directors might struggle to work with entertainers when they’re goofing off and having fun. Likewise, entertainers might have to adjust to the harsh efficiency of directors.
There are many different ways these four personality types can clash – but there are also many ways these personalities can work together and leverage their own unique strengths.
Consider the five stages of running an Amazon business:
1. Start: Starting your business
2. Find: Product research
3. Build: Finding a supplier and building your listing
4. Launch: Launching a product, getting reviews, and advertising
5. Grow: Customer service and returns
These fives stages all present unique challenges, and certain personality types might be better at addressing one stage than others.
When you’re just starting out, you’re taking a big risk. Directors, who just want to make things happen, and entertainers, who are visionaries, tend to be good at this stage. To start a business, you need a bit of both of these personalities.
Thinkers also have an advantage here, because they can analyze the risks and benefits. Thinkers can help entertainers at this stage, because entertainers have big ideas, but might not think everything through. In this way, thinkers and entertainers can complement each other. It’s important to know your weaknesses so you can find people who complement those weaknesses, whose personality traits balance yours.
Being a thinker can help you a lot in this stage, because you have to be analytical when researching and selecting products. Feelers might emotionally attach themselves to a product they love that just doesn’t have any real selling potential. Thinkers will put their emotions aside and rely on the data.
However, at a certain point, thinkers might start to overanalyze. They won’t be able to have all their questions answered, so they won’t be able to make a decision. This is where directors come in to help thinkers stick to a timeline.
This stage is ideal for feelers and directors. The thinkers did all the work researching the product and choosing a supplier. However, to negotiate effectively, you’ll need a feeler. Feelers know how to connect with people, making them excellent negotiators.
But feelers still need to be careful not to form too deep of a connection with the supplier. They can’t choose to work with a supplier based on emotion alone; they’re still running a business and will need directors to balance them out and keep them on-track.
The launch stage requires a combination of personalities. Thinkers are needed to organize the launch, while feelers are needed to motivate everyone involved. However, thinkers and feelers don’t have the vision required to make the launch successful, so it’s important to have entertainers on-hand to think big and set goals for the future.
This stage requires all four personalities. You’ll need directors to make decisions and keep things efficient, feelers to relate to customers, thinkers to know the facts and make things work, and entertainers to think big about the growth of the business.
We all lean toward one or two of these personality types naturally, and that’s okay, but you need a bit of all four to be a successful entrepreneur. If you know your strengths and weaknesses, you can surround yourself with personalities that complement your own and provide balance. Don’t be blind to your character defects; acknowledge them so you can grow as an entrepreneur, and as a person.