Your business style impacts your relationships, your communication and your income — and when you don’t know your own business style, you’ll create problems without knowing why. Knowing your own business style and working with it deliberately will help you see and claim all the opportunities for success, ease, wealth and true joy in your business and your life overall.
My entrepreneur clients have all sorts of business styles. As a success and mindset coach, my mastery is to help you look deeply at the truth of how you show up in your business, leverage your strengths and develop your limitations so that you can create the most powerful, lucrative and generous version of your business and your life at the same time. I’ve helped my clients increase their income by up to 20 times in a matter of months. I know what gets in their way, and I know how to help them overcome those obstacles.
Below, I’ve listed five different business styles to help you uncover what’s tripping you up in your business and how to get out of your own way. See which one (or more) best describes you — and take action with your newfound self-awareness to create real wealth, true freedom and big impact!
1. The DIY-er
You are a veritable powerhouse of energy and are a master of getting things done! You work alone, don’t ask for help and pride yourself on your own independence. Interestingly, you also rarely say no. You like being able to do it all — and doing it on your own. You appear completely self-reliant to others — and you sacrifice your own well-being to show how much you do. The truth is, there are many people out there who can help you but you don’t see them, don’t trust them to do it as well as you do, or you simply don’t know how to receive. Think Martha Stewart — demanding, critical, self-absorbed, arrogant and convinced her way is the right way. Up until now, you’d rather be in control than live the life you truly desire.
If this is you, I’ve got two suggestions. First, make a list of five people who you love and appreciate. Practice asking them for help with things you can do for yourself as an experiment. Asking for help doesn’t make you weak, and in fact others will respond to your authenticity. See what happens! Second, set boundaries for yourself, make your self-care a non-negotiable — and allow yourself to delegate whatever gets left undone when you stop sacrificing your well-being for your work. Expanding your business will require hiring people — and many of my clients double their income as soon as they do.
2. The micromanager
You are excellent at what you do and you have people to help you — but you don’t really trust them to do things right, and you’re always re-doing the work they have done. You come off as critical even when you’re trying to be nice. Think Mark Zuckerberg, whose meddling created such tension that members of his executive team left the company. Like the DIY-er, you’re controlling to an extreme — and it’s gotten you far in life. Now it’s slowing you down. You’re so afraid to surrender and allow people to support you that you end up missing the genius and power of the people around you, and making your life much more work than it needs to be. Up until now, you’d rather focus on all the things that are wrong so you can fix them, than live the life you truly desire.
Begin your intentional improvement by taking time to appreciate the people in your life and your business — especially the ways that they are different from you! Express your gratitude for their particular genius and power, which is probably quite different from yours. Don’t fake it — get curious and find things that you can sincerely admire. Speak them out loud to those people. From that place of appreciation, you can then begin to practice true collaboration by letting those people in your life and business do what they do well, using critical feedback as a tool to empower them to create a successful result for all.
3. The perfectionist
You have seemingly impossibly high standards for yourself. You fear doing things wrong, and often get stuck trying to prove your worth to yourself. You take forever to get things done, not because you aren’t working, but because you won’t finish until it’s perfect (and it never is!). You experience shame around making mistakes and punish yourself for every imperfection. You work so hard during the week, that that goal of enjoying the weekend never happens because you’re too exhausted. You also find that you burn out quickly. Up until now, you’d rather hope for perfection and burn out, than live the life you truly desire. Ellen Degeneres self-identifies as a perfectionist — so you’re in good company. You’re meticulous, organized and have great analytical skills — but you’re never satisfied, and that makes it hard for you to truly receive the joys of the life and business you’ve worked so hard to create. Watch yourself: Your ambition is powerful and limiting at the same time.
Confront imperfection head on and do some things “badly.” Let yourself make mistakes and celebrate it. You’re developing your capacity to be resilient, generous and curious — and from there you can learn whatever the so-called “mistake” was for. Because here’s the truth my fellow perfectionists: there is no right or wrong, and there is no perfect.
4. The visionary
You have big dreams and know how to use your imagination. You have fantastic ideas and you value your dreams. You have incredibly high hopes for your big, beautiful vision, and you feel that your ultimate success is always right around the corner. You’re right of course — your dreams can absolutely become real! Truly: If Oprah can do it, why not you? Your challenge is: When it comes to the nitty-gritty details of running your business, things start to fall apart. You have trouble matching the magnitude of your vision with the many “small” tasks that add up to concrete success. You get bored by the mundane aspects of your business. Up until now, you’d rather keep dreaming (it’s so fun!) than do the inner and outer work required to make those dreams real.
Let’s be honest: Building a successful business is hard work. Do you truly want your vision enough to do the work that will make it happen? Are you willing to do the work even when it feels like it’s not working and you haven’t gotten the result yet? Are you willing to persevere like Thomas Edison no matter what, come hell or high water? If the answer is no, great! Enjoy the dreaming and let it go at that. If the answer is yes, great! Use your vision to inspire and lead your team and you can skyrocket to success as grand as Oprah. Get very clear and specific about what isn’t happening in your business, and create a clear plan of action to make it happen. Looking at your finances is a great way to assess your alignment — if you’re not yet making the money you want and need, you’re off track.
5. The commander
You like to be in charge and often find yourself in a position of authority. You tend toward aggression and arrogance — which is what makes you so powerful. At the same time, you can be insensitive to the experience of those around you. Like our own Donald Trump, this insensitivity acts as a defense mechanism — you ignore feedback because deep down, you don’t want to be rejected. You see yourself as bold and confident, but others are often intimidated by you. They do their best to follow your directions, but when things break down, you aren’t really interested in their truth and end up blaming them for everything that isn’t working. At the heart of your power mongering lies a deep insecurity. Up until now, you’d prefer the illusion of control to real relationship (which means understanding the impact — positive and negative — you have on others).
Curiosity is your secret weapon, commander. Study how your words and actions affect the people around you. Ask only questions for a whole day, and challenge yourself to really listen to the answers you hear. Ask yourself what kind of working relationships you truly desire — and open yourself up to healthy, honest, respectful feedback. It will only improve your business in the long run.
Your business style is your own unique way of interacting with the world, meeting other people and getting things done. Your style has pros and cons — the question is, are you using your style to optimum benefit? Remember — no matter their business style, everyone in business doing amazing work, having big impact and experiencing massive success has also made mistakes. You will, too. Use those mistakes to learn more about yourself and develop your mastery further.