The three competing personalities of the small business owner.
An overview of the three core personality types small business owners need to understand to grow their business.

Are you getting caught fulfilling work, managing people and trying to build your business simultaneously?

It's a problem almost every small business owner faces, and you certainly aren't alone.

However, while the challenges of running a business can force us to wear multiple hats, we must understand which hat we are wearing and which we need to aspire to wear most of the time.

The E-Myth by Michael Gerber is one of the all-time business manuals for budding entrepreneurs. Early in the book, Gerber succinctly highlights the three core personalities we need to understand as business owners and entrepreneurs.

The book has undoubtedly shaped the way I do business today. In this article, I will provide an overview of the three core personality types small business owners need to understand to grow their business.

The three personality types

Gerber highlights that business owners take on three distinct personalities to build and grow their businesses.

The Technician is focused on precisely what is in front of them. It's the technician's job to fulfil the day-to-day work, handling everything that's part of delivering your good and services.

The Manager is tasked with ensuring results through the people and systems that run your business. They are also focused on planning for future growth.

The Entrepreneur defines the overall map for the business's progression with the aim to close the gap between where the business is today and where the business is going.

At a glance, which personality type do you spend most of your time in?

If you're like most business owners, it's most likely the technician.

Why being the technician can hold us back

When we spend too much time as technicians in our business, we give up the opportunity to reflect on our business's growth and map out plans for future success.

Having worked with hundreds of small business owners over the years, I've seen this happen first-hand. I've also well and truly been in this situation myself.

Clients often come to us burnt out, having led their team (the manager), fulfilling the service (the technician) and then handling all their bookkeeping and financial management at the end of the day. It's a sure-fire way to burn yourself out.

Not only that, they aren't spending the time working on their business (the entrepreneur) to improve their systems and process so they can scale.

Finding a balance between the three personalities

As a small business owner, you probably won't be able to spend all your time dreaming up new strategies and putting together visions for the future. At least not in your early days.

Instead, it would help if you found the right balance between these personalities for whatever stage your business is at.

Early on, it's expected that you will be heavily involved in fulfilling your product and service. And this is okay. However, it's essential to be mindful that you aren't spending all your time with the technicians' hat on simply because you are good at what you do, and it comes easy.

Some people are more suited to certain personalities. Remain honest about the areas of personal development you need to focus on.

The most skilled plumber in the world isn't guaranteed to run the best plumbing business in the world. Managing people and building business systems and processes are entirely different skills; learning these new skills at the end of a long day's work isn't easy.

Systems and delegation are the keys to finding a balance between the three personalities

A business's success can generally be boiled down to the quality of its systems. Systems allow you to measure and predict key outcomes in your business and more importantly, delegate the tasks within a system to someone else.

Systems make delegation easy because they provide a framework of tasks and expected outcomes for whoever the system is passed onto.

As a business owner, it's on you to be honest with yourself and delegate any tasks that aren't in your wheelhouse. This isn't always easy, but it's not your job to do everything. It's your job to ensure everything gets done to a high standard.

So often, when a business owner comes to us and finally lets go of the stress that can come with managing their books, they speak about the space they created to do the work that pushed the needle forward in their business.

In return, as we're experts in online bookkeeping, we helped them fine-tune the financial systems in their business and use this data to make strong business decisions.

A similar relief can be seen when business owners seek help with their marketing, HR and other core business systems.

Which personality are you too dominant in?

Having gone through the technician, manager and entrepreneur personalities, do you feel as if you're caught up in one of the personalities?

Our aim in business is to get to a point where we spend most of our day as entrepreneurs, focused on longevity and growth.

However, getting to this point involves a strategic balance of personalities, being honest with our strengths and weaknesses, and being willing to delegate tasks to reach the point where we can spend most of our time in business as the person we set out to be - entrepreneurs.

Dan Cadieux

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