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Business Minimalist Podcast

Align your Business to your Enneagram Type with Melissa Koehler

Align your Business to your Enneagram Type with Melissa Koehler | The Business Minimalist™ Podcast with Jade Boyd
I'm Jade!

MBA | Business Strategist | Business Minimalist | I help busy creatives bring order to chaos with an intentional business strategy and simple systems.

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If you want to build a sustainable business that feels easy, you need to align your business to your personality. But that’s easier said than done! In this episode, I’m thrilled to dive deeper into a personality assessment that can help you learn how to articulate your natural bent and shape your business to fit your unique gifts. That’s right, we’re diving into how to align your business to your personality using the Enneagram assessment!

Today, I have Enneagram expert Melissa Koehler on the podcast to share her knowledge and insight as a business coach who helps her clients build aligned businesses based on their Enneagram type. Press play to learn more about the Enneagram assessment and how you can apply your results to build a sustainable business!

Align your Business to your Enneagram Type with Melissa Koehler | The Business Minimalist™ Podcast with Jade Boyd

Key Takeaways from this Episode

  • Tips for how any Enneagram type can build an aligned business.
  • How your Enneagram can help you build better offers.
  • How to know if you’ve been mistyped + what to do instead.
  • The pitfalls each type may fall into as a business owner.
  • Melissa’s favorite Enneagram assessment tool.
  • What you should to to immediately apply your results to your business.

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode


Click here to read the full episode transcript!

Melissa: Focusing on the things you already know you’re good at, and then looking at your Enneagram number to find out how to hone in on those skills even more is going to help you as a business owner, have more joy,

Jade: Welcome to the show, Melissa.

Melissa: Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be here.

Jade: Absolutely. Why don’t we start off by just introducing yourself and giving us your backstory of how you got into entrepreneurship in the first place and where you’re at today.

Melissa: Okay, great. So it’s fun to tell a little bit of the backstory because I think so many people can find a little bit of themselves in pockets of mine. And so, back in 2001, I had a handmade card and invitation business. And that was before online marketing was a huge thing. We actually had to do a lot of the word of the mouth things, before we hit record, we were both talking about being introverts and I’m like, oh gosh, this is, you have to actually talk to people oh my gosh. But it was good because it pushed me. It pushed me to get out of my comfort zone, and be able to help make people’s events beautiful. So I did that for a few years and then got into, scrapbooking.

So I don’t, do you remember scrapbooking like forever ago?

Jade: I have actually started doing a little bit of scrapbooking in my journal. I started, I just got a little sprocket printer and I’ve started printing off little photos. It’s very simple scrapbooking, not what it used to be for sure.

Melissa: I love that. Oh my gosh. I would, I want, I want to see like a little snapshot of your journal. I love that. Okay. So I geek out over things like that. So scrapbooking, I had worked at a couple of scrapbook stores. And for anyone that’s listening that’s not familiar with scrapbooking, this was before it was digital.

It was handmade, like paper goods with embellishments and I mean you could go as simple as you wanted or as elaborate as you wanted and so I worked at some stores that I had people come in and ask me to make their books for them because they wanted a scrapbook, but, they weren’t necessarily either didn’t have the time resources or didn’t really want to, they didn’t want to do it, but they wanted it to look pretty. So they would hire me to do it. I’d take their pictures. I would jot down notes if it was a travel vacation. What they wanted on each page. And I would be paid to make people’s scrapbooks for them so parallel to that, I also was on some design teams for different brands.

So I’d be published in magazines. and that was mainly the, it was print. ’cause online was starting to become a lot more popular back then, but it was mainly print. So I was doing that and because I wanted my pages to look. Really good. I decided I’m going to really figure out how to take better pictures.

I had taken photography in high school, film photographies. But, I wasn’t really pursuing it. And so I dove into online forums and then I hired a mentor. And then started practicing like, okay, I really wanted, I want to learn light. I want to learn composition, all of the good things of, of photography.

And so I asked people if I could practice on them. And before I knew it, I had a photography business that I had no intention of having, but made my pictures look great. And my, pages look even better for my design team. And so. I accidentally started a photography business, which looking back now was exactly where I was supposed to be because I love being creative. I love helping people feel something about themselves and I could do that with photos. And so I actually had the wonderful privilege to be able to photograph so many people over about 10 years. Some wonderful weddings, some NFL football players. And through that process, I was also on some, some mentoring boards online.

And I got the opportunity to mentor. I’m going to say, I hate throwing numbers out there, but probably thousands of photographers around the world to help them find their niche. Their style to evaluate their work, everything to do with photography and then the business of photography. And with that process, I realized I really love helping women build businesses.

And so my family was growing and my photography business was it’s. I mean, it’s, it’s a lot of work because you have to leave your family. You’ve got to then allocate time to edit photos. I fell into, young living, which is, I had no intention of doing that either. So I was doing photography along with young living, and then I started a coaching business with that as well.

Melissa: I’m saying that now and I’m like, wow, I really just piled it on. I really did a lot of things.

Jade: I think a lot of people can relate to that.

Melissa: I think so too, I really do entrepreneurs. We just have this like love for whatever we’ve got in our hearts and to get it out into the world and help people. And so that’s what I did. And with my coaching business, I became story brand. I’m a story brand certified guide. I am a certified Enneagram coach. I’ve done more online and in person, classes and events than I’d probably like to admit to, but I do it because I want to grow as a person and I want to be able to take what I learn and help others with that.

I just recently got my, coaching certification. So now I’m like, what do I want to do with all this? Well, I want to help others build businesses. And with all of the certifications that I have, I’m going to stop really quick because I feel like entrepreneurship is also this personal development journey. You find out a lot about yourself as you’re growing a business and having to learn how to market and interact with others. And maybe, maybe you have to learn how to do, be a graphic designer and, and or a website designer. I mean, there’s a lot of things that you have to learn about yourself. And that’s one of the things that I love about, entrepreneurship is that I can then open this door to, to women that want to learn how to be better business owners by showing them that you actually have to dive into personal development. a little bit deeper than maybe you might want to in order to grow.

Jade: Yeah, for sure. Each new stage is so uncomfortable, and I think that’s something that a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with because we feel like once I get here, then I will be confident in my ability to grow a business. Like, I’ll be this next level business owner, but then you have to get to the next stage and that requires you to become a different person for you to unlock different levels of your personality and even to grow yourself in certain ways that are super uncomfortable. And it is that constant journey. So it’s nice to think like, Oh, I’ll just get to here and then I’ll be good. But that’s just it never happens.

Melissa: It never happens. it’s always going to be that next. So then what, then what, and as business owners, we should always be challenging ourselves to learn and grow and be better. And we will be doing that as we hit those, those goal posts that we have for ourselves. And that’s exciting.

Jade: Yeah, 100%. It is not for everybody, that’s for sure, because like you said, it can be very uncomfortable, but for those people who have that entrepreneurial bent, I think it is naturally very exciting. And once you do it once and you’re like, wow, look how far I’ve come. It can be a little bit addicting.

Melissa: Yes. Yes.

Jade: So today we’re diving a lot into the Enneagram and specifically talking about how entrepreneurs can utilize their personalities to build successful businesses, to leverage the things that come naturally to them personality wise using the Enneagram as a tool because a lot of us have trouble understanding and describing our own personalities. You would think that we know ourselves more than anybody else, but what I found at least is that taking assessments like the Enneagram can help people put words to things that they didn’t have the words to describe before, and it can be really empowering. So, talk to me a little bit more about how you first became interested in the Enneagram and what that journey looked like for you.

Melissa: Absolutely. So I love everything you just said. So the Enneagram found me, I like to say that probably about six years ago, maybe seven, six to seven years ago. And I had loved learning about other personal development, tools, tests, disk assessment, Myers Briggs, the color personality, all of those things.

But when the Enneagram came into my life, I was like, I don’t know. this seems a little strange. But I took the test online. And by the way, there’s lots of free tests and there’s paid tests. I personally love the one from the Enneagram Institute. It’s the Ready R H E T I test. It’s 12. It’s well worth it. But that’s the one I took. And the first time I took it, I got some results and I started reading the description. So I was like, that’s me. So I’m telling you, I want to tell you a little bit about my story. And then I’m going to tell you tips on ways to take the test so that you can probably get a little bit more accurate results.

So I took the test and I read the results and I was like, well, that’s me. I don’t know. And then I took it again and got a totally different result. So when I read the second time, I was like, are they in my head?

Oh my gosh, this is so weird. How do, how do you know?

Jade: Can you tell us which one you tested as first and then which one you ended up being?

Melissa: Yes, the first time I tested, I tested as a 5, and the second time I tested, I tested as a 9.

Jade: Ah, okay. I could see how those two might, yeah. I’m curious to know what your explanation is on how to get the right results because I could see somebody, like, I try to guess what my friends are all the time, and there’s a lot of commonalities between personality types. So, tell us your secrets.

Melissa: Okay, I will. so, and you know what, a lot of this is my own research, my own, experience, so take what you want and leave what you don’t. So, when you take a test, you’re supposed to try to like go back to when you were in your early twenties. And that might be difficult for some people, but the reason why you’re supposed to try to do that is because usually when you’re in your early twenties, you haven’t experienced the world as much as you, as you have currently, unless you’re in your early twenties while you’re taking the test, that’s fine, but you haven’t experienced the world.

So you haven’t gotten a lot of, you know, interactions with people, and you haven’t formed opinions as much, and, it’s, you’re, I guess, essentially a little more innocent, maybe? And, so, that’s number one. Number two is to answer honestly. And I know that that might seem obvious, but when you’re taking a test, even though we are the only people that are reading these questions, we still want these answers to be like the best answers that they could be.

Jade: Yeah.

Melissa: But you need to answer honestly, because that’s going to give you the real answers. Really what it’s looking at when you take these Enneagram tests and any, any tests really in general, but it’s looking at your core fears and desires for the Enneagram. And that’s what you really want to dig into because that’s what’s going to get you, the core fears and desires in my, opinion and my observation really is where you exceed and you go towards your goals and then where you make excuses in your business. And if you’re not aware of those. then you can oftentimes spiral emotionally and wonder like, what is wrong with me? Why am I thinking like this?

So being very aware of those things will actually help you get out of a funk and also help you be aware of when you are performing really, really well. And maybe be able to grasp onto that and make that last even longer, especially if you’ve got a deadline or things like that.

But, those are some tips and tricks. Answer the questions as if you were in your twenties, early twenties, and answer them honestly. I know the second one seems obvious, but

Jade: Yup we all want the greatest assessment.

Melissa: We do. And I get that. So that’s, why I typed as a five the first time. but I’ll also tell you why I typed five. Because I was in a season of my business where I was highly researching, a lot of things. And, type fives are very information, oriented. And so I was like, well, I get that because I typically do like to do a lot of research with certain things. Sometimes I don’t, but that’s where I was.

That’s another reason why answering honestly, because if you are. And in your twenties, if you’re, if you are in a season of like, go push, I am highly motivated. Then you may type differently. If you are in a season where you maybe you’re stressed, maybe a lot of stuff is like on your shoulders, you’re going to type differently.

So knowing what your dominant Enneagram number is, and you can only have one dominant Enneagram number. And, and that will not change and I say that because with the disc assessment or Myers Briggs, maybe that could change as you get older or, or just a little more mature as a business person, but your Enneagram number will never change because it is how you view the world.

And as you grow and have experiences.

You are going to just have different tools in your tool belt on how to interact with people and be a better business person, but you’re going to view the world the same.

Core fears and desires are never going to change. So with the Enneagram, you have your dominant Enneagram number. Then you have your wings, which are the numbers on each side of your dominant Enneagram number.

And then you have the number that you go to when you are growing and the number that you go to when you’re stressed. So you essentially are connected to five different numbers, and I won’t even go into tri types, but that’s a whole nother thing.

Jade: So many layers.

Melissa: Oh my goodness. It is, but it’s exciting because like you said, like just a few minutes ago, it really It gives people words to put into, like how they’re feeling.

And one thing I do want to say for anyone that’s listening that really wants to dive deeper into the Enneagram, is to never use the Enneagram as an excuse. And never use the Enneagram as a weapon. So never say, oh, it’s just, you know, I’m just a type nine. That’s just, that’s just how I am.

Never say that to people like, oh, stop being a nine.

Oh my gosh. Because like, that’s when you know somebody’s number and you have researched more about the Enneagram and you’re aware of what their fears, desires are, how they view the world, what that record player is that’s that’s in their head. and you use that as a weapon, that is. That’s not what this is for.

And I have, I’ve heard stories where that has happened, and I just, I love saying that right off the bat, please never use it as an excuse or a weapon.

Only use it as a tool for you to understand yourself better, and for you to understand people that you care, either that you love, if you want to know them on a deeper level, or if you work with people, knowing other people’s Enneagram numbers when you work with them is very, very helpful.

Jade: I have that on my coaching assessment. I asked them if they’ve taken any assessments and I, I just crossed my fingers and hope they’ve taken the Enneagram. So that’s the one I’m most familiar with, but I definitely want to get more into, we talked about what not to do, but I want to talk about what to do as a business owner to apply this to your business.

But first I want to, share a little story. I also mistyped when I first took the Enneagram. So I was in a season Very stressed. It was my last year of grad school Not a healthy season mentally, like my mental health was definitely suffering getting through that last semester and then figuring out what to do afterwards and I typed as a four and I remember reading it and thinking like some of this yeah, like I could maybe see that.

And then I met other people who are fours. And I was like, oh, you guys have something in common that I definitely do not relate to. And I ended up taking it again, like a year later and typed as a type one and had that same experience where I read through it. And it’s like, they’re in my brain. This, this actually makes a lot more sense to me.

Melissa: Yeah. You know, isn’t that interesting where when you are in different seasons, how you act and react and, and what you say and do is completely different than how you maybe would be normally.

And I think that’s very interesting. That is interesting. But I love hearing that.

I actually heard an interview one time where somebody had thought that they were a specific number for years and then later found out that they were actually a completely different number and everything made sense.

Jade: Oh my gosh.

Melissa: Isn’t that crazy.

Jade: That is crazy to go years without. Yeah, to try and connect the two dots because for me, I found it very difficult and my husband and I read The Road Back to You, which is about the Enneagram. And I think at that point, I still thought I was a type 4 and I was just like, this assessment isn’t very helpful.

Like, I’m not, I’m not jiving with this, but then after typing correctly, yeah, all of the dots clicked. I can’t imagine being in that space for that long though.

Melissa: I can’t either because yeah. So I guess. But all that to say, if you take the test and you don’t, if you don’t really resonate with what your dominant Enneagram number is, take it again, or look at. So what I also tell people, is when you get your test results, look at your top five results, because they’re going to be, they’re going to come to you, like, from highest to lowest, as far as ratings go, look at your top five results because, your wings could be in there.

Your dominant enneagram could be in there, your growth number or your stress number could be in there. But I want you to take a look at the top five. And know that seems like a lot because there’s only nine types, but look at the top five and really read the descriptions of what each one of those are, and then look at the core fears and desires of each one of those, because I have found that sometimes people are stuck when they look at the descriptions because they can say, oh, yeah, I kind of resonate with that. Yeah, that’s me on some days. So maybe that is me. But look at the fears and desires. That will actually give you a lot better look into maybe that’s me or maybe it’s not.

Jade: Mm hmm. Such good tips. So, can we get into, we have the assessment, we’re looking through it, we know the core fears, core desires. As business owners, how can we apply what we learned from the Enneagram to our business? How does that inform the way that we grow our business, the way that we structure our business, the way that we show up in our business?

What tips do you have for entrepreneurs?

Melissa: Yes. Okay. So I love talking about this. I actually think that it’s like the secret weapon to success as a business owner because, for instance, I use social media a lot as an example because a lot of times we’re, we’re business owners, we’re trying to grow a market on social media. But sometimes when we look at people that are in the same niche as us, and we can see like, gosh, you know what, they’re really putting out all of these different posts and it seems like their account is growing.

And I feel like I’m doing the same type of things. Like, why am I not growing?

You can then go into like, what’s wrong with me? Maybe I shouldn’t be doing this. Maybe I’m not cut out for social media, all of the things, right? Well, when you take a look at your specific type and I’ll use myself an example, because. I’m happy to do that.

So type nines they are going to be a lot more slow growing on social media. I don’t have actual statistics for this, but I have done a lot of research and talked to a lot of other type nines, to know that this is probably true. Because nines are probably never going to say things that are controversial online because we do not want that internal or external conflict.

And if we sense anything that is any like remotely controversial, we’re never going to post it. It’s usually going to be either, to the book on whatever our, area of expertise is like, here’s your tips and tricks. Here are things that you should do. But as far as like poking the bear, we’re not going to do that.

Why am I using that as an example? Well, you’ve probably noticed. So there are people that are very, very opinionated online are either going to have the following or they’re not. And their following is probably going to grow because people that agree with them are going to follow them.

They’re going to tell their people to follow them and they’re going to, they’re going to grow. Nines are probably not going to do that. It’s going to be a lot more slow growing when you know that, it is so much easier to show up online and just be who you are and, and teach exactly how you want to teach.

Here’s the caveat though. You can know that. But you can also tap into your, your, for a nine, my growth is a three. So type three. So I usually am very aware now of when I am in my three, because I am a lot more motivated. I’m go, go, go push, push, push. And I can learn. I’m a lot more apt to want to learn how to, challenge myself on social media.

So, there’s that, like, I, I just told you don’t ever use this as an excuse and I said type nines are probably not going to grow on social media. That might be true, but you can always learn how to do something if you don’t feel comfortable, learn how to do it in your comfort zone. Type threes are probably going to grow fast on social media. So are type eights and sometimes type twos and type ones to just depending on, you know, everybody’s unique.

Just because you’re a certain number doesn’t mean that it’s going to be like this. Everybody’s unique, but type threes are very honed into like how do I, I’m going to find out what the algorithm is I’m going to find out keywords, I’m going to, I’m going to know what these hashtags that perform well are because I’ve done the research, because I want to know how to get to that next step.

They’re just highly motivated, and type eights can oftentimes be mistaken as a type three. Especially women, I found, but, they’re just bolder. They’re bolder to, to speak how they want people to hear them.

Jade: Don’t care if anyone disagrees.

Melissa: Yep. They don’t care. I mean, they care, but they aren’t as reserved as like a nine would be like, I’d be like, oh gosh, I don’t want to offend anybody at type eight would be like, I have this to say, and this is what I’m going to say.

And I don’t care if you agree or disagree with me.

Jade: Yeah,

Melissa: And that attracts people. It also repels people but attracts people.

Jade: Yeah, I like that you mentioned that the Enneagram can be used as an excuse because I could easily see someone stepping to that space of I’m a type nine. So social media, like I’m just never going to be able to do that. But I talk about productivity from the standpoint of, consistency and knowing what activities in your business drive results.

And so as a type nine, it might not be smart to base your business success on something that is very difficult for you to show up and do, because it is naturally, you’re going to have so much more resistance from a productivity standpoint, showing up every day and posting on social media. So not that you can’t learn how to do that, but there’s probably a lot of other strategies that would be a lot easier.

And you would have lot, a lot less procrastination and resistance to them. Not that the easy way is always the answer, but I love how you differentiated those two things. I’m like, yeah, I don’t use it as an excuse, but still understand that some things might be a lot harder for you.

Melissa: Yes. So for instance, to, type fives, type fives have a very limited amount of energy to expel every day. And especially if you are working with people in person, that can be, challenging. So, I like to tell like the example story of if you’re working with a type five in an office setting and everybody’s like had a great day and we all want to go out for dinner afterwards.

The type fives probably going to decline, not because they don’t want to be around people, but because they have just used all of their energy for the day. And it has nothing to do with them wanting to be with you or not. The other thing that I have found, and this is not, again, not true for everyone, but type fives need to have someone like, let’s just say a type two, to help them.

With leadership because they really excel behind the scenes with, all of the data and the information, but sometimes struggle with the personal part of it. Because again, they have that tiny reserve of energy, but type twos, they’ll get out there and they’ll help you all day long people, people, and so knowing that about yourself as an entrepreneur, if you are a type five and you have that reserve energy, consider teaming up with someone that can help you if you need to have face like an outward face of leadership, whether that’s in person or online. Like maybe you need someone to come alongside you link arms and say, all right, give me the info and I will help you with, I’ll help be that face for you.

It’s okay to ask for that help because I mean, if you have those ideas and you want to get them into the world. But you just don’t have it in you team up with someone. It’s okay.

Jade: Yeah, I love that because we can’t be great at everything. And I think recognizing what we are good at also illuminates the things that we might not be good at. And it’s easy to focus on those things with any assessment that you take. I’m like, Oh, it says I’m good at this, but that also means that I’m going to be terrible at these other things.

And the Enneagram report can be a little bit scary. I don’t think anybody reads their report and thinks this all sounds phenomenal because there’s a lot of things on there. It’s like, Ooh I don’t really like that about myself. Like that could be a dangerous thing. so I love that you gave that advice.

I’m wondering, could we go through each of the Enneagram types and based on your experience as a business owner, maybe one thing that you see being really great about that type and one thing that’s a downfall?

And it can be quick. It doesn’t have to be in depth for each one.

Melissa: So a type one is going to be very, very much focused on how to do things the right way. There’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. And they want to stay on task. And they’re very detail oriented as well, like if you have somebody on your team or you are a type one, that is amazing. Like make sure that the copy is run through them. So there’s no errors, all of those things. So very detail oriented.

Type twos are going to be the people that, love interacting. They’re people, people, they want to help people and they want to be with all the people. And if you, if you are a, a high performing, entrepreneur, it might be good for you to link arms with a type two, because they’re going to be able to help get some of those tasks done. I actually personally have a lot of type twos in my life because. I am an idea person and I can tell you all day long all the ideas and what, what we should be doing, but when it comes down to execution, I need my type twos to help me execute it. They’re very good at that

Jade: That makes sense. They want to do things for other people. Great VAs, I would say,

Melissa: Very good VA’s.

Yes. Yes. type threes are going to be those they are, they’re the high performing business owners,

Jade: I feel like everybody I know is a type three in business. It seems that way.

Melissa: Yes, they know, they know the trends, they know the hashtags, they know the algorithms, they know how to get it done and, and well, really well. So they will come up with really great ideas a lot of times and they’ll know how to execute them and they’re going to execute them pretty close to the time that they came up with that idea.

Don’t, don’t expect to wait, for a three, they will get it done, which I love. I love that

Jade: It’s like every time I talk to you, you’re doing something new. How? How do you have this level of energy?

Melissa: How do you have the They figure it out. They figure it out. so type fours are going to be those creatives. They’re going to find the beauty in, in any project. I, I envision type fours as those people that, that create the anthropology windows that like all the beautiful artwork and, and, and just, anything creative and, and also there, there are ones that, if you have a team that, that a team of people type fours are also gonna be able to sit with people and emotion, better than any other number. And, and it does not uncomfortable for them. They actually like it.

So, maybe they’re your HR person. If you’ve got issues, they can listen.

Jade: That’s a good one.

Melissa: The creative director slash HR person. I don’t know. I mean, I would love to know, I would love to know from your listeners after they listen to this, like what is their number and what do they feel like their area of expertise is in business? That would

Jade: I know several Enneagram 4s and all of them are doing something very creative and none of them care about the business side of things. They just want to like play music or write or create and then they get paid very little for it and do not care.

Melissa: Okay. Well, you know what? That makes sense.

Jade: Yeah, it does make sense.

Melissa: Okay, so type fives are going to be the analysts, they’re going to be really good with numbers. what have I said before? Spreadsheets for bedsheets, like they are, they love to analyze the data. So they’re going to be great with like, what is performing well, what could you be doing better?

They’re going to get all the info. So if you need something researched, they will be those people to research. So research and numbers, very good analytical minds.

Jade: My husband is actually an Enneagram 5 and last night I’m turning a spreadsheet that I use with my clients to do like financial goal setting projections. I’m turning it into a bookkeeping spreadsheet as well, just like adding a page where they can actually use it because I’ve had more than one client when I give that to them for homework, they’re like, I just stayed up all night trying to find out where my numbers, I’m like, okay, we can’t do this.

But for me, that is absolutely exhausting and Caleb had already worked all day and then he just dives into the spreadsheet to build formulas that are complex, like array and if then functions. And I’m just like, how do you have the mind for that? I cannot do that. But for him, it just works. He has the capacity for that.

Melissa: I love hearing that. It just, it’s just so beautiful how we’re all built differently. Isn’t it? I love

Jade: Yeah, it’s a gift.

Melissa: It really is. Oh my gosh. Well, he needs to create lots more spreadsheets for all of us entrepreneurs, right? Like,

Jade: Yes. Or some software. We’ll see.

Melissa: Okay. So sixes are, they’re, they’re very loyal.

They’re also, They’re also good with analyzing, risk in business and, I hate saying they’re worst case scenario thinkers, but like, that is the reality of it. And they’re going to be those people. Like if you were to go Disneyland, if you were with a six, they would know where all the emergency exits were just in case you had to get out of there real quick.

And then, I mean, I want to know that I want to be with somebody that knows all those things, but also with business. If you, if you have a six in your corner, they’re going to be able to tell you like, you know what, maybe you should not do that right now because they have analyzed it.

Jade: Mm.

Melissa: I don’t do that all the time, but, I really appreciate it when I run into people that can give me that honest advice and, and that I trust, like, they’re not just, they’re not just saying that just to say it, but they have actually looked at the numbers and. that’s the truth.

Jade: Yeah. One of my, one Enneagram Six that I know, she’s really into murder podcasts and like real crime TV. And I asked her, like, doesn’t that freak you out as an Enneagram Six? Doesn’t that just make your mind spin? And she’s just like, no, I feel good about it because I just like knowing. I just want to be prepared for any scenario.

And it doesn’t freak her out. She just likes being in the know of what could go wrong. And having a solution, which is crazy to me. I cannot watch any of that.

Melissa: I know I, it doesn’t, I, I just ruminate too much on the stories and, and then I start to worry about my life and I’m like, it’s not preparing me, it’s freaking me out!

Jade: I’m not going a park. I’m not going anywhere by myself. That’s where my mind goes.

Melissa: No, but that’s actually a really great example of somebody that is a six that, I mean, that’s just something they may enjoy doing is listening to the murder mystery podcast because they want to be prepared. They want to know what’s out there.

Jade: Mm hmm.

Melissa: There’s nothing wrong with that. I think that’s great.

Jade: Yeah. I think it can go one of, one of two ways, but I was surprised to hear her answer. And I think in business, it could go one of two ways too. Like, it is a good thing to have an exit strategy and to have a plan in case things go wrong. But there’s also the other side of it where you can spend so much time ruminating and planning that you never take action to.

So I like seeing both of those, stacked against each other because I think it can go one of two ways and the Enneagram has a scale like when you’re being healthy and using your number well this is what that looks like and when you’re tipping towards the unhealthy side that’s what that looks like and so I think it’s a good tool to measure yourself too and again have the words that show am I operating as the best version of myself or am I getting stuck?

Melissa: Having a six with, maybe, maybe a two, you know, a two, a two business owner would be like, let’s go meet with all people and I don’t care how much money it costs, but the six in the corner back there would be like, wait a minute. We need to, we need to. Pump the brakes and look at the big picture. So like, that’s why it’s, it’s great to know what other people, that maybe not, not even on your team, but peers that can, that can speak into your business, their number, because if, if you are not gifted in certain areas, asking other people for their advice. It’s, it’s great. You don’t have to take it, but

Jade: Yeah. for sure.

Melissa: Okay. So a seven. So sevens are the fun they are. They bring all of the fun. and a lot of them are really good business minded people as well, but they know how to all have all like the contests and, and like the parties and the events and, and just making it really fun, they’ll do the fun tick tock or dancing real thingies.

And that was. Like a really bad explanation, but they, they like to have fun and have the fun music.

Jade: And it can be really magnetic, for sure.

Melissa: Very magnetic. They also to have a lot of FOMO. They always feel like they’re, they’re missing out on something. And so sometimes they can overcommit themselves in business situations because they don’t want to miss out.

And that can get them into trouble. So learning to say no, when it doesn’t serve you and the bottom line for your business or your family is probably going to be a big, huge help for a seven.

Jade: Yeah. Yeah, that’s a really good point.

Melissa: Eights are, they are, I love eights because they are not afraid to say what they think and will sometimes they don’t mean to bulldoze people, they can just because that’s their, their very vocal and, are excited with a lot of their ideas and they were there go, they’ll go for it. So the other thing too, is, I don’t know if you have a majority of women that are listening, but women, eights can be highly misunderstood and, be seen as like a bit challenging, but men that are eights, can can also but women are misunderstood as eights.

Jade: Yeah.

Melissa: For anyone that’s listening that is a woman. That’s an eight. I just want to encourage you to keep doing what you’re doing And getting your, your passion out into the world because we need it. and, you know, being aware of what you’re saying, just, just be aware.


Jade: Mm hmm.

And I think it’s still can fall on both ends of the spectrum. And I think for women, especially, it might be a little bit more challenging because preconceived notions of how women are supposed to act or talk or share their beliefs are different. Whether we’d like to believe that or not, like even our own biases lead us to perceive people in different ways based on those constructs.

And I think for women who are eights, they’re I’m just thinking about the women who I know who are eights, and it’s not that they are bossy or that they are demanding or controlling or, you know, all of the things that eights can get stereotyped as, but they have strong opinions and they’re not afraid to share them.

And a lot of them as entrepreneurs have really important messages to share, and they don’t let anything get in the way of them pursuing that. And I think that can be a really beautiful thing, whether, I mean, people who are intimidated or scared of any gram eights are not going to work with them anyway, because they’re going to get uncomfortable and not be attracted by that energy. And so I also think that for any of the Enneagram types, what I love about going through each one is that being more of yourself and whatever type that is, it is going to attract people who genuinely connect with you. Not like, not the you, the business owner that you’re trying to be or that you want to be.

And like we talked about with personal development, it’s a constant growth. You’re constantly growing and changing and evolving to that next level business owner. But I think eight specifically. I’m glad that you pulled that out because I think for women it is probably the hardest one to feel like I can be genuinely myself and attract people to me and not scare them away.

Melissa: , Yep, and like you mentioned, there’s the healthy, unhealthy and average of every number. What I would say for anyone that is maybe intimidated to work with an eight, they are like. They’re like big teddy bears. They really just, they love people and they, I mean, it might seem like their feelings can’t get hurt, but they can, just know that that passion is just coming from something within them that they feel very strongly about and it’s okay to challenge them.

They actually, they actually like it. When you do don’t be afraid to push back, kindly push back and ask questions. Of them. Why do you feel this way? They like that.

Jade: mm-Hmm.

Melissa: So

Jade: I had Enneagram eight as my third highest when I took the assessment. So I love some Enneagram eight a energy

Melissa: Yes, yes. Okay. The last one is type nines. They’re also a people oriented number, just like a two is. They enjoy being with people one on one to help them. I always think like type nines would be a good HR person because they’re really good at mediating situations.

And, they are good leaders as well. Just knowing, I mean, we all have strengths and weaknesses and things that we can grow on. And if you are afraid of conflict. you’re going to have to learn how to, to get a little bit more comfortable with it because as a business owner, you’re going to run into conflict at some point in your life and you got to learn how to get comfortable with

Jade: Oh, yeah, for sure. So for someone who’s taking the Enneagram assessment for the first time, reading through their report, what are the one or two things that you would tell them to do immediately? Like they read the assessment, they’re a business owner, what steps can they take right off the bat to get that momentum going and using what they learn about themselves and their personality to align their business to something that feels more easy, because it’s aligned to what they’re good at, aligned to things that come naturally to them. What would that look like?

Melissa: So making sure that they’re very comfortable with their dominant Enneagram number, reading about their wings. Reading about their growth and their stress numbers. And then you mentioned the one of my favorite books, the road back to you. I highly recommend people read the road back to you and the path between us.

Ian Morgan Krohn is the road back to you. And then the path between us is Ian Morgan Krohn and Suzanne Stabile. They wrote it together I always recommend those two books because it is a really good introduction to the Enneagram, the numbers, and how you view the world.

Because when you read your description, you’re probably going to have a really good understanding of that. Like me, you might have that aha moment of how, were they in my head? How did they know all of this about me? And getting really comfortable with that. Because a lot of times, we compare ourselves to people that we know and don’t know.

And It’s good to challenge yourself, but when you do that, it’s detrimental to who you are. And I really want people to be very comfortable with who they are.

Sit with that and, and celebrate it. Pick out some things that you are good at, because we all know we can probably name at least one thing that we’re good at. It’s hard sometimes to name multiples, but if you can list multiples, but pick one thing that you’re good at. And I would probably guess that it aligns somewhere with your number somehow. So you’re a one, so you’re probably detailed, you’re detail oriented,

Jade: Mm hmm.

Melissa: you’re probably very organized,

Jade: Yep, for sure.

Melissa: Yes?

So you, you, probably would have known that about yourself already before you knew you were a type one.

I like it when things are organized, I’m really good at organizing that, and I’m really good at the details.

Knowing that as a type one can help you navigate how to market maybe yourself. Maybe you would be really good at helping somebody. I mean, you’re really good in general, but maybe not you.

Any other type one would be really good in general at maybe being a wedding planner. They like, they like to look at lists and they like to keep on time and, and they’re good at telling people how, to do that. Or maybe you would be really good at being a, an editor finding the things that need to be fixed.

You know what you are good at your Enneagram just helps to shine a spotlight on the things that you probably already knew deep within you. And when you can sit with that and then decide like, what do I really want to grow on, like what kinds of things do I really want to flourish with my business? Focusing on the things you already know you’re good at, and then looking at your Enneagram number to find out how to, how to hone in on those skills even more is going to help you as a business owner, have more joy, like that’s, I think one of the biggest things that I think the Enneagram helps with is finding more joy as a business owner and who you are, who you’re meant to be and what you’re already like, innately good at.

Stop trying to be something you’re not and, and, and stop force like forcing things that aren’t supposed to happen.

Jade: Yeah. And I think that’s really hard. That’s one of those really uncomfortable things about being a business owner, because in most areas of life, it’s better if you don’t rock the boat. If you don’t stand out, don’t do anything too differently, right? Like especially as kids. Going to school, high school, even throughout college, most of us did not want to be the one who is sticking out and different than everybody else.

There’s some sort of safety in being the same or not being too different or not being too yourself, at least with the majority of people that you’re around. And I think as we get older and maybe this is just a getting more mature and caring less about what other people think and maybe part of this is really running a business and having to stand out from people who are doing the same thing.

And then we find out that, oh, actually being myself is helpful. What does that even look like? Because I haven’t allowed myself to do that for decades.

Melissa: Wow. That’s like such a good observation. And so true. I wish it weren’t, but it’s so true.

Jade: Yeah. Do you find that a lot of your clients after taking the Enneagram, do they make big life changes or big pivots or is it usually small adjustments?

Melissa: Small it’s, it’s usually small. I don’t even think that I’ve seen one person do a giant life change. It’s been small baby steps. because that’s what gets you more comfortable. I mean.

Jade: Mm hmm.

Melissa: Maybe, I mean, Hey, if you’re willing to do a giant life change, great. But wow. Yeah, no, I think baby steps and small changes are going to be the key.

Jade: Yeah. I am just thinking about my own experience because I started out as a brand photographer and knew that I was an Enneagram one. I was organized. I was detail oriented, loved the planning part of planning brand photo shoots and making the prop list and the shot list and curating outfits, loved all of the organization of like the timeline of the day, but really struggled to feel aligned as a brand photographer because even though I was using my natural gifts and abilities as a photographer to stand out as a brand photographer. It still didn’t leave me fulfilled because there’s a lot of my job that was on the creative side and a lot of work that I had to do, a lot of time I had to spend outside of the area of expertise that I had, which I think is normal for any business.

You can’t just spend all of your time doing things you’re good at. but I sat with that for over a year before I decided to pivot. It can be a long processing time to start to make pivots and start to make small changes. But I think for some business owners listening to this, they might be in a business or might have started a business that they thought they should start, or that they’re trying to convince themselves that they love, and that just might not be the case.

But even then, I agree that like small changes in the right direction. is always good. Don’t make any drastic decisions and like start a new business and drop all of your clients tomorrow. But what are some of the ways that you help your clients make those small changes to get a little bit closer to a business that they love that does give them that joy that you were talking about?

Melissa: So we talk about, we talk about their number, see how that sits with them. And then talk about their business or sometimes, like you said, sometimes they’re in a business that they’ve been, they knew that they needed to pivot from. What does that next step look like? And I mean, in general, business advice is business advice, but it’s the small steps that are like tailored to that person specifically.

Are you comfortable public speaking? Are you comfortable leading? Are you comfortable with social media? Are you comfortable doing videos? Like, do you like being creative and doing graphics? Those are the types of things that we dive into, like specific to that person’s business.

And then we take out what they like. And decide can, can you outsource the rest of it or learn how to be better with the things that you don’t really enjoy?

I am a, I’m an advocate for outsourcing when, when you, when you can, or trading services with people when you can, because I just have found, first of all, you’re giving someone else business, but second, you’re giving them the opportunity to, to really be in their area of

Jade: Yeah. Mm.

Melissa: And it will shine

and, and if you can do that for someone else too, gosh, that’s amazing. But when you’re trying to force something, like you just said, you were, you were a brand photographer and, and you, you sat in it for a year. I’d love to hear that story someday, by the way, but, you sat in it for a year.

And I find that a lot of people do that. They force themselves to learn how to do graphics because that’s what they think they are supposed to do because they’ve talked to all of these other people that that’s what they did. And instead of maybe I should ask a friend that loves being creative. That is super great at graphics. Could you trade with me or can I pay you a little bit because. Most of the time, if you ask someone that’s doing something that they love, they’re probably going to either do it for you for a really discounted price. If you can’t afford it, or they’re going to be ecstatic to do it for you when you’re, when they’re hired to do it.

And that’s what you want. You want that joy when entrepreneurship becomes mundane. And and heavy. That’s when I see people quit. And that’s not what I want for anyone that’s listening. And why I find digging into the Enneagram and using it as a tool along with those other personal development tools that we talked about before Myers Briggs desk.

You choose what you want, using it as a tool to help you discover your view of the world and like shining that spotlight on your, your unique gifts that you probably already knew that you had, and then staying in that lane, you are going to have a long term business that is filled with joy. You’re going to wake up every day and want to keep doing it versus, I have to learn how to do this and I have to do this now again. We like to challenge ourselves and we like to grow and learn, but if it’s not something you enjoy doing, outsource it.

Jade: Yeah. And that’s definitely a journey as an Enneagram one. I can speak from the perspective of loving the detailed work and feeling like nobody can do it like I can do it, which in some areas may be true, but as entrepreneurs, what I like to tell my clients is. The more you work, the less money you’re going to make.

And ultimately to grow a business, you’re going to get to the point where you have to work less in order to make more money. You have to hire other people. And so for me at the beginning, it was service trades. And then it was really easy for me to outsource bookkeeping because who likes bookkeeping, you know, it’s easy to let go of the things that you’re not good at.

But now I’m at. The stage where I have to let go of control of the things that I do like doing in order to grow. And that’s like, we talked about everything gets more uncomfortable along the way. So starting small, it is just one small step. It can feel really hard in the beginning, but it is the first step and it’s going to get you ready for what’s going to have to happen if you want your business to ultimately get to that place where you’re scaling. So I think we’re going to leave it at that because everything that you just said was so, so good. And I think a great place to end on, but I do have a couple of bonus round questions if that’s okay.

Melissa: Okay. Let’s do it.

Jade: All right. So my first question is what is your favorite productivity hack?

Can be a tip or a hack.

Melissa: Ooh. Okay. Can I say two things?

Jade: Yes, we’ll allow it. Do

Melissa: Okay. boundaries and timers on your phone.

Jade: Do you do Pomodoro?

Melissa: What is Pomodoro? Now I need to write this down.

Jade: That’s when you set like the 25 minute timer and you work on something for 25 minutes.

Melissa: Oh, I didn’t know that’s what it was called. I just call that, I used it from Fly Lady. Did you ever hear of Fly Lady?

Jade: I didn’t.

Melissa: Anyway, it’s just setting timers for 20 minutes. It’s just 20 minute time hacks. I do that for everything in my life. Cleaning the kitchen, putting my laundry away.

Jade: I love that. Also, did you know that on iPhones, they used to only have one timer, but I’ve heard for some people who have upgraded, you can have multiple timers going at the same time now? I don’t know if you have an iPhone or an Android, but we were talking about this last week and one of my friends had downloaded an app so he could set multiple timers at the same time, like if he’s cooking something, you know, and Caleb, my husband’s just like, that’s just a basic feature on Android.

I don’t know why iPhone doesn’t have that, but apparently now we do. I haven’t it yet, maybe I need to upgrade, but

Melissa: I did not know.

Jade: For anybody who timers, it’s coming.

Melissa: Okay. I love it.

Jade: Love it. Okay. And then my last question is, what is your favorite business or productivity book that you like to recommend to others?

Melissa: Building a story brand by Donald Miller.

Jade: Ooh, that’s a great one.

I mean, it makes sense since you’re certified, but I still really love that one. And really anything that he writes is so good.

Melissa: He’s a genius.

Jade: Yes. He says things very simply, which I think is an extraordinary gift. Extraordinary gift. Great writer.

So, before we close, for anybody who wants to follow along and get into your world and your community, where can they find you after the show?

Melissa: I hang out mostly on Instagram. You can find me at M. Kohler, it’s K O E H L E R, or on my website, melissakohler. net.

Jade: All right, perfect. And we’ll link those in the show notes, too. So thank you so much again, Melissa.

Melissa: Thanks for having me.

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From MBA to Brand Photographer to Business Coach, I learned the hard way how to build a life-first business that allows me to work part-time hours without sacrificing profit. Now I help service providers simplify and scale their businesses so they can earn their dream income while living life on their schedule. If you're ready to build a sustainable, profitable service business (without the burnout), apply for the Business Edit Group Coaching Program today!

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