The No 1 thing that stresses your business personality type out

By Naomi Gora

Welcome back to the final instalment of my four-part series about how to start using your personality type to make better business decisions. 

Today I’m introducing you to the final quadrant of the business personality Car Model. I call it your ‘NO’ State. It’s where your Business Personality Type is most likely to experience stress and blindspots. 

If you missed the first 3 parts, you can check them out here:

Part 1 – Introduction to the Personality ‘Car Model’ and The 1 thing your personality type needs to find FLOW in your business

Part 2 – The 1 thing your type needs to GROW your business.

Part 3 – The Number 1 way your type self-sabotages in business

(And while you’re reading along,  if you can’t remember what personality type you tested as, you can re-take the quiz here)

Ok, so back to your ‘NO’ state… Your No State is where you most experience stress, confusion and a feeling of failure. If you try to run your business from this place for too long, you’re likely to experience fatigue and burn out. 

The other downside of using it too much is that it stops you from being in your FLOW state. This is because your NO state is the opposite of your FLOW state. It’s difficult for you to do both at the same time… and switching between them can be jarring and uncomfortable…. so the more you can set up simple, no-brainer systems to handle tasks your NO state needs to take care of in business, the more you can be in your FLOW state, and you and your business win!

Just like our UH-OH State, the NO State of our personality isn’t as skilled as our FLOW of GROW states… in fact, it’s the baby of our car model, with the sophistication level of around a 3 year old. And while babies can be deliciously cute, and great to have along for the ride, they most definitely should not be driving your business car. When you let this part of your personality inform too many of your decisions you can end up acting in ways that don’t really feel like you. You could ‘flip your lid’, become uncharacteristically controlling, or emotional or cold (this can show up in different ways depending on your type). And because it takes so much energy and focus for you to use it, it can feel draining, confusing and like you just can’t make it work properly!

Here’s the model to remind you of each of the car model quadrants again….

Ok, so let’s dive into how this NO State shows up for you. Scroll down to your type below and find out ….

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If you are an ESTJ Stationmaster or an ENTJ Empire Builder, your NO state is called Authenticity. In business it can relate to skills in Brand and Image Management and Service Experience.  

Now, the Stationmaster and Empire Builder types can sometimes be described as cold or aloof… But I don’t believe this pish-posh for a second. Underneath their efficiency and steely-eyed goal attainment is a genuine desire to get things done in a way that truly serves people. Their goal is to ‘get it done’ – and it’s an admirable one. They know it’s in your best interests. Sometimes you could even see these types saying ‘Why doesn’t everyone just get that this is good for them?!’. But here’s the catch: humans are weird, individual and emotional creatures. And this can sometimes be frustrating for these very practical types. Grappling with the complexities of serving a diverse, emotional human audience, can become overwhelming, and these types can wonder ‘Why can’t people just see the value of our services or products, given their practicality and effectiveness?’. Given these types have an incredible gift for resource management and goal attainment, often it’s worth employing a brand and copywriting team who are skilled in understanding the quirks of the human psyche to help you connect with your audience on a deeper, more emotional level…. which, funnily enough, will only boost your deep desire for conversions, growth, efficiency and, ultimately achieving your goals.

If you are an ENFP B.F.F. or an ENTP Revolutionary, your NO state is called Memory. In business it can relate to skills in Processes, Systems and Routine.

If you’re an B.F.F. or a Revolutionary, your NO State often shows up as difficulty with following structures, processes and routine. Your worst nightmare is likely that you’ve found yourself lost in a sea of bureaucratic red tape, paperwork and tedious details. And this is because you are naturally a creative problem solver. A free thinker – and it’s through interacting with different people and ideas that you get all your new and creative ideas. Bogging your brain down with tedious, repetitive follow through stifles this pattern recognising skill. And you may find that if you’re stuck doing paperwork and following up all the details, your creative ideas start to dry up. What I often see is that these types feel incredibly guilty about this lack of follow through. It can look like having a meeting with an amazing new client that you really vibe with, being excited about working with them and having a thousand ideas about how you can help them….but then forgetting to follow up on the paperwork to make it happen. The answer to this Stress State is two fold. 1. Have a VA or someone who loves systems and processes be the person who follows up with clients and helps you put structure around executing your ideas and 2. Set up your business with very simple, flexible systems and automate as much of these processes as you can. Oh, and a bonus number 3…. Don’t feel guilty that your team is doing the ‘work’ for you. If it wasn’t for your ideas and your amazing way with people, there wouldn’t BE any clients for them to help you look after. 

If you are an INFP Torchbearer or an ISFP Producer, your NO state is called Effectiveness. In business it can relate to skills in Resource Management and Goal Achievement.

Oh the pain of Effectiveness being your ‘No’ State…. Because, when it comes down to it, business IS, at its core, an art in resource management. If you are not effectively managing your money, energy and time, you will not have a profitable business… you will have a hobby (or a ball and chain around your ankle). And this can be the Catch 22 for Torchbearers and Producer types. These types want to follow their authenticity and their hearts, they want to do what feels right for them in the moment – usually based on their values and what is going to help others… but what feels right for your values and doing good by others, sometimes doesn’t correlate with effectively managing your time and profit. And even when you do set a goal, you may have a simplified view of how easy it’s going to be to achieve it. For these types, the old builder’s analogy to ‘plan that everything is going to take 3 times as long and cost 3 times as much as you expect’, is a good place to start. Try to minimise project management in your business as much as possible, and if you can’t, build in extra time and profit wiggle room into your offers and pricing OR be willing to compromise on your very high service experience standards to make sure what you’re delivering matches your costs (and make sure you include YOUR TIME to create, market and deliver in those costs as well). For these types, often a premium priced business model where you’re not having to keep track of tiny profit margins can help alleviate this stress, or alternatively, creating an offer you can make once and sell multiple times over – like a course or digital products  – can offer relief and more profitability as well. 

If you are an ENFJ Mentor or an ESFJ Humble Host, your NO state is called Accuracy. In business it can relate to skills in Quality Control, Product Improvement and Research.

If you’re an ENFJ Mentor or an ESFJ Humble Host,  your NO State of Accuracy  shows up as a natural inclination to pay meticulous attention to every little detail. You genuinely want to make sure that your offerings are factually correct and meet the highest standards to provide the best to your customers. And if you fall short of that, even slightly, you fear it will create a disastrous impact on your reputation and credibility amongst your peers. However, here’s the catch: sometimes, this pursuit of perfection can lead to over-analysis which means you never put anything out into the world, you delay decisions making, you slow down launches, you never take a risk, and you never let yourself be vulnerable. The key for you is to start to distinguish between what actually has to be factually correct to serve your customers, and what doesn’t really matter. 

Sure, you want to be a credible professional, but do you really have to fact check that analogy you used about comparing your product to a rocket launch? It’s like obsessing over the exact shade of blue on the sails of your ship, while what truly matters is catching the wind to move forward. Recognising when precision matters and when it’s just slowing you down will help you steer your business ship to success without getting lost in the details.

If you are an INTP Truthseeker or an ISTP Free Agent, your NO state is called Harmony. In business it can relate to skills in Culture and Managing People.

The Truthseeker and Free Agent NO State can be summed up in one word – Convention. It’s the art of going along with what’s socially acceptable, of what society expects of you and of predicting how these strange ‘human’ creatures around you are going to behave – whether they’re team members or customers. For you, operating from your ‘No’ State may feel akin to being an inventor suddenly tasked with organising a company picnic. In business, this can be challenging because your FLOW state is inclined to prioritise data, logic, and autonomy, and the complexities of human interactions, and team dynamics might feel like a puzzle you’d rather not solve. There are a few ways you can go about staying out of this stress state. The first is to remain the technician in your business where you get to focus on quality control and product innovation while you hire managers to run the people part of your business  (If you’re not familiar with the term ‘technician’ it refers to one of the 3 Business Roles from the book, The Emyth). The other option is to limit the interaction your business requires you to have with customers, while still looking after them really well! This can look like automated chatbots on your website or having a skilled VA who can answer customer enquiries. Above all else, don’t feel pressured to do things the way everyone else does because ‘That’s what you should do’. If you don’t want to have your phone number listed on your website – don’t, have an email option instead. You are, at heart, an innovator and inventor, so use these bloody amazing skills to come up with new, automated ways to handle the more ‘human’ elements of your business in a way that doesn’t make you want to poke your eye out with a spoon.

If you are an INTJ Strategist or an INFJ Catalyst, your NO state is called Sensation. In business it can relate to skills in market trends and real-time data.

The biggest stress state for Catalysts and Strategists is being forced to move, especially at a fast pace, AND before you’re ready. Think of an ultimate warlord back in times of yore, sitting at their war tables with their counsel, spending long nights coming up with just the best plan of action that minimises risk and gives your side the best chance of success. This is your FLOW state (In fact, perhaps the book The Art of War might be an interesting resource for you to read! I’m not basing that on any evidence – it just popped into mind – so if you do read it and it has nuggets of gold for you, let me know!). The world of business can be very fast-paced and The constant need for keeping up with real-time data and sudden market shifts might feel like an overwhelming task. However, there’s a way to navigate this in your very own way. Instead of using sensation to keep up with market trends and what’s going on ‘NOW’ – use it to get back into your body, engage your five senses in ways that feel delightful and restorative to you, and give your deep thinking brain a chance to take that information, mull it over and throw it forward to predict the long-range forecast of what you should do instead. Deep thinking and planning is your FLOW state, but if you ruminate on it too much or force it, it can’t do its thing where it spits out those valuable ‘AHA’ moments you rely on. So, as counter-intuitive as it may seem, when you’re feeling rushed to take action or pressure to make a decision, often the best thing you can do is step away from the noise and get into your senses – whether that be by getting out for a walk in nature, heading to the beach and feeling the sand between your toes and the salt water on your face, participating in some vigorous exercise, lighting an oil burner and taking a long bath, indulging in a face scrub, or preparing and savouring a delicious meal – whatever it is that gets you into your 5 senses and grounded in the here and now so your very clever brain can present you with the long-term solution rather than scrambling for a short-term emergency fix.  

If you are an ESTP Ringmaster or an ESFP Entertainer, your NO state is called Perspectives. In business it can relate to skills in Long-Term Planning and Risk Management

For Ringmaster or Entertainer types, your No State can feel more like a ‘Oh god, do I really have to?’ State than a Stress State. For you, the act of setting a vision and planning for the future can feel like it just slows your momentum –  like switching from instant improvisation to chess grandmaster-level strategy that falls squarely into the realm of ‘boring as batshit’ or ‘Is it really necessary?  – I have too many other fish to fry!’. Or, you may not even KNOW what you want your long-term vision to be. You’re a creature of the moment – who knows what might happen or what you might want in five years? And this may very well be the case – but if you’re finding your life can fall a little into the realm of ‘tumultuous chaos’ and you (or your team) are craving just a little peace and stability, you can use your No State in simple ways to take life from ‘ OH MY GOD, I’M ON FULL THROTTLE ALL THE TIME, HOW DO I STOP?!’ to a more table, yet vibrant love of life. So how do you start? 1. Challenge your fear of FOMO. You don’t have to say yes to every opportunity that knocks on your door. When a new and exciting opportunity arises, resist the urge to say ‘Yeah ok, why not?’ and take a moment to think about whether you REALLY want to do it or if it just seems fun and new right now. 2. When making a decision, take a moment to estimate a rough ballpark of what this opportunity will provide for you other than fun and spontaneity –  will it give you a competitive advantage? a new profitable income source? If not, and it does just seem fun, go into the decision knowing this so you don’t feel resentful and overstretched when you’re in the middle of executing it (or dare I say it – actually say No!), and 3. Ask yourself, if I say yes to this opportunity, what are the consequences and do they outweigh the potential benefits? There you go – you don’t have to sit down and write a 50 page business plan, by introducing just a few decision-making moments like these into your day, you can start creating more balance and less stress in what is still a vibrant and stimulating business that doesn’t feel like you’re being fling around in a washing machine on spin. 

If you are an ISTJ Rock or an ISFJ Caregiver, your NO state is called Exploration. In business it can relate to skills in Creative Problem Solving and Innovation.

For Rock and Caregiver types, the idea of stepping into new territory can seem daunting, and even unsafe or irresponsible. Your motto might be ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, which can lead to you staying in your comfort zones far too long until you’re literally pushed out by some unforeseen or unfortunate event that everyone around you saw coming. Preferring tried-and-true methods, the very thought of venturing into the unknown can trigger anxiety and discomfort, making you hesitant to embrace uncharted territory. Just know that this is ok and there’s no need to bring in sweeping drastic changes to your business… but, as we know people change, times change and industries change. And if you ignore this, you can end up like the Blockbuster Video Stores of the world – suddenly obsolete as newer technologies or offers take centre stage. Incorporating elements of change, innovation and  doesn’t mean abandoning your dependable ways though – your stability, dependability and consistency are still your strength. Instead, try to be open to small and incremental ways you can embrace new and emerging ideas and technologies. For example, when someone in your team suggests a change or comes to you with a new way of doing something in your business – take a moment to consider its merit before instantly writing it off. Or perhaps if a customer comes to you with a suggested product improvement, consider doing a survey of all your customers to see if there is actually a trend in people actually wanting this change. Change doesn’t have to be scary – keep your mind open, listen to trusted people around you and see if there are small and stable ways to keep your business and your competitive advantage evolving.  

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How did you go? 

Now for today’s final Car Model self-reflection exercise. Based on your No state, can you identify one thing you can change to reduce the stressors and blindspots in your business? or one way you could embrace your ‘No State’ in a small and simple way that supports your FLOW state? I’d love to hear what you come up with.

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