The No. 1 way your Business Personality Self-Sabotages

By Naomi Gora

Hello and welcome back to my 4-part series about how to use the Business Personality Type Car Model to help you make better decisions in your business.

In this post, I’m introducing you to the ‘UH-OH’ part of your business personality. It’s where your Business Personality Type is most likely to self-sabotage. 

If you missed the first 2 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.


If you’re reading along and aren’t sure of your Business Personality Type, you can take the quiz to find out here


Ok, so back to the ‘UH-OH’ state… The UH-OH state is where a lot of business owner’s are stuck when they find me…. in fact, it’s one of the first things we focus on in The Hamster Cure (We start next week, November 2 – doors are now open to join and it’s been described by past participants as Revolutionary!).


You see, your UH-OH state is the opposite of your GROW state.


And it’s sooooo much easier to sit in the comfy, safe, (and occasionally self righteous) state of our UH-OH state rather than stretch our selves into our GROW state. Sometimes we don’t even know we’re doing it, because it sort of feels right. 


This little part of our personality isn’t as skilled as our FLOW of GROW states… but, it sort of thinks it is. We can sometimes let it have a lot more decision making weight than it deserves. It’s why it’s traditionally referred to as the ’10 year old’ part of your personality – because its skill level is around that age of developmental skill… and like any tweenager – sometimes it thinks it knows a lot more than it actually does and go just a little bit overboard.


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

Ok, so how can this sneaky little UH-OH state trick you  into self-sabotaging your business success? Scroll down to your type below and find out (then keep scrolling to the end for a bonus self-reflection exercise)…. 

If you are an ISFJ Caregiver or an INFJ Catalyst, your UH-OH State is called ACCURACY. In business this relates to skills in product improvement, quality control and research.

The way this sneaky little devil can trick you up is by believing you and your offers and your skills have to be PERFECT before you can send anything out into the world. It makes you think you MUST KNOW EVERYTHING before you can even start. With this trickster driving your business car, you can end up in analysis paralysis thinking ‘But is it right?’ or ‘I’m going to lose my credibility and tarnish my whole  reputation if I make a mistake!!!’ or ‘I’ll just research this jussssssttttt a little bit more (after you’ve already been researching for six months and don’t have your product or offer out into the world for people to actually buy). For you it’s so important to stop trying to bullet proof yourself, and instead remind yourself of just how many people your product or offer is going to help out there in the world…if you put it out there. Sure you’ll mess some stuff up (is it really realistic to believe you won’t?) – but just remember – you only need to know slightly more than the person you’re trying to help to make a difference in their lives. You do not have to be a seasoned academic ready with 50 sources on hand to back up everything you know. Fit for PURPOSE, not PERFECTION is your self-sabotage motto.

If you are an ESTP Ringmaster or an ENTP Revolutionary, your UH-OH State  is HARMONY. In business this relates to skills in culture, Human Resource Management and customer service.

For both ESTPs and ENTPs, your remarkable gift for thinking outside the box and your enthusiasm for taking bold risks can sometimes be overshadowed by the temptation to seek harmony and consensus that dilutes the impact you could have on the world. You might find yourself hesitating or diluting your innovative ideas to avoid potential conflicts or disagreements. While fostering harmony is essential, it’s you, out of all the types, who are here to challenge the status quo and push the boundaries of what the rest of us believe is possible. To overcome this, remember that rolling up your sleeves and diving into healthy conflict and diverse perspectives can often lead to the most groundbreaking ideas and solutions… and remember as your business grows, you won’t be able to keep everyone happy, all of the time. ‘Strive for innovation over consensus’ is your self-sabotage motto. Because usually it’s innovation or looking at the world in a different way, and providing different experiences that is your competitive advantage. 

If you are an INTP Truthseeker or an INFP Torchbearer, your UH-OH State is Memory. In business this relates to skills in systems, routines and processes.

Ohhhh the INTP and INFP’s penchant for rebelling against autonomy, in any way. ‘Don’t tell me what to do’ is how these types experience their ‘UH-OH’ state. These types have an innate craving for independence that can lead them to resist or reject standard procedures, feeling that it stifles their creativity and individuality (even if they’re the ones who set them up!). So often they’ll try to set up systems and processes in their businesses but then rebel against following them…. deciding to ‘just tinker with it a little more because today, it’s what they feel like doing’. But businesses thrive and scale when their products and offerings can be delivered consistently over time by someone who is not you. Now, if your version of success is to remain a sole trader who personally delivers your product and service, that is perfectly fine…. but if you truly want autonomy and freedom, either 1 ) Remember that structure actually provides the ultimate autonomy or 2) Get out of the way, stop trying to do it all yourself because ‘You’re the only one who can get it right’ and employ someone who loves structure and routine to do it for you. Your self sabotage motto is ‘Structure Provides Autonomy’. 

If you are an ESFP Entertainer or an ENFP B.F.F, your UH-OH State is Effectiveness. In business this relates to skills in resource management and goal achievement. 

For ENFPs and ESFPs this can be a case of going on missions to ‘Get things done!!!’… sometimes at any cost. And it often looks like being perpetually busy…. without actually getting anything done. And then wondering why you’re so tired but not getting anywhere. Types like you need freedom to explore new ideas and experience spontaneity in the moment, but they also need some constraints around them to reach their goals. I think of it a little bit like those bumper pillows on ten-pin bowling alleys… Having some defined parameters around your projects can keep you from going completely off course and into the gutter wondering how you got there. Usually these types like bouncing things off other people – so it often works to have a trusted someone to set goals with – the goals that REALLY mean something to you, and then when you find you’re spinning your wheels – come back to them to ask them 1) If you’re being distracted by Shiny Object Syndrome and 2) How you can narrow down all the options to move towards your most important goals (not the ones that just seem fun today!). 

If you are an ISTP Free Agent or an ISFP Producer, your UH-OH State is Perspectives. In business this relates to skills in long-term planning and projections and risk management.

Often I find these types can get stuck in a place of ‘knowing’ without actually checking the facts. It may sound something like ‘Oh no, that will never work’ or ‘Those people won’t like that’… And it can be quite a persistent and stubborn voice too! My first self-sabotage checker for these types is ‘Have you actually tested it?’, ‘Have you actually asked your customers what they want?’ ‘Have you tried this idea to prove if it’s valid or not?’. While it’s important to trust our gut feelings, it’s also important to balance it with valid data, especially in the business world! If something didn’t work once, instead of saying it’s a failure, dive into the data – what part of it didn’t work? What did customers like and what did they not like – instead of throwing the baby out with the bathwater – are there some small things you could tweak to make it a success? For more successful business decision making, your self-sabotage motto is ‘Have you cross-checked the data?’. 

If you are an ESFJ Humble Host or an ESTJ Stationmaster, your UH-OH State is Exploration. In business this relates to skills in creative problem solving and innovation.

Exploration is the part of your personality that wants to try new things, throw spaghetti at walls to see what happens and implement all the new ideas….Usually for types like you it’s in an effort to create better solutions for your customers (rather than just for the sake of curiosity or novelty).

And, while innovation and new offers are important to stay relevant in business, things can end up a bit of a mess when you do this without a plan or process in place. Sometimes Humble Hosts and Stationmasters’ use of exploration might cause them to believe that taking on numerous new initiatives without a clear plan or structured approach is the key to growth and success. In reality, this scattered approach can result in inefficiency, reduced focus, and the potential loss of the solid, structured systems that these types typically excel in. It’s important for ESTJs and ESFJs to recognise that while exploration has its merits, it should be harnessed within the framework of their established, proven processes to maintain a balance between innovation and stability. Your self-sabotage motto is ‘Structured Innovation Breeds EBetter Outcomes!’.  

If you are an ISTJ Rock or an INTJ Strategist, your UH-OH State is Authenticity. In business this relates to skills in Brand and image management, values and customer experience. 

For you, you can get tricked into staying in current patterns or systems or doing things the way they’re done because ‘it’s the way we’ve always done it’ or ‘This is just who I am’. This resistance to change can inadvertently hinder your business’s growth as trends, customers and industries change. While staying true to who you are and what you’ve already achieved is a valuable trait, it’s important to recognise that adapting to new customer expectations, emerging technologies, and shifting market trends doesn’t mean compromising your core values or brand identity… Think of it instead as an evolution of who you are and ask yourself – is staying true to who we are and the way we’ve always done it still achieving the outcomes we want to achieve?’ Your self-sabotage motto is ‘Embrace your identity, evolve your approach’. 

If you are an ENTJ Empire Builder or an ENFJ Mentor, your UH-OH State is Sensation. In business this relates to spotting trends, market innovation and spontaneity.

For you, self sabotage can look like tossing aside well thought out plans as you respond to immediate needs or feedback from your team or customers. You make a plan and get feedback from one customer and change it… Then you enact that and get different feedback and change it again. And you can’t serve everyone in every way, all the time. This self-sabotage can manifest in times of stress or uncertainty when you’re constantly reacting to the present without dedicating ample time to long, uninterrupted periods of reflection. To overcome this pattern, your self-sabotage motto is always “Sleep on it”.  Resist the urge to make knee-jerk reactions based on immediate information, especially when it may not be related to a broader trend (Just because one customer says – ‘This doesn’t work for me’ may not be reflective of your whole  customer base.  Allow yourself time for reflection and contemplation after feedback from the real world… as it’s during these moments that you’re likely to have ‘aha!’ insights that will show you the right way based on your long-term vision.


How did you go? 

Now for today’s (maybe slightly ouchy), self-reflection exercise. Based on your UH-OH state, can you see ways you are self-sabotaging your business success? What’s 1 small thing you could change or try today to step out of your comfort zone? 

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