How studying the Enneagram has helped me as a small business owner?



The Loyalist

So, you may have heard the buzz about this thing called the Enneagram. In short, it's an ancient personality profiler and I've been fascinated by it!

After some study, self-reflection, and conversations with my husband I finally found the number I most identify with -- the 6w5 (6 wing 5). I learned that the Six is known for being fearful (which wasn't very encouraging). I also learned about the motivations behind the Six's behavior and decision making. Here's where things really started to get impactful for me. Check it out:

"Key Motivations [of type 6]: Want to have security, to feel supported by others, to have certitude and reassurance, to test the attitudes of others toward them, to fight against anxiety and insecurity.

Holy heck has this persona been spying on me through our Alexa? Back when Matt and I were dating we were in couples counseling and I discovered one of my main needs in our relationship was to feel secure. Sound familiar? But, how does this relate to me as a business owner?

1. It has helped me take risks. Okay, calculated risks.

When I finally acknowledged that fear is something that fuels many of my responses, anxiety, and defensiveness I had resolution to make: I would not let fear hold me back. The whole reason I launched my business full-time was because of this resolution. I had promised myself that I would live out my word for 2018: "unafraid".

2. I developed empathy.

Understanding myself (the good and the bad) has helped me to have more empathy for others. Understanding why I am the way I am helps me realize that others have their reasons too. They may be different than mine, but we are all motivated by something.

3. I created structure.

I used to feel this never ceasing urge to always be working; I needed to feel like things were happening. Not having an employer that guarantees your paycheck on the 1st and 15th, is literally the least secure thing. But, working nonstop is no sustainable so I needed to create structure and systems that helped me feel confident in my business plan, so that I could feel secure in something. This structure helps me sleep at night and take days off.

If you made it this far, you deserve a major applause. I am still learning and discovering more about myself. I've been learning that while the Enneagram is a good tool, discovering yourself is a journey.

Resources for continued learning about the Enneagram:

The Road Back to You by Ian Cron & Suzanne Stabile
The Road Back to You Podcast
Typology Podcast
The Enneagram Journey Podcast