Mike’s dad is a plumber. Just like many of you reading this right now, Mike grew up in the plumbing business. From the time his young mind could form memory, he recalls times sitting on the floor of the shop counting fittings, organizing shelves and sweeping the floor.
As the years pass, Mike becomes a pretty terrific plumber in his own right. He can fix just about anything, and his craftwork is nothing short of spectacular. Because he grew up around plumbing and became a great plumber himself, he decides he’s going to “throw out his shingle” and start his own plumbing business.
This is a very exciting time for Mike, his pregnant wife, Emily, and his 2-year-old son, Trevor (certain to be a future plumber himself). Mike can’t wait to get this new journey started and be a business owner! Look out world, here come’s Mike’s Plumbing Co.!
Turns out Mike’s overwhelming excitement quickly shifts to a different state of overwhelming. While Mike is a phenomenal plumbing technician, he doesn’t know anything about hiring people, understanding financial reporting, or marketing for new clients. Mike is a great technician; however, this is only one component of three different personalities that exist when it comes to business.
Due to the fact that Mike is doing the best he can with the knowledge he currently has, he decides to work harder, put in more hours, and “get to the next level.” Perhaps Mike’s path is similar to yours. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. None of us do. That’s OK, but we must get answers and implement strategies in order to gain the knowledge we need to succeed in the other two business personalities if we operate primarily from a technician point of view.
All the personalities are necessary and must exist in order to create a successful company. My goal is for you to have awareness of all three, then get crystal clear when you are operating in each.
Earlier this year, I made the decision to bring in Justin Deese as CEO of the company I founded, The Blue Collar Success Group. Justin is a Certified E-Myth Business Coach and is incredibly well versed in helping clients navigate the storm of business. He coaches our clients on the different strategies necessary to execute our own mission, which is to move entrepreneurs from business operators to business owners.
Deese says one of the best ways to begin, or continue, your journey from business operator to owner is not only to clarify and understand each of the three business personalities and their functions, but also know how and where you are spending your own valuable time. It’s how you are spending your time that dictates which personality you are executing, not simply a title or position. Just because you started your own company and have business cards that say “President” on them does not automatically take away all your technician traits and turn them into effective entrepreneurial or managerial behaviors.
Let’s take a look at how these personalities show up when it comes to the business environment. Just about everyone in our industry has challenges with three critical resources: time, money, and work. People, in general, handle these crucial resources very differently depending on a myriad of things, including how they were raised, their own personal belief systems, and core values.
Someone who beat life-threatening cancer five years ago might have a far different view regarding time than someone who has never faced thinking about the end of his life. The same is true regarding your relationship with money and how you get identity from your own “work.”
The entrepreneur utilizes time as a valuable resource to engage potential and create vision. Time is organized and planned on a daily basis to create the most value for continuing the vision and direction of the company.
The manager utilizes time to accomplish the task of vision execution. The manager takes that vision from the entrepreneur and creates the bite-sized pieces of implementation that move the company closer to the vision on a daily basis. The manager organizes and directs the time of the entire team.
The technician utilizes time in the moment to accomplish the task set forth by the manager in order to execute the company vision. The technician’s goal is to accomplish as much as humanly possible right now, today, in this moment. More production today is the primary focus of the technician personality.
The entrepreneur pays attention to balance-sheet equity and the overall value of the business. The entrepreneur is not personally defined by the business as an entity and has an exit strategy in place. Focus on building equity value for the long term is a top priority in creating the best return on investment possible.
The manager pays attention to the immediate things that will decrease costs, improve production and increase profitability. The manager works a tactical plan for growth and the best application of resources. This requires timely and up-to-date financial reporting for the manager to know the score when making quality decisions.
The technician has a relationship with money regarding earnings for direct work performed. The technician focuses on how to get things done faster and better in order to make more money today for the work produced today.
The entrepreneur’s work is primarily strategic. Focus is on the future and developing the vision the company can strive to accomplish. There is terrific clarity regarding how executing this vision will effectively serve the entrepreneur and his family.
The manager’s work is a mix between being both strategic and tactical. The focus is all about accomplishing the most possible through the entire team. The manager has a unique ability to take a vision and turn it into a tactical and executable plan.
The technician’s work is guided on a daily basis by the manager. This focus is on getting things done right — and done right now. The technician is focused on the present and performs the hands-on work the business needs.
It’s important to remember these three personalities exist in every business on the planet, not just a home service contracting company. Since we are familiar with the title of technician in our industry, we can be derailed by the wording. The technician personality is alive and well in accountants, doctors, attorneys, auto mechanics, and restaurant owners.
All three business personalities exist for a specific reason, and they each serve a specific purpose. Too often, when we look at the technician personality, we think it’s a bad thing because we are an owner or manager (no longer a technician in our own minds), but the reality is that the technician personality is absolutely vital to the success of a company.
However, the technician personality is not enough on its own. Your company desperately needs the goals and vision set forth by the entrepreneur. It also desperately needs the manager personality to organize the chaos, get the team working together, and make the plan come to life.
Every one of us has all three business personalities within us. Make sure you are aware of when you are employing each one and get completely intentional with the focus of your time and resources.