Imagine being one meeting away from having a six- figure business and losing it all in just 15 minutes.
Author and business consultant Katrina Harrell admits that she let a six-figure business opportunity (with the potential to become a billion dollar business) slip through her fingers. Why? Because she didn’t understand her entrepreneurial personality.
A few years ago she was in an ideal position: she found a niche in an industry that she could easily move into and had clients waiting to be serviced – the last piece to her million dollar puzzle was obtaining certification. She had passed two rounds of certification and was preparing to go through the third and final session which she was confident she would pass.
Right before the interview that would open the door to landing the deal, a colleague that had been working closely on the project with her, approached her about becoming a partner. Up to that point he had been working with her side by side on the project for free. To be clear, this was someone in her corner, someone who had been ac champion for her and business. He simply wanted to be recognized and compensated going forward as the business he had willingly invested his time in became an official revenue generating venture.
Ego vs. Business Savvy
Katrina admits that it was more her ego than her business savvy that responded with a solid, “No,” to her colleague’s requests. The result: he quit. At first it didn’t faze Katrina – she went on preparing for the next certification interview, confident that all her ducks were in a row.
It was a single question from the licensing team that revealed that she had made what she calls her “worst mistake ever.” Just 15 minutes into that final certification session, she was told that she failed due to one small area that she’d overlooked. Katrina was completely devastated: thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours were down the drain in a matter of minutes. If only she had realized the value of that detail oriented team colleague that she had let go, someone who had been contributing to her team (and bottom line) in a critical capacity.
Katrina admits that trying to wear too many hats, and letting that key person who had been in her corner walk out – costs her dearly. She never recovered that opportunity, but over time she learned how different entrepreneurial personalities can make or break your business.
In a recent interview with Katrina, she identified three personalities that drive profitable business ventures:
- Fire Starters: These are your right-brained passionate visionaries with an abundance of ideas. They are overflowing with innovation, often setting trends and blazing trails. These are often your CEOs leading the way, driving change, always coming up with new ways of generating profit. Invaluable to the launch process, Fire Starters often lack the focus needed to handle day to day operations efficiently and effectively.
- Builders/Architects: These valuable team members understand the creative side but their strength is creating the foundational structure and plans that will give your vision life. Bottom line: they can take your idea and turn into a profitable business. This is your Chief Operating Officer (COO) or Vice President with a passion and focus on execution. Just like faith without works is dead – ideas without execution will keep you stuck in a 9-5.
- Finishers: These are your left-brained, task and detail oriented workers that get things done. These critical team members contribute to the vision by executing the plan laid out by your vice-president or business manager. While Fire Starters excel when tasked with coming up with ideas and solving problems, Finishers are at their best when they can check things off their to-do list.
Not understanding the type of entrepreneur you are can be a huge detriment to you in launching your business. Here’s Katrina’s advice for solopreneurs:
- Know your entrepreneurial personality.
- Find a business model that fits your personality.
- Start networking to find partners that fill in the gaps.
- Learn to delegate – budget (and barter) wisely to outsource.
You can catch my full interview with Katrina on Tai Talks: Launch While Working!
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