Are you a “perceiver” or a “judger”?
Can you guess what I am?
Entrepreneurs tend to be Perceivers (Myers-Briggs type) according to a 2017 study by the company that publishes the famous Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.
In this article I'll summarize what I've learned about Perceivers and Judgers, and talk about how each type's strengths are needed in entrepreneurship.
Perceivers tend to be more curious and creative than judgers, and love to gather information, tend to work independently (disliking bureaucracy and rules), are more open to risk-taking, and can adjust to mistakes or unexpected situations on the go, rather than having to prepare contingencies and escape clauses. Perceivers prefer to keep their options open.
But because of their openness and care-free nature, perceivers also tend to be indecisive, and don’t work well with deadlines. They don’t tend to manage time well, and are stressed when ask to make a quick decision. They also don’t mind changing tracks midway, which means they often start things they don’t finish. They dislike routine, and tend to procrastinate more than Judgers.
Judgers love to plan things out: calendars, to-do lists, deadlines, decisions. They want closure and completions, and can more easily thrive with routine and predictability. They prefer that decisions are made more quickly than drag on.
But that also means Judgers have a harder time dealing with unexpected changes and information, when things don’t go according to their plan. (And in the world, many things don’t!)
Because they don’t like risk and uncertainty, Judgers are less likely to become entrepreneurs. They also tend to seek the optimal or one "right" way of doing something, and therefore, can be naturally more judgmental of others' differences.
Are you more like a Perceiver (P) or Judger (J)?
Can you guess what I am?
It might surprise you (or maybe not) to find out that I’m very much a J. This is why it’s “easier” for me to stay consistent with content, to publish books on schedule, to create a new course every month.
I try to practice being open to ideas that are different than mine… though that orientation doesn’t come naturally to me.
I'm such a J that I feel I have a hard time understanding P’s.
My content has been created from a J perspective (since that's my orientation) so if you are a P, it may be extra challenging to apply what I teach -- it doesn’t come naturally to you.
I would love to understand P’s better and to help them more effectively. Many of my clients seem to be P’s, and sometimes I feel like an alien in their midst. Routines and structures are natural for me, but my clients often have a hard time with them.
How can I help P's be more successful in achieving their business goals? I'd love your opinion about it. If you are a P, what do you feel you need? If it’s structure, what kind of structure helps you to thrive?
I look forward to any comment you'd like to add underneath this video: Succeeding as a Perceiver in Entrepreneurship in a Judger World (You don’t have to watch the video to comment.)
Not Fixed -- It’s a Tendency
As with the other Myers-Briggs types, Judging or Perceiving is called a "preference" and not a fixed trait. You can be one or the other depending on what a situation requires of you, but you tend to snap back to your typical preference later.
For example, if you are a P but you’re currently working in a structured program or role, you can flex your J muscles. But doing so takes you more energy than would a natural J. Therefore, as a P you might need to focus more on self-care than a J who thrives in that kind of structured environment.
Also, whether someone tests as a P or J only tells how the person interacts with the outside world. For example, you might seem spontaneous and adaptable (P) to others, but actually feel more orderly/structured (J) inside.
Another person may appear structured or decided, yet be curious and open-ended in their inner world.
Using Both Strengths
When it comes to creating and growing an authentic business, it helps to combine both P and J strengths.
You need to flex your Perceiver (P) muscles and be open-minded because an authentic business is continually evolving, as you keep delving into new depths of self-understanding. You’ll also need to stay curious and adapt quickly to changes in your audience, or in the market or society.
However, you’ll also need to flex your Judger (J) muscles and practice producing consistently, if you wish to develop the trust of your audience, and a stable income!
How P's Can Succeed
If you are a P, and want to build a business without the pressures of creating content consistently, then it seems to me you have a couple choices:
(1) Focus on networking as the primary way to grow your business. Connect with people and find win-win ways to collaborate. Read my blog posts about authentic networking.
(2) If you want to create content, you'll need to understand that developing Quality content requires Quantity of content. Consistency creates a momentum that builds your skills much more quickly. If you have difficulty sticking to a self-created routine, consider working with a "J" content coach or entering a structured program that you love. You can ask me for a referral.
(3) If creating content every day or every week is not doable for you, try this: Carve out a whole morning, afternoon, or evening once a month (or even a whole day if you can!) just for content creation. P’s tend to thrive with large chunks of creative time (4+ hours) rather than doing it in 30-60 minute chunks. In that large chunk of time, create as much content as you can. Then you can use tools such as Facebook Page's scheduler to drip them out on Facebook, and tools like Hootsuite can drip them out onto other social networks.
Any other thoughts on how P’s can thrive in growing a business? I look forward to any thoughts you have. Comment on this video: Succeeding as a Perceiver in Entrepreneurship in a Judger World
George Kao is a Marketing Coach for small business owners, especially solopreneurs such as Coaches and Mentors. He focuses on ethical & effective ways to grow one's platform and build true livelihood.
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