Buying a Business Based on Your Personality?

Posted 12-18-2014 11:39 am by

When it comes to buying a business, most people focus on gross revenue, cash flow, business reputation, years in business, location, so on and so forth.  While these are important factors to consider, have you ever considered how your personality can affect the types of businesses you should buy? 

Buying the wrong business for your personality can be one of the most detrimental mistakes business buyers make.  Imagine sinking your life savings into a business that you do not enjoy running.  Before you buy a business, what should you know about your personality preference and how it informs the kind of businesses you might enjoy owning?

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment, known as MBTI, measures your psychological preferences in how you perceive the world and make decisions.  It is a tool used by more than 10,000 companies, 2,500 colleges and universities, and 200 government agencies in the U.S.  Understanding the basics of MBTI can point you in the right direction when it comes to buying a business.

1. Extraversion (E) vs. Introversion (I).  If you are an extravert and enjoy networking, buying a business where you get to do a lot of selling, cold calling, and networking might be right for you.  Extraverts recharge their batteries by being around lots of people, so having lots of social interactions is important.  On the other hand, introverts might consider buying a business with a sales team already equipped.  Buying a business such as a mailbox store where customers come in might also be more suited for introverts than buying a business where the owner needs to make cold calls and perform outside sales.  Introverts are good at developing deeper relationships with fewer people whereas extraverts are good at developing weaker relationships with lots of people.  Given this preference, introverts might want to consider purchasing businesses that have fewer clients but each client pays a lot. 

2. Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N).  People with a preference for sensing like to rely on facts whereas those with a preference for intuition are dreamers and visionaries.  Both are important traits to the success of a business, since only seeing the facts but not the possibilities, or vice versa, can hurt the full potential of a company.  A sensor and intuitive might consider partnering together to buy a business.  Short of partnering, an intuitive might want to hire a sensor during the due diligence process to be grounded on the facts, whereas a sensor might to hire an intuitive as an advisor to see the growth and expansion possibilities of a business. 

3. Feeling (F) vs. Thinking (T).  Feelers tend to be sensitive and nurturing, and can do very well in businesses that require a good amount of empathizing and nurturing.  Examples might include a spa business, daycare center, or wellness supplement store.  On the other hand, thinkers tend to be more detached, logical, and direct.  Thinkers might enjoy owning businesses that are highly logical such as a bookkeeping service or investment advisory firm, and be in roles that allow them to be direct with others. 

4. Judgment (J) vs. Perception (P).  People with a preference for judgment are planners.  They tend to be very organized.  They make plans in advance, set milestones, and execute their plan.  On the other hand, people with a preference for perception tend to go with the flow, make decisions on the spot, and are good at staying open and responding to whatever comes.  People with a preference for perception might enjoy an entrepreneurial environment where lots of ambiguity exists, things are constantly in flux, and choices need to be revised again and again based on feedback.  In contrast, people with a preference for judgment might consider buying a franchise or a larger business with established systems in place so they can make plans, create budgets, and know what to do at all times. 

Buying the right business for you is a holistic decision that should take into account not only the gross income and cash flow of the business but also your personality preference.  Working with a business broker who is well versed in personality types can give you the advantage to make sure the business you buy is one that you would enjoy owning. 

Mayumi Muller
is the MBTI Expert at Advantage Commercial Brokers. She works closely with our brokers to ensure our clients’ decisions match their personality profile.  Contact Advantage Commercial Brokers at (425) 766-3940 to inquire about buying a business.

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