Imagine you sit down to your laptop, ready to work on your business.
…Grab your to-do list, and easily check off tasks one by one?
…Love your business but find it challenging to stay on top of mundane tasks?
No matter your modus operandi (M.O.), none of these are wrong ways of working. They simply demonstrate your personal tendencies.
How can you learn to work with your default operating mode to ensure you’re growing your business with less hassle and heartache?
That’s exactly what I’m talking about today.
Keep reading to discover your tendency and how you can work with it to create a more successful business.
Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies
In a nutshell, this framework distinguishes four ways that people tend to respond to deadlines, resolutions, tasks, and rules.
Here are the four tendencies as she defines them:
Upholders respond readily to outer and inner expectations. The downside is that these people can get boxed in by the rules and can feel paralyzed if they don’t understand what’s expected of them.
Questioners question all expectations and will meet an expectation only if they think it makes sense. The downside is that sometimes they ask so many questions, they exhaust themselves and others.
Obligers meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet expectations they impose on themselves. They require accountability from an outside source.
Rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner alike. If someone asks or tells them to do something, they’re likely to want to do the opposite. Rebels might love the freedom of running their own business but get bored by the mundane tasks they have to do.
You might know which tendency describes you simply by reading the descriptions above. But if you’re not sure, you can take the quiz here. (Personally, however, I found that reading about all of them in Better Than Before was more helpful than the quiz.)
Once you know your tendency, the next step is to learn how to work with it so that it doesn’t control you. (And who wouldn’t want that?)
Working with Your Tendency
Once you know your tendency, it’s time to take action. (You know me! I don’t just teach you the theory; I help you put what you learn into practice.)
An important note before I share the ways to work with your tendency: You can’t change your tendency; it’s part of you. Instead, you can learn how to work with it so you know what you need to be successful.
For example, Questioners must have someone they can ask questions of, Obligers must have external accountability, and so on.
Okay, so you know your tendency (take the quiz if you don’t). Now, it’s time to set yourself up for success in business by creating systems and strategies that work to your natural advantage.
The Upholder Advantage
If you’re an upholder, you don’t need a lot of supervision. You simply need to understand what the rules are so that you can accomplish what’s expected.
To set yourself up for success, try using checklists and breaking down projects into bite-sized steps. Because you like to see your progress over time, you can also try time-tracking apps that show your growth.
You need help knowing the rules, staying informed, and having someone there to continue to guide you… so you can go and do your thing.
The Questioner Advantage
If you’re a questioner you’re motivated by reason. You want to feel like what you’re doing is logical. The upside of this is that once you make up your mind to do something, you stick to it.
When faced with an important task, remind yourself why you’re doing it. What’s the reason that you’re doing it in this way, at this time? Having these answers will help keep you motivated.
To help you grow even faster, find a trusted coach or mentor who can answer your questions so you don’t stay stuck forever.
The Obliger Advantage
If you’re an obliger, you’re motivated by external accountability. Your main concern is what has to get done. A good example of how this shows up in your work is that you find it easy to focus on client work but neglect your own business tasks.
The key for you is to create a system of accountability. That means you must find a coach or a group that gives you clear deadlines and solid action steps, and that requires you to report back on your progress.
The Rebel Advantage
If you’re a rebel, you’re motivated by freedom. Because you’re so in touch with what you want, you can use your feelings to your advantage.
When you have to complete an important task, focus on what makes it enjoyable to you: Can you listen to your favorite music while you get things done? Do you love being alone in your office with distractions? Do you prefer the buzz of a local coffee shop where you can eat pastries and sip a latte?
Finding ways to enjoy the moment will help you stick to your obligations.
To uplevel your growth, you need someone to help you keep your eye on the prize and to allow you the freedom to experiment in your business. You want someone who sets a solid foundation that allows you to run your business in the way that feels right for YOU.
What’s Your Tendency?
I’m curious! Which tendency best reflects your behavior and habits?
What unique challenges do you face as a result of your tendency?
How do you plan to work with your tendency to get better results in your business?
Leave a comment below.