The business growth you won’t see on a spreadsheet, with Brit Kolo.

In this episode I talk with Brit Kolo, founder of Marketing Personalities, about business growth that can’t be quantified on a spreadsheet. We talk about investing in your business, and recognizing that YOU are the biggest asset in your company.

Brit also shares “Why marketing that feels good” is more effective, and how your personality type can help determine your best strategy!

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Linsi is fantastically enthusiastic.

I love the Spark + Victory with Linsi Brownson podcast. She is and continues to be an inspiration for solopreneurs as they navigate the waters of the entrepreneurial dream. If you are looking for action-oriented tips and strategies to improve your business, this is the podcast for you!
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Read the Interview with Brit Kolo:

Linsi Brownson: Hi, Brit. Thank you so much for coming and joining me today. I am really looking forward to talking with you.

Brit Kolo: Linsi, thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to dive in.

Linsi Brownson: I’m a total personality test, personality type nerd. I think a lot of people are really interested in taking those kinds of personality quizzes just to learn more about themselves in different ways. And just look at BuzzFeed and all the ridiculous quizzes that we answer to find out what our spirit animal is.

I love what you do specifically because, in the world of being an entrepreneur, it is such a game-changing level of insight to really see what our personalities mean in terms of how we show up as leaders and really hone in on the ways that we can optimize our work and what we do in our marketing, it is really fascinating to me.

Brit Kolo: Well I’m so glad. I’m excited, as always, to get more people thinking this way. I am a personality type nerd as well, I always have been. I think ever since high school when I had to take my first personality type assessment so I could learn what to do with the rest of my life, those things that we have to do. Ever since then I’ve just been so fascinated and to come full circle and to connect your personality type with your best marketing strategy, a strategy that’s going to actually feel good for you and not feel fake and salesy, I’m super excited about it too. I’m glad to hear that’s then resonating with you.

Linsi Brownson: Yeah absolutely. I love that you say marketing that feels good. I love that’s a thing because so often I think as we start to get into marketing our business and figuring out the different platforms that we want to use, and the message and our branding overall, you hear a lot the phrase “what feels fun, what feels easy.” That’s great in theory, but I think a lot of business owners are like okay, “how do I figure out what feels fun and what feels easy.” Sometimes it just all feels hard, so why don’t you share a little bit about Marketing Personalities and how it works?

Brit Kolo: Okay, yeah. Super cool. Marketing Personalities is a website that you can go to to find what your best marketing strategy is based on your Myers-Briggs personality type. The reason that this matters is because I believe, and I’m sure you do too, you shouldn’t have to feel fake and salesy to grow your business.

Unfortunately, that’s where a lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners find themselves. They have all these marketing options and they all feel difficult, just like you said. They just all feel like I just don’t…I know this worked for this person, and this consultant, or this person I’m following on Instagram is telling me to do this, but I just don’t know. Sometimes you go ahead and put that strategy that you’re learning into play, and it worked great for someone else, but it just flops for you. You end up feeling like something’s wrong with you, like why can’t you make this work.

The truth of the matter is that you have a unique set of skills wrapped up into your personality type. If we can leverage what naturally feels good for you, which is your personality type, into your marketing strategy, yes you’re marketing it going to feel better, marketing that feels good. That’s the point here. But it’s also going to work.

You might want it to feel good, but really the underlying craving here is for it to feel good and work. We need it to work. We’re not just here for giggles. We want this to work. If you can show up in your marketing in a way that feels good, feels natural to you, it’s also going to attract the right people to your business and that’s how it works. “Your vibe attracts your tribe”, yeah it’s a little cliché, I get it, but it’s true. If you’re showing up in a way that just doesn’t feel good for you, you’re kind of feeling fake, a little salesy, a little pushy, a little awkward, whatever that adjective is for you, your audience is going to pick up on that and they’re going to naturally not be into it.

Linsi Brownson: Yes. By the very nature of really tuning into this and what suits you best, you will never be salesy, and sleazy and cheesy. None of those things are even a problem for you – it won’t exist because you’re just doing what naturally comes to you and I think that’s really cool.

You mentioned the idea of the cliché of some of the messaging out there. It’s always interesting to me because we read these inspirational quotes, and we read these ideas and even insight that we hear from other business owners and we think “okay, that’s great for you, but marketing that feels good just sounds like a thing that people say,” until you start doing marketing that feels good. Then you’re like “oh yes, I got it, I got it.” Your system I think is so brilliant because it does make it really clear in what you should do based on the personality that you have.

I’m curious, because like I said, I love different personality typing, I’m a big fan of the Enneagram and The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin, I’m a rebel, yay. In Myers-Briggs I’m INFJ. I’m curious in terms of Myers-Briggs, how did you land on that system? Why do you think that’s the best system for helping people determine their marketing type?

Brit Kolo: I love this question because, like I said, I’m also a personality type assessment nerd, and so I too love the Enneagram, I love the Four Tendencies, Sally Hogshead’s Fascinate Assessment, all of it is so intriguing. Self-awareness is so key and I’m sure we’ll get to that in a bit.

I chose to base Marketing Personalities off of the Myers-Briggs framework simply because it still stands as the gold standard of personality typing. It’s been around for so long, since the 20s, and it has so much support and backing, and it’s so widely understood and known. Most people, while they might not have heard of the Enneagram yet or any of the other assessments, they probably have heard and been exposed to Myers-Briggs. Those two factors, it’s been around for a while, super supported, very well-backed in its accuracy and people know about it. Those two things were what really led me to saying “yeah, this is what I want to base it on.”

Of course, I’m also looking at those other assessments and seeing how they can play into this down the road. But for right now, the foundation is Myers-Briggs. hile it’s the gold standard, I can’t say it’s the “best” because I think we’re all different. There are 16 personality types, but there are billions of people on the planet and every single one of those people are different from each other. Myers-Briggs can give us a really solid foundation and then the other assessments can come in and give us that much more self-awareness to lend itself into this best marketing strategy of yours. So it comes up all the time like someone will get their best marketing strategy and say, “Okay, okay, I see that. That validates what I’ve been doing or what I’ve been thinking about doing”.

I also have this idea over here and I think it could feel good, but it doesn’t really align with what you’ve suggested for me to do. I always say, “Hey, if you think it’s going to feel good for you, try it out.” Please experiment because we’re all different. I’ve given you a really solid nugget…It’s pretty proven so far, something to run with and know that’s going to feel good for you. And you still have plenty of wiggle room to experiment with different things and queue into those other self-awareness assessments to gain even more insight into what’s going to feel good, what’s going to work for you, and play with all of that, definitely play with it.

Linsi Brownson: One of the things that I think is so brilliant about personality types, at least in my experience of learning about myself in this way, is that I’ve always found them to be very liberating in understanding that’s why I do certain things, or that’s why I tend to behave this way when I’m in a stressful situation. It kind of takes the pressure off of me to be like “oh, there’s other people out there in the world who experience the world in the same way.” That kind of helps circle back to this idea that we are here to figure out how the world looks for us in our own way, so taking that pressure off of needing to follow a specific regimen and say, “I’m here to find what works best for me”. The personality types gives you that idea, that insight, or the freedom to say “what does work best for me” even within the frameworks that you have.

I love that there’s alternate personality assessments out there, but Myers-Briggs is a really tried and true, proven system, so tell people how it works. I’m an INFJ, what happens when I come and say “what does that mean for my marketing personality?”

Brit Kolo: Yeah, yeah, here’s what happens, and it’s really straightforward. You go to marketingpersonalities.com – you find your personality type. If you don’t know your Myers-Briggs personality type already you can go to 16personalities.com. I don’t own that, that’s not mine, that’s just a free assessment to go find your personality type based on the Myers-Briggs framework. Then you come back over to marketingpersonalities.com, you click on your personality type, I’m going to tell you a bit more about who you are based on that personality type, things like where you find your flow in your work, where you find your power within your work. Then you can go on, click through, and find what your best marketing strategy is going to include. I give you the basics really.

You’re an INFJ, so what you found on that next page on the website was that your best marketing strategy is going to include long-form content and longer indoctrination periods within your marketing strategy because as an INFJ we know that you need depth and breadth to go deep with someone. You are not a surface level person, not even a little bit. You are always thinking deeper. You have thought about things, solutions to things and options and opportunities way, way deeper than most other personality types. If that’s the way your mind works, it’s probably not going to feel great to just go up to somebody and try to sell to them. There’s got to be some indoctrination in there. You got to make sure that they’re really getting what you offer and they’re going to get the most out of what you offer, there’s work that needs to be done before you just say, “Hey, buy this thing”.

For an INFJ, long-form content, whether that’s written content or audio content, like a podcast or a video. The format of the content doesn’t really matter, it’s just the fact that it’s long-form, something that you can get off the surface level and go deep with someone.

That’s for the INFJ, but there are 16 personality types, so whatever you are I’m going to give you that nugget that you need to know what your best marketing strategy is going to include.

Then, from there, you can run off and implement. You can just, what does that mean, how do I get that into my strategy, you can go do whatever you need with that. Then I offer a much more in-depth full report that goes even deeper into that best marketing strategy giving you examples of what that could look like, examples of entrepreneurs who also share this personality type, books that I would recommend specifically for you, what your worst marketing strategy includes, because that’s going to give you information about what to stay away from.

Then there are other things down the line like a course that walks you through mapping your perfect marketing strategy, and so on. But that’s how it works, that’s the nitty-gritty.

Linsi Brownson: That’s awesome. Well as a person who loves to go deep, I really appreciate that deep dive into what this looks like and how it works. It really is a fascinating system and I’m sure that it was a long time in the making for you to come to this framework and really be able to dig into that level to be so valuable for people.

Brit, I know you’ve been at this for a while and you have another company that does amazing work with people, I’m curious, as an entrepreneur, what has been one of the hardest or one of the biggest lessons that you’ve learned on this path and how has it shaped the way that you do your work today?

Brit Kolo: I love this question and I’m so glad that you’re asking it to people because there’s so much to learn. There’s so much wisdom to glean from the answers that your guests are giving. I don’t know if I can live up to that, but I’m going to try.

This is just the honest truth, in 2018, this year that we’re recording in, I have learned a big, huge lesson. It’s that the growth in your business doesn’t necessarily end up in a spreadsheet. It’s not always the numbers that you’re tracking. It’s not just the numbers that you can track through your funnel, or the chart, or diagram that you’ve come up with on your strategy and how well it’s working, sometimes growth in your business has to start with you.

That personal growth isn’t necessarily something you can always track. Especially if you’re like me, what I’ve gone through in the past year has been, oh my goodness, an immense level of personal growth and expansion personally. That’s hard. When you’re entrepreneurial minded, and you’re trying to “grow your business”, you want to be able to see numbers that are attached to that growth so then you can project and compare and set new goals, whatever. It’s not always trackable like that.

I think some of the most important work that you can ever do in your business is the kind of growth that you can’t put on a spreadsheet. It’s the personal growth, it’s the self-awareness piece. Understanding, taking time enough to understand what actually fulfills you as a person, how you best show up in the world. Yeah, full circle, Marketing Personalities filters right into that. I feel so strongly about this framework because I realize that you can start by building your marketing strategy from pretty much any angle. Usually people start by considering what their ideal client or customer needs. But I really think it has to start with you.

Your marketing strategy has to start with you. Your business growth has to start with you and the very first piece is that self-awareness and the dedication to the personal growth. That’s been hard. It’s been hard this year because I’ve made these big projections at the beginning of 2018 and I made these big goals. I get through Q1 and Q2 and then Q3 and I’m am just not even close. I’ve had days where I’m back here on my office floor just like, “What am I doing” because I’m only looking at the numbers. But I have to step back and give myself credit for the personal growth that I’ve been through because that’s the stuff that’s going to allow 2019 to be all that I want it to be, and 2020, 2021. That’s been super hard.

It’s been a struggle, but now here at the end of 2018 I definitely recognize and am grateful for the personal growth that I’ve been through to lend itself to the business growth I expect in the future.

Linsi Brownson: Awesome. Thank you so much for sharing that, for being so raw and open about it. I love that it all ties into this theme. Every entrepreneur I talk to is not too far off from this experience because when we really come back down to it, we don’t start businesses generally for the money. That’s a goal, obviously, we start it for our livelihood. We start it for the quality of life that we’re after, and for this experience of meaning in our life that we really are wanting to achieve. Money is a huge factor of that, sure, and numbers matter. But, you’ve got to always come back to “what does this business mean to me?” If you’re not cued into that then you’re really going to have a hard time even hitting those numbers, I think.

I think that’s a big challenge for people as well. Just like with marketing, you can do marketing that doesn’t feel good, it can technically work, just like you can run a business that doesn’t feel good that can technically work. But when you look at the definition of success and your own version of that on the whole, what works is going to be what feels good, always.

Brit Kolo: Yeah, nail on the head, nail on the head. I always say this, it’s like we didn’t quit our jobs and start these businesses to hate 85% of our day. Unfortunately, that’s funny when you think…but then you actually think about it and you’re like, “Wait a second,” a lot of entrepreneurs, even the ones that are listening right now, if they’re being honest with themselves that might be where they’re at.

Linsi Brownson: Yeah.

Brit Kolo: But when we’re being honest about it, are you really loving most of your day, like 80% of your day? I don’t think that we quit our jobs, and start this thing, and go out on a limb and take that leap and all those other whatever, phrases to feel crappy about 80% of our day. We just did not do that. You hit the nail on the head there. It’s a both/and. It’s let’s get this thing to work and let’s feel good doing it. I believe, and I know you believe, I think a lot of us can get behind it can be both/and, it doesn’t have to be either/or, it can be both/and, and let’s do that.

Linsi Brownson: Right, and I think what’s so beautiful about it is when you come to that place, and you recognize that is truly possible, then you become evangelical about it. I still see so much messaging out there about the hustle and then so much messaging out there about just follow your bliss. Just like you’re saying, both/and, okay both of those are a little bit true and both of those are a little bit nonsense, but I do know that it’s possible to wake up and genuinely be energized, and excited and inspired about your work so that the things that are still difficult and hard they’re not draining you, they’re not pulling you out of the place that you’re supposed to be. I think it’s important work for us to do constantly as entrepreneurs. We don’t just get to check the box now and say, “Found my purpose. Got it”. But this is the work that we’re doing on a regular basis to stay tuned in. That’s a lot of the reason I’m doing this podcast is because I want that to be our continual work.

Brit Kolo: Right.

Linsi Brownson: If you don’t mind sharing a little bit about how did you come to this realization for you and is there any sort of insight that you can share for people who are thinking okay, yeah, honestly I do hate most of my day? What do people do?

Brit Kolo: Well just being willing to be honest with that fact. Maybe I guess the first step is to ask yourself radical honesty, “how much do I love what I’m doing right now?”, radical honesty. You don’t even have to say that out loud, say it in your head. But it takes courage to even ask that question because what if the answer is I don’t really love this? Being courageous enough to ask that question is huge. Being even more brave to answer it is awesome, let’s do that. Then being willing to change the things that aren’t aligned with what you uncover in your answer, aren’t aligned with what really lights you up.

If you don’t know what really lights you up, if you don’t know what’s going to feel good for you, that’s the self-awareness piece that I was talking about. That’s the personal growth piece that you can try to get a handle on, you can also not. You have full permission to be like, “Yeah, no, that all sounds really awesome, but it’s not reality”. That is your right to say that.

But if you’re sitting there and you’re like, “Okay, I could believe this. I could believe that this could feel good, and work and fulfill me” then start by asking the question, then answer it, and then be brave enough to shift things.

Honestly, there are so many people that I’m surrounded by day after day now that this is what I do, that are getting behind this, getting behind the blend of “I’m showing up, I’m an entrepreneur, I know how to work.” It’s not like it’s all airy, fairy, just let it all come to you.

Linsi Brownson: Right.

Brit Kolo: But then there’s also that magical piece of like…and yet, stuff still happens to come to me and it’s so awesome. And so there’s this blend there and I am surrounded by people like that now. I dig it, I did it. If you’re willing to go there, and blend those two things and find what feels good, there is a whole tribe of people out there definitely within my network, definitely within Linsi’s network, and in our shared networks that are just like, yeah, “let’s do that.” I love that. I can’t really imagine a better one, so you’re supported. If you want to do this you’re definitely supported and it’s worth it. It’s worth trying to experiment with.

Linsi Brownson: Yes! Thank you, Brit. Thank you so much for that.

Just like you said, I think asking the question, being brave enough to answer it. Then the follow-up question is “what is possible?”, because a big thing that I really want people to know is that whatever it is that you come up with, whatever that answer is for what is tugging at your heart, even if you can’t articulate it right now, just like you said, your work then is to continue to go down the path of trying to articulate it but know that it is possible. It absolutely 100%, you can have everything you want, everything. It’s a matter of how you shape it, how you get there, but it’s all possible. It’s just such a beautiful, again, I think liberating, that word keeps coming to mind, it’s such a freeing thought to have.

Brit Kolo: Thank you for bringing that energy, seriously, because not everyone is wired like that. Listeners, if you’re listening to this right now, you’ve obviously subscribed or just tried listening to this podcast, don’t stop because that energy that Linsi just brought, the fact that it’s possible, is not common, unfortunately. That type of energy is not super common. You can find all sorts of people out there that will say exactly opposite of what Linsi just said in subliminal, subconscious ways. Please block them out and plug into this, seriously. Plug into this. You’re going to feel better and it’s going to attract even better energy, that’s how this work, right?

Linsi Brownson: Yes.

Brit Kolo: You bring the good, you commit to the good, guess what you’re going to get? Good stuff. This podcast is exactly what this is. This is the good. Plug into the good, you’ll get good stuff.

Thank you sincerely. I kind of just took over the host…sorry. Sincerely, thank you for bringing that type of energy to the entrepreneurial space. We need more of it and I wanted to just lift you up and say, “Yes, this is what we want. This is what we need”. I love it.

Linsi Brownson: Thank you so much. That’s so, so sweet. I feel the same about you and the work that you do. You’re so right, this space that we have created and the community that we’ve come to know is a big part of that. We’re not in this alone. We’re running our businesses, but we’re definitely not alone in this. I love it.

Brit Kolo: Yes.

Linsi Brownson: Brit, thank you so much. It’s just such a pleasure to talk with you. Okay, tell people where they can find out more about Marketing Personalities.

Brit Kolo: Super, super simple, marketingpersonalities.com, that’s all you need to do right now, marketingpersonalities.com. That’s where you’re going to find everything. Then you’ll find me other places, but that’s the number one thing you need to do right now. Go find that out.

Linsi Brownson: One step, that makes it so crystal clear. Always a fan. Thank you again, Brit.

Brit Kolo: Thanks, Linsi.