My name is Marisa and I am Type B. Though, I am not ashamed of this, in many entrepreneurial circles it’s an unpopular declaration to make. If you read enough entrepreneurial blogs, it seems that to run a successful business you must be a perfectionist or micro-manager. I am not this, which isn’t to say that I don’t want things done well or am not prone to obsessive tendencies
First let’s define type A and B behaviors are:
Type A and Type B personality theory was first published in the 1950’s by cardiologists Meyer Freidman & RH Rosenman. After a nine-year study of over 3,000 healthy men aged 35-59, Friedman and Rosenman speculated that certain patterns of behavior carried a higher risk of coronary disease and devised a method for categorizing patients as either type A, type B or type AB (for those who defied easy categorization).
They determined that someone with a Type A personality is more likely to be concerned with status and achievement. They are often workaholics, who may have issues with self-esteem and impatience. They’re also more likely to be quick to anger. (Subsequently, this is the personality type that Friedman and Rosenman associated with a high risk of heart disease.)
Type B personalities report higher levels of life satisfaction and are more likely to be patient and even-tempered. They are often described as being generally patient, relaxed, easy-going, and at times lacking an overriding sense of urgency.
This isn’t to say that As are stressed out dictators and Bs are easy-going angels. Having been raised by a Type A (mother) and Type B (father) and associated with a Type A sister, I definitely have characteristics of both A and B. I like having a routine, I can get stressed out, and I obey deadlines. However, my need to succeed is driven by a need to help people and learn new things, rather than a desire to be number one.
Again, this isn’t to say that I don’t like to win. It’s rather that my expectations are to feel satisfied in my accomplishment and achieve personal goals. I’ve run and completed three marathons and three half marathons, which are very Type A things to do. However, I didn’t set out to win any of them, which would have been very unrealistic. Instead, I set out to run a race that felt good. If I achieve my desired time, awesome. If it don’t, it’s okay. I don’t define my identity by whether I am a fast runner or not.
Being self-employed requires a little Type A to stay focused and disciplined. But I don’t believe that working for yourself is an excuse for workaholic behaviors. I enjoy having flexible work hours, which allow me to be available when I need to be and when I feel inspired. I am neither limited to a 9-5 work day, nor obligated to work 80 hours. I work in bursts and give myself time to learn, explore and collaborate with others.
I have worked for a number of Type A personalities and it wasn’t very enjoyable. In fact, I become even more of a Type B around them – I don’t like to fight for the role of dictator, so I don’t. But that doesn’t mean I like to be shouted at or dominated. Type Bs thrive in a collaborative, supportive environment, which is why in today’s world of social business initiatives, Type Bs are poised to make the most strides. It’s not about accolades or being the star – it’s about being a part of something innovative and impactful.
I am a Type B personality because I am okay with not knowing all the answers. I don’t get into pissing contests about who works the hardest or longest. I am dedicated to achieving my personal best, which is different that someone else’s personal best. I am confident in my abilities and inspired to get better at what I do – but not at the expense of stifling growth or innovation.
I love taking the time to learn more about new situations and issues and like to ask questions. In a field like digital and social media, technologies are constantly changing and evolving – it’s not about getting it right the first time; rather it’s about experimenting, collaborating, evolving and learning.