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Advice for Designers

Know Yourself, Be Wildly Successful; Webinar with Penelope Trunk & Maria Killam

By 01/08/2014February 20th, 201717 Comments

Know Yourself; Be Wildly Successful

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I have a confession. You know that part of you that you’re convinced is bad or wrong or could be better or you wish was different or fill in the blank here?

Well as long as I live, up until Penelope and I did the blogging webinar in December my secret (well not sooo secret anymore because I do talk about it on this blog) stress and worry is that I don’t have this huge circle of friends that other people have.

I actually hosted a party once in my early 30’s late 20’s where almost no one came. So now, whenever I have a party, I worry that no one will show.

Penelope makes me feel normal.  When I did the personality test and figured out that I was an ENTJ, I called her. She said “I’m in ENTJ too, no one really likes to work with us, we’re crazy. I’m the one who calls up my sub-contractor/employee and yells at them to fix something because ‘Hey I’m losing money here’. Then I feel bad and call them back to apologize.” I said “OMG, haha that’s me too!”.

A little about ENTJs, they make up only 2% of the world, and only 1% are women. They make up nearly 100% of Fortune 500 CEOs. This is because ENTJs were born to lead big teams to big results. An ENTJ doesn’t actually care what they lead, but they need a team.

So here’s what I’ve learned about me this past year. It’s okay that I have a few, really close, great friends, it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with me that I don’t have friends by the dozens.

Know Yourself Be Wildly Successful

So here’s the thing, we are either having wild success in our life, or we are fighting against who we are. The things we wish we were doing that we’re not doing, we’re not doing because it’s not right for us. So if we understood that, we can stop being disappointed in ourselves and start doing what we’ll have wild success at.

The other dynamic that happens that keeps the “There’s something wrong with me” conversation alive is that we intuitively surround ourselves with people who are not like us, and that just validates for ourselves further, that there’s somethings wrong with us.

So Penelope and I–she’s the genius when it come to Meyers Briggs–are doing a 4 day course on personality types. Taking this course will show you how to be comfortable with who you are and THAT will lead to your biggest success.

We talked about personality types when we did our blogging seminar together but this one is entirely about personality types and how to have a successful design business being YOU! How awesome is that?

The course will be live starting February 4 – 7, 2014 at 11:00 am PST time for approximately one hour each day. You’ll get a link to do the test so you can find out which type you are as soon as you register.

The cost is $197.


Here’s an example of a question Penelope received from an ESTP during our blogging webinar:

‘My business is mostly word of mouth. Should I take long-term clients who spend a lot of money or short term clients who are fun? I worry I won’t be able to get enough new clients if I focus on short-term clients.’ 

An ESTP likes being around people but doesn’t like to be tied down to anyone. Variety is really important and being able to finish a project and move on is really important. ESTPs can get an incredible amount done in a short amount of time. But the project needs clear definition and any sign of emotional drama — typical of long-term clients — will send and ESTP reeling. So even if getting lots of short-term clients seems risky, for an ESTP it’s far less riskier than setting up a business that depends on long-term emotional involvement with clients. We succeed at doing what we are skilled at doing. Short-term projects will bring an ESTP the most success.
Know Yourself, Be Wildly Successful
My friend and I want to start a business together. She is good at marketing but she doesn’t know the interior decorating business as well as I do. If we divide up the tasks of the business so that she is getting clients and I am dealing with them after the sale, will this be a good way for us to work together? 
You probably already know what you should do because your biggest strength is your intuition. Also, you have little need for money so you can be flexible about what you do. Your expectations of the world are higher than most peoples’ so most jobs will disappoint you. You also need a lot of variety. So going back to school is not a good idea because you will overcommit yourself to a career you are not likely to want to do for very long. But your strong intuition will make you able to launch a design business without the degree. You connect with people well and you learn quickly. Learn on the job instead of going to school. You’ll make some money, and learn more and make more money and you’ll have the joy of learning at your own pace and connecting with people at your own pace, and those are things that are really important to your fulfillment.
Personality type:
ISTJ for the marketing friend
INTJ for the decorating friend
In general, it’s a great idea to split up the duties of a business. Clear-cut responsibilities and little overlapping means that you can divide and conquer at a fast rate. But there’s a caveat: you need to have clear cut skill sets to match the clear-cut responsibilities. In this case, neither of the friends is particularly visionary. Both of them are very good at implementing a vision that someone else puts into place.
If you think about the world, it’s divided into people who go to meetings and plan, and people who take over after the meeting and do. Some of us have skills for both, but each of us has stronger skills either during the meeting or after the meeting.
Both the people in this partnership are do-ers, which means that this business will be low on creativity and vision. The INTJ, especially, is likely to grow frustrated because the INTJ can solve complex problems with large systems, but there is no opportunity to do that in this business model. And the ISTJ will be frustrated because so much of generating new business is visionary and intuitive and an ISTJ is logic based and generally right about everything, but disinterested when it comes to things where there is no right answers – like sales.
Solution: Try to pick a partner who helps you create work that is most fulfilling to you. An ISTJ should partner with someone who can make plans but not necessarily execute. An INTJ should partner with someone who thinks big and needs someone to implement complex systems.
Is this stuff cool or what?
Sign up here, and see the breakdown of what we cover each day.
Everyone loved the Blogging webinar we did together in December. This one will be just as awesome!
And don’t forget THE COURSE WILL BE TAPED if you miss it.
See you there!


  • I took the blogging course and signed up right away for this next course. I think Briggs Meyers is so helpful. I am looking forward to it, but I thought it was scheduled for January 24th? Thanks again for the awesom blogging webinar. It was fun, fascinating and very informative.

  • Arlene says:

    Well Maria you have done a good job of marketing this course. I really your like your blog about decorating. But now that you are onto the subject about personal development consider taking the online class with Brene Brown and Oprah from Brenes book The Gift of Imperfection. Register now at or check out Byron Katie’s site. The closer you touch your soul the more light will be in your life. Try yoga – it is life changing. Good luck with Meyers Briggs.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Hi Arlene,
      I have done over 10 years of personal growth and development work through Landmark Education, it was totally life changing and I would not be married to someone or have an employee that wasn’t doing the course tomorrow still to this day. What makes this personality course powerful is it’s about assessing your strengths and weaknesses so you can figure out which kind of job is right for you. It’s a different cut on personal growth which is what makes it great.

  • If you like Meyers Briggs I highly recommend StrengthsFinder 2.0. It focuses on developing strengths instead of overcoming weakness. I did this last year at a retreat with some close friends. It was impacting for all of us. Because the group was women I know well I could see the accuracy of the assessment. We had great discussions on our strengths and how to exploit them while accepting our weaknesses. In other words, it helped us to focus on how to be the best ‘me’ we could.

  • Beth says:

    Well said, Maria.

    Is this an additional course to the one I already signed up for starting January 21st, or was the date changed?

  • franki says:

    Never stop learning! franki

  • Katy says:

    I wish there was a class for ISTPs who can’t make a decision and are forever stuck just researching ideas. Cripes. :/
    I’m starting to think that I am meant to just live in a cave and hunt for survival.

    • Katy, I’m married to an ISTP and we talk about Myers Briggs all the time. He is absolutely the most productive person I know, but he seldom has a long-term plan for how to channel that productivity. It was ground-breaking for him to learn about personality type because he could understand his strengths, which are so hard to see in the context of a world that celebrates long-term planning. I really recommend that you take the course – I’m OBSESSED with making ISTPs love their life.


    • Sharon says:

      That gave me a chuckle Katy. As an ENFP I often feel the same way – only because the F and P of me are so misinterpreted! Thankfully I have learned to operate in the TJ side of me for major decisions!!

      Interesting statistics, Maria, about ENTJ’s – a number of my good friends are ENTJ’s. I learned to take their strengths to balance out my weakness and they have done the same in their lives. And as I have grown older I am finding my preferences style are more balanced out! That’s what happens when you grow to be more comfortable with ALL sides of the preference spectrum in your life. Have a great time learning!

    • Katy says:

      Sharon – one of my best friends in the world is ENFP, and we have a lot of the same issues !! LOL We can see huge talent in each other but we can’t plan sh*t to save our lives, so we build awesome things and then wonder why we never get where we want to be 😉
      There should be a support group! ha

  • Ellen says:

    Hi Maria,
    So I am new to your blog and trying to follow this but not sure where the cheat sheet is for ISTP, INTJ – which sounds like me, etc Did I miss a blog?
    Very interesting stuff. Keep up the great writing. I am learning so much.

    • Hi, Ellen. I am here, so I’ll just answer the question – before you start the first day of the course, you’ll get a test you can take to determine your type. And we’ll send you information about your type. So you’ll come to the class knowing your strengths. The course will explain to you how to understand what makes you special in the context of the rest of the world – it’s so hard to see ourselves in the context of everyone else. And the course will also show you what to do with those four letters that are your score – what to do with this knowledge of your strengths in order to create success in your life.


  • Clare says:

    I am not in the design business, but I read your blog because it includes interesting information on all sorts of things besides design. I also have a client based business, personal training, and am very interested in learning how I can use my strengths to their fullest potential. Does anyone out there know of a course that would be similar to this in businesses other than interior design?

  • Ellen says:

    Thank you. I saw where I missed the info.

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