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She Calls Her Shots Podcast

Ep. 130: How the Enneagram Transformed My Business & Life

January 23, 2024

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As a business owner, it’s crucial that we learn to ebb and flow with the waves of our life & business. We can’t separate the two (no matter how hard we might try). Our personal life has a way of affecting how we show up in our business, so the more that we can know and understand ourselves, the better! And the Enneagram is BY FAR my most favorite tool to keep myself in check with both aspects of my life. 

Over the last few years I’ve been diving into the Enneagram and while doing so, I’ve seen drastic shifts in how I show up — both in my personal life and in my business. In today’s episode, I’m sharing how my business and life look drastically different now (since learning more about my Enneagram type).

You don’t need to have any specific Enneagram knowledge to get tips and nuggets of wisdom  from today’s episode — I’m candidly sharing the ways I’ve learned to create more ease and flow in my life and business while ALSO loving and accepting myself fully. These are honestly some of the BIGGEST shifts I’ve made over the last couple of years (and they’ve paid off more than I can express — both mentally/emotionally and monetarily).

I’m so excited for you to dive in with me! 🎧

P.S I’d love to hear what Enneagram type you are! Screenshot this episode and tag me on IG with your Enneagram number 🎉

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Hey there and welcome to the she Calls Her Shots podcast. Every week, we chat through different business building topics that will help you gain clarity around your goals, find inspiration in your journey and also help you create a life and a business that you love. My name is Krista and I’m a wedding and brand photographer and you’re a go-to no fluff business coach. In these episodes, we talk through both the tactical strategies, habits and the mindset work that will help you take those really big leaps, and we always focus on the real talk and the behind the scenes of what it takes to create a sustainable and a thriving business, because, let’s be honest, the work isn’t always glamorous, but it’s always worth it. So, girlfriend, let’s make some moves and start calling our own shots. Hello, my friend, welcome back to this week’s episode of the she Calls Her Shots podcast.

Today we are diving into how the Enneagram has helped me transform my business, and you might be thinking, krista, I’m still new to the Enneagram. I’m not really sure what that is. That’s okay. You don’t need to have any Enneagram knowledge in order to listen into this episode. I’m going to be talking to you about the really tactical ways that using the Enneagram has helped me transform, but in what that looks like for me and my business. So we’re not really going to dive too much into the types or intricacies of each of the Enneagram types. We’re really just going to talk about how I’m going to share a little bit more about my journey and how my business has transformed by being able to put language and understanding my type more, how having that knowledge has actually created tangible change and what that has manifested in my business. So I personally still think the Enneagram is, hands down, the best tool that I’ve ever used and found along my personal growth journey.

I have done many personality assessments. They’ve never really translated to me creating change because they felt a little, as my mentor kind of says, like pie in the sky, kind of like these really high level things that I didn’t really know. Like great, you say that I’m XYZ personality, but what do I do with that? How do I change? How do I make a difference? And the Enneagram was the first tool that I ever found that gave me so much information about my core motivations and my core desires and what I’m actually searching for. That’s actually giving me the tools to then create change from that place. So today I really just am excited to dive into how my business looks different today than it did before.

I knew about the Enneagram and knew about my type and, like I said, even if you’re not familiar with the Enneagram, as you know, if you’ve listened to this podcast for any amount of time, I’m really about creating more ease and flow in our business. My goal with this podcast is for us to just chat over coffee or during your commute, or as you’re folding laundry, or as you’re in the shower, or as you’re getting some editing done and you have this on in the background. However, it is that you’re listening to this. My goal is for us to talk through and just start to normalize the experience of being a business owner. There’s so much that gets not talked about and, as I’ve done, obviously, as I dove into the Enneagram and learned more about each type, it really has opened up my perspective into realizing we all truly do see things so differently. The lens that we perceive life through is so different. Our motivations and the desires behind the decisions we make and how we show up and why we show up the way that we do is truly so unique, and so my job here is to help us just highlight and normalize the things that I have found, the things that I’ve experienced along my journey, and my hope is that, as you’re listening, in bits and pieces of this, you’ll be able to say, oh yeah, I’ve had this too, I’ve experienced this too. Or it’s helpful to know I’m not the only one. Or oh, that’s a new perspective or a way of thinking about things that I hadn’t thought about before. So, all that said, let’s go ahead and dive right in.

So I was introduced to the Enneagram actually when I was working full time. Still For those of you who don’t know, I worked full time while growing my photography business. For, oh gosh, I think over when was that? Nine years, ten years. So I was introduced to the Enneagram back, I think, in about 2015 or 2016. I was still working full-time in. I was a university recruiter for a tech company here in San Francisco and we did it as a team building exercise, so just to help us get to know the people that we were working with more closely on a daily basis. And my journey with the Enneagram kind of evolved from there as I was.

When I made the transition to go full-time in my business, I was working with a life coach who kind of reintroduced me to the Enneagram, and it was interesting to look at it this time through a lens of being a solo business owner, as opposed to before where I was doing my business on the side. But I was also kind of looking at it through the lens of my full-time job and this was really able to help me pull back and see oh no, like this, actually I don’t know. I feel like I experienced it on a deeper level because, for anyone who is a business owner knows, there is no one telling us what to do, there’s no one telling us how to spend our time, there’s no one showing us how to market correctly, there’s no one writing copy for us. There’s no one, it’s all on us. And so it was really eye-opening for me making that transition to being a full-time business owner, because it really kind of forced me to be aware of my patterns, to kind of see the cycles, to see the things of oh interesting, I’m feeling this type of way again. Or oh interesting, I feel like I’m in this cycle again of these patterns or these beliefs or these feelings that I’m feeling. It was a lot more noticeable whenever I would get into these cycles and patterns and being able to learn about my type on the Enneagram and dig deep into oh interesting, let’s figure out where this is coming from. Where is this stemming from? Let’s dig a little bit deeper here and then, like I said before, let’s figure out how we can create change. Knowing that this is my core desire, knowing this is my core motivation, knowing that this is a pattern or a belief that is typical for my type, how can I then create change? What type of change do I even want to create here? And so the Enneagram really became helpful when I went full-time in my business, because it helped me put language to the things that I was feeling. I’ve noticed for myself and for other clients that I’ve worked with.

Sometimes it’s hard for us to remember that not everybody perceives life the way that we do, and so sometimes we think, oh yeah, everybody feels this type of way about this thing. Oh yeah, everyone struggles with boundaries. Or oh yeah, everyone struggles to share their opinion. Or oh yeah, everyone wants to feel the most productive and accomplished and successful. We sometimes think we fall into the trap of thinking that everyone kind of experiences life in the same way. But we don’t right. We’re all unique individuals. We all, even in the Enneagram. Even if you meet someone who’s the same type as you, doesn’t mean that they’re like an exact duplicate clone of who you are. We all have different life experiences and perspectives and things that are shaping who we are, and so the Enneagram really did help me start to put language and create this change of. Do I want to continue down this path? Do I want things to continue feeling like this or do I want to change it in some way? So there’s three main things that I noticed that kind of shifted in my business, I would say, probably in the last two years, since I’ve really really started to dive in and learn the Enneagram as like a teaching topic. Before I was kind of just learning as a very like novice, just interested in kind of learning more about my type, and in the last two years I’ve really dove in, start to learn about the Enneagram as a whole right, what are all of the unique perspectives of each type? And so, as I’ve really dove deep, there’s three big things that have shifted and changed. The first thing I’ve noticed that is significantly different than it was, you know, three, five plus years ago.

Was I used to describe what I was. I felt like I was going through cycles of burnout. If you listen to the podcast I don’t know maybe in the last couple of years there’s actually quite a few topics about burnout, and I used to guest host on other podcasts talking about burnout because it was such a popular topic, and so I really identified what I was experiencing in my business as burnout. It was just the best language that I felt like I could describe it. But really what was going on was that I found that there were seasons where I would go all in right. So you can see how this is tied to burnout.

Burnout the way that I describe it is when we just kind of like burn the candle at both ends. We go all in. We’re like you know, there’s no healthy boundaries, we’re not getting enough sleep, we’re not meeting our own needs, we’re just like work, work, work. That’s our number and priority Until, all of a sudden, we become resentful, we don’t feel creative, we are just like done, we need a break. That’s kind of how I think about burnout.

For me, the way that presented itself is that I would have seasons where I would be really excited and go all in, and then that was usually followed by a period of time where I would disconnect. I can’t do this anymore. I need a significant break. Sometimes that looked like me playing Hogwarts Legacy on the PlayStation for a week. Sometimes that looked like me just binging movies and Netflix and napping, but the language that I used to be able to describe this as was burnout, because that’s what it felt like.

But when I learned about the Enneagram, I realized you know what this isn’t burnout in the typical sense of I have created really unhealthy boundaries and that’s what’s leading me to burnout. What was actually happening is I, as an Enneagram 9, in our periods of stress, when we feel the most stressed, we go into what’s called sloth mode, and this is where we completely dissociate. We kind of retreat internally. We’re doing the things that bring us peace and comfort, like that’s our main desire is what can I do that will make me feel fully at peace and comfortable? And for me this was so helpful because I was able to then recognize oh, I’m not actually experiencing like burnout in the sense of I’m working too hard, because that part always felt off for me. I never quite understood. Well, I don’t actually feel burned out, I don’t feel like I worked that hard, and that’s why, all of a sudden, I need a break.

What I was actually going through was, as a 9, we go through these cycles of. I now feel overwhelmed. I have too many things that I’m working on. I have all of these ideas that are generating. I have this really big dream. I have all of these things I want to tackle all at once. Now I feel overwhelmed and I don’t know where to start, and so I’m just going to disconnect. I’m going to take that like week or however long break from my business.

And this might sound like not a big distinction, but it was really big for me, because before I, when I couldn’t put language to it, when I just thought I was going through seasons of burnout, I was really confused as to how to fix it, because I didn’t really understand what the problem was. Right, I didn’t feel like I was overworking. That wasn’t the problem. And so a lot of the times, you know the, the remedies for burnout are going to be different than the remedies for what I was going through, and so it always kind of left me just going through these cycles again and again and again and not really knowing how to fix it.

And so once I learned that about myself, oh, whenever I feel really overwhelmed, I go into this like sloth mode and just completely disconnect. Well, now I have an understanding of how I can fix this. Now I know it’s not actually burnout that I’m experiencing, I’m just really overwhelmed because I know my personality type. I know that I just have so much that I want to do all at the same time. Now I know okay, now it’s a prioritizing issue, now it’s a how can I keep this super simple solution as opposed to how can I avoid burnout, how can I not overwork myself, right? You see how those are two very different solutions.

And so once I was able to learn that about myself, I was then able to say, oh, it’s not that I need to take a break and allow myself space to not work. I actually just need to minimize and minimize the things I’m working on, like, really keep them as simple as possible, and notice when I start to disconnect. Right, this has been one of the biggest things for me when I start to feel like I’m dissociating, when I start to feel like I’m retreating to that inner place because I know that that’s a pattern of mine I can lovingly kind of accept where I am in that moment instead of like making myself feel wrong, like, oh, why do I feel like I need to take a break? Or why do I feel like I blah, blah, blah, like all the negative self-talk. Now that I know this is just a part of me that I go to in times of stress, I can love myself through that, I can let myself take a couple hours or a day, like if I need to take a break, I can take a break and I can make that not mean anything about myself. So I think that’s been one of the biggest things there.

Right Is learning these tendencies and things that I sometimes fall into and learning how to not make them mean that I’m wrong or bad or that there’s something wrong with me. So that was, I think, one of the ways is helping me to recognize my patterns, putting language to them so that I can better solve them or better find solutions for them. So that was the first way that I’ve noticed a big change. The second thing was as a nine. We all have different conflict styles, right, even in the any room. We all have different levels of conflict and things that we’re comfortable with.

As a nine, I am very avoidant of conflict, sometimes to the detriment of myself, right, like I will purposely not share my opinion or beliefs or bring up anything that I think might upset someone, so out of fear that they might get upset, right. But then what does that mean? Well, that means I’m not in a healthy way sharing my thoughts, opinions, needs and beliefs, right? So, like this avoidance of conflict isn’t a oh, you’re so good at keeping the peace Well, yeah, I am, but also sometimes to the detriment of me actually sharing my full self, who I am, my beliefs and the self trust that comes with that. There’s a certain level of when you can share from your heart and you can have enough self love and acceptance to be able to share your opinions. That very much transforms who you are as a person and the amount that people can love you.

When you can show up fully and share your beliefs and in this unapologetic this is right Like, this is all of me you allow other people to love you even more because they can see the full you, and that was something I struggled with for a long time. People loved me, but sometimes I thought maybe some of this love, though, is because I always keep the peace. I’m always making sure that others around me are happy. Of course people are gonna love me and love who I am. They don’t know the fullest version of me and so when I kind of recognize that, that is again that is a core part of my type as a nine. It helped me recognize I hate for lack of better words.

Sometimes I thought that my peacemaking ability was like my superpower, but it helped me recognize. Yes, it’s a superpower, but it’s also like I mentioned before, it’s also keeping me from showing my full self and actually kind of hurting my relationships Like people can’t truly know love and see the fullest version of me. And when I could recognize that and start making changes to start more lovingly showing up as my full self, sharing my beliefs, sharing my opinions, and not in a pushy way, right Like this is still gonna be a stretch for me to do this, but because I was able to recognize it, it helped people see me even more fully and what that has allowed me to do is create healthy, a more healthy relationship to conflict. I’m still not fully there, right Like, I still don’t love conflict, but I’m at least able to recognize and address it and start to open up to it a little bit more, and what I feel like that’s done is that I’m no longer feeling like the shoe’s gonna drop in my personal life or my business.

Because here’s the thing as business owners, we can sometimes get really wrapped up in solely thinking about our business and about our growth. Right, like, imagine with me and maybe you’ve been here before you have something you’re launching or you’re in growth mode and you’re really hyper-focused on getting more clients like building the new website, getting the new offer out, like whatever it is and you’re so hyper-focused on it that you’re staying up later. You’re using a lot more free time to focus on your business. You are saying no to family events or friend events because you have things that you need to work on, right. Sometimes we can get so hyper-focused on the growth of our business that the relationships suffer, right.

So I felt like at the time, because I was avoiding that conflict, it was like I felt like I was either putting out a fire in my business or putting out a fire in my relationships, right. Like are my relationships okay? Am I giving enough here? Am I showing up fully here? Right. But then, if I was showing up fully in my relationships. I felt like my business was suffering, I wasn’t working as much as I could, but then if I put all my energy into working as much as I could, the relationship suffered. Right, it felt like it was kind of this back and forth push and pull, but when I could address this fear of conflict and when I opened up to having these conversations with those around me, I was able to create more balance to where I can focus on both at the same time and know that there is open communication, open sharing of feelings, a safe place for me and those around me to be able to make sure that you know everything’s okay, and that was really important to me. It was really important to feel like things could flow in both my business and my personal life.

But when I was so avoidant of conflict, I wasn’t having those conversations with people. Right, I would avoid having those conversations which would just lead to, you know, eventually the shoe drops right. Eventually you have to have the tough conversation, and so it was so great to understand that about myself and put some healthy practices in place so that I wasn’t constantly feeling like it was a reactive response to either my business or my personal life, my relationships, and it was just a really beautiful flow that I’ve now noticed I’ve been able to create and again, I’m not perfect, like do I have times where I might not do that as well as I want to, of course, but it is way better now than it was before. And the third thing I’ve really noticed that has made a big change in my life this is probably the biggest one is when I was able to understand my core desires of my type. I stopped judging myself in trying to look a certain type of way to people, and here’s what I mean by that.

As a nine, I have recognized that my core desire, the thing I am most searching for in life, is peace, and I am constantly looking for how to create peace, both in my external surroundings and internally in myself, right in my thoughts, in my beliefs. And when there’s chaos whether there’s chaos around me, right, whether it’s an actual chaotic, high stress environment that I’m in, or there’s chaos or anything stressful in relationships around me, or if it’s internally, if I’m, like, really feeling negative about myself or there’s a lot of negative self talk happening, or there’s a lot of guilt and shame, like anytime there’s any sort of chaos, right? What did I say before I would disconnect, right? I would just like think this is too much. I need peace, because that’s what I’m always searching for, that’s what we nines are always searching for, peace.

So, but when I understood that that’s my core desire I am searching for peace I allowed myself permission to stop trying to chase other people’s success. Right, because I found myself looking at the way that other people were showing up, how they were living their life, how they were spending their time, and I was attracted to it in some way. And so what that meant in my brain was this looks like a really fun way of living life. This looks like a really great way of chasing this goal. This looks like a really great way of building their business. And all of a sudden, I’m changing who I am, the way that I’m living my life, how I’m spending my time chasing after this dream. That was never mine to begin with, and so when I got really clear about you know what actually I don’t need super like fame, like these, these things that actually aren’t important for me.

What’s important for me is peace. What does peace look like for me today? Sometimes it looks like a long walk outside by myself with, like meditative music. Sometimes peace means just taking a moment for myself to enjoy my coffee in the morning, like I allowed myself to stop being wrong for wanting the simple things and also allowed myself to to know it’s okay for me to, you know, still have big dreams, to have things I want to do in my life, but it doesn’t have to look the same way as someone else’s and I know this is so basic and I know we know this in our heads. But I want to challenge you like when’s the last time you had a comparison thought in your head? And if you’re anything like me, it probably wasn’t that far off. It probably wasn’t that long ago.

So, even though we know our journey is our own, it’s hard in practice we’re still comparing. We find ourselves looking to other people and constantly trying to measure up to their life and what they’re doing. But when I really could understand what is actually important to me in my core and when I can honor that, it allowed me to release the pressure and the judgment of how I thought I needed to look to other people and really that one shift has shifted everything. Right Now I can look at myself and the things I want and my desires and how I want to spend my time and energy and how I want to grow my business right? I now no longer look to other people for this acceptance of. Is this okay? Is this what you would do? Do you think this is right? Right Now I can just ask myself how can I create these things in a way that feels the most at peace for me? And each type has their own unique core desire, right? So that’s just the core desire for the type nine is peace.

If you don’t know your Enneagram type, you can head over to haychristomerecom forward slash type. I actually have a free 90 minute super intensive workshop. You will walk away in that 90 minutes likely with a very clear picture of your type or at least have a very strong inkling of what your type is. But I also have content there that will tell you about each type, if you’re just curious, and you’ll be able to see what each type’s core desire is. So that thing I was just talking about, you’ll be able to see what that is for each type. So that’s haychristomerecom forward slash type TYPE.

But it just a really. It really allowed myself to stop making myself wrong and allowed myself permission to Chase my journey and to go after my dreams in a way that felt really good for me, and letting that be okay. So those are the three main things that the Aiding Grimm has done for me, but, truthfully, if I had to kind of bottle this up into one truth, it’s that it’s allowed me to fully love and accept who I am, and has allowed me to show up in both my personal life and in my business in a way that feels fully aligned. I now no longer feel like I’m trying to be one person in one area and one person in another. Allows me to really be that one person in all aspects of my life, and that has felt so freeing and so easy then to show up in alignment as who you are, and that’s what I want for all of us, right? I want you to be able to feel like you can show up every day as the most confident, boldest right, like authentic, just beautiful version of yourself, and so, if this was helpful, I would love to dive more into the Enneagram with you.

Like I said, you can head over to my website. There’s some Enneagram content there for you to dive into. I’m also excited to do some more Enneagram type podcast episodes.

You can also head over to my Instagram at HeyKristaMarie there’s some Enneagram content there that you can look at as well, but I am just so excited to continue to dive into this with you and, like I said, this has truly been the most transversional tool that I’ve ever used in helping me to fully see myself and understand how to bring all parts of me into my life and my business, and I just would love that, for you to be able to go to that next level of understanding and acceptance in yourself and the transformation and the change that can happen when you allow yourself to fully go there.

So, all of that said, thank you so much for tuning in and I look forward to chatting with you over in the next episode. One last thing before you go I absolutely love it if you left a review on Apple Podcasts, or if you’ve already left a review, I’d love for you to share this episode with your business bestie. I love getting to shout out my listeners on the show, and the more listeners that we have, the more that I can help others create a thriving and sustainable business too. Thank you so much again for being a part of this community. I can’t wait to hear your takeaways from today’s episode.

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