One of the highest volume mortgage companies in a state I’ll leave unmentioned is owned by a mother/daughter team. Kathleen, the Mom, is a very high C. Angela, her daughter, is a very high I. They have built their business by utilizing the strengths of their Personality Styles and by accepting and understanding each other’s differences.
Kathleen was widowed at the age of 25 when Angela was 7. Her husband was a contractor. They owned a nice home and had done fairly well for their age. Like most young couples they hadn’t gotten around to any serious financial planning so Kathleen had enough money from a small life insurance policy to get through the next 6 months. She went to her local family-owned bank to get some advice from the owner. He offered her a job as a loan processor and she jumped at it.
Over the next year Kathleen mastered the position. The job was perfect for her Type C Strengths. Loan processing suited her analytical nature, systematic approach to issues, objective ability to assess facts, love of time schedules, and her ability to be happy working alone.
When she was promoted to loan officer, Kathleen’s reserved nature had her a bit tentative about dealing with the bank’s customers. Her stomach was in knots the first few weeks but she gradually found her confidence as her C Personality skill of being an evaluative listener found its footing. She got all the facts she needed at the first interview, never overpromised what she could accomplish and quickly earned a reputation for being honest and fair. As her reputation grew, her income increased and she and Angela were able to afford a comfortable lifestyle.
Many people said Kathleen spoiled Angela. She would retort that Angela “Was the spitting image of her Daddy and I find it impossible to tell that girl no!” In spite of it, Angela was a great kid. Like her Dad, she had a high I Personality….she was carefree, adventurous and optimistic and very popular and involved both in high school and at college.
Angela majored in marketing in college. When she was home for the summer after her junior year she questioned her Mom about never participating in the mortgage industry events….fashion shows, Chamber meetings, casino nights, etc. Kathleen’s response was, “I’ve never enjoyed big groups of people and parties” (which is often typical of the C Personality). “I’ve been able to grow my business with referrals from satisfied customers instead and that’s brought in all the business we’ve needed.”
At Angela’s pleading that it would be fun, Kathleen reluctantly agreed to schedule them into a few upcoming events. Angela was a huge hit at every event. Her I Personality Strengths of enthusiasm, acceptance of others, and her positive sense of humor were natural magnets. When she was asked to help on a few committees, Kathleen told her to go for it. Within a few weeks Kathleen had several mortgage orders from sources who had never before used her services for their clients. By the end of the summer, Kathleen’s business was moving to a higher level thanks to Angela’s participation.
When Angela came home for Thanksgiving break, she and Kathleen started tossing around the idea of Kathleen leaving the bank so the two of them could open a mortgage business. They made a list of everything involved in operating the business and to their surprise and delight the list was easily cut down the middle. Kathleen preferred to tackle the processing, accounting, licensing, audits and other detailed tasks. Angela wanted to handle everything involving client contact, prospecting and networking. By spring break they had a solid plan. They celebrated Angela’s graduation by hanging the sign at their new business.
Kathleen’s C Strengths have kept their business “lean and mean” for several decades. Where many mortgage businesses add on processors as their volume increases – requiring a larger space and more expense – Kathleen decided to tap into the talent of the loan processors who had left the bank to raise their families. Many of them were thrilled to handle contract processing from home on a part-time basis. She instituted many creative ideas to keep the business lean and profitable. She and Angela have chosen to keep their small space even though they could afford a huge, luxurious office.
Over the years Kathleen and Angela have stayed with their division of duties. They have learned each other’s jobs for emergencies sake, but normally they stay in their individual Personality Strengths to utilize their talents. They both love what they do and their huge customer base is dedicated and loyal. Their fees are fair, their reputation is to be envied and over the course of the last 20 years they have both become very wealthy women.
The I and C Personality combination is fantastic when both parties can appreciate each other’s differences. Working in each person’s strengths requires understanding and communication from both sides but it is so worth it! If you are a business owner and struggling to handle things you don’t like, find your “Opposite”, structure the duties to suit each of your strengths, and work together to attain more success than you would ever accomplish on your own!