I realize it is somewhat unfair to place people in categories. Now that that is out of the way, I have found that most people fit into one of four categories. Some are Doers. Others are Thinkers. A few are Thinker/Doers and far too many are Neither. Let’s take them one at a time (not necessarily in that order).
I want to deal with the Neithers first because they are the easiest ones to spot. Even the untrained eye can usually identify a Neither. These are creatures that do not care too much about themselves or the circumstances around them. Oh, their speech might tell a different story (they can be quite outspoken about the “lucky folk”), but it is their actions that you have to watch. Neithers are often found in front of televisions, game consuls, or even in the food stamp line. Do not misunderstand; all four specimens can be found—at various times—in all of these places, but Neithers tend to linger there. Unfortunately, our world is filled with Neithers. Though living this lifestyle is fraught with difficulty, it appears to be easier and is thus a popular path.
Thinkers are the wannabe entrepreneurs of the world. In fact, they can be mistaken (often by their own judgment) as true entrepreneurs. They are often looked up to by others as being true leaders in the world, but underneath the surface, it is all just talk. These are the visionaries. They are the ones who have big dreams and lots of ideas. Typically, thinkers are not shy about their ideas. They talk a big talk, but action is lacking. One challenge that many Thinkers experience is the tendency to think too much. They often have a baker’s dozen of ideas for various successes, but none of them are being implemented because they cannot seem to focus on just one or two. Thinkers can be successful, but they must be surrounded by a team of Doers in order to implement their various ideas.
On the opposite end of the spectrum from the Thinker is the Doer. These creatures are especially good at… well… working! They get up every morning and hit their jobs with all that they have. These are the laborers. They work hard all week and cannot wait till Friday. Managers will often fit nicely into this box as well. They are good at implementing the details for the ideas of others. Doers truly earn their paycheck, but all they can ever hope for in life is… well… a paycheck. The world if full of Doers, and for good reason. There is a lot of work to do on this earth, and it is a better place for having a lot of Doers. Furthermore, most Doers are quite content just being Doers. There is really no drive for more.
The Thinker/Doer is hard to spot because there are so few of them. Some are high profile and reach almost celebrity status, but others are quietly peppered throughout your own community. Though primarily leaning to the thinking side, the Thinker/Doer has learned which rabbit to focus the sights on despite the fact that literally hundreds are hopping all around. This rare creature has found a seemingly perfect balance between big dreams and implementation of the ones which have the best chance of success. The truly successful Thinker/Doers do not see ‘work’ as work. They love what they do because they focus primarily on what they love. Thinker/Doers are often mistaken for the mythical creature, The Lucky. To others, they seem to have life given to them on a stick and appear to work less than those who surround them on all sides. What is not seen, however, is what happens behind the scenes.
Thinker/Doers often work more than 60 hours a week (sometimes much more) and are almost never seen in front of sitcoms or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Rather, they spend a majority of their lives typing business plans, researching, consulting with experts, hiring and training employees, dealing with problems, and being criticized by Doers.
The success that Thinkers/Doers have is not confined only to their work. Rather, they are often leaders in their churches and communities, excel in their chosen talents, and they seem to even have stronger family relationships. Indeed, it is a way of life that has implications in nearly all aspects of their being. That is not to say they do not have their shortfalls. They do. However, they do not live in fear that falling down will keep them down. Because they live by certain, true principles, they are often able to recover quickly from nearly any disaster. Furthermore, Thinker/Doers are not afraid to try. What some call ‘risks,’ they call experiments. They know that success only comes after failure and that failure is only ‘tuition’ for future success.
It is not all work for Thinker/Doers, however. In fact, the only salvation for most of these is their ability to recreate. They seem to strike an ever-perfect balance between working hard and playing harder. They wake up each day with a smile on their face ready to tackle any ‘problem’ which may come their way. In general, life is good for the Thinker/Doers.
I reiterate, pigeon holing the entire population into four boxes is not an exercise in exactness. There are obvious exceptions to the rule, and many people straddle between two or three boxes. More importantly, most of us travel from one box to another throughout our lives. Still others live like a rodent in Wack-a-Mole game, popping up in each of the four boxes on a daily basis! The point is, we are never definitely in one box, and more importantly, it is not a caste system. We are not born in one box and confined to that habitat for the rest of our lives. In other words, YOU HAVE A CHOICE as to where you are going to be. Where are you? Which box do you find yourself in today? Which box would you like to be in? Are the two boxes the same? If so, congratulations! If not, what will you do about it… today?
Now, go create some value!
Dustin Harris is a multi-business owner, but he has found most of his success as a self-employed, residential real estate appraiser. He has been appraising for nearly two decades. He is the owner and President of Appraisal Precision and Consulting Group, Inc., and is a popular author, speaker and consultant. He owns and operates The Appraiser Coach where he personally advises and mentors other appraisers helping them to also run successful appraisal companies and increase their net worth. His two-day workshop will be held on Oct. 7-8, 2013 in Salt Lake City. His principles and methodologies are also taught in an online, Mastermind group. He and his wife reside in Idaho with their four children.