The month of June has been one of reflection, for me, on the first half of the year, consolidation, evaluation, and looking forward to what the rest of the year will hold. It’s the calm between storms, if you will. One of the things I’ve been mulling over and considering is business development and branding. After all, my freelance work is a business, and it deserves the same care and attention as any business to grow and become more profitable.
Through this process, I’ve become fascinated with the ‘Myers-Briggs’ test. There are loads of different kinds of personality tests out there, but this is the one I’ve found the most useful and accurate for how I approach life and, more importantly, the business of scoring picture.
In the most basic sense, it describes you as the kind of person who gets their kicks from jamming with other people, or from kicking your brain into high gear on your own to solve problems; if you live in the ‘now’ or if you’re constantly plotting for the future; if you’re details- or big-picture-oriented; and if you’re ruled by your heart or your head.
But what’s more interesting is how the different bits of your personality come together to create something greater than the sum of its parts.
The test is here. (There are others out there. Google it if you want to try it a few times. If you’re that way inclined… that probably means you’re an xSTx)
Once you’ve got your type, go here to get a summary of your traits, and let us know in the comments if you feel it’s an accurate portrayal of yourself…
I’m an INTJ – also called a mastermind! I’ll plot and plan and scheme until a solution to any problem is reached, or any system I’ve created is the most efficient and fit for purpose it can be. And woe betide anyone who crosses paths with me and doesn’t live up to these high standards of efficiency and reliability. I’m focussed on the details, the intricacies. This counts for both music and life. I know where I want to go and can tell you exactly how I’m gonna get there… and if I don’t, give me a little while to mull it over, and I’ll come back with a point-by-point plan. Colour-coded. With graphs and projections (if there’s time and it’s the most efficient way of conveying the information, of course).
So all this self-analysis is very interesting (unless your an ESFJ, in which case it may not be your cup of tea) but it’s all a little on the self-indulgent side if there’s no real-world application for it.
As with all these personality typing tests, there’s an accompanying list of ‘ideal’ jobs per type. Take this with a pinch of salt (unless you’re an xSFP), and instead see how your natural strengths can compliment your chosen line of work… and how your less-than-useful traits can be ‘hacked’ or worked around.
I’ll use myself as an example, and forgive me for hogging the limelight. (As an INxx, you now know how much I dislike this )
I’m detailed, organised, efficient, reliable, solutions-oriented = working with me is easy as I’ll always deliver on time to the utmost of my abilities, cover all possible contingencies, and not waste budget on pointless extra bells and whistles that you don’t need.
I’m introverted = O-oh. You’d think this was a weakness in our business of ‘it’s-who-you-know-not-what-you-know’. Walking into a crowded room of people I’ve never met with the express purpose of networking is not my idea of fun. I would imagine there are a few readers who are with me on that. But I’ve developed ‘hacks’. I like to get to the nitty-gritty of a person, to understand them, when chatting one-on-one. Small talk is neither one of my strengths nor useful to me in forming relationships with people, but I do like to know what makes them tick – what are their values, their long term goals in life, do they like sci-fi (this is actually the litmus test for getting on with me ).
So I don’t work the room. I can’t, I’m not made that way. Why fight it – it’s not the most efficient way to proceed.
So, at a networking event, there is no time limit on my discussions with you. I won’t sell myself to you, but instead I’ll find connections for you with the people I know… because that’s the most efficient way of making that room of people, that potential system, work… and in the end, that’s the best way for me to find business opportunities – seeking out teams of people that collaborate so well together that they effortlessly create fabulous films or projects that are a delight to score. That’s the theory anyway, and it seems to be going ok in practise so far…
One of the strangest things I discovered in doing this is that I’m a T (Thinker), not an F (Feeler). Life and business is run by my frontal lobe (head), not my endocrine system (heart). Whilst this is awesomely useful from a business-entrepreneurial point of view, I’ve chosen the business of emotion.
I’m a music composer, a crystalliser of feeling, a reality-maker of emotion. Conflict of interests, n’est-ce pas?
I’m still working this out to be honest. I can reduce most of the emotional quality of a piece of score to it’s rational, practical music theory. Is it this process of analysis that allows me to synthesise a score back into that emotion at the required time for picture? Is it my dispassionate nature that allows objectivity, a ‘thick skin’, when it comes to criticism of my work from my clients and collaborators? Is it that I see all my work as a business so that I’m actually ok selling my creations and don’t really mind that much if an editor trims and loops it here and there to fit with a new picture cut?
All I know is that when a piece of music moves me, there must be something seriously useful to learn from it, since it got through all those layers of logic and reason! Which immediately prompts analysis and filing away in the ‘locus of cool’. With colour coding.
Here’s the link to the test again.
Let us know your type in the comments! (If not for yourselves, then do it for me. Now you know my obsessive-compulsive need to understand and work you all out.)
Based in the North of England in the UK, HEATHER FENOUGHTY is an award-winning freelance composer and sound designer. She has scored several feature films and documentaries for the BBC and ITV, and her credits also include nearly 100 short films including a BAFTA-nominated drama (Nits, 2004). She has composed music and sound designed corporate advertisements for Nissan and other multi-national companies, with clients based all around the world. She also creates soundscapes for cutting-edge contemporary theatre, and her scores have played on the West End and off Broadway. To learn more about Heather and her music, visit Heather-Fenoughty.com.