Interview Patty

The Curse of the Linear Thinker

April 02, 2024

At some point, you will exit your business, whether it’s voluntary or not.

Are you leaving your life’s work, your impact, and your legacy in the hands of fate?

That’s the challenge for linear thinkers (including me!) because you're not just selling a company; you're transitioning a piece of your identity. Your business is an embodiment of your passion, hard work, and aspirations.

Have you ever secretly wondered, “Can I really build a successful business?”

As technical experts, we lean toward binary thinking, but life is not an either-or scenario, and neither is business.

Linear thinkers generally get caught up in believing there is “success” and there is “failure,” with nothing in between. Intellectually, we know differently, but it still feels like there are opportunities just outside our grasp that may be keeping us from fully realizing our success.

We’ve been taught there is a “right” way and a “wrong” way to do things. We dread going down the “wrong” path, getting the “wrong” answers, and feeling like a failure – or worse, a fool.

Linear thinkers frequently function better with the language of numbers than they do with words. That is also why jargon and acronyms are so appealing to us. Communicating effectively with words can be challenging.

Today’s Question:

In what circumstances do you find yourself falling into the trap of the linear thinker?

But Here’s the Twist
. . .

Linear thinker logic piggybacks on the Good Girl beliefs and sounds like this: “Am I doing this right? There has to be a ‘right’ answer, and it’s my job to find it. Life is like a math problem, and I can solve it.”

That deeply rooted belief is what I consider The Curse of the Linear Thinker because it keeps us stumped, thinking there is only one “right” answer.

While the “one right answer” approach works for math problems, it doesn’t work for life and business issues. The most successful business owners grasp the power of experimenting with a wide variety of new ideas in their chosen markets.

Now What?

Linear thinker logic – “there is only one right answer” – is a trap. This is also true when we trade “wants” for “shoulds.” We get caught in a trap that lets The Ghost of the Good Girl pop up without warning.

All that fear, anxiety, and need to keep everyone happy bubbles to the surface, keeping us in reaction mode. It’s a huge challenge for women – and an even wider chasm for Good Girls. This makes running your business harder than you can even admit to yourself.

Being a Good Girl may be your nature, much like being an introvert or an extrovert is part of who you are. Your nature and your experiences combine to create the smart, capable person you are today.

While you don’t need to change who you are, you probably want to change the dynamic that may cause you to feel unfulfilled.

-- Excerpt from Patty’s book, Your Hidden Advantage: Unlock the Power to Attract Right-fit Clients and Boost Your Revenue

Intentionally building value and positioning your company for your exit is a solid business strategy. While you are planning your transition, you will make more money, lift the burden of the business from your shoulders, and find balance between work and leisure.

Exit readiness is a strategic and ongoing process that involves setting the stage for a smooth transition, maximizing business value, and ensuring your legacy endures.

Women who have successfully exited their business have shared with me that the most successful way forward was having a trusted, knowledgeable business advisor who could be objective and caring.

That’s the role I fill, helping the owner with the practical, emotional, confidential, and logistical puzzles that plague the exit process.

Even if your planned exit is 5-10 years down the line, the time to prepare is now.

An Elegant Exit™ requires a new way of thinking, new skills, a simple and elegant design, and an advocate on your side. Contact me to learn more. 

Discover your Exit Readiness Index™ with this assessment: http://she-exits.com/

A Note from Patty...

My life’s work is empowering high-achieving women business owners to fine-tune their operations and scale their revenue for strategic growth, creating real business value and emerging exit ready. That value can transform into wealth when they are ready to exit their company - and I believe that wealth in the hands of women elevates society as a whole.

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