Are You A Merchant?

Are you a Merchant?
Are you a Merchant?

Do you love helping people and always have great ideas?

Do you get energized being around others and inspiring them?

Have you ever felt like you didn’t fit in the corporate world?

Then you may be a Merchant in the Core Values Index (CVI) personality assessment. Click here to take the assessment.

The Importance of Your Personality Type

When you understand your greatest strengths and what energizes you most at work, you learn how to leverage that in every aspect of your life.

Your confidence increases and you know how to talk about yourself more effectively and what you bring to the table.

When read my CVI results, I felt understood for the first time. Even though I knew some of my strengths, to see them on paper was extremely validating.

It gave me the confidence to step into them and acknowledge that I am really good at those things.

Many of my clients have told me that it has helped them speak up at work, about what they will and won’t do, and has empowered them to be more discerning in job and client interviews.

Why should you read this if you’re not a Merchant?

Because you probably know someone who is one; it may be a family member, a work colleague, an employee or a client.

When you understand how someone is wired, you have more compassion for them, and know how to deal with them more effectively.

When I got certified in the CVI, my whole family took it. It was interesting to watch my kids listen to their results video. I could see them both sitting up taller when they heard about their strengths.

When my daughter Naomi discovered she was a Builder/Merchant, she learned she’s a leader. Having always been the smallest in her class, she never thought of herself that way. But after reading her results, she realized that she is a natural leader. And it boosted her confidence!


First, we will do an overview of Merchants, what their biggest challenges are, strategies to overcome their challenges and tips for working with them. Then we’ll review the three types: Merchant/Innovators, Merchant/Builders and Merchant/Bankers.

Who They Are

  • Merchants build relationships and are highly intuitive visionaries.
  • They see the big picture and possibilities for the future that others can’t and are good at motivating people toward opportunities.
  • They excel at selling and nurturing long term client relationships.
  • They’re good at creating and being open to new ideas, and aren’t afraid to take risks.
  • They are enthusiastic leaders who naturally attract people to them and like being in charge of others’ lives.
  • Being valued and recognized for their work is very important to them.
  • They love to talk and learn well in groups by exchanging ideas with others.
  • The corporate world can be challenging unless they have a lot of freedom to be creative or if they’re in a really positive work environment.

Three Types of Merchants

Let’s go over the three types of Merchants: Merchant/Innovators, Merchant/Builders, and Merchant/Bankers. See if you can identify anyone in your life who may be one of these types.


  • Many entrepreneurs are Merchant/Innovators because they love helping people and are highly creative.
  • They lead with vision combined with creative solutions and love to build teams and systems.
  • They can sell anything because they build long term relationships and understand their customers’ needs.
  • Merchant/innovators like appreciation and recognition for their humanity and solutions. They are charming and naturally attract people to them.
  • Merchant/innovators thrive in a positive team environment. They are excellent teachers and can create a motivating learning environment.
  • Good accountability partners for them are builders who will push them to “get it done,” and bankers who will vet their ideas for risk.

Biggest challenges of Merchant/Innovators:

  1. Saying no- They don’t like hurting people’s feelings or letting anyone down so they end up overcommitting and having no time for themselves. As a result, they will sacrifice their own well-being for people they love.
  2. Their emotions can easily influence them
  3. New ideas distract them- they want to move on to new projects instead of finishing ones they’ve started.
  4. They dislike doing detail-oriented work– They may put off this type of work to the last minute.

Strategies for Merchant/Innovators:

  1. Learn to say no before committing to things. Even telling someone “Let me think about that and get back to you” can save them from overcommitting.
  2. Create clear boundaries around their time. Schedule the most important things for their own self-care first and honor their calendar. Put their needs first and be self-considerate.
  3. Give themselves time before making big decisions- They can make hasty decisions, especially if they’re in a big inspiring group. They need a day to sleep on it before committing to something big.
  4. Schedule everything and honor their commitments. If it’s not scheduled, it won’t get done. With detail-oriented tasks, they may have a strong urge to put it off because they dislike that type of work.
  5. Hire help. As a small business owner, they should hire people to do detail-oriented work like a bookkeeper or a virtual assistant.

Strategies for Working with Merchant/Innovators:

  1. Give them deadlines. They will honor them because they don’t want to disappoint anyone.
  2. Establish clear working hours and how you want to communicate with them. Merchant/Innovators come up with ideas in the middle of the night and will want it started immediately. Create clear boundaries and expectations around your time and availability.
  3. Follow up on large projects. They will be excited in the beginning of a project, then they may fall off track. Have regular check-ins with them to make sure they stay on task. Use a platform like Trello to keep in contact with them regularly to update them on your progress, and you can assign them their tasks and deadlines as well.
  4. Show your appreciation for them. A kind word, email or a thank you will go a long way in building and maintaining your relationship with them.


  • Merchant/builders are high energy leaders who are highly capable of developing teams and getting people to take action.
  • They act on their instincts and have an incredible faith in their abilities to get things done.
  • Aligning their vision with taking action and building solid relationships makes them powerful. They generate bottom line results.
  • Merchant/builders need to have people around to share their vision with and people to direct. They are also great at teaching and delivering an inspiring learning environment.
  • They are high risk takers, are generally pretty confident and aren’t afraid to talk in front of crowds or be on video.
  • When you need someone who’s going to roll up their sleeves and get to work, a merchant/builder is the best person for the job.

Biggest challenges of Merchant/Builders:

  1. Working too hard- They don’t like saying no so they will do everything for everyone and can easily burn out.
  2. They can be very emotional- They can be really happy or easily upset and can have a hard time controlling or hiding their emotions.
  3. Being impatient and easily frustrated- When things take too long to finish or when they don’t see results for themselves quickly.
  4. Making time for themselves- Getting everything done can make them overlook their own health and well-being.

Strategies for Merchant/Builders:

  1. Set a clear start and finish time to their work day and stick to it. They should not work past their set times, unless it’s a true emergency. Other people’s urgent tasks shouldn’t sway them. They need to remember their priorities and learn to say no.
  2. Have patience when working with others, especially creatives like Innovator-Merchants and Merchant-Innovators. Lighten their expectations on completion times and respect other people’s boundaries around their personal time.
  3. Schedule their self-care time first, and honor their commitment to themselves. Prioritizing their own well-being is as important as getting the job done. Then they will show up as the best version of themselves which benefits them and everyone else in their lives.

Strategies for working with Merchant Builders:

  1. Don’t be late for deadlines. Be on time and communicate.
  2. If you make a mistake, own up to it and and fix the problem. Don’t make a bunch of excuses.
  3. Set clear boundaries around when you’re available. They can want things done immediately. Clearly establish your working hours from the start.


  • Merchant/bankers are highly visionary and have a good balance of taking risks and measuring how to protect against risk. They like having data and information for safety and to prevent losing their resources.
  • Team building, handling small details and following through are where they excel.
  • They provide detailed knowledge, especially in risky situations where follow-through is essential. 
  • Merchant/bankers are good at dreaming and heading toward a brighter future, and are constantly looking for ways to assure longevity and cash strength, which can make them successful entrepreneurs.
  •  They can keep a lot of balls in the air and can go after more opportunities and have something to show for it in the long haul.
  • When long-term relationships and long-term results are the desired outcome, a merchant/banker can provide a positive outcome.

Biggest challenges of Merchant/Bankers

  1. Being impatient- they always have great ideas that they want to implement right away and sometimes don’t want to wait
  2. Self-sabotaging their ideas- Sometimes they end up doubting their creative ideas and playing devil’s advocate against themselves
  3. Having mood swings- they can feel inspired and fired up one day and then quickly switch to being frustrated and indecisive

Strategies for Merchant/Bankers

  1. Find an accountability partner who’s an Innovator who you can bounce ideas off of
  2. Do a morning practice with affirmations
  3. Have a mastermind group with a good mix of people with different personality types

Strategies for working with Merchant Bankers

  1. Have open communication with them
  2. If you make a mistake, just own up to it and fix the problem. Don’t make excuses.
  3. Recognize their work and show your appreciation of them.
  4. Give them facts and data, and don’t take too long.


If you are a Merchant, your gift is building relationships and creating solutions and opportunities for the future.

You are a natural leader and attract others to you, and have the ability to inspire and motivate people to action.

Your challenges are putting yourself first and making time for yourself. Be sure and schedule time for your self-care every day first before anything else, and honor your calendar.

By understanding your greatest strengths and what inspires you most at work, you will start to live a life of purpose and creating the most value of your gifts with the world.

Are You Being Selfish or Self-Considerate?

Do you have a hard time saying no to others?

The Definition of Selfish

Remember the movie A Christmas Carol? It was based on the story by Charles Dickens about Ebenezer Scrooge, who is a rich, selfish old miser who doesn’t share anything, including love. The spirit of Christmas Future shows Scrooge his future of having no one who cares about him, even at his death. Upon seeing this, he realizes the error of his ways and becomes a changed man. He goes on to make a large donation to a charity, gives his employee Bob Cratchit a raise, and spends the afternoon with his estranged family.

It doesn’t paint a pretty picture of being selfish, does it?

The definition of selfish is: lacking consideration for others; being concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.

It’s probably safe to say that being selfish has a negative connotation to it. We call children selfish if they don’t want to share their toys or our partner if they won’t share a bite of their favorite dessert.

But is it being selfish if you don’t want to share your time? Is there a word that describes when someone chooses to say no to a commitment or an opportunity because they value their own time more? Or when someone has clear boundaries around themselves and sticks to it? Unfortunately, there isn’t a word for that. Therefore I’d like to suggest that we use the word “self-considerate” until someone comes up with one.

The Definition of Self-Considerate

Being self-considerate means to put yourself first before the needs of others. This makes many people feel uncomfortable. As a result, they end up putting themselves last, and doing things for everyone else instead. This leads to overcommitment, feeling overwhelmed, having no time for themselves and many other problems in their personal lives: their health, relationships with their partner or family, and a general unhappiness with life.

Being self-considerate means to put yourself first before the needs of others.

What happens when we’re not being self-considerate?

  • We say yes to things that we don’t really want to do
  • The most important things in our business get delayed
  • We overcommit when we’re already very busy
  • Our health, self-care personal relationships get neglected
  • We feel resentful towards others and regret our choices
  • We feel stressed and overwhelmed
  • Our health, relationships and happiness begin to decline

Now that we know all the possible consequences, how can we let go of this stigma that it’s not okay to be self-considerate and start putting ourselves first?

We can start by looking at all the benefits we’ll see when we are self-considerate.

The Benefits to Being Self-Considerate

Warren Buffett once said, “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” I agree with this statement when we’re referring to all the little tasks and non-essential commitments that distract us from the really important things we need to get done. We need to become experts in prioritizing the most important things we need to do daily and weekly in our personal lives and in our business that give us the most return.

What this does NOT refer to is saying no to things that scare you. Those are usually the things where the magic happens. I’ve learned that if it scares me, it probably means I really need to do it. Consequently it usually ends up being less scary than I thought, and leads to a huge return in the end.

Being self-considerate is like putting on your own oxygen mask first.

It’s creating boundaries around your most valuable asset- your time. As a result, you’ll learn how to prioritize the most important things in your life.

Here are some benefits to being self-considerate:

  • Increased traction in your work or business
  • More time to enjoy life
  • Time for taking care of your mental, physical and spiritual health
  • Improved relationships
  • Increased confidence
  • Feeling happier and greater life satisfaction
  • Overall increased success at work and in life

It seems like a no brainer that’s it’s good to be self-considerate, right?

The challenging part is training ourselves to put this into practice every day, and to learn the skills to say no politely and firmly. Once you learn how and start applying it, you’ll see the benefits in your life which will reinforce the positive results for being self-considerate.

How Is It Serving You?

A great strategy to start becoming more self-considerate is to look at your current commitments and ask yourself, “How is it serving you?”

When you ask yourself this question, you should take a few things into consideration. Look at the value you get in return from the following aspects:

Financial– Does this commitment lead to financial gain in the future, in the form of actual leads or creating worthwhile connections? How much are the monthly dues and how much time are you putting in monthly versus the income you’ve gained on average per month? If you’re not netting a positive number for the year, it’s time to rethink your commitment

Emotional/Mental– Does being in the group uplift or inspire you? Do you learn new things and get great information that helps your personal or business development?

Relational– Have you formed fulfilling or important relationships for yourself or your family? Have you made wonderful friends?

Spiritual– Does it fill a spiritual need for you?

Client Story

I had a client who was extremely overwhelmed with her small business. She was working crazy hours at night and on weekends, then had to spend her waking hours working on her business. As a result, she was burning the candle at both ends and was desperate for help to get her life back.

On one of our calls, I asked her how many committees she was serving on. She was currently on six, and had been asked to be on the leadership team for one of them. She said even though she was good at leadership, it was very time consuming, and she always felt guilty for saying no.

I asked her how each of the committees was serving her. She thought about it and realized that most of them didn’t have a good return and took up a lot of her time. She ended up letting go of three of the committees immediately, and declining the leadership position as well. In doing so, she got back so much time in her schedule, she started doing a morning practice devoted just to herself. She started reading books for pleasure again. As a result, she reported that not only was she a lot happier, but her relationship with her husband improved as well because she had more time to spend with him.

Who Loses When You’re Not Self-Considerate?

Many people who are “people pleasers” think that by helping everyone else, that makes them a good person. They believe that the only person who suffers when they overcommit is themselves. But in reality, everyone in their life is affected. When you put others’ needs before your own, you’re not left with any time or energy for yourself or the people closest to you. Your patience is lowered and your stress level is higher. As a result, your business, your health and your relationships begin to suffer. All this trickles down to everyone you interact with, and usually results in you not acting as your best self. In the end, you feel guilty and try to make up for it, which leads to even less time for yourself.

Who Benefits When You’re Self-Considerate

The largest beneficiary of being self-considerate is you. Not only will you feel happier because you’re not committing to things you don’t want to do, but you have more time and energy to take care of yourself and your business. As a result, you feel better and become happier. This leads to you being more productive and efficient. Then, you start showing up as the BEST version of yourself to your loved ones, your coworkers, your employees and your potential clients. Everyone wins!

How To Say No Nicely

If you’ve taken the CVI personality assessment and you’re a Merchant, one of the hardest things for your personality type is saying no. I used to have a big problem with this, but I’ve learned some strategies that have made it easier. Make sure it’s clear that it’s a forever no. If not, you may be leaving the door open for them to ask you again.  So, if someone asks you to do something that you’d rather not do, here are some polite yet firm responses.

One of the biggest problems for Merchants is our desire to make people like us, so we often agree to things before thinking it over.

If you are asked in person to commit to something, respond with, “Let me think about it and get back to you.”

That buys you some time to think before your immediate impulse to say yes. If they follow up, you can answer them by email with the following strategy.

  • First, say something positive about what they are trying to enlist your help for.
  • Then, politely decline without leaving the door open for coming back and asking you again.

For example: “That’s so wonderful that you’re the chair for the welcome committee again this year! Thank you so much for asking me to join. Unfortunately, due to my other commitments, I’m going to have to decline.”

That’s it. Don’t add anything else like, “But maybe next time” or make up a story why you can’t do it. In doing this you’re making it easier for them to move on and not keep hope alive that you’ll change your mind. You’re giving both of you the greatest gift of a clear NO. You’ll feel like a huge weight has been lifted off you! And you won’t regret it when you hear how they had to stay until midnight doing the place cards and you were treating yourself to some much-needed downtime!


When you become self-considerate, all aspects of your life will start to improve.

Even though it’s a little uncomfortable to do at first, when you become disciplined about doing it, you’ll see how much more time you have to focus on the most important things in your business and your life. Consequently, your health and relationships will improve, your business will get more traction and your overall life happiness will rise.

Take the first step to being self-considerate and see how it improves your life!