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Building Your Own Business Tools

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Turning your Certifications in Pumpkin Plan, Everything DiSC, Enneagram, and Business Made Simple into A Body of Work that Reflects Your Brand

You have business tools that you use when coaching others. You may even be certified in one or more of them and can provide the certification content exclusively. In some cases, you can even make income from the sale of the certification businesses’ assessments and resources. 

Specifically, in this article, we dive into four of these different tools:

–       Pumpkin plan 

–       Everything DiSC 

–       Enneagram

–       Business Made Simple 

So, how do you move from these tools being the entirety of what you offer to being one of many tools in your toolkit?

In other words, these frameworks and assets can give you an amazing foundation for building your small business and offerings, especially when you are new to the market, but the big players in coaching and consulting aren’t simply regurgitating the content as their whole business. They are leveraging these resources, as well as many others, to create a body of work that is unique to them.

 The following article looks at the four models above and offers ideas on how you can start with their framework and build content around it that differentiates you from your competition. 

Regardless of whether you use the tool described, the ideas of how to leverage them can be applied to whatever you use. Use it as inspiration for spurring thinking about how you can turn your solutions into a more powerful body of work!


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Pumpkin Plan Your Biz

Pumpkin Plan Your Biz

Here’s the summary. Mike Michalowicz wrote a book called the Pumpkin Plan. The central analogy of the book revolves around pumpkin farmers and how they grow colossal pumpkins. Michalowicz uses this analogy to illustrate the key principles that can help small business owners thrive and dominate their markets. Here is a summary of the main concepts from “The Pumpkin Plan”:

1.     Plant the Right Seeds: Select a niche market or a particular customer segment that you can serve exceptionally well. Just like pumpkin farmers choose the best seeds to grow giant pumpkins, entrepreneurs should focus on high-value clients who align with their strengths and passion.

2.     Weed Out the Rest: Eliminate low-profit, demanding, or unproductive clients from your customer base. By weeding out these unproductive customers, you free up time and resources to focus on serving your best clients.

3.     Nurture the Winners: Once you’ve identified your best customers, invest time and effort in understanding their needs deeply. Provide exceptional value and customer service to nurture these relationships and turn them into loyal advocates for your business.

4.     Repeat and Expand: As your business starts to grow and thrive with your best clients, replicate the success by finding more customers with similar characteristics and needs. Expand your customer base strategically while maintaining a focus on serving your core clientele.

5.     Defend Against Pests: In the context of business, pests can refer to competitors, economic downturns, or any other challenges that threaten your growth. To protect your business, create barriers to entry, continuously innovate, and stay agile to adapt to changing circumstances.

Overall, “The Pumpkin Plan” encourages entrepreneurs to shift their focus from trying to please every customer to serving a select group of ideal clients exceptionally well. By implementing these principles, entrepreneurs can create a scalable and sustainable business that stands out in the marketplace.

Michalowicz, and his business partner, Donna, certify coaches and consultants in this process. With the certification, partners can deliver the content and have access to countless resources to support their business.

NOTE: Highly recommend this network. I’ve met several in this crew and they are really knowledgeable and generous!

Pumpkin Plan your Biz logo with vines growing around it.

Making it Your Own: Go Deeper

As a Pumpkin Plan Certified Consultant, you can deliver the content as is and make a killing. So, why do more?  It’s simple – to stand out from all the other Pumpkin Plan Certified Consultants, and to have the ability to charge more!

In this idea section, you’ll find our brainstorm of ways you can make these small business tools your own. In the Making it Your Own Sections throughout this article, you’ll find other ideas. Any of these ideas can apply to any of the tools. Be sure to read them all!

In this framework, there are five core elements: Plant the Right Seeds, Weed Out the Rest, Nurture the Winners, Repeat and Expand, Defend Against Pests.

Why not turn one or more of the five elements into your specialty? Get so good at it that the other consultants hire you to help their clients. Carve out your zone of genius and create supplemental proprietary frameworks, workshops, and keynotes.


• Plant the Right Seeds – Build a guide that helps them narrow their audience quickly. Once it’s down to a handful of options, give them the right homework that helps them gather real data to inform their final decision. You could even turn this into a series of online business tools.

• Weed out the Rest – Provide coaching specifically for having hard conversations with tough clients.  Key features might include a guide with phases to help them understand where they are with the client and prevent the slippery slope to doom town or sample conversations and language that gives them confidence to do this hard work with grace and class, and without burning bridges!

• Nurture the winners – Become the certified consultant that offers an easy-button for nurturing clients. Maybe you don’t do this work yourself, but you subcontract with amazing people who can help your clients do this without additional work for them.

• Repeat and Expand – Focus on the expansion and be the consultant who has the knowledge, team, and outside support to help them do this most efficiently.

• Defend Against Pests – Create a tool that shows them what their biggest pests are (competition, new ideas – SQUIRREL, external challenges). Offer a service that makes you barrier for these things. Example: If they are constantly distracted by new ideas, add a quarterly workshop to what you offer whereby you listen to all new ideas and facilitate a discussion that helps them decide if it’s worth doing.

A mockup of sample work for AFILA Group. It shows print materials with graphics.

Everything DiSC (and the accompanying Wiley Tools)

Everything Disc

Wiley’s Everything DiSC tools are a series of personality assessment and development tools designed to help individuals and teams improve their communication, collaboration, and overall effectiveness in the workplace. The DiSC model is based on the work of psychologist William Marston and identifies four primary behavioral styles: Dominance (D), Influence (i), Steadiness (S), and Conscientiousness (C).

Here’s a summary of some of the key Everything DiSC tools:

1.     Everything DiSC Workplace: This software -based assessment is designed for individuals in any work environment, helping them understand their own behavioral style and how it impacts their interactions with others. It is a must-have resources for businesses and also provides insights into the different DiSC styles and offers strategies to improve communication and collaboration with colleagues.

2.     Everything DiSC Management: Geared toward managers and leaders, this assessment focuses on understanding their management style and how to adapt their approach to different team members based on their DiSC styles. It helps managers become more effective in motivating and developing their teams.

3.     Everything DiSC Sales: Tailored for sales professionals, this tool assists in recognizing customers’ DiSC styles to adapt sales strategies and improve customer engagement. Salespeople learn how to build rapport, address customer needs, and close deals effectively.

4.     Everything DiSC Work of Leaders: Aimed at leaders and executives, this is one of the best business tools available. The assessment explores the DiSC styles in the context of leadership. It helps leaders understand their leadership behaviors and how they impact their team’s effectiveness. It also provides guidance on creating a vision, building alignment, and championing execution.

5.     Everything DiSC 363 for Leaders: Combining multi-rater feedback with DiSC assessment, this tool offers leaders feedback from their peers, managers, and direct reports. It helps leaders gain a comprehensive understanding of their strengths and areas for development, encouraging growth and leadership improvement.

6.     Everything DiSC Agile EQ: This assessment focuses on emotional intelligence (EQ) in the workplace. It helps individuals recognize and understand their emotional reactions, improve interpersonal relationships, and develop agility in responding to various situations.

The Everything DiSC tools are widely used in corporate training, team development, leadership coaching, and personal development settings. They offer valuable insights into human behavior, fostering self-awareness, empathy, and better communication among team members, leading to improved workplace dynamics and performance.

The DiSC Logo set between people's hands.

Making it Your Own: Go Wider

Consultants who use these tools get a portion of the sales. In fact, there are many people who have built their entire business around sales of these resources, and simple act as a pass-between.

However, there is a way to build something more!

In this idea section, you’ll find our brainstorm of ways you can make it your own. In the Making it Your Own Sections throughout this article, you’ll find other ideas. Any of these ideas can apply to any of the tools. Be sure to read them all!

Each of these tools that Wiley sells offers insight into a specific part of a person. Some of them offer a deeper look into the comparison of one person’s characteristic against another, or even a team of people. This is a powerful set of resources that have made REAL impact in many businesses around the world!

As an Everything DiSC coach or consultant, you can use this set of tools to build your business. However, to make it your own, you need to make it different from your competition.

Consider going wider with the content. For the people you serve, what’s missing when you deliver this content?


• Practice – It’s one thing to know your type and your coworker’s types, it’s another to use them. Add-on a coaching package to the assessment purchase.

• Application – The assessments give them information, but they don’t tell them how to act on that information. Build a keynote and workshop around next steps.

• Context – Create a workshop that shows how the tools can be used in different contexts. Break it into parts and build activities around each context that illustrates common pitfalls, opportunities, and powerful results.

• Managing up

• When you move from being a co-worker to their boss

• New Hires

• Parenting/Partnering – using your assesments at home

Mockup of a logo and guide made for Focus Consulting as an example of ways you can Building Your Own Business Tools 


The Enneagram is a powerful and ancient personality typing system that helps individuals gain self-awareness and understand their motivations, behaviors, and thought patterns. It describes nine distinct personality types, each with its own unique worldview, fears, desires, and coping mechanisms. The Enneagram provides valuable insights into both individual growth and interpersonal dynamics.

Here is a brief summary of the nine Enneagram types:

1.    Enneagram Type 1 – The Perfectionist: Ones are principled, rational, and strive for perfection. They have a strong sense of right and wrong and can be critical of themselves and others when standards are not met.

2.    Enneagram Type 2 – The Helper: Twos are caring, generous, and nurturing. They seek love and appreciation from others and often put others’ needs before their own.

3.   Enneagram Type 3 – The Achiever: Threes are ambitious, adaptable, and success-oriented. They are highly motivated to achieve their goals and seek recognition and admiration from others.

4.    Enneagram Type 4 – The Individualist: Fours are creative, introspective, and emotionally deep. They desire to be unique and authentic, often experiencing intense emotions and longing for significance.

5.  Enneagram Type 5 – The Investigator: Fives are analytical, observant, and independent thinkers. They seek knowledge and often withdraw to conserve energy and protect their privacy.

6.  Enneagram Type 6 – The Loyalist: Sixes are responsible, loyal, and security-oriented. They can be anxious and tend to seek guidance and support from others.

7.  Enneagram Type 7 – The Enthusiast: Sevens are spontaneous, fun-loving, and seek new experiences. They avoid pain and discomfort and constantly seek excitement and positive possibilities.

8.   Enneagram Type 8 – The Challenger: Eights are assertive, protective, and confrontational. They value control and authority and can be protective of those they care about.

9.  Enneagram Type 9 – The Peacemaker: Nines are easygoing, agreeable, and seek harmony. They can be passive-aggressive and may struggle with inertia and indecisiveness.

The Enneagram is more than just a classification system; it also describes the paths of growth and stress for each type. By understanding their Enneagram type, individuals can gain valuable insights into their personal development, break free from self-limiting patterns, and enhance their relationships with others.

It’s important to note that the Enneagram is a dynamic system, and individuals may display characteristics of neighboring types or move along the growth and stress paths under different circumstances. The Enneagram is often used for personal development, team-building, and therapeutic purposes to foster greater self-awareness and understanding.

A graphic of the enneagram set over a crowd of people.

Making it Your Own: Layer it with Other Tools

Enneagram is HOT! As a personal and professional tool, it is being used by all kinds of coaches and consultants to help clients understand themselves better. And, there is no one central certification provider. There are lots.

In this idea section, you’ll find our brainstorm of ways you can make it your own. In the Making it Your Own Sections throughout this article, you’ll find other ideas. Any of these ideas can apply to any of the tools. Be sure to read them all!

This makes it a bit trickier to define and all the more important to stand out from the crowd. When the use of a tool like Enneagram isn’t regulated by a single source, it has the power to be used and mis-used in lots of ways. This presents both and opportunity and challenge for those who are delivering it as a resources to clients.

To be legit using this tool, you need to be able to show your work with others. Testimonials and case studies go a LONG way in helping prospects see that you are for real and can be trusted.

Beyond social proof, you need to cull your unique perspective into the services you provide.

One way to do this is to layer the Enneagram tools with other tools to create a whole new advanced option for potential clients.


• Strengths-Finders: This is another powerful assessment tools. Imagine combining your Enneagram Type with your Strength to open up a whole new option. Build the delivery of both assessments and workshop that teach the value of such a combination to teams.

• KOLBE and Everything DiSC: This assessment describes how you get things done. Create a workshop that helps leaders better understand how knowing their Enneagram type and KOLBE/DiSC type can lead to stronger productivity and results.

• Myers-Briggs: This test describes how you experience the world. Again, layer it with Enneagram and you get a whole new data set by which to teach from!

Mockup of print materials for Business Builder Camp as an example of ways you can Building Your Own Business Tools 

Business Made Simple

Business Made Simple

The “Business Made Simple” coaching model is based on the principles outlined in the book “Business Made Simple” by Donald Miller. The model focuses on providing practical and actionable guidance to small business owners and leaders to help them achieve success in their ventures. It combines several key components, including StoryBrand framework, marketing, leadership, and overall business strategy.

In my opinion, it is the best small business tool in the market right now.

Here is a summary of the main elements of the “Business Made Simple” coaching model:

1.     Clarify Your Message: The StoryBrand framework, developed by Donald Miller, is central to the model. It helps businesses clarify their marketing messages by identifying their target audience’s pain points, positioning their products or services as solutions, and crafting clear and compelling messaging that resonates with customers.

2.     Develop a Sales Funnel: The model emphasizes creating a well-defined sales funnel to guide potential customers through the buying journey. This involves designing effective digital tools, such as landing pages, lead magnets, nurturing email sequences, email list , and clear calls-to-action to convert leads into customers. This digital marketing toolkit is powerful.

3.     Build a Solid Website: A website is a crucial tool for any business – that includes landing pages that convert. The coaching model teaches entrepreneurs how to create an engaging and user-friendly website that effectively communicates their brand message and converts visitors into leads.

4.     Implement Effective Marketing Strategies: The “Business Made Simple” coaching model provides insights into various marketing tactics, including social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing, and advertising, to help businesses attract and retain customers.

5.     Develop Strong Leadership Skills: Leadership is essential for business success. The coaching model offers guidance on developing leadership qualities, fostering a positive company culture, and effectively managing teams to drive productivity and growth.

6.     Manage Finances and Operations: The model emphasizes the importance of financial literacy and operational efficiency. Business owners are encouraged to monitor and manage their finances effectively and streamline their operations for better productivity and cost-effectiveness.

7.     Scale and Grow: As businesses mature, the coaching model provides strategies for scaling and expanding operations. It addresses challenges related to growth and offers practical advice for sustainable development.

The “Business Made Simple” coaching model is designed to be straightforward and action-oriented, enabling entrepreneurs and business leaders to implement practical steps immediately. It aims to equip them with the tools and strategies needed to make better decisions, improve marketing efforts, and build a successful and thriving business.

Business Made Simple Logo

Make it Your Own: Niche Who and How Your Serve

In this idea section, you’ll find our brainstorm of ways you can make it your own. In the Making it Your Own Sections throughout this article, you’ll find other ideas. Any of these ideas can apply to any of the tools. Be sure to read them all!

Business Made Simple is a very strong, complete coaching model. Like Pumpkin Plan, the easiest way to implement it is to get certified to be a coach using this framework. Having this certification is amazing and so helpful as you build your expertise and experience. However, you are one of many in this network and you need to stand out in order to get more business and be able to charge more.

Author Donald Miller says:

“Imagine your customer is a hitchhiker. You pull over to give him a ride, and the one burning question on his mind is simply Where are you going? But as he approaches, you roll down the window and start talking about your mission statement, or how your grandfather built this car with his bare hands, or how your road-trip playlist is all 1980s alternative. This person doesn’t care.”
― Donald Miller, Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen

The point is— the “where are you going” question is all that matters. It’s the same when you are trying to attract prospects. When you clutter your marketing with all of the possible audiences you serve, you lose their attention before you even have it. However, when you name their industry niche as your area of specialty, you catch and keep their attention.


• Industry niche: Create industry-specific materials that add-on to the BMS resources.

•  Delivery niche: If you are the only (or one of a few) that delivers the content online vs in person, you stand out. If you are the only (or one of a few) that delivers the content in small groups and can charge less for it, you stand out. Adapt the BMS tools for your unique context.

• Level of expertise niche: Serve only those who have 10+ employees, or business owners in their first five years, or those who want to sell their business. Create materials and resources that apply the BMS framework to this audience.

Mockup of teaching materials created for Erin Lego Coaching as an example of ways you can Building Your Own Business Tools 

It’s Worth the Investment

We all start somewhere, and if you’ve invested in getting certified and becoming an expert in a framework, you are well on your way. It will give you a solid foundation and strong business growth to build on. Add it to your to-do lists today!

And, as you go and grow, you’ll begin to see that even in applying the same tools as your competition, you have a unique perspective. When you turn that perspective into your own resources, and way of delivering content, you build a body of work that sets you apart.

The ideas we created in this article are just the beginning. It’s worth it to spend the time and effort to create your own spin on it and build a business unique to you!

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