Brandy Mychals is a speaker, communications expert and creator of the Character Code® System. Her new book, How to Read a Client from Across the Room, is a deep dive into her Character Codes and how to relate to people by understanding their personalities and knowing how they want to be treated – even from across the room.
Let’s start by going back years. You were in two car accidents, and they are important to your story. Your first accident was what can only be described as a freak accident. Describe the accident and how it changed your career path.
I was focused on launching my communications career, possibly working in media or writing when this freak accident occurred. It was only a few months before graduation, and I was driving in LA when I saw a tire flying at me through the air. It had come off the freeway overpass above and since I was driving with oncoming traffic, I had nowhere to go.
The tire crashed through the sun roof of my car and struck my head. It took over a year to fully recover, and part of the healing modality I experienced in that process was chiropractic. I was motivated to use my communication skills with patients and headed off to chiropractic college.
You then built a very successful chiropractic business. What was your formula for small business success?
The first piece of the formula for small business success is to show up and treat it like a business. So many solopreneurs, service providers, health practitioners or creative individuals that have a skill, craft or initials after their name think that learning their technique is enough. That is just the start. When it comes down to it – it is a business and has to be run like one. That means marketing, sales, admin and creating systems. I went through and created every aspect of the business so it would run well, without me having to personally complete each task.
I also always apply a global perspective and focus on where do we want to go? When you are clear about what you want to accomplish, your goals if you will, it actually impacts every decision you make today and tomorrow. That is what gets you there. If the end result isn’t identified, you will never get there because you won’t be clear about the daily steps to arrive there.
Lastly, understanding people, what they need, what they want, what motivates them, how to build a community, following, create buzz and momentum is invaluable. Every business needs an inflow of new business and new clients. Businesses wither and die on the vine if they don’t understand their clients inside and out.
After becoming a chiropractor, fate intervened again, and you had another car accident. This one was worse in many ways, but it also changed your career path.
Yes, I thought I was done with dramatic car accidents, but apparently I had another path to travel.
This car accident involved a serious head trauma that meant my chiropractic career was over. I was also unable to read and had a host of other issues to deal with. My marriage ended as a result, and I found myself as a 31 year old single mom with a baby, unable to work and unable to read for seven years.
That was a stressful time to say the least. I was disabled without much hope for the future. It was a long road back, but I knew that I had to reinvent myself. I had to find a new career path and create new opportunities.
You had a lot of business experience and had a background in communications when you developed the Character Code system. It’s a fun tool designed to help. You’re not trying to create a new scientifically validated system. Instead, you let its simplicity be the power of it. How did you develop the Character Code System?
Well, I actually have a serious scholar side to me so there are decades of my own research and observation built into the Character Codes, and they rest on the shoulders of thousands of years of personality study before me. I created the CCS for a few reasons:
- Not everyone wants to be a scholar and dive into the research. Most existing systems were complex, required long tests and were not user-friendly. I have the ability to synthesize complex information, organize and make it easily accessible. So I applied that skill to people!
- I made a discovery over my years of observation – I could see which personality type a person was based on how they showed up, without having to take a test. This hadn’t been done before, and that was a significant piece to creating the CCS.
- None of the existing systems were set to go viral. No one could describe them around the watercolor at the office, and none of the types evoked a visual or mental image. I set out to change that.
- Lastly, in my opinion, the existing systems didn’t dive deep enough into what really makes people tick, and existing systems were often limited to just business or just relationships or just hiring, etc. They were too narrow in their focus, and types often seemed two dimensional. I set out to create a more complex system that I was able to patent and crossed multiple marketing platforms. The applications are extensive.
The best part is that although the complexity is there – the audience or clients can have a simple grasp in a short amount of time and run with it. Combining complexity and simplicity and know when to present each side is important if you want a system to have mass exposure on a surface level and multiple applications on a deeper level.
Tell us about the six personality types.
The quickest way to get a snapshot is to view it. I’ve included a chart that has an overview of each of the Character Codes (Class President, Cheerleader, Actor, Scholar, Activist and Artist) and some of their defining features. It is a quick glimpse but enough so that you will never look at people the same way again.
My favorite section is the Psyche section. I care about how people show up because they are telling us who they are and how they want to be treated. What I find fascinating is the why behind what we do and who we are. That is what the Psyche section answers. Who you are, your driving need, how you decide to buy, love, argue, make decisions…this is the section that gets me excited because first of all it is very freeing to learn more about yourself. When people understand who they are, they stop beating themselves up for not being like the guy next to them. They understand the world if filled with people similar to themselves, and they can set up their day, their career and their life to create better success with these insights.
I also love it because it explains everyone around you. Without this knowledge you have an 83% chance of NOT understanding the person you are talking to because people generally just communicate in their own style without noticing who is in front of them. We also tend to identify everyone not like us as “other,” and when you understand the Character Codes you get who they are, what drives them and even if they aren’t going to be your best client or best friend – you understand the world from their perspective.
Lastly, it has made all the difference in attracting clients. So much of marketing is understanding a potential client’s pain and communicating your solution in a language they understand.
You give clues to identify a client’s type in the book by looking at the person’s appearance. Tell us more about that.
The fashion industry may be driven by designers. However, what we choose to buy and wear is driven by our own needs and preferences. Understanding why we make the choices (how we show up) provides insight into who we are and how we make the rest of the decisions in our life.
For example, the Class President Character Code is typically buttoned down, wears a conservative look and appears professional. Their driving need is for certainty, the predictability of an outcome, direction and decisiveness. This Character Code likes to have a plan, and that driving need for certainty (and the why behind it) dictates much of their life from appearance choice to career to relationships to speaking style.
The Artist Character Code stands out in their appearance, making choices that would include an eclectic assortment of items, colors, vintage or unique choices. This is a creative individual that is driven by the need for significance, to be seen as an individual apart from the crowd. I dive deep into this in the Psyche section and again, you’ll see this need dictate much of their behavior and choices in life.
As you read this book, you can’t help trying to figure out your own and others types. Is there an official test you can take online?
There is a short online quiz you can take at http://charactercode.com/quiz and a longer test available for corporate and university use. An iPhone app is coming out that will allow you to take the quiz and then compare results with friends and also see the Character Code Compatibility wheels – how you get along with the people around you.
Best of all, you can use the simple visual chart provided to get a jumpstart to Character Coding right now. Of course, the book “How to Read a Client from Across the Room” has the full Character Code System in it.
What ways have you used Character Codes to help clients?
Marketing, sales, branding, relationships, self-discovery, communication, motivation websites, conflict resolution, speaking, customer care, hiring/firing, parenting…you name it. If it applies to understanding people, we’ve used it. I’m best known for how I use it in client attraction.
In addition to improving sales or making a better first impression, you also help people understand themselves. Would you share an example or two of people who used the system and improved some aspect of their lives?
One business owner first approached me and felt very comfortable in how he marketed. He was already a six-figure earner but heard the buzz around the Character Codes and decided to check it out. As he learned the system he had an epiphany (his words) that he had been marketing to the wrong clients. He picked an ideal Character Code client, made a few changes and only six weeks later had brought in more sales than the entire previous year.
Another client is a multiple seven-figure earner in the direct marketing world and decided to expand her platform as a speaker and author. We used the Character Codes to provide insight into the exact right match of client, message and product that would best fit her and create success in record time.
We have countless stories of business owners and entrepreneurs that have applied the Character Codes to their business to create marketing and sales success. I also really love the feedback on how this system has healed old wounds, mended relationships, saved marriages and changed the way people parent. Understanding yourself and those around you will never go out of style. It is an essential skill for life.
What is your goal in writing this book?
In business my goal is to make Character Codes a mainstream brand and significantly impact the personality profiling market worldwide.
Personally, my goal is to use Character Codes to make the world a safer place where people can be who they are without apology.