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Personality & Pacemaker: Type Three- The Achiever/Performer

Welcome back to our Personality & Pacemaker series where we explore the ways that personality may affect the writing process. We recently looked at the generous, self-sacrificing, but sometimes manipulative- Enneagram Type Two: The Helper/Giver. If you’d like to join us as we continue on this amazing journey and get to know yourself a little better along the way, feel free to take the Enneagram personality test! Once you know what your personality type is, let us know how you use Pacemaker and how you think your personality influences your Pacemakerplan customizations! Let’s jump in!

Your Personality- Type 3- The Achiever/Performer

Charm, confidence, ambition- Type Threes never leave home without them! People with Enneagram Type Three personality types are called Achievers/Performers because they are extremely image-conscious and very concerned with the impressions that others have of them. This ‘look-at-me’ impulse isn’t an empty promise, however, as Type Threes indeed are a dazzling sight to behold. Extremely charming and dynamic people, Type Threes are able to transform into whatever version of themselves is needed in any given situation. They so perfect the art of the charm offensive, and turn it on so seamlessly, that those looking on are left bedazzled, in awe and envious!

They do not believe in unfulfilled potential so they invest time and energy into carefully curating a self-image which reflects whatever their own definition of success dictates that should be. As the Enneagram Institute puts it,

Threes want to make sure their lives are a success, however that is defined by their family, their culture, and their social sphere. In some families, success means having a lot of money, a grand house, a new, expensive car, and other status symbols. Others value ideas, and success to them means distinguishing oneself in academic or scientific worlds. Success in other circles might mean becoming famous as an actor, or model, or writer, or as a public figure of some kind, perhaps as a politician. A religious family might encourage a child to become a minister, priest, or rabbi since these professions have status in their community and in the eyes of the family. No matter how success is defined, Threes will try to become somebody noteworthy in their family and their community. They will not be a “nobody.”

Beneath this desire to be the best all the time, though, is a fear that without constantly achieving and performing, without being admired by and impressing people, they will be seen as, and feel, worthless. So, importantly, their achieving is very much an effort to gain a sense of worth and value, and not an attempt to gain material possessions or power.

When healthy, Type Threes can inspire others towards productivity with their can-do attitude, and encourage others not to settle for less than the ideal. They’ll encourage you to dream big, set goals and not stop until you achieve them. They are pragmatic and willing participants in the work it takes to realize big dreams. They are popular and superlative individuals, often voted ‘most likely to succeed in…’, ‘most likely to become…’ and ‘most likely to do…’, BIG things!

When unhealthy, they can become competitive, vain and self-seeking, even throwing others under the bus in order to achieve their own goals. They can become so consumed with image that they become inauthentic and insincere, stuck in the ‘fake it’ phase of ‘fake it ’til you make it’.

As Peter O’Hanrahan of The Enneagram at Work says, “Their challenge is to take the time to listen to others, build good relationships, and develop more long term strategy. They need to watch out for personal burnout due to “workaholism.””

How it may be affecting your writing process

Type Threes are not afraid to pour enormous amounts of energy into amassing degrees, promotions, credentials, experiences, assets- whatever aligns with their definition of success- in order to feel like they look the part. So, if completing writing goals is part of their definition of success, it’s more likely than not that those goals will be smashed! They may overload their schedules with writing time, and so need to guard against overwork which could lead to burnout.

Unsurprisingly, you find that Type Threes are incredibly industrious, productive people, who keep busy schedules. They are dedicated in their pursuit of their success and committed to self-improvement and advancement. Again, not surprisingly, many Type Threes can become workaholics, pushing aside anything that gets in the way- including people, to make room for more action towards achieving their goals.

The question for Type Threes therefore becomes, how much, and who, are they willing to sacrifice to achieve those goals as spectacularly as they may want?

Pacemaker can help!

Pacemaker gives users the ability to control the intensity of their plans – a feature we believe Type Threes would really enjoy. While they may gravitate towards the Biting the Bullet strategy preset as it allows them to ride the high of that new-goal energy and get a lot done up front, Pacemaker provides many opportunities to keep the intensity going no matter the Strategy preset selected. Meanwhile, multiple visualizations of the same plan can help them better budget their energy across all their plans, and increase the likelihood that they’ll avoid burnout.

Type Threes are master multitaskers! Pacemaker’s Unified Calendar, where they can colour code each plan and checklist they create, can help them stay on top of the many plans they’ll have going at once, and Projects will help them group like plans together and track stats in one place, to stay even more organized and on top of things.

Because Type Threes do some of their best work under performance pressure, those with Premium subscriptions or access to the Challenges feature might particularly enjoy being able to get a group of their peers or strangers together in one place, you know, so that they can crush the competition!

And lastly, as is the case with Type Twos, our Type Three friends crave being recognized for what they do. So we think they’ll love our confetti canons that explode in a burst of sheer jubilation when progress is logged or a goal is reached. It’s our little way of reminding our Type Three users that progress is just as important as achievement, and that they’re worth celebrating every step along the way!


Next, we will dive into the personality and possible Pacemaker experience of the Enneagram Type Four: The Individualist/Romantic. If you’d like to join us on this journey but don’t know what your personality type is, take the test! There are tons of places online where the test can be taken for free, here’s one we recommend. The key is to be totally honest with your answers. Don’t answer from the perspective of your ideal self, answer truthfully from the perspective of where you are now. Your result should feel eerily accurate and personal!

If you want to just dive into the Types for yourself, you can do so here or here or any of the other thousands of places online where the Enneagram is being shared!

HUGE DISCLAIMER: we are not psychologists or therapists or certified Enneagram Coaches e.t.c., and in no way is anything we write in this series to be taken as medical advice. Any information provided in this series is for informational purposes only!

photo of people reaching each other s hands

Personality & Pacemaker: Type Two- The Helper/Giver

Welcome back to our Personality & Pacemaker series where we explore the ways that personality may affect the writing process. We recently looked at the principled- but prone to criticism- Enneagram Type One: The Reformer/Perfectionist. If you’d like to join us as we continue on this amazing journey and get to know yourself a little better along the way, feel free to take the Enneagram personality test! Once you know what your personality type is, let us know how you use Pacemaker and how you think your personality influences your Pacemakerplan customizations! Let’s jump in!

Your Personality- Type 2- The Helper/Giver

The deep, underpinning desire of every Enneagram Type Two is to be loved, but they will settle for being needed and/or appreciated. They are uniquely gifted with an empathy and sensitivity that allows them to anticipate your needs, and with a capacity for selflessness and generosity that allows them to leave no stone unturned in seeing that your needs are met. Type Twos thrive in relationships and wherever they find themselves, will get to work connecting with people on a deep, intimate level, in hopes of building a meaningful friendship. They are usually the first to show up with whatever you need- a kind word, a warm embrace, a care package full of everything you like or -remember that obscure thing you casually mentioned to them that one time 10 years ago? Yea, they bought that for you, just because! There truly is no limit to a Type Two’s care, support and love.

When a healthy Type Two sets their attention on you, expect to feel seen, catered to and deeply loved. However, if they are unhealthy, you might experience them as smothering, overbearing and manipulative. This is because Type Twos have a real problem expressing their needs. You see, to a Type Two, expressing needs opens the door to the painful possibility of the rejection of not having those needs met. So instead of articulating their needs verbally, you might find them acting out love by helping you in some way, or giving of themselves, in hopes that you will return it.

Type Twos can therefore begin to see relationships as purely transactional, saying to themselves, ‘The way I’ll get my needs met is by meeting and exceeding your needs, and hope that you will be so grateful, that you will feel compelled to meet mine in return.’ One of the many problems with this, of course, is that oftentimes people are satisfied to keep receiving without necessarily feeling compelled to give back. Put another way, people don’t always feel, or want to feel, indebted to someone simply because they have shown them love, no matter how deep, needed, solicited e.t.c. this love might have been. This can leave the Type Two feeling burnt-out, resentful, unfulfilled and/or used, and, they may then resort to other tactics to get you to meet their needs, like guilt-tripping, manipulation or even force.

On the healthy side, though, this belief in the connecting power of reciprocity makes Type Twos truly excellent team players, and their ability and willingness to be generous and altruistic, makes them exceedingly warm and empathetic when in leadership and support roles. They will do their share and will help you with your share with hopes that it will make the bond you have stronger. This, however, can easily turn into doing more than necessary in order to be liked, or to get you to do something for them in return, and Type Twos very frequently find that they can’t say ‘no’ for fear that their refusal or inability to do something for someone will spell certain doom for the relationship. Boundary setting, awareness of true motives and realistic expectations of relationships, therefore, become key skills that a healthy Type Two needs to develop, and fast!

As Peter O’Hanrahan of The Enneagram at Work says, “Their challenge is to practice good personal boundaries and to choose more carefully when and how much they help others.” 

How it may be affecting your writing process

Setting boundaries, prioritizing their own work, and setting realistic goals are important growth points for Type Twos, in social life as well as with their writing. Type Twos love pleasing people, and often find themselves sacrificing their own needs to fulfill those of others. This could mean that writers with this personality type may find themselves frequently missing their own deadlines, or feeling so overwhelmed and exhausted when finally attending to their own work, that they’re unable to do their best.

Type Twos also struggle with validation and use the degree to which they are meeting others’ needs as a gauge of their own usefulness and success. Prioritizing their own work has the added benefit of helping Type Twos develop productive habits, celebrate their own progress and goals, and lessen their need for validation from others!

Pacemaker can help!

One of our goals in developing the Pacemaker tool, is to help our users set realistic goals. Part of that is the mathematics, but a larger part is giving users the options to create plans that will reflect, as closely as possible, the rhythms of their day to day lives. Now, ‘life happens’ often for Type Twos, and competing interests tend to win out too frequently. Thankfully, Pacemakerplans can automatically adjust to compensate for these expected but unplanned for interruptions! Because Pacemaker helps users create custom writing plans around their real schedules, users get to factor in lost time so they have a clear picture of how much real time they actually have, to dedicate to their, and others’, projects. So when these things pop up- miss a day here, miss a week there- with a few clicks they can see exactly how much work and time they have left, and conceptualize different ways of getting to the finish line!

Type Twos might be particularly helped, however, by the other option which would allow them to see how far ahead or behind their original schedule they are. Being able to see in black and white how the cumulative effect of de-prioritizing their own work compromises their own progress, they can make better decisions with proper planning and boundary setting. In other words, Pacemaker can’t help you say no to others, but it can help show you how not saying no to others might prevent you from meeting your goal, or at least set you up for a mad blitz of sleepless nights before the deadline!

Type Twos can sometimes feel overlooked and unappreciated even as they go out of their way to make sure others feel seen and loved. This is why it’s doubly important for Type Two writers to make a point of celebrating themselves and not look for that validation from others. At Pacemaker we encourage our users to celebrate their progress, not just their achievements, so we think Type Twos will particularly love our confetti canons! Each time you save progress on Pacemaker, you’re celebrated with a burst of confetti which is our little way of saying a BIG congratulations! You’re doing well! Keep it up!

Lastly, Premium features like Reminders can further help Type Two writers prioritize their own work, and practice setting boundaries. With Pacemaker Premium you can opt to receive either daily or weekly reminders at the top of the day, so that you know exactly what your writing commitments are for the day/week ahead, and therefore how much time you have to give to others otherwise. Type Twos, let these reminders, and all the other Pacemaker features help you build a habit of showing up for yourself consistently!


Next we will dive into the personality and possible Pacemaker experience of the Enneagram Type Three: The Achiever. If you’d like to join us on this journey but don’t know what your personality type is, take the test! There are tons of places online where the test can be taken for free, here’s one we recommend. The key is to be totally honest with your answers. Don’t answer from the perspective of your ideal self, answer truthfully from the perspective of where you are now. Your result should feel eerily accurate and personal!

If you want to just dive into the Types for yourself, you can do so here or here or any of the other thousands of places online where the Enneagram is being shared!

HUGE DISCLAIMER: we are not psychologists or therapists or certified Enneagram Coaches e.t.c., and in no way is anything we write in this series to be taken as medical advice. Any information provided in this series is for informational purposes only!

lady justice and a gavel

Personality & Pacemaker: Type One- The Reformer/Perfectionist

Welcome to our Personality & Pacemaker series where we explore the ways that personality may affect the writing process. If you’d like to join us on this amazing journey and get to know yourself a little better along the way, feel free to take the Enneagram personality test! Once you know what your personality type is, let us know how you use Pacemaker and how you think your personality influences your Pacemakerplan customizations! Let’s jump in!

Your Personality- Type 1: The Reformer/Perfectionist

People with Enneagram Type One personalities desire to be perfect in everything they do. From higher matters of morality, to performance at work, to how they spend their personal time, Type Ones want, not just to be good, but to be right as well. Their basic fear is that they are bad or corrupt, so they counter this by seeking to do the best and be the best, oftentimes insisting that those around them measure up to their high standards without fail as well.

Type Ones are sometimes called Reformers because their desire to be good and right drives them to not only encourage others to be good and right, but also to correct entire systems. They are able to sense injustices and imbalances in the world, and they are compelled to try to change them for the better.

They are fastidious, meticulous planners and researchers. And though their vision for a perfect world might be idealistic, that’s pretty much the only idealistic thing about them, as they are incredibly practical, pragmatic people!

For all their integrity and virtue and sincere desire to be right and good, though, Type Ones struggle with an unrelenting, harsh inner critic- a voice inside which tells them that they are not good enough. When very unhealthy, Type Ones throw this inner voice outwardly and can begin seeking out and magnifying the faults of others, and ‘shoulding’ on others continuously- appointing themselves the moral compass of the family, friend group, office etc and constantly telling others what they should and should not do.

In order to live out the embodiment of the perfection they feel driven to be and display, Type Ones end up repressing or stifling feelings and emotions which they feel to be ‘lesser’ or baser, such as anger, desire for play and pleasure, and spontaneity. They then tend to channel these repressed feelings into whatever activity is at hand, making them extremely diligent, but this repression can cause others to experience them as rigid, uptight and critical.

As Peter O’Hanrahan of The Enneagram at Work says, “Their challenge is to balance their critical thinking with acceptance and appreciation, and to know when “good enough” is more productive than “exactly right.””

How it may be affecting your writing process

Just as in other aspects of their day to day lives, Type Ones will bring a desire for absolute perfection to their writing. They will not skimp on detail and will put in the work to ensure that the final product is well researched and written. They are incredibly disciplined and are prepared to do what it takes to get the job done.

When they set themselves a goal and deadline, they not only want to hit the goal by the deadline, but they want the work they produce to be truly stellar. They will likely feel that the plan they’ve created is practical, doable and the only right way to go about it. And although on some level they may believe that there may be multiple roads to success, they would be 100% certain that their way is the one right way. They may truly struggle to see that more than one way could be right.

Pacemaker can help!

The perfect plan in any given situation may only be discernable after the task is done. That is to say, sometimes the perfect plan is not the one you originally devised, but the one you actually did to get to your goal. That’s simply the case because life doesn’t always happen in a neat, linear fashion, much to the chagrin of our Type One friends I’m sure!

Type Ones may benefit greatly from Pacemaker’s ability to adjust automatically to actual work done. The other option allows you to see how far behind or ahead of your original plan you are. And while seeing that they’re ahead of their plan might give Type Ones a real high, seeing that they are behind might be demotivating. Allowing the plan to automatically redistribute the remaining work based on how much work was actually done could communicate to Type Ones that progress is more important that perfection, and that all is not lost because a specific target was not hit.

Pacemaker allows users to really customize their plans using a number of modifiers. Type Ones might be titillated by the degree of granularity with which they can engineer their plans. With Customizations modifiers, Type Ones can go to town on scheduling days to work/not work and determine how much gets done on working days. Display modifiers even let them choose how they’d like to view their plan and results so they are receiving the information visually, just the way they’d like. Other modifiers like the Progress modifier above and the Strategy modifier will give Type Ones even more control over what they see and what they do when it comes to their Pacemakerplan.

Type Ones love order and efficiency, that’s how they see the world and that’s how they organize themselves and their projects. With Pacemaker Premium’s Projects feature, Type Ones can order their various plans together in groups and track progress across all their plans at a glance, in one place! Group them by Month, Year, Genre, Book, or any other way that tickles their fancy! The Checklist feature captures another thing close to the Type One heart- lists! They love making lists, it’s a simple tool that helps them feel organized and on top of things. Pacemaker’s Checklist feature allows for the creation of open-ended and time-fixed checklists, so they can check things off to their Type One heart’s content!

The bottom line for Enneagram Type One Pacemaker users is this: Pacemaker gives you the satisfaction of creating the ‘perfect’ plan, perfectly curated to your availability, workload capacity, display preferences etc. and gives you the flexibility to adjust that plan as life inevitably happens!


Next week we will dive into the personality and possible Pacemaker experience of the Enneagram Type Two: The Helper/Giver. If you’d like to join us on this journey but don’t know what your personality type is, take the test! There are tons of places online where the test can be taken for free, but here’s one we recommend. The key is to be totally honest with your answers. Don’t answer from the perspective of your ideal self, answer truthfully from the perspective of where you are now. Your result should feel eerily accurate and personal!

If you want to just dive into the Types for yourself, you can do so here or here or any of the other thousands of places online where the Enneagram is being shared!

HUGE DISCLAIMER: we are not psychologists or therapists or certified Enneagram Coaches e.t.c., and in no way is anything we write in this series to be taken as medical advice. Any information provided in this series is for informational purposes only!