In the Tinker phase, entrepreneurs build their wealth platform.

A Tinker has built a business that runs itself. Now she’s trying to diversify. She can build another business, or to duplicate her first success, or to take her first idea to a new market, or to start over with a new idea. She can buy real estate or other investments as she “firms up” her platform of wealth.

If she’s not given new challenges, the Tinker will probably stick her hands in the machine, constantly “tweaking” her original business until it’s broken. Some of the Tinkers in TwoBrain are turning their businesses into franchises, developing online projects, partnering with other owners, and starting second companies. Others are setting up their retirement plans and buying buildings to create cash flow assets.

My role as mentor to Tinkers is to help them identify the next big project, and then keep them focused on it. I’ve never met a Tinker who didn’t have at least three big projects in mind. Free from their original business—and still making passive income from it—the Tinker’s greatest risk is killing the golden goose.

The Tinker’s attention must shift from developing their first business to developing themselves as a leader. That means a plan for physical activity, mental acuity, and mental training. It means peer support: “It’s lonely at the top” describes the Tinker to a capital T. It means mentorship from someone who has successfully navigated the “valley of death” created by hiring a management layer for the first time. If they can, they become a Thief.