3 ways your Ego is wrecking business

Are you an entrepreneur to help solve problems or are you doing business to compensate for your own insecurities?

Find out if your Ego is Wreaking Havoc in Your Business.
In business, often times what you don’t see is what kills you.  Like a little invisible gremlinyour ego can wreak havoc on your business if you let it grow out of control.


These are three things I constantly hear from entrepreneurs that show a priority of ego over success. Look out for each of these carefully so you can ensure they don’t end up damaging what you’ve worked so diligently to build.


#1  I Need to Prove Myself

A lot of entrepreneurs I speak with are ultimately driven by something more internal than a desire to make a profit. They are there to help their customers and solve problems.


Though, there are many entrepreneurs that are driven by a compulsive need to prove to the world they are “good enough” or “worthy enough” of creating success. They believe something like— Until I can make X amount of money, I will feel like a failure.


These are the same people who get the urge to purchase an $80,000 BMW to flaunt their “success” around town.


Sure, it feels great pulling up to valet parking in such a beautiful vehicle. Everyone in the restaurant might see them driving in such eloquent style. However, what they don’t see is the person stuck making a car payment, sinking them further into debt and annihilating their chances of reinvesting profits. They especially don’t see that smug satisfaction becoming an albatross around their neck.


Don’t attach your self-esteem to what you do for a living.


This is an extremely selfish way to approach doing business— your focus is off your customers and is entirely on YOU.


If you’re driven by a need to prove to the world that you “made it”, your business will end up rotting from the inside out. If all your focus is on your achievement, you are effectively ignoring your customers and the chance to help them, to solve their problems. You’ll see them as people to be conquered on your way to proving how great you are. Their experience with you will be hollow and empty.


Your customers don’t care what car you drive. They don’t care how much money you make. In fact, outside of a few close friends and family members, no one really cares.

Your clients only want to know ONE thing: Can you help me?


If your attention is fixated on anything other than this key question, you risk damaging these important relationships.


Instead, simply assume you are already a success. No matter where you are right now with your business, assume you’re already a great source of value to others.

Make it your mission to help your clients solve their problems by sharing what you know.


You want to make their lives easier, more enjoyable, and more fulfilled. That’s it. And that’s everything! You’re not looking to prove your greatness and have your ego stroked.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t go out and buy your dream car – I’m simply asking you to evaluate your motivations.


Are you an entrepreneur to help solve problems or are you doing business to compensate for your own insecurities?


#2  It’s Not My Fault

If your business isn’t growing, one of three things is happening:

• You aren’t marketing enough

• Your products and services are mediocre

• Your customer service is poor


Accepting one of these realities and owning your mistakes is the key to turning around any fledgling organization. However, one’s ego can flip the script on why business isn’t booming by pointing a finger at several other factors: the customers, the lack of resources, the lack of time, or any combination of the three.


Shifting the blame can give you a great feeling of false confidence. After all, if it isn’t your fault, why should you be the one taking responsibility?


This error also stems from attaching your self-esteem to your business.


You need to be able to objectively consider where your strengths and weaknesses are.


Even if you feel your customers don’t appreciate or understand your product. Even if your employees are wasting time. Even if you’ve had to deal with every possible accident or emergency imaginable within the past year.


Take full responsibility for your business and focus on what is 100% within your control.


The moment you begin to justify why you don’t have the success you expected, you give away control.  When you give away your control, you no longer have the ability to make the necessary changes to get things back on track. You’re essentially polishing the brass on a rapidly sinking Titanic, blinded by your decision to whine and play victim.


Yes, it hurts admitting your precious baby isn’t running on all cylinders. We want it to change the world and cure cancer and all that great stuff. But you have to decide if it is more important for you to avoid criticism or to run a successful business.


If your ego needs to be nurtured more than your profit margin, your identity is too wrapped up in what you do for a living.


Take a few steps back, think objectively, and ask yourself: If this was someone else’s ship, what would I do to keep it afloat?


#3  I Know That Already

 As an entrepreneur, you run the show and you call the shots. You certainly need to have a strong drive, passion, and vision for what you’re doing.


However, while being headstrong is a character trait of strength, it can also be a reflection of ignorance. If you’re someone that says, Yeah, yeah, yeah I know that already when you come across new suggestions, you’re making a critical mistake.


Don’t make your need to be right more important than your business.


In my opinion, this is the greatest sin a business owner can commit.  Without the willingness to explore information with an open mind, we can all too easily become closed off to fresh perspectives.


As the old maxim goes— If you’re not growing, you’re dying.


Here’s my suggestion: the next time you come across something that you think you already know, pay attention anyway.


Look for a different perspective on the information. Look for the one thing you know you could do a stronger job of implementing in your business. When you find yourself saying, “I know that already,” follow up that statement with this question: Do I live it?


There’s often a huge gap between what we know and what we live. How many times have you made a suggestion for helping someone else and they tell you, I know, I know – I need to get on that. But do they ever do anything about it? Nope.


Be the entrepreneur that is always a student first and foremost – be the master of many areas, but the expert in none.


Keep your mind open to new opinions and strategies and more importantly, apply what you learn consistently.


Remember that what you know is not nearly as important as what you do with that knowledge.


Humility is the single most important character trait you can possess in business.


This discipline will keep your relationships with customers strong, your awareness for spotting weaknesses keen, and ultimately the value you deliver to the marketplace much higher.


What Keeps You Humble?  Please leave your thoughts in the comments.