Let’s say that you’re a novice entrepreneur who gets lucky and makes it big. Chances are that will go to your head. I recently came across an article by the entrepreneur John Rampton, whose early success created an ego that damaged his later work. While an ego can be a great confidence booster, it can also harm you. He spoke of eight ways that his ego killed his business, which I’ve listed below:
You won’t realize you need to learn: A lot of leaders think they have every answer out there, and admitting they could improve by learning is a sign of weakness. Don’t be afraid of being judged for asking stupid questions, and jump onto opportunities to learn from others.
You’ll ignore opportunities: While you might think that ego makes you push towards greatness, but in reality it’s fairly complacent and resists change. If you have a big ego, you don’t think you need to do anything new because you’re so great. Yet this will prevent you from seizing innovative opportunities which could have helped your business move forward.
You over-estimate your abilities: Business owners are expected to wear multiple hats, but nobody can wear every hat. Self-confidence in your abilities is important, but you’re setting yourself up for disaster if you tell yourself that you’re a master at everything. Learn enough to get started, but recognize when it’s necessary to hire a specialist.
You micromanage: Being the head honcho in charge is a lot of pressure, and you often feel like you have to control everything. You want to care about the details regarding your business, but expectations won’t always be met. Being overbearing and critical tells your team that you don’t trust them, which will hurt performance.
You won’t want to ask for help: Every great entrepreneur had assistance to get to where they are today. You want to have a mentor that can teach you from their own experience. Whether it’s bringing in a partner, seeking out a mentor or coach or polling your team, asking for help is essential for success.
Every decision revolves around you: Your business should never be about you. It’s about your customers and how you can enhance their lives. If you aren’t thinking about your customers and what they want/need, they won’t continue to support your business.
You can’t back down: Your ego will always want you to be right, and if you get into a discussion, you won’t back down until you’ve gotten it your way. True leaders understand when they’re wrong.
You set impossible goals: Your ego will often lead to your setting impossible goals for yourself, and when you don’t reach those goals, you’ll just beat yourself up. As a business owner, you need to set attainable and realistic goals. You’ll accomplish less if your mind is crowded with unrealistic expectations.