Get your ego in check before you lose your business for good!
When you get into business for the very first time, you will almost instantly find yourself feeling proud of your accomplishments, no matter how insignificant they may seem to anybody else.
What’s more is the fact that there is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all, as we all deserve to take pride in our work and our accomplishments. When we see our investments paying off, and we find those all important deals falling into place, well, truthfully, we may indeed feel a little smug along the way. Whilst this is perfectly acceptable, what is not acceptable is letting your ego run the show, and you getting too big for your boots and getting overly cocky. Being an entrepreneur is both exciting, and rewarding, but it can result in people getting a little too power hungry, and letting their power go to their heads, and this is not practical in the slightest. If you become too cocky, too arrogant, and too egomaniacal, you run the risk of losing everything, pretty much in the blink of an eye. Here’s a look at how having an ego can affect your business, and what you can do to get it in check before it’s too late.
Being an entrepreneur and the danger of developing an ego.
Not everybody is cut out for being an entrepreneur, in fact, there are only a select few people in the world who truly have what it takes to cut it at the top of entrepreneurial business pile. If you’re one of these people, of course you will feel proud, and you deserve to feel proud. Pride however, should not be confused with arrogance, which is where many would-be businessmen and women find themselves going wrong. Building up a company from nothing, turning over impressive profits, and constantly having people tell you how well you are doing is of course going to fuel your ego to a certain degree, but if you develop too much of an ego, you run the risk of becoming detrimental to your company. With an ego, you will be less likely to listen to others, you will constantly rubbish other people’s suggestions, and you’ll think you are above everybody else, including your employees and your customers, and that is a very dangerous thing indeed. Ideally you need somebody to help you get your ego in check, and if you don’t have that, it is down to you to do it yourself, before it becomes too late.
Egos can bring down large or small businesses.
Although you may think that it is generally relatively small companies that struggle with business owners with large egos, in reality, egos can bring down large, medium, or small companies, for virtually the same reasons. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the owner of a small five person business, or if you’re the CEO of a multi-million pound company, if you develop an ego and begin alienating yourself from those who can influence you and help you along the way, you risk losing everything and having to start again from the ground up.
How to develop a healthy ego.
One of the most common reasons why people allow their egos and false senses of entitlement to run away from them and damage their company and their reputation, is unfortunately the fact that they are nothing more than stubborn and proud. It takes a real person to admit their mistakes and their shortcomings, and sadly, not all people are willing to accept the fact that they are allowing their egos to run away with themselves. There are however, a few proven strategies that can help you to taper your ego and bring it down a notch of two, so let’s take a look at a few suggestions:
Step away from day to day operations: When you build a company from nothing, you will find yourself nurturing it and even treating it like a child to a certain degree. It is your pride and joy and you will want to be around it at all times in one way or another. However, experts have found that constantly throwing yourself in at the deep end with your business every single day, is far more likely to result in you developing an inflated ego and not listening to anybody else involved in the company. Ideally you should distance yourself from the day to day running of your business, and leave it in the hands of your most capable managerial employees. This will help show you that the business can still function perfectly fine without you constantly being involved, and it will help you to focus on things other than your business.
Gain perspective: Another proven strategy designed to help people get their egos in check, especially in the business world, is to simply step back and gain a little perspective. No matter how impressive you think you are, there will almost always be somewhere out there who totally and utterly eclipses you in virtually every way possible. Say for example, you are the CEO of a company that generates £4 million every single year. To many people, that is a hugely impressive feat, yet there are companies out there who generate billions, even trillions, making your 4 million look pretty insignificant. This is important because it puts things into perspective as it shows that you perhaps aren’t as impressive as you may have initially thought, and it can be pretty humbling if truth be told. In this case you should stop and think about your business and how perhaps you aren’t quite as huge as you may have initially thought, which may even cause you to re-evaluate one or two things along the way.
Try to relax more: Of course setting up a business is tough, and it is going to require a lot of patience, and a lot of hard work. Whilst you will probably not have much free time to begin with, when you are established in your field, and when you do have employees capable of taking the rains, as well as regular clients, customers, and business contacts, you can afford to step back and relax more, without feeling guilty. You could try to exercise more, you could mediate, you could see friends, you could take up a sport or a hobby, or anything else that gives you pleasure without being work related. This will help you to re-evaluate your priorities, plus it will help show you that you can enjoy your life and still oversee a very successful business in the process.
Accept the fact that you don’t know everything: As mentioned, it takes real guts for a person to admit their shortcomings, and because of this, you should make sure that you accept the fact that you don’t know everything there is to know about running a business. When you adopt this mindset, you become far more willing to listen to others, and you accept the fact that they can help your business and can even improve it. You could suggest brainstorming ideas with employees, or you could speak to them one on one and find out if they have any suggestions which could be deemed useful.
Treat employees with respect and let them know they are appreciated: If employees feel unappreciated and as if they are being taken for granted, they will not like you as a boss, and they will not like working at your company in general. This in turn, will bring down morale and could result in loss of staff, and therefore loss of earnings. You should praise your employees when they do a good job, and you should let them know you appreciate them. What’s more, although annoying, you should not berate them constantly when they do make mistakes. Of course you should let them know you are disappointed when they slip up, but you should not berate them constantly and make them feel inferior. Express disappointment in their actions, rather in them as employees, and ensure that they know where they went wrong, and teach them how to make it right and how to prevent the same problems from happening again in the future.
Try to let go: Though you may indeed view your company as a precious commodity, or a hugely valuable asset, the time will come when you will need to step away, so you will need to resign yourself to the fact that sooner or later, you will need to let go. In the future you may decide to sell your business, you may get an offer that is too good to turn down, or you may be forced to step back for health reasons. This in itself is very humbling, as it will teach you to respect your business and all aspects of your business, without taking them for granted. The more you distance yourself from the non-essential elements of your company, the easier this process will become. In this instance, you must decide what type of business you wish to leave behind when you’re gone. Do you want a business that will crumble as soon as you’ve left the premises, or do you want one that will continue to thrive without you at the helm?