What, in your opinion is the difference between confidence and ego? Do ego and success go hand in hand? Should ego be accepted if you’re a leader in your field? There’s been a lot of talk about the role of ego in business recently and since it’s not a subject that I usually speak about an awful lot, I thought that it was about time that I shared my experience with you.
A lot of professionals claim that ego is a natural character trait that just needs to be managed, and whilst I do agree with this sentiment, I don’t think that enough business professionals realise the harm that egos can cause.
There’s tons of confusion between confidence and ego. Confidence is great and is a trait that all good business people should have. But ego, on the other hand, can be a very damaging characteristic in business. If you have an ego and you don’t recognise it in yourself, this could ultimately lead to your demise. How do I know? Well, I used to be one of those people and my ego cost me a big part of my career.
My high opinion of my success and myself started to damage my reputation severely and the business that I’d helped build for over sixteen years was taken away from me as a result. This experience destroyed me. Overnight I lost everything. At the time of hitting rock bottom, I blamed others for my failure, but after many years of reflection I’ve come to realise that I only had myself, and my ego to blame.
My ego got in the way of clarity. My ego got in the way of being humble. My ego got in the way of everything I was working towards. Since then I’ve been lucky enough to rebuild my life and my career, but I’ve had to become a lot more self-aware. Dedicating myself to a life of learning, and identifying how to keep my ego in check is incredibly important to me.
Are you able to identify ego in yourself? Here’s how to keep that ego in check:
THREE WAYS TO KEEP YOUR EGO IN CHECK:
BECOME SELF-AWARE: No-one is perfect. Everyone has flaws. And the person, who is able to admit that they’re just human, will be a lot more respected than the person trying to pretend that they’re God. We all started somewhere, and we all learn many things along the way. The biggest mistake that business people can make is thinking that because they’ve experienced phenomenal success, that they no longer need to “learn” and be humble. News flash- if you stop learning, your business will fail! Maybe not overnight, but the wheels will come off soon enough.
CATCH YOURSELF IN THE ACT: In the heat of the moment, or especially if you’re provoked, it’s easy to get fired up and say something that you’ll later regret. The next time that you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, or in any situation that would expose your ego- stop and think! Instead of acting with a defensive mindset, react from a calm, clear and strategic mindset.
ACCEPT HELP & ASSISTANCE: In my first podcast interview (listen to it here) that was released earlier this week, I spoke to Sara Almadani, who opened up about someone she knew in the industry whose ego was so big that it destroyed his company before it could even take off.
This individual needed to raise capital and couldn’t, and so Sara suggested that he use crowdfunding to raise the money he needed. He flat out refused, because he thought this idea was beneath him, and because of that, his million-dollar idea died. Your ego stops you from making good decisions for your business. Don’t let this happen. Asking for help when you need it is nothing to be ashamed of.