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Blinded by Ego

If you grew up knowing me, the first thing you would probably say is “Alex, yeah that guy has a pretty big ego.” You could argue that it was just confidence but ego and confidence seldom get confused. It’s easy to see the difference.

Maybe it took the birth of Grace or maybe it comes with age or maybe it was the start of Finish Line that helped me see past the ego. A piece of advice for small business owners – don’t let your ego get in the way of your success. What do I mean?

If you are afraid to ask for advice from someone better than you – your ego is in the way and you won’t succeed. If you keep reminding yourself of past accomplishments and use that as an excuse for future failures – your ego is in the way and you won’t succeed.

It takes a big man/woman to admit when they are wrong. It takes a great business owner to look at their competitors and acknowledge when they are doing something better.

A quick story:

I was sitting in my office at my old job pounding my head against the wall refusing to agree with my father about a business decision. It was all tailored around the purchase of a building and the location.  I kept saying to myself “that old man is wrong. He is outdated and doesn’t understand how to effectively run a business.” My ego got in the way and I went against HIS better judgement and listened to my gut. The end result? A $20,000 mistake and about 3 months of aggravation. Was he right? Probably. Will I ever find out? No. And that is the problem. I will never know if his way was better and I will never know if his options would have saved the company $20,000. My ego got in the way and I wanted to do it my way.

I think this happens to a lot of business owners. I think they get so wrapped up in their own successes and failures that they believe everyone else is wrong. The ego grows and they lose sight of the competition, their companions and their original vision.

Don’t let that happen to you.