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Don't Let Ego Kill Your Business

Check your ego at the door. That’s right! Even though confidence is important as a business owner you should know that ego can kill your business. Here are 5 ways ego can hurt your business and ways you can avoid falling into these ego traps.

  1. You think you know it all.

You may think you know it all or at least enough to keep going. However, ever-changing trends in industries will make it hard for you to keep up if you don’t learn how to adapt. Thinking you know enough usually means you stop learning. You might think that taking a class is equivalent to admitting you don’t know enough.

How to avoid falling into this trap:

Remember that the best leaders are humble and are always willing to learn. Make it a goal to invest in yourself by taking at least one continuing education class or quick course that will help you adapt your business and keep up with new industry trends. This can actually help you have an edge over your competition.

2. You not only think you don’t need new ideas but you refuse to implement them even if they sound good.

Just because you have been in business for years doesn’t mean that the same model of business will continue to be successful for you. Take Blockbuster, for instance. Their once successful business model is now non-existent. You have to be willing to listen to new ideas and try new things if you want to continue to evolve in this rapidly changing business world. Your ego can get in the way of you seeing the necessity to adapt. Your ego may also help you think you only your ideas are good and stop you from implementing other ideas that could have been very beneficial to your business.

How to avoid falling into this trap:

Make it a goal to listen to new ideas and consider the possible positive outcomes of implementing them. Read books or listen to podcasts from thought leaders who took risks with new ideas and see what qualities helped them to take the leap with those ideas. See how you can imitate those qualities as well. Keep an eye on ideas your competitors are implementing and consider how some of these may also improve your business.

3. You don’t take frontline employees into consideration.

Having a big ego causes some leaders to undermine the importance of these employees that are critical to their success. Ego may make you think you need only listen to people with big titles. But who better to know the actual state of your business than the frontline? The ones that deal with your customers day in and out are the ones that see the faults in your processes and the potential for growth.

How to avoid falling into this trap:

Set regular meetings with your frontline employees where you ask for feedback on current processes in place and suggestions for improvement. Maintain lines of communication open with these valuable assets and make sure you are approachable so they feel comfortable coming to you when they encounter challenges they can’t solve on their own or have great suggestions for improvement.

4. You make your company all about you.

When you have a big ego you may think you are indispensable to your company. But the truth is that a good idea can go a long way with anyone, not just you. And while you may be the heart and soul of the company if you lose focus of the customers you serve you won’t get too far.

How to avoid falling into this trap:

Find ways to get to know your customers better on a regular basis. Use tools such as surveys and reviews to get honest feedback from your customers and pay attention to their needs and wants. Try to make changes to your systems and processes in order to please your customers and serve their needs. Use reports to measure which services or products are most successful and better liked by your customers/clients.

5. You think you have to do it yourself for it to be right.

You refuse to delegate because you feel no one can do it as well as you do. You may have started your business on your own and had to do everything at the beginning but once your business starts growing you’ll need to delegate or you will be stuck. You can’t be the best at all things. And realizing that you should focus on what you are best at is an important step in being successful.

How to avoid falling into this trap:

Start by making a list of tasks that you really hate to do or feel that you aren’t that great at anyway. Also make a list of tasks that are repetitive in nature or can easily be done by someone else. Hire an employee or virtual assistant to delegate these tasks out and focus your time on building your business by doing what you are great at.

Don’t let ego kill your business. Be honest with yourself and recognize if you have started to develop any of these 5 problems that are discussed above. Don’t wait to make corrections when needed through attitude adjustment and by taking action. Meanwhile, let me know what other traps can you think of that having a big ego can create.

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