One of the things that I have witnessed from business owners over the last 8 years of my working with them is that ego can be a huge hindrance to their business’ growth. Chances are that if you are frustrated, or have hit a place of stagnation in your business it may not be everyone else, it may be that your ego is in the way.
In an attempt to highlight some areas, I want to share with you 3 ways that your ego may be keeping your business from growing.
1 – Ego can make business owners think too much about themselves instead of their clients.
Most people start a business for selfish reasons, and I am not saying that there is anything wrong with that. It is great to want to have your message heard, to want to create wealth, or to want to be successful. There are tons of reasons why businesses are started. Many people just love owning businesses, it makes them feel happy and fulfilled. That is all fine and dandy, but you have to shift your mindset when you are dealing with your ideal customers. You have to start thinking about what they want, and that means you have to push your ego out of the way.
Let me tell you a little secret about communicating with your target audience. It revolves around two words – “You” and “I”. The word “I” is the most frequently used word in the English language. Everyone wants to talk about themselves, and chances are you are no exception. Just try and pay attention next time you have a friendly conversation – how many times do you use the word “I”? It will probably surprise you.
“I think it is best to do it this way.”
“I am going to be doing …..”
“I need your help.”
When you are crafting a message for your audience you need to shift your language as much as possible to make the message about them. You would be amazed at how you can shift an “I” statement into a “You” statement while still conveying the general point, and your audience will be much more receptive to it.
Instead of saying “I am launching a new hair conditioning product.” you could say “Are you tired of hair conditioners that weigh your hair down?” In doing this you are making a message about them and their problems. The first statement will probably get a response of “who cares” and the second will get either a “yes” or “no”, which is exactly what you need in order to move them into a sale. So push your ego out of your messaging and watch how your customer base will open up to your message.
2 – Business owner’s egos cause them to underestimate the input and advice of others around them.
This is a big one. I have noticed this not in particular between myself and clients often, but I have witnessed business owners who for example can’t seem to keep a secretary, and every secretary has similar complaints about how things are being run, and how they are overburdened or simply unable to perform their duties, but the business owner is not willing to budge in implementing new systems or ways of doing things.
I have seen business owners completely disregard solid advice because they trust a self-proclaimed internet business guru (who they have never had a conversation with) more than they trust the input of those who work with them on a regular basis. Remember, just because someone doesn’t have a huge platform does not mean that they do not know what they are talking about. I’m not saying that you should take every piece of advice from every person that gives it, but it is unwise to dismiss advice because an individual doesn’t fit your ego’s idea of what an “expert” is. You should try your best to look at each piece of advice from those around you objectively, without prejudice.
3 – Ego and pride is causing you deny the truth when something isn’t working.
Businesses are often like babies to business owners. You plant them, nurture them, dream about the best for them, and ultimately have an idea of what success looks like for your business. Because most people get emotions involved during these stages (and rightfully so), it can be hard to let go of certain ideas or aspects of your business.
I am going to be frank here, as much as you want it to be, your business is not about you at all. Sure, depending on what type of business you are in, there may be aspects unique to you that attract people to doing business with you, but do not let your ego get the best of you and cause you to think that you are above needing to let ideas or approaches go, or to make drastic changes. Do not let your ego cause you to run your business in denial of major hindrances.
Maybe you really want to be a singer, but all of the voice lessons and marketing in the world are not getting you gigs. Is considering songwriting instead of singing out of the question because you are too prideful to admit that singing just isn’t working for you? Maybe you want to be a public speaker but are having a difficult time articulating your message and connecting with an audience – even after taking all the training that money can buy. Maybe for you, it is time to realize that speaking is just not in the cards for you, and that you should start writing your message instead.
It is my firm belief that if you look at yourself closely and make adjustments in one of these three areas you will begin to see a positive change in your business, and in your business-related relationships with others. So get your ego out of the way and get things moving in the right direction to achieve optimal success.