Some people spit out the word ego as if they just tasted spoiled milk. Most people are convinced that ego is just the opposite of humility. Humility is good, therefore ego is bad. At the risk of offending those worshiping the shrine of humility, I will talk about why a little ego is a good thing for entrepreneurs.
I have been a competitor my whole life. It’s who I am. Everything from athletics, academic competitions, to even competing to raise capital from certain investment funds –I have an aggressive willingness to compete. It’s part of my ego. It makes me want to work harder, be smarter, and fight to prove naysayers wrong.
Simply starting a business is an expression of ego
Your name is attributed to the brand. Your signature goes on the bank notes. You are saying, “I have confidence that I can launch this business and lead it to success and prosperity”. Along your entrepreneurial path you will stumble, fall and get bruised. Our ego is constantly challenged and it is exhibited in confidence, toughness and faith when you can get up, dust yourself off, and move forward.
There is a saying, “ego: is the fallacy wherby a goose thinks he’s a swan”. I like this because every business starts small, they are the proverbial goose, but most founders think their business is actually a swan from day 1. Just watch one episode of The Shark Tank and you’ll know what I mean. This isn’t a bad way to think. Believing and holding onto your own convictions, regardless of what the majority or others may think, might seem like egotism, but when your convictions are eventually proven correct and you experience success – you may have just taken a chapter from Steve Jobs.