This curated column is authored by Associate Director Global eCommerce & Advisory, National Australia Bank
Your ego is the image you have of yourself and how important you are. For many people, this part of their being can get out of control really quickly. The biggest way to fuel someone’s ego is through the very subject that we are all so addicted to on this site; success.
When you become successful at something you have two choices; to be humble and grateful for the opportunity you have been given, or to let it get to your head and allow your ego to take over. With any level of success, there is always a small amount of luck needed along with heaps of skill, hard work and patience.
The tipping point for a lot of success is just a small dose of luck, but this ingredient can quickly turn against you when you add ego with it. Egotistic people are not able to sustain luck because the energy they put out into the world doesn’t attract anything of value in return.
The 9 things you need to remember so your ego doesn’t decimate your success are:
1. It’s not a good idea to talk down to people
When a person’s ego is out of control, they begin to feel superior to their fellow human beings. This idea can become like a virus and it will create the disease of “talking down to people.” It’s never okay to talk down to someone and act as if you are better than them.
By doing so, you’re showing that you lack life experience and wisdom. It’s not about being better than everyone else it’s about being able to give something to the world that no one else can do. Leaders come up with solutions; egotistically driven people use brute force.
2. As quick as you can make a million dollars you can lose it all
The whole reason I am writing this article is because of a business encounter that happened in my own life a few weeks ago. Someone that I consider to be a friend made over a million dollars and everyone around them was very supportive of their success.
Within a matter of weeks, this person has gone from being a humble businessperson, to an ego driven maniac. Out of nowhere, they are treating all the people that helped make them a millionaire like they are better than them on every level.
Because they are the leader of the business that made them a millionaire, their toxic ego has flowed through the company and made everyone high on the fumes. Suddenly, quiet, timid, business leaders, have begun talking over the top of people and swearing unnecessarily.
What it most disappointing about this situation is that this person has lost it all before. Losing everything is supposed to make you wiser and give you the skills to succeed. By not getting the lesson the first time, this new ego fuelled state has the power to bring them down. In business, when you let your ego get out of control, you take unnecessary risks and think you’re invincible.
“An inflated ego can cloud your judgement and make you think you have super powers that you don’t”
I’m sorry to report, but no one gives a damn how much money you’ve made or what car you drive. People care about how you treat others when you become successful, and more importantly, the type of person you become. Do you give money to charity? Do you start your own charity? Do you coach other people to start a business?
Having been someone that has been in this situation before, the only thing that I repeatedly say is “As quick as you can make a million dollars you can lose it all.” It doesn’t take a lot to bring a business down or for the people you work with to lose confidence in your ability to lead.
If you let your ego take over before you know it, the million bucks is gone, and you’re alone, on the street, consuming large amounts of alcohol, trying to understand what happen to your so-called “success.”
Don’t fall for the ego trap and become conscious of how you treat people. Joel Brown, who owns this website, has millions of followers and more success than most people I know; yet he’s a nice guy and always looking to serve people.
He’s not out there claiming he’s some miracle worker, he’s just getting on with the job of giving everything he has and leaving a legacy that we will all remember. At the heart of it, that’s what success is all about my friends.
3. It’s not cool to play people off against each other
In business, there are often multiple suppliers that you can work with to deliver a product or service. The last thing you want to do is let your ego get in the way, and think that you can treat these people like dirt.
There is one fundamental lesson that you have to understand: businesses talk to each other and when you go out of the way to treat them poorly, the people you hurt all of a sudden want to share their negative experience with their other friends in their network (i.e., the other businesses someone may choose to work with).
Making enemies in business never works out because people do business with people. Even if you have an incredible business, if you let your ego get out of control, people won’t be attracted to work with you. The quickest way to the welfare office is through your ego — don’t let this be you.
4. Manners will stop your ego
All of us can get caught up in our ego sometimes, and that’s okay. What we can do to cure yourself of this fever is to remember your manners. When you’re tempted to act in an egotistic way in front of someone, try being polite instead.
By using your manners, you bring yourself back to caring less about you, and more about the other person. I’ve even found that manners can become a sort of mindfulness trigger that helps me to come back to the moment and not get lost in an anxiety ridden, egotistical states of mind.
I’ve found the fastest way to attract customers and suppliers in business is to treat them well. Treat them.
with respect and be known as the nice guy. Last week, I had a client I did this with. This client had been more agreeable than I expected. On an email, they asked me if they could slightly change something in a contract and I agreed without hesitation.
I told them how much I liked doing business with them and how I appreciated their willingness to come from a place of gratitude in a sometimes hostile business environment. Sure enough, the business relationship is as strong as it can be.
Manners and the way you treat people matter. Entrepreneurship is not about you; it’s about serving everyone else.
5. Everything is negotiable
By coming from an egotistical state, you automatically rule out a good negotiating position. In the conversation I had with the millionaire mentioned earlier, their ego and bad language automatically put the guard up of every person in the room.
All we wanted to do was escape, and no one had a kind listening ear to hear the person out. Kindness quickly disappears when an inflated ego is present. Rather than let your ego get ahead of you and throw in the used car salesman line of “I can get a better deal elsewhere,” try lowering your ego and asking positive, open-ended questions.
The reality is that everything is negotiable but only when you come from a non-egotistic state. It’s all in the way you ask and how you come across. The amount of times I have been able to negotiate a great deal by asking questions and saying “would it be possible to do it this way,” or “could we try lowering this rate, and removing X Y and Z?”
You’d be surprised what you can achieve when your personality is attractive and not full of the moles of ego. People will bend over backwards to work with someone who doesn’t let success get to their head.
“In any business negotiation, the person with the bigger ego always loses in the long term” — Tim Denning
6. Your ego blocks your ability to listen
The only way you can learn in life is by listening to other people, and then deciding if what they’ve said is something you can learn from. Not all opinions will be positive, but you will never learn if you let your ego get in the way and make you think that you know everything.
You don’t know even 1/1000th of what there is to know in the world, and there is no point pretending you do. Instead, realise how little you know in the scheme of things and be a learner in life. Become adaptable, flexible, nimble and able to adapt to change. Know that there is no right answer and that everyone has an opinion rightly or wrongly.
7. Face into challenges with a mature, calm dimenna, not your ego
A mind that has regularly been meditating is calm and able to come from a place of reason, even in the face of adversity. When a situation gets heated always come back to it after a good night’s sleep — your perspective will be different.
A calm mind notices your ego and stops you from making an idiot of yourself. Often, if you fail to deal with stress or anxiety, the door to your ego get’s left wide open. Having control of your life is all about the control of your mind and thoughts.
Replace disempowering thoughts that tell you you’re better than everyone else, with thoughts of how you can create something spectacular.
“When you start comparing who has the bigger third leg, ego will take over and ruin all the rapport that you had previously”
8. The moment you get nasty, people go out of their way to take you down
Your ego can make you say things you don’t mean. Whenever you become nasty towards other people and make threats, the person on the other side will go out of their way to take you down. We’ve all heard of the concept of a “raving fan.”
When you turn people against you with your ego, you create the opposite effect of a raving fan. Pretty soon, these people will be talking to everyone they come across to tell them about how full of yourself you are. A lot of the so-called bad luck in our life can be directly linked to our inflated ego.
The bottom line is we have to get over ourselves and how good we are. Having said that, don’t mistake what I am saying about your ego for confidence. There is nothing wrong with being confident about what you are doing in life, just don’t confuse confidence with ego otherwise, you’re in trouble.
9. Nice people always win, smart alecs do not
Sustained success in any field comes down to one simple principle, “nice people always win.” Coming across as a smart alec who knows it all will not give you the success you want in years to come. Your ego can create short term massive high’s and long term major lows if you’re not careful.
Look at any well-respected actor and you’ll see that they are humble and genuinely nice people. The more they are like everyone else, the more success they seem to have. The reality is this: people are looking for other people just like them. Once you understand this concept, you can use rapport rather than your ego, to fight conflict in business and in life.
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Disclaimer: This is a curated post. The statements, opinions and data contained in these publications are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of iamwire or its editor(s). The article in its original form was published by the author here.