Starting up your own business – Entrepreneurial ego

Science World, Vancouver B.C.

It takes a lot of self-belief and courage to blaze your own business trail.  It takes considerable self confidence to start up your own business in spite of skepticism; and to convince partners, financiers and other stakeholders that you are pursuing a valuable opportunity and that you have the know how and resources to make it happen.

To then market your own products and services and to constantly talk about yourself and your business usually requires more front than a bus.

These characteristics define many startup entrepreneurs.  They also define the attributes of a healthy ego if arrogance and an exaggerated sense of superiority are not present.

The shy retiring types generally don’t do as well in the start up stage unless they have a strategy to circumvent their shyness.  They just don’t have the pushing power required.  However, they often make good implementers, managers and technicians once the business is up and running.

One trait that defines a healthy entrepreneurial ego is attracting people smarter than themselves and people who have expertise that they don’t.   The unhealthy ego either tries to go it alone or hire substandard talent who pose no threat.  The problem is that substandard talent is still a significant expense but doesn’t contribute much to the bottom line.

Similarly the smart entrepreneurs know how to get the best out of other people by not feeling the need to micro-manage everything, but by making others accountable and by leveraging income and profit off their skill and hard work.

It still takes great confidence and self belief to start up your own business, take the ownership reins firmly and manage it.  Managing by being the boss is always preferable to managing by consensus or by being popular.   In my experience, employees still respect a clear job description, clear rules and a strong, fair, decisive leader.

Being a firm and fair leader doesn’t require arrogance or an overwhelming need to be right all the time.  It means ensuring that people work to the plan and to the systems in place.  Being decisive means making timely decisions; not ignoring good advice.

Starting a business and making a profit requires a healthy positive ego, not an unhealthy negative ego.  After all, the successful entrepreneur must make him or herself attractive to many stakeholders before they can even get out of the blocks.

Until next time!


For more reading about an Aiki way of life visit my Aikido Secrets blog at

I have just released a new guide for any entrepreneur who is starting up a business or even thinking about it.  It’s an investment and a time saver because it is brimming with business ideas and you don’t have to make the mistakes that others do.


Starting up your own business – the good and bad of ego

Ego can be harmful to your business.   While healthy ego can drive self belief, set standards of quality and customer service, unhealthy ego can cause a business operator to become too self absorbed, with insufficient focus on the needs of customers.

Business should not be about you.  If it’s about you, then it isn’t about the customer, and all businesses must stay customer focused to thrive.  You are not in business to create a self legacy.  That might be an outcome but not your initial intention.

It is customer demand and their favourable buying decisions that form the foundations of our income and wealth.  Satisfying customer demand builds repeat business.  You reap the rewards when your business exists for the problem solving and betterment of others.

One of the symptoms of an unhealthy ego is the need to be right all the time.  Professional advice providers like doctors, accountants, lawyers and financial planners can be prone to this condition.  It is because they are in a position of being experts in a narrow field of knowledge and eventually start to believe that they are experts on everything.  Untreated, this condition may cause the business owner to become obstinate, opinionated, and close minded.  This combination is very unattractive to customers.

Another detrimental symptom arises out of the need to talk about ourselves incessantly during the never-ending process of marketing our business.  This can breed an over-inflated attitude of superiority and self importance.  It can also result in becoming attached to the outcomes of what we do.   If possible, let others do the speaking for you in the form of advocacy and testimonials.

Appropriate behaviour in business is paramount.  All behaviour is preceded by thought, so the way in which a business owner’s ego perceives him or her self in relation to the wider customer population is critical to business success.   This also applies to interaction with staff.

An attitude of arrogance with customers will result in a decline in sales, particularly repeat sales.  Also, there comes a time when being the boss and having your staff follow like drones will stifle future growth.

It is much more enlightened and profitable to delegate responsibility, accountability and decision making, and allow others to shine.  This will get you the human leverage you are already paying salaries for.

Customers like to do business with people who they find attractive.  In general, that means being attracted to someone who is friendly, knowledgeable, attentive and helpful.   In other words, treat customers as you would like to be treated.

A good start to attractiveness is to develop a healthy ego.  Being attentive and making customers feel valued means developing good listening skills.  Knowledge is always an advantage in business but more important is the ability to maintain an open-mind and an attitude of endless learning.

To represent quality and still be able to be humble enough to acknowledge your own frailties and imperfections means combining smart business with humanity.  Customers never tire of dealing with real people, flaws and all.   It makes all of us realize that we are human, and no better and no worse than anyone else.

Until next time!


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Starting up your own business – identifying opportunity

Looking for business opportunities is fun.  It is an exciting and empowering process.  Opportunities, when converted, ultimately lead to business growth by adding new clients, new products and additional sales from existing clients.  There is nothing quite so self satisfying!

Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you – make them happen.  Opportunism is a business practice that doesn’t receive enough emphasis in business training.  It is the creation of everything.

So where is opportunity found?  The broad answer is ‘outside your business!’   There are far more revenue opportunities outside you business than inside it.  Opportunities inside your business are usually related to technology, cost reduction and productivity.

Opportunity seeking is a mindset, not a specific location.  Actively seeking opportunities for unfulfilled demand is central to the entrepreneurial spirit, but only a positive and optimistic mind will find them.

The opportunistic mindset is one of abundance, not of lack and scarcity.  If you think there is opportunity awaiting you, there is.  Alternatively, if you think there is no opportunity, there isn’t.

Your opportunity could be local, industry wide or global.  It all depends what you are looking for and how expansively you choose to think.  History is often a good teacher, so look to the past to find clues to future opportunity.  In looking for trends, consider the following questions in relation to the past 3-5 years.

  • Who has disappeared from your industry and why?
  • How has the internet changed your industry?
  • What new technology has been developed in your industry?
  • Do you see any product or service parallels between you industry and another industry?
  • Are your clients and their demands the same today as they were then?
  • Has government legislation banned, allowed or changed anything?

Expand your thinking outside of what you are currently doing.  Don’t allow your future to be determined only by your existing clients.  There is nothing more exciting than creating your own future by proactively identifying opportunities.  The future does not belong to procrastinators, but to brave business explorers.

When you find opportunity, don’t sit on it.  Most opportunities have a use-by date.  In other words, if you don’t act, someone else will sooner or later find it and act on it.  And where does that leave you? ….. Usually out in the cold thinking “Oh what could have been!”

If you are starting up your own business or want to boost your existing business read my latest book Recession Riches and Wealth at:

Until next time!


Starting up your own business

Famous Failures of the Most Successful People In The World

I was browsing YouTube when I stumbled on this.  What more can I say except there is hope for us all!