Entrepreneurs need a very healthy ego to succeed. Many might be self-effacing and humble, but there still has to be a deep-seeded, positive sense of self and ego. Some might call it drive. That’s part of it. Courage and belief in one’s own abilities is also important. Natural leadership qualities and a desire to lead are driven by ego.
Ego is important. Without a healthy ego entrepreneurs don’t have the necessary internal reserves to survive the daily rigors of startup life.
But I’m generally not attracted to huge egos without the parallel humbleness that should come with it and the recognition that any real success involves multiple factors. It’s very rare that one person can take all the credit (or all the blame!) When a successful person openly recognizes that other factors impacted their success — luck, for example – I know that person has a healthy ego, the kind of ego that helped drive that person to succeed without putting them over the edge.
Those are the types of people I want to work with. People who believe they’ll be successful no matter what, but don’t have to flaunt that on a regular basis. And when they are successful, they recognize it wasn’t exclusively of their own doing. And when they’re not successful, they accept that and move on.
Far too often, egos get in the way of success. It gets ugly. It gets personal. That’s when ego is at its worse; “he said, she said” or “BSDs” that can’t work together (if you want to know what that acronym means, just ask.) Egos at that level need to be put aside for the greater good.
You either believe you can be hugely successful or you don’t. If you don’t, you need to look inside yourself and figure out why. It might just be there, a tiny spark of ego just waiting to explode. If you do believe you can be hugely successful, that’s great, you’ve got the makings of an entrepreneur. But don’t get caught in your own ego. Don’t get overwhelmed by your “greatness”. Use that inherent quality of ego (which too few people truly possess) and leverage it.