“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”   

                                                                  — Proverbs

There are many obstacles for the small business owner and entrepreneur. Many come from the outside; competition, weakening demand for your product or service, employee challenges, lack of sufficient resources, changing market conditions, and I could go on and on. But other obstacles attack from the inside; fear of failure, lack of self-confidence, distractions brought on by troubles at home or in your personal life, jealousy of another’s success, greed, and I could again go on and on.

But one ‘inside’ thing that often creeps into the picture gradually, especially when you’ve achieved some success, is pride — the bad kind. I know you’ve seen this kind of pride before. Think of a Hollywood actor or actress, or a professional athlete you’ve seen on television talk about themselves. As they spoke it became obvious they were very impressed with themselves, and if you’re like me, you found your face begin to scrunch up as if you’d eaten a very sour lemon. It was distasteful to hear and watch that personality talk about how wonderful they are.

On the other hand, if you’ve ever again watched a famous personality on television who was not self-centered, listened to them brag about their co-workers or teammates, or give credit to God for their success, you probably found yourself smiling as they spoke. Very pleasant and heart-warming to watch.

Problems From Being Impressed With Yourself

I’m not suggesting that you don’t have a healthy sort of pride in yourself and your work, but I am suggesting you keep it in balance. So, what is the problem with the bad kind of pride?

1. It Lessens Trust. People who have to work with you will likely begin to trust you less. They will obviously think that you will act in your own interests first, forgetting them.

2. It Lowers Morale. And when you have less trust, the work is less fun and morale suffers greatly. People around you won’t look optimistically at their futures. Hope will suffer. They will feel less valued by you.

3. It Does Not Promote Team Or Collaboration. Since everyone believes you’re all about yourself only, the team culture suffers. The word ‘team’ is not in the working vocabulary of your organizational lexicon. People will feel their thoughts or ideas will be dismissed, that only you can have a good idea.

4. It Obscures Your Vision. You will only see things from your perspective, oblivious to others and their feelings or ideas.  You will therefore have a singular vision, losing the multi-dimensional benefits you get when you open your mind to a variety of perspectives and experiences.

5. It Is Distasteful To All Those Around You. The very thing you find so wonderful — you, the person — others will find repugnant. Sadly, you may not even realize it. If you want to be liked, you must consider doing a 180 degree turn.

Character Is The Thing

What it all comes down to is character; who you really are. When something goes wonderful in your work or project, be quick to share the credit with everyone. When something goes really wrong, be quick to take the blame. These two acts of selflessness will endear everyone to you, make you more friends, and lead to greater shared joy and happiness. As the business owner or entrepreneur, you need the help of others who are devoted to you, the person. In this way, you build your character and increase your chances for success significantly.

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Author Wayland Coker

My goal is to help entrepreneurs learn as much as they can about themselves and their businesses, and the vital connection between the two. I don’t intend this to be a monologue, but a dialogue. Please give me your feedback in the comment sections located at the bottom of each article. I will read every comment and respond as I am able. I am looking forward to connecting with you!

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