As a small business owner, you’ve worked hard to get to where you are today. You deserve a pat on the back—or maybe two or three.
However, it’s important not to get too accustomed to those pats on the back! As you achieve success, your employees, coworkers, and maybe even your clients strive to please you more. They may listen more attentively to what you have to say and agree with you more often. You might even find them laughing at jokes they didn’t previously find funny.
All of these factors tickle and inflate your ego through a phenomenon known as “Hubris Syndrome.” An oversized ego can cause you to make some serious leadership miscalculations, which could ultimately cost you your business.
Here’s how: Think of the ego as a dartboard you carry with you. Some people’s egos—or dartboards—are bigger than others’. Bigger egos make for easier targets. If you suffer from a large ego, you likely crave attention. This makes you predictable and susceptible to manipulation from others. In other words, you have a large target on your back.
Inflated egos also prevent you from learning from others, make you more likely to be rude to your employees and clients, and limit your ability to make good decisions. Think about it: If you believe you’re always right, you will look for information that confirms what you want to believe. That confirmation bias could be toxic for your business.
There are plenty of reasons small businesses fail that are outside of your control, whether it’s a lack of funds or lackluster online sales. Your ego, which you can work on, should not be the reason why your business fails.
Explore our flowchart to understand the surefire signs your ego has become a little too big for your business and discover ways to deflate it.
Meredith Wood is the Vice President and Founding Editor at Fundera.