What's That Sting? - 3 Ways Pride Fucks With You
"The night of the fight, you may feel a slight sting. That's pride fucking with you. Fuck pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps."
- Marsellus Wallace
Many of us pursue self-employment because we're sick and tired building businesses for other people. We want to make something, build something, birth something that we're "proud" of.
Pride is a fickle mistress however.
Motives are a hue that we mix into the mortar of our business' foundation, and pride, if not properly proportioned, may result in a stain of ego coloring the entire structure. This can keep us from making sound decisions, it can skew our priorities, and most importantly it may keep us from doing any work at all.
1.) Pride is an emotional connection, and emotional decisions have no place in business.
It's no wonder that so many small businesses fail! So many founders operate under the delusion that their business is their own. Make no mistake, your business, your services, your product belong to your customers. They are the keepers of the keys to the kingdom. If you ignore them and what they want pursuing only what "you" would have your business be, they will undoubtedly vanish. This is not your baby. This is a business.
2.) How you make your money is just as important as making it. Pride compromises this philosophy.
Now, though your business/trade is not "your baby" this is not to say that you can't care about it. You absolutely MUST! The days of small businesses pushing soulless-but-profitable products is coming to an end, and it's very difficult to simply "trick" a customer into doing business with you these days. However, there is a balance that must be reached. Success itself ought not be (in my opinion) the end game. Corbett Barr, of Lifestyle Business Weekly hammers home the idea that "How you make your money is just as important as making it." So, though decisions based solely on emotion can end us up in the weeds...so can being a cold, cash-driven machine.
3.) No matter how successful you are, never be too proud to scrub your own toilet.
Finally, the issue of simply getting work done. I can't tell you how often I see folks struggle with this. Having wrestled the beast myself I can personally attest that if pride is allowed to seep into the worker-bee within me, I will have a hard time indeed. Let me be a bit more clear: I'm talking about the kind of pride that keeps you from doing grunt-work. "I've built a well oiled machine, I shouldn't have to shovel the coals any more!" I tell ya...I honestly just winced writing that. Pride leads to expectation and entitlement, and these things are poison for a small organization. I need remain comfortable getting my hands dirty if I wish to succeed.
The moral to this whole mess (if you haven't noticed already) is that I take issue with the term pride itself. It may be semantical, but I have a much easier time wrapping my head around doing something I care about rather building something I'm proud of. For me, looking at it this way keeps my priorities balanced, allows me to employ logic and integrity in my decision makings, and keeps me humble.
I enjoy my life so much more when I'm able to operate my business in this manner.