I’m not into superheroes, but I’m learning. With two small boys in our household, I am starting to understand the lure of the masked/caped crusader. As my cousin and our babysitter, Amber, once pointed out: little boys don’t create car crashes and train wrecks to destroy things. They create these situations so they can rescue people, and things.
I love being the mother of little boys, but that’s another post.
This post is about the Achilles’s heel of a superhero. His weak spot. If you’re Superman, it’s your Kryptonite.
If we were to stereotype professions, we could find the Kryptonite in each of the archetypes. Lawyers can be wordy, and it works against them. Doctors can be cold, and can be criticized for lacking bedside manners. Artists can lack confidence, and can be overly critical of their work.
The thing about these weak spots is that they are also connected to the very thing that makes these professionals good at what they do. Lawyers have to be well-read and highly educated to understand the law. Their wordiness is their gift. Doctors have to deal with hard issues, and their ability to turn off emotions can help them survive in their career for the long run. Artists need something to push to make them better, and their ability to critique their work can push them forward.
This analogy left me thinking: what would an entrepreneur’s Kryptonite be?
And this is what I realized: the entrepreneur’s Kryptonite is ego. It’s that little voice that says, “Hey, look at you! You were brave, you put yourself out there, and you figured it out! You’ve got this. You’ve arrived. No need to work any harder or learn any more. Laurel resting time has arrived! Cheers!”
I know all too well how deadly this attitude is. A few years ago, at my stationery business, we’d recently finished up a wildly successful year. I was tired, and wasn’t managing people well, and I didn’t have time to design the upcoming release, and we were on a deadline. So, I had one of the graphic designers on our team design it. She kept coming to me with designs that didn’t quite echo what our brand was about. But I shrugged this off as a minor detail. “They’ll buy it if it has our name on it,” I said.
OMG. (Insert emoji of wide-eyed/shocked guy here.) Can you believe I said that? I can’t! But my ego was OUTTA CONTROL.
And guess what? It was one of our worst-performing releases ever. It pretty much tanked. Customers hated it.
As the old saying goes, pride comes before a fall.
Humility, on the other hand, can lead to growth and progress. I touched on this in another recent blog post. In recent years, I’ve spent a lot of time adjusting my attitude and learning to maintain an attitude of “always learning, always growing”. I’ve hired coaches and attended workshops and made friends with entrepreneurs who know more than I do and are willing to guide me.
And you know what? It works a lot better.
I also believe that one of the responsibilities of a successful entrepreneur is paying it forward. This is part of why I developed the #BizDesigners e-course. I’ve taken all the things I’ve learned from both successes and failures, and I’ve compiled them into a five module e-course that will walk entrepreneurs at all stages through an understanding of not just what it takes to START a business, but also what it takes to help you GROW a sustainable, profitable business.
If you’re interested in learning more, I invite you to check it out here. Or, you can even email me directly at whitney at whitneyenglish.com. I’d love to answer any questions you have about the course, or help you decide if it’s right for you! The course registration closes next Thursday, and we won’t launch it again for six months, so check it out and reach out if you need anything!