Is Ego necessary for a successful business?

As an entrepreneur and start up business owner I am constantly reading articles where successful entrepreneurs are interviewed about their start up stories. Tales of how they started from nothing but, somewhat miraculously, turned a small idea into a successful business model. All with such apparent ease it would seem. Some will concede the “it takes hard work and late nights but it all was worth it”.


Outwardly to the world they give the impression as if they have never experienced a moment of self-doubt, a second of negative thinking, self-flagellation or personal criticism along the way.

I, however, seem to be constantly wracked with negative thoughts – the “I’m not good enough” or “just pack it in and get a job” ones. Out of every 5 great, positive days I have 2 depressive “I’m a failure” days where I am looking at and asking myself “What are you doing??”

I do find we always read these glossy stories of hard graft, late nights and moxie AFTER they have become successful. We don’t see the blood, sweat and tears we only see the perfectly made up bio pic and the chirpy grin.

So where does this sense of self-belief come from? Is it born from ego; is just a necessity to present to the world? “Failure is not an option so never admit or concede defeat and you’ll always be a winner” or is it something else?


I think instead of ego it is a strong sense of self-belief and that is what it truly takes to be a success. Not everyone who starts a business is innately a supremely confident person, so thoroughly convinced of their own potential success that they never even contemplate failure. Most of us are weak, doubtful, stressed and negative. But the common value we hold true though is our belief in our idea. Belief can be a very strong tool as an entrepreneur. We know it can work, we know it’s good. Yes we as individuals might be weak and insecure but our idea is not. And yes when you really boil it down, the truth is that we really cannot imagine doing anything else with our lives.

So through every bad day and disappointment and knock back we keep going. With grit and determination and pure belief your business will succeed. And maybe someday it will be our opportunity to give the interview with the overly made up bio pic and chirpy grin and then, when it comes down to it, we will tell it how it really is.