If you struggle to scale, you’re constantly going through people on your team, you always feel like it’s you against the world and no one can do what you do as good as you…. Then you might have an ego, and not the good kind.
Listen in to hear about a disastrous date Alyson was on where she realized her date had the biggest ego, and how cleaning public bathrooms can show why we need to treat others how we want to be treated and how this all relates to our businesses.
Alyson Lex 0:03
Psychology talks about the ego in that whole id, ego super ego thing. Your ID is your impulse, your super ego is your morality and your ego is what tries to balance the two. And your ego is modified by the external world and what you're taught throughout your development and as you grow up, and all of that good stuff, but ego is something else as well. Right? Ego is that part of you that acts a certain way. And it can really either help or hinder your business. And Jenny and I are here to talk about kind of the ways that you're killing yourself with.
Alyson Lex 0:57
Jennie and I are here to talk about the ways that you're really sabotaging yourself with your ego. First, your ego when it comes to how you put yourself out in the world, the way you position yourself cannot be driven by your ego. Whether you have a fragile ego, or an overinflated, ego, or whatever, driving how you position yourself and your messaging and your marketing and everything. That's not what needs to be the benchmark. Your ego is not the benchmark your customers are right.
Jennie Wright 1:44
It's what your clients need. It's what the business needs. It's starting even about you, it's about them and what they actually need. And this whole thing about ego, or perceived perception of reality, or your own reality, is very skewed. There's this guy, and it's cute, his name is it's this guy from 1972, actually was Steve Jobs, apparently. And it was this whole thing about reality distortion field. It's all from this like episode from Star Trek way back in the day. And it's how people were looking at the world in one way when the actual world was different. And we tend to look at our businesses one way or look at ourselves, one way when the reality is something completely different. And I think the goal today is to enlighten you or talk about how having ego in your business can really be incredibly detrimental. Now, we celebrate ego, we celebrate, we actually celebrate. In our culture, we celebrate really successful CEOs and people of you know, at the top of the company, and we actually celebrate ego in a lot of respects, we celebrate ego in celebrity status, we celebrate ego in Hollywood. But when it comes to your online business, this is something that can actually work against you. And it can be the downfall it can. Really again, this is that reality distortion field that I was mentioning earlier, it really creates this inability to see what's going on for what it is, and can cause a lot of problems later.
Alyson Lex 3:25
I have two things that I want to say really quick. And one is that I feel like we are really bringing the scholarly into this episode with our psychological theories. We're really having a good time nerding out. But the second thing that I really want to talk about is, if I want to go back to that psychology, everybody has an ego. It's just what you do with it. We're not saying that you shouldn't think that you're good at what you do. We're not saying that you shouldn't have self-confidence that you shouldn't, you know, get over the imposter syndrome and all of the stuff that we work on every single day as business owners. That's not what we're saying. We're talking about if you want to go back to the psychology that Ill adjusted stuff, right, the stuff that the celebrated ego that Jennie was just referring to negatively celebrated. Because I personally celebrate the people who have been very successful but still manage to keep themselves in check. Right, that's the kind of thing we're talking about. Okay. What we want to make sure that we continually work on is avoiding this self-interest. Need of, of our ego, of just completely, you know, just all Seeking that approval always looking for praise, not wanting to hear feedback, no matter how constructive or well delivered. Right? If you're Go ahead,
Jennie Wright 5:12
that all I was going to add is, is that when you're constantly seeking approval, when you're constantly looking for the pat on the back to feed that feeling of am I you know, how good am I have great Am I, but not also being open to that feedback, like you just want the praise, but you don't want the constructive feedback that says, hey, this wasn't bad. But now I'm going to put my hand both hands all the way up on this. I have not been in the past, very receptive to constructive feedback. I definitely had not, I didn't feel I still don't feel and maybe I'm wrong, I didn't feel like it was an inflated ego, what I thought, or what I feel it was is I was not, I was very defensive. And not and sometimes I still am, but I was very, I was not open to feedback, because I thought I was doing everything right. My partner will tell you over and over that, you know, there's a lot of defensiveness that I've had to work my way through. And the reason that we're talking about this, and this is how it's gonna help you and we're gonna dive right into some real actual, like action steps in a second. But the way this is going to help you is it's going to help you grow your business, because if you're only operating from a sense of, I'm the best in my field, I know exactly what I'm doing. Nobody can do it as good as me. And all the other stuff that goes with that trope, what you're going to find is you're going to be very lonely, very unhappy, very unsatisfied, not very successful. And you're going to have a ton of turnover. If you have a team, you're going to see dwindling sales, and you're never going to reach that element of success that you actually want. So here's how we're going to help. The first thing that we want you to look at is your positioning. And I think Allison can, you know, to talk a little bit more about this, she's better than me. So I'm going to give them like to her on that one.
Alyson Lex 7:03
I really like how you said that, by the way, just the what can happen if this is not something you work on. And it is transferable to every area of your life, just as a heads up as most development in our businesses because we're working on ourselves. Alright, so when you think about your positioning, what I want you to do is think about how you want to be seen by the world and what you're doing to make that happen. Okay, if you want to be seen as the premier expert on tropical bird feathers, I don't know, then what are you doing to help position you that way. And if part of what you're doing does not include talking to people who also love tropical bird feathers, you're doing it wrong. Okay, because it's not about how you see yourself, you might think I am the best tropical bird feather expert in the whole world. But if the rest of the world doesn't see you that way, it doesn't matter. Okay. At the same time, you cannot afford to worry about what people outside the tropical bird feather industry are saying. You can't afford to spend all of your effort and energy worrying about all of the other tropical bird feather experts out there. I'm wondering how many times I could say tropical bird feather in this apparently quite
Jennie Wright 8:51
a few yet. Well, I just
Alyson Lex 8:54
yeah, you know, I'm, I'm leaning into it. You can't basically you can't sit there and worry all the time about what other people think of you. Because it's going to be exhausting. Here's the deal. The only people that matter are the people you work with. Now, that doesn't give you a license to be a jerk. Alright, you still gotta like put good in the world. But if they're not paying you Why do you care about their negative comments on tick tock, or Instagram?
Unknown Speaker 9:36
Alyson Lex 9:39
Why why are you spending so much effort and energy on pleasing everyone to feel a need to be liked by everyone. When that's not going to help you see the success that you Want to see,
Jennie Wright 10:03
there's a really interesting, again, I'm going into the,
Unknown Speaker 10:06
Jennie Wright 10:09
brain of this thing, you're geeking out, I can take it out, and I'm loving it actually. So there's a difference people who have larger egos. And like you were talking about trying to please everybody to get those accolades, etc, they actually have a full lack of confidence. They lack confidence. And it's, it's interesting that people who have confidence in their businesses have acknowledged and also reduced the importance of having ego in their businesses, right. So this is a really cool correlation. And if you need to, if you're finding that you're seeing some, if you're seeing yourself in some of this, as we're talking about it, then that becomes an external conversation, a longer conversation for you to have, in terms of, what are you doing in terms of prioritizing your business? are you prioritizing yourself over your business? are you prioritizing your customers and your clients? In your business? Are you listening to others? Are you listening to your team, or you're not listening to your team, we'll go into all this in a little bit, right. But these are the risks. These are the innate risks if you don't, and the last one, this is a really, I mean, this is a big one. But if you're taking all the credit, so if these Allison's eyebrows just shot up about three feet, right? If you're if these are the things that are happening, and sometimes it's really difficult to have that self actualization to realize this is what's going on. But if you can get to that point, it's transformative in your business. I work every day. And I know Allison sees this, I know my partner sees this, well, hopefully he sees this. I try not to be as defensive, I work really hard on not being a defensive person when it comes to feedback, or in the business or in life. Because again, everything we're talking about today feeds off of and feeds into the other aspects of your life. So just my two, I had to say it was my two cents on that.
Alyson Lex 12:06
I like it. i Yeah. And so what can you do?
Unknown Speaker 12:14
Right, the first thing
Alyson Lex 12:15
that that you can really do is anytime you start to have defensiveness, or you're worried about what people were thinking, or you notice, the first thing is to work to notice this. But the second thing is ask where it's coming from. Why does this matter? What is my reaction about what's going on here? And then you can begin to work through it. Because you may realize, you know what, I'm defensive, because I really did think it was great. And I'm kind of married to the idea. Or you can think, Hey, did I interpret that conversation differently than it was intended? All of those things. Alright. The other place your ego can really hurt you is with your offers, and what you're selling. And I see this all the time. Well, I'm going to sell X because my people need it. Cool. Do they want it? Do they care? Well, they don't know it yet. Or no, they don't want it, but they need it. Because your ego has decided you are the expert in what other people want a need. And you may know, like I know what needs to happen with copy. But if I try to sell people on what needs to happen with copy, they're gonna just ignore me because they have egos too.
Jennie Wright 13:53
Yeah, but you don't have ego with your copy. You write copy? And then you say, hey, Jennie, do you mind taking a quick peek at this before? You know we do this? Or before I use it? You know, you ask for us for some feedback,
Alyson Lex 14:06
right? But if I'm offering copy, like my copy services, sure. I can't have ego about what that means for my people. No, right?
Jennie Wright 14:15
No, and you can't have ego for what it means to offer any product or service or create anything, which is why you can't create a program product or service in a vacuum. This is why feedback from your ideal client is so important. This is why we recommend that you do you know ideal client calls or you get on a call with somebody and speak to them and get their opinion. This is why you need to speak to other entrepreneurs and not work. Just solo when you work completely in a vacuum completely solo. That isolation. You're able to frame out your own reality in terms of what people want need or desire. Instead of being tapped in clued in and connected to what people actually want and This is the big thing. To get out of your you've to get out of your own realm, you have to expand those barriers and those imaginary lines of who you're talking to, and who you're connecting with in the online world so that you can have and build those relationships. Some of the best feedback is the I don't want it feedback, or that's not for me feedback. Or that doesn't work for me, or, yeah, I want it but or, yeah, I want it and all of those,
Alyson Lex 15:34
improve what you're doing. Yes. And I think we have done either a quick tip or an episode on getting this information. If we haven't, we really should.
Jennie Wright 15:44
I'm pretty sure we talked about ICA calls.
Alyson Lex 15:48
Yeah. But if we haven't, we will. And we'll put all that information in the show notes of this episode, because otherwise, we'd have to look it up. And apparently, we're too busy reading Psychology Journals for that to happen, right? The second one, when you let go of your own ego enough, again, whether it's the overblown ego or the hyper fragile ego, you have to let it go either way, when you allow yourself to learn something new, to be proven wrong now and then that's when you can really grow. This is
Jennie Wright 16:30
a great point. And, you know, this plays into Alyson is talking about offers, this plays into your connection with your audience as well. Getting that keyed in tapped in sort of understanding of what your people want. This is where I come in, this is where I'm going to get on my little soapbox and preach about being 100% connected to your ideal client, having the right people on your list, you know, if your list is just people who you worked with in your corporate job, and every time you send an email, they send an email back going, Oh, wonderful job, clap, clap, clap, great email, awesome stuff, but they're just your peers. That's not the right feedback because they're not your ideal client. So making sure you know, if you're talking about connecting to your, to your audience, you have to be niched in. This is where you're going to want to make sure on social media that you're talking to the right audience, make sure on your email list that you're talking to the right audience in your in your building that right thing, all of those different connection points. And you've heard me talk about this many times on this podcast, is where you like to create that dance. So if you have the right people, and you're connecting, and you're vibing, with your ideal audience, they're going to follow you wherever you go, you're leading the dance, they're gonna follow. And wherever you are online, and however you make additional connection points, they will follow and see that and that continues to build that trust factor.
Alyson Lex 18:00
The other thing that's gonna build that trust factor is your audience getting to know who you are, and not the version of you that you're willing to present. And this kind of ties back in with that how you're seen by the world thing and worrying so much about what other people think of you. One of the things that I personally do very well is owned my flubs. I, I Oh, my gosh, one of the funniest videos that I've ever done. I was trying to send a quick 22nd Facebook message video clip to Jenny, right where you, you know, you hold the thing and you record the video, and it sends it automatically. And it puts some filter on it and I made fun, a funny face or whatever. And she thought it was the funniest thing that she'd ever seen. It was a total flub. And instead of hiding that, I turned it into a real on Instagram. Okay, own that, because people are going to connect with that. Did that show me in the best light? No, you should have seen my hair in the 20 you know, millisecond preview of my face before this filter came in, okay, I didn't look great. No, looks fine. It whatever, who cares? It was real. And the market has been moving more and more and more to requiring authenticity.
Jennie Wright 19:37
And everybody has a really good BS detector.
Alyson Lex 19:40
So if you're thinking they know it, they're going to know it. And, you know, I mean 10 years ago, yes, you could get away with not being your real self. Now. Absolutely not. If you want to be successful, people want to know who you are. They can about that stuff.
Jennie Wright 20:03
And that can cause problems too. With with Yeah, of course,
Alyson Lex 20:08
but they care about knowing who you are. And you can't do that if you're not forging that connection because your egos in the way and you're only willing to let them see a certain part of you.
Jennie Wright 20:23
Yeah, the perfectionist part,
Alyson Lex 20:24
they don't want to just see perfect.
Jennie Wright 20:26
Yeah, yes, yeah. So you know, and we've, we've talked about this before, but we've also worked with some some people that have had this, this, this idea that they have to be picture perfect, that they have to show their best face, hair, makeup, outfit all of it, for people to want to connect with them. And I actually got one of my clients as a male client to do a real with no prep, I had him do it literally, like, while we were on a coaching call together, Adam, grab his phone and do a real because nobody cares at all. So you have to you have to get rid of that as well. You have to work through that as well and just be like, nobody's gonna care if I'm wearing makeup or not, do you know that it does a really, the content is what matters, the connection is what matters, right? So that's part of letting this go and being authentic and real.
Alyson Lex 21:24
I think the, the other part of the ego equation was like that ego equation that
Unknown Speaker 21:32
Alyson Lex 21:35
hurtful to a lot of people is how they treat other people in their business, because if they if they have a higher ego, then it kind of becomes the them show. It's all about me. And everybody else is secondary. And if my needs aren't being met, I'm not going to be a nice person.
Alyson Lex 22:06
So I really want you to consider how you treat the people around you and not just the people that can get you ahead. Take the 360 degree view of everybody you interact
Jennie Wright 22:24
with. I feel like we need to be a little bit specific here. We're being really I don't know, top level, let's bring it down.
Alyson Lex 22:34
Oh, yeah, no, I'm getting there. Okay. But feel free to chime in. I was going to tell a story about a date I went on. Okay, I want to hear that story. So I went on a date with this guy, this was before I met, my husband was a blind date we met on the internet. I mean, he was alright, you know, like we met, we had dinner, whatever. But we had met at a restaurant that like connected to a mall. And so we're going to walk around and go shopping. And there was like a part of the mall that was very crowded. Because it was a mall. And there are people there. This was in the before times, obviously. And he just kind of like pushed his way through the crowd. In a get out of my way. Attitude move. And that was an instant No, go for me. Because that's not how you treat people. You're not more important than they are. The reverse is also true. You deserve to hold the space that you're holding. But so do that. And that's what I'm talking about. Who are you working with? Who's on your team? Who are your peers? How are you treating everyone around you? Because how you treat your team matters. And how you treat those that you consider equal matters. Not just those that are above you. Anybody can be a kiss ass. I'm sorry, I'm using that word. And anybody can be a kiss ass. But if you talk down or belittle or condescend people who you perceive to be on the same or lower level as you that's ego. And that's toxic ego, right?
Jennie Wright 24:25
Yep, yep, that's, I've had some personal experience with this, as you know, as a person who started off on Fiverr in the online space, and then was a virtual assistant and you know, on Upwork, and then OBM, and everything like that. There's this. There's this perception of being that I'm less than or there was this perception that I'm less than now this is something that is pervasive in the world. Okay. Let me tell you my story. You told your dating story. I get to tell my story. I come from a blue collar family. My mom and dad owned a gas station. And it had four service bays where you could get your cars fixed. And it had 12 pumps for gas. It included a public washroom men and female. And it was a family run business. So what did that mean? My sister and I worked in the business. So to my brother's, one of my jobs is to clean the bathrooms. Okay, right. I'm no different than anybody else. But because I cleaned public toilets. People would talk down to me at the gas station, or because I worked at a gas station, I would get talked out like they were rude people were rude, because they thought it is a menial service job, you are a menial person, I shall talk down to you because I've just got an out of my insert fancy car name here. And I shall be cruel and unjust. In that particular way. This is also in the online space. People have a perception that because they've hit some sort of level of success, whatever that level of success for them is. They get to make themselves feel better. Again, this is lack of confidence, heightened ego, because if they had the confidence, they would do this. And they treat people
Alyson Lex 26:12
like poop. And as a quick reframe here, like, Why, all right, with this gas station job. If I don't care if the car I'm getting out of is a 1988 Toyota Camry, which by the way was my first car, or a bajillion dollars, or whatever the fancy car brand is. I still want to clean bathroom. You're still performing the service that I probably don't want to do. There's still value in everything. When I first hired my VA, who, by the way, is amazing. One of the things she said to me is because she was I was her first client, right? Like we totally, it was so much fun to be this person to train up. But she said to me, I was really nervous about doing the VA thing. Because I was afraid I would get a nice client. I was afraid of what my client would be like, Are you kidding me? Like sure you're saving my life right now? I am going to like send you all of the love and good vibes I possibly can. Why would I act any different to my team?
Alyson Lex 27:35
Even if I'm stressed out, even if I'm frustrated, even if I'm having a total breakdown, you still treat the people around you like they deserve the space they're in. I really like that as kind of a way to remember it. I deserve my space, and they deserve theirs.
Jennie Wright 27:55
My grandmother always said treat others how you want to be treated. It's pretty simple. Sally.
Alyson Lex 27:59
Exactly. So when you're stressed out, do you fly off the handle? Do you go crazy? Do you say things that you wouldn't want said to you? Consider how you speak to other people and, and keep the ego in check. Because it's not the you show. It's about your customers. It's about your team. And it's about building a business that does good for the world while doing well for you.
Jennie Wright 28:34
I didn't know where this episode would go with all transparency. Allison, I usually have a bit of an outline. And today we we decided to go a little bit on the wing it side we both independently did some research, which is where the the geeky stuff comes from. And we kinda want to freeform this a little bit because this subject is very organic. There's a lot to this. Right. And I don't think we were doing it justice if we just kind of like, regimented Lee laid it
Alyson Lex 29:07
out. I like how winging it for us, though, still involves freeze.
Jennie Wright 29:12
Well, of course, it doesn't mean we're going to wing it. But we still have to have like a basis like
Alyson Lex 29:20
oh, yeah, we wing it. We only did a little research this time
Jennie Wright 29:23
versus the normal amount of research that we do. Okay, right. Yeah. All right. This is this is cool stuff. I'm glad we talked about this because I think I think this is a conversation that has to be revisited. So if you're, you know, if you're on the other side of it, and you're getting treated like maybe you're the maybe you're the virtual assistant, and you're the one who's getting treated poorly, okay. Then how do you understand that person where they're coming from? And how do you understand whether or not you need to move on in that situation? Write the one of the worst things that you can do is avoid the red flags early on in a relationship with your, you know, with your potential clients. And trust me, this is a, this is a learned skill. And this is when I have learned the hard freaking way, okay, all capital letters, all the things. But what I've what has helped to identify it, and which has helped also keep my own ego in check, where possible, is to understand what you kind of need to do. So people who are learning to develop their confidence, which in turn again, reduces that amount of ego, people who learn how to delegate and trust, if you can't delegate thinking that you're the only person who can do the job because you're the best at it. And nobody else is ever going to be as good as you. Sister, that is ego. Okay? Big time. If you can learn to delegate and learn to trust others to do a good job, and also be a good enough leader that if they don't know how to do it, train them to do it. So they understand it, that's a, that's a really great step to reducing the amount or understanding the amount of ego that you may have in your business.
Alyson Lex 31:14
The next one that I want to talk about is, is kind of two in one, alright? I don't want you to operate in a vacuum. I really like the way Jennie says that don't operate in a vacuum. And at the same time, it don't want you to be so concerned about what other people are thinking that you constantly seek that approval, there is a happy medium, and I promise you, you're not going to land on it the first time you try. But you can get a little bit closer every single time. Okay, so seek feedback, seek opinions, seek information and input. And then let it go.
Jennie Wright 31:57
I really like working on hearing critical feedback in the way that it was intended and not automatically getting your defenses up and being defensive and thinking that the other person can't possibly tell you how to do your job or can't possibly give you feedback, because they're not you and they don't have your experiences and how dare they Right? Like, that is not going to get you anywhere. Really keep that stuff. And I almost said a bad word. Keep that stuff in check. And instead, work on your act of listening. Okay, so if, if the moment somebody else starts telling you how they feel, or gives you an indication of their feedback, and the first thing you do is shut your ears and open your mouth and start, you know, saying things like, well, that's not how it is, or no, you're seeing it wrong, or no, you don't understand you can't possibly like all of the things you're not actively listening. And one of the biggest things you can do is be quiet for a minute, receive what the other person is saying. And then if you want to formulate an opinion, you've now given yourself enough time to digest the information they've shared and give a more a better opinion back you can you can create and formulate a better response. If you do this consistently, what you'll find is that you're not being as defensive. And you're also critically thinking about the feedback and you what you might hear is Oh, yeah, okay, yeah. Okay, I kind of see what you're talking about. Mm hmm. I mean, I completely agree with you. But I do see some of where you're coming from. That sounds like a good suggestion for me to take in mind. Now, that is an awesome way to cut out your business, because that's where you can see those micro improvements. If you ever hear me talking about closing the loop and filling the gaps. This is where it happens. It happens in these conversations. And that's how you can take your business to another level.
Alyson Lex 33:52
Look, I'll say I am actually pretty good at taking criticism. And my knee jerk reaction is still to defend. Okay, and so if you find that happening, communicate that, hey, I really appreciate you taking the time to give me your thoughts. My knee jerk reaction is to get defensive. So I need to sit with this for a minute. I'll get back to you. Buy yourself the space. Take a beat. There's nothing wrong with that. Communication is everything. Everything all right. I am always a big proponent of not taking yourself too seriously allowing yourself to show up as you are. And just being you letting people see inside a little bit. Does that mean that you need to let them read your diary? No. But it's okay to let them see the wooden spoon collection or the crazy tick tock or Instagram real video that you meant to send to your front like it's okay to let them see the flubs. They don't have to see it all. But let people see you.
Jennie Wright 35:06
By the way, the soup, the soup spoon or the spoon collection, you can find that on my Facebook and the cool video that Alison's talking about the real you can find that on her Instagram. If you're at all curious. Go ahead and look, we will absolutely love you to see it and tell us your comments. Okay. Taking what you've heard today, and applying it is going to take some time. Okay, that's just the truth. It's not going to happen overnight. You have to revisit it over and over and over again. Come back to this episode, if you feel it was helpful, relisting, again, get pointers from this where it helps, and then put it into play. We'd actually love to hear how you've sort of taken this one in, feel free to connect with us, you can actually find this episode on system to thrive.com. Find the show notes. There's lots of ways you for you to connect with Allison and I you can actually send us a comment and things like that, and go to our business page. Leave a comment, let us know what you think. In the meantime, you know, just giving you a heads up, Allison and I are 100% working on providing more content like this in the podcast. So not just the actionable steps of ABC and XYZ to build your business. But these soft skills, these soft skills really, really matter. And when we apply them in our businesses, it takes those heart that those those tactical skills and amplifies them. And that's one of the things that we really want to work on not only in our businesses, but to support you with yours. So thanks so much for listening, and we'll be back again soon answering another big question.