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When the owner’s ego is the primary driver for a business, it can fail because the ego’s need for attention gets in the way.

The dominance of the ego can be quite apparent when we start looking out for it. It is often stated upfront in the business/marketing plans, and echoed in the way the owner talks.

An ego-driven business often have stated visions or goal like:

These are boasts; pure narcissistic ego feed.

A business set up to feed an ego misses the single, core, critical factor for success: customers.

The vast majority of customers don’t care if a business is disrupting an industry. They don’t care about your designer corner offices, or how you started in Starbucks, or who sits on your board.

Customers do, however, care about how you can help them solve a problem, and what that would cost them.

If you cannot demonstrate your value and the ability to service your customers, you won’t get far. They will ignore your “crusade” against whatever, your totally-rad mobile app, and your super-hip Facebook page.

Customers will pay for a business to pay them attention, to see to their needs.

It is not wrong to have an ego. Leveraging aspects of it to drive motivation and shore up commitment can be useful; as long as it doesn’t take over.