Ego is part of all of us, whether, in small or large doses, it is an everyday occurrence, and we shouldn’t feel bad about getting a small dose every now and then.
A few years ago, along with imposter syndrome, I suffered from a bad case of ego. Whilst it wasn’t a major case, I could see myself heading in the wrong direction if things carried on.
I’d be getting carried away with numbers, titles and the talk around all of this.
For me, ego was in the form of calling myself a “student entrepreneur” — when I had started a very short-term, local business that lasted 6 months. I’d also be doing the bare minimum, riding off an easy situation (protected by the university) and working hard, and not smart.
This was killing me from the inside slowly.
I wanted to do real work, get involved and make mistakes, versus showcase to the world that all I was doing as well. Skip forward 4 years, I’ve now found a more comfortable home with my work and life. I wanted to bring together three tips that helped me to quash this and get on the correct path.
1. Get Your Name Right
We can get carried away with naming ourselves when self-employed or even in a role. I remember, even after the student entrepreneur fiasco, I’d title myself “Head of Marketing” at the small start-up I worked at, despite me being the only one in the department.
Of course, your title isn’t too important. But the approach you take around this is valuable. Since these times, starting Keep Productive — I’ve called myself a “Host” or “Community Manager” — because that’s what I am.
This goes with the YouTube titles too.
When starting YouTube videos, I’d call myself a “YouTuber” — even at 1,000 subscribers! — whereas now, I keep clear of the word. I try to downsize the words I use to describe myself.
One of the books that helped massively, was Emma Gannon’s Multi-Hyphen Method recently to help with this dilemma in a 21st-century digital world.
The lesson here, name yourself suitably and downsize it best you can.
2. Curate for Others
Ego can come in the form of taking the spotlight at every opportunity.
This shouldn’t be the case. The last year I’ve learnt this very much so. Bringing the world’s voices together is more important than taking centre stage.
Curation is a discovery that I recommend for any creator.
Now on Keep Productive, we bring on a fortnightly guest who shares advice, methodology and more. Our goal is to help everyone to learn from everyone’s situations — best they can.
The more voices, the better. The less ego, the more insights.
3. Change Your Wording
The last few months, every effort with Keep Productive is now referenced as a “we” project. Even though the only full-timer is myself, with 3 amazing writers and designers. “We” encompasses the mission.
Making this switch to a “we” mentality changes the way I’ve been thinking about the longevity of the project and has helped to grow the efforts. Plus, for community-projects, it makes it all feel inclusive and have everyone in mind.
A short one guys. Just thought I’d touch on this topic.
Do you need to get your ego under control?
Let us know on Twitter your thoughts. @FrancescoD_Ales