158: Ryan Holiday on Why You Must Manage Ego for Success

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Do you find that it’s easy for you to fall into the ego trap? Entrepreneurs often find it easy, because they usually find themselves living such a different life and in such different circumstances from everyone else. Observing that, it’s extremely easy to start to think that you’re different from everyone else, and allow that to drive your ego.

Ryan Holiday, author of “Ego is the Enemy,” understands the ego, how to hold it in check, and why you must. Success comes when you understand your role, and hold your ego in place. For instance, when you are trying to build a business, ego will keep you from giving up control, and drive you to over-management, thereby holding you back.

While we admire a lot of people with large egos, Ryan makes the case that those people have such a large ego because of their uncompromising work ethic and skill set, and that they actually would have been able to accomplish more without their tremendous ego. Listen up and learn how to live a more successful and happier life with less ego on this episode of the James Swanwick Show!

Key Takeaways:

  • When ego for us means that we’re better than the rest of the world, it gets in our own way
  • Thinking that you’re better than everyone else is setting yourself up for failure
  • Sometimes ego can get you places. But it’s important to consider the consequences, often in relationships, and the fact that it actually won’t work for most people without the incredible skill sets of the people we admire who have big egos
  • Ego become a huge issue when you can’t appreciate others for who they are and what they bring
  • The ego trap is especially easy for entrepreneurs, because they find themselves in such a different life situation than others
  • When you think that you’re very different from other people, you end up becoming a jerk to other people
  • Ego will hold you back as your company grows because you will have such a hard time delegating
  • Awareness is the first step to fixing ego
  • While ego can drive you to success, you are not going to be good at everything. That’s why you must hold your ego in check so that you can get the right people on your team to help you succeed
  • In a social media world, everyone is a performer, but people don’t know how to balance a performance lifestyle, and the ego that comes from it
  • Have a mindset of gratefulness. Doing this continually will keep your ego in check

3 Steps to Keep Ego in Check

  1. Constantly pick up the mantle and mindset of a student/learner
  2. Fight the disease of me, the selfishness, and desire for attention
  3. Put effort into getting the most alive time you can out of every moment of your life



“Ego is the Enemy” by Ryan Holiday

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