SUP | Chapter 13: Time to Get Off The Ego Train

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Last weekend I attended a conference in Nashville, TN put on by Michael Hyatt called the Achieve Conference. It was a fantastic experience. I learned a lot about being more productive, goal setting and most of all achieving my highest potential - which I get all jazzed up about! I hope to share some of what I learned in some future episodes if it makes sense.

But, the best part of this last weekend wasn't the sessions or pages and pages of notes that I took about how to run a better business and be more productive. It was an unexpected lunch I had with another entrepreneur who has become a distant mentor of mine.

A few years ago I was introduced to Jeff Goins, an online business owner who helps writers find their audience called Tribe Writers. I have been a student of Jeff's for a couple of years now, and I highly recommend his course and community. It's fantastic. I met Jeff at his Tribe Conference last year, and we have just stayed in touch via social media over the previous year.

AN UNEXPECTED LUNCH

I learned Jeff was at Achieve before it started and I sought him out to catch up with him to see how his world was doing and share a little bit more about my new venture, Adventurous Faith. In our conversation, one thing leads to another, and I said "Hey, you want to go grab lunch? I'm buying." I knew this was an opportunity I wouldn't get a second swipe at, and I wanted to take it. He graciously accepted, and we hopped in my car and headed to this off the beaten path Greek join located near the conference.

I had all sorts of questions I wanted to ask him. Not very often do I get in front of a guy who's killing it in his entrepreneurial space and get to pick his brain. I was all ears.

There was a lot I learned over the course of our conversation, but more than anything I learned A LOT more about Jeff - who he is as a person and most importantly what he's been learning about himself over the last year as a businessman. It was fascinating on so many levels, but there was something Jeff continued to come back to in our conversation that resonated with me in a profound and meaningful way.

GETTING OFF THE EGO TRAIN

One of the earlier questions I asked him was about what was working in his business right now and what he was thinking about changing. His response surprised me.

"I'm done doing things just because they work."

Wait, what? Don't' you do things because they work? It was all in at this point. Our conversation continued down a path I didn't see coming, and it was all about getting off the success train. Now, what did Jeff mean by those eight simple words?

So many young, driven and passionate entrepreneurs get in the game because they want to make more money. Not a wrong reason to join the fun at all! But the problem ensues when you allow your desire for more money to drive your ego and the belief that you think it will make you happier.

The only problem with this belief is that it never plays out that way. You'll never get there. You'll never get to the point of greater happiness with more money. It just doesn't exist. Your net worth may grow, but your satisfaction with yourself and who you are becoming will never move an inch. It can't. Why? Because we aren't wired this way.

WHAT AM I DOING TO GROW MY EGO?

Jeff and I's conversation took many twists, turns and leaps but this idea kept running to the front of my mind. How much of my ego is driving what I'm doing? What am I doing that I hope will make me look like a happier, more successful person but in the end will only motivate me to work harder and achieve more?

We live in a broken world that drives our broken system of success and happiness. I, too, have bought into the system full throttle. But even this early in the game I am beginning to see how it won't make me any happier. I had to re-learn the lesson over a Greek salad on a Friday afternoon, but it was worth it.

From my conversation with Jeff, Here's what I'm processing right now in my start-up:
  • What am I doing right now that is driving my ego?
  • What do I need to be doing more of (or less of) that will help my business journey more focused on relationships and less on profit and success?
  • How will I know when enough money or success is enough? Will I know when to stop?

The struggle is real, and God's willingness to teach me this lesson so early in the game leaves me undone. Lunch with Jeff was a gift from God that I never want to take for granted. I'll remember that conversation for a very long time.

REACH OUT TO ME

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