How to Make an Impact Without Your Ego Getting in the Way

We all want to leave our mark on this world, and to know that our actions have positively affected the lives around us. This is why so many people become entrepreneurs; because they want to help. As we climb the ladder of success, our values can change, and often we lose sight of the things that initially drove us.

In a recent episode of The Psychology of Entrepreneurship, I spoke with Adam Bornstein. Adam is a New York Times bestselling author, founder of Pen Name Consulting, Born Fitness and Chief of Nutrition for Ladder, a supplement company co-founded by the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, LeBron James, Cindy Crawford. And that is just the beginning of his resume.

Adam is the kind of entrepreneur that is always trying to discover ways to help more people, which is why he is one of the most sought-after trainers in the world. The way he navigates business reflects the way he approaches life in general, through kindness and humility, and not a drop of ego insight. 


Make an Impact Through Kindness

Many of us want to leave an everlasting legacy, one that will forever be entered into the history books. In the business world, our work is usually the big rubber stamp that proclaims, “I was here”. But is that really how you want to make a lasting impact? Your daily interactions may be the aspect that matters the most.

Adam suggests, “End each day just asking yourself, did you do a good job of treating people well?” For anyone who knows him, you know that Adam wants to make an impact that is based on kindness. “I’m out to eat at a restaurant and our server; you can just tell, is milling in and having a bad day. It will be my obsessive focus to make them smile and make them feel good by the time we’re done,” he says. 

“For me, it’s like I want to leave people better than I found them.” This model works so well that the likes of LeBron James and Arnold Schwarzenegger are not only his clients, they’re also his friends. 

This dedication to leaving an impact through kindness morphs into his working model too. He instils it as part of his business culture and ecosystem with rule number one being, “don’t be an asshole.” Make an impact through kindness, not entrepreneurial ruthlessness.


As Shannon L. Alder rightly said …

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones.”

Leave Your Ego Behind

Our achievements should be celebrated; they’re a positive part of our personal and business development. However, should these little gold stars start to morph into medals of honour, and you find yourself basking within your own self-importance, you should stop drinking the kool-aid and maybe check your ego.

For over a decade, Adam has been working side by side with one of the world’s most well-known body-building movie stars, Arnold Schwarzenegger. If you or I were in Adam’s shoes, we would probably be shouting about it through a megaphone to anyone who would listen, but Adam doesn’t.

“People didn’t even know that I worked with Arnold for years, for years, because I didn’t care. You know what I cared about? I cared that Arnold was happy with the stuff that I did for him because that’s what mattered.”

The thing about self-importance is that it can creep into the lives of anyone. So the question every entrepreneur needs to ask is, where do my priorities lie? Is it that fleeting pat on the back or executing a job to your fullest potential for someone? 

“I’m not leaving LeBron or Mike better off if I’m focusing on how this can make me look better,” says Adam.


Do your best work

and focus on the things that make your people happy, while concentrating on bringing value. Because the hard truth is, it’s not about you.


No One Really Has it All Figured Out

When a recent study was conducted to try and determine which piece of copy performs best at grabbing someone’s attention, the words “You are not alone,” won by a landslide. 

“When people use that on headlines and the open line of copy, it performs repeatedly over and over and over again. No matter how cliché or ridiculous,” explains Adam. 

Why is it this copy so impactful? There is one big reason, and that is psychologically, everybody can feel isolated in their struggle. Almost as if the things we’re contending with only happen to us, and we must fight these dragons alone. 

What we all have to realise is that no one really has it figured out, it’s something we’re going through together. In being open and offering guidance, as well as having the willingness to be guided, you can reduce the egoistic component of going it alone, and drop the solo in solo-preneur. 

No one wants to feel alone, so don’t be. 


The Psychology of Entrepreneurship

To hear more about the impact you can have, listen to the full conversation in Volume #17 of The Psychology of Entrepreneurship with Adam Bornstein.

Author: Ronsley Vaz

Ronsley is the founder & chief day dreamer at AMPLIFY. He is an author, speaker & serial entrepreneur.

He has a Masters’ degree in Software Engineering and an MBA in Psychology and Leadership. He is known as the creator of We Are Podcast – the first Podcasting Conference in the Southern Hemisphere, and the host of The Bond Appetit Podcast and Should I Start a Podcast. He has an audience of over 3 million in 133 countries.

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