Is Your Ego Really That Big?

I saw this quote in a tweet last night: “Teamwork is the fuel that allows common people to produce uncommon results. -Unknown”Teamwork quote I believe that two heads are better than one. An idea that sounds good is rarely ever thought of, fine tuned, and brought to market by only one person. Any successful person or business has been successful because of the team that has been put together.

As skillful as an entrepreneur is at coming up with new ideas, they are equally skillful at choosing the right people to execute those ideas. Richard BransonRichard Branson decided to start an airline but he isn’t the CEO and COO and advertising company and pilot and flight attendant and sales agent, and he wasn’t personally responsible for hiring each of them either. You get the idea, it takes more than one person to create success.

Mark Zuckerberg is a billionaire because of his entrepreneurial ideas and he put together quite a good team to execute those ideas. Without the internet, without someone else’s idea first, Facebook would not be successful, it wouldn’t even make sense. Imagine Facebook without the internet! Take it a step farther and without the government, specifically the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), there would be no internet.

I’m working on a business that has requirements, laws on the state level that regulate my business (more clues about my latest What Next). Those laws level the playing field and insure scrupulous behavior, insure that while I do the right thing, so do my competitors. Those regulations are important for my success even though they are also annoying and create red tape.

There are some among us who believe they got where they are all on their own. My question for them is, is your ego really that big? Didn’t you have an education, teachers from kindergarten through college who helped shape who you are today? If you went to public schools then it was government money that made that possible. Didn’t you have a mentor or someone you look up to whose ideas and thoughts inspired you? Maybe you knew them personally or just read about them but someone influenced you. Have you ever sought out anyone’s advice or used ideas and concepts that came before?

There are a lot of people saying President Obama hates entrepreneurs, and business in general, because he acknowledged that other people contribute to our success. I say don’t be so arrogant. Yes you Mr. or Ms. Businessperson are smart and creative and daring but there are a lot of people and things behind you putting wind in your sails. Got Wind?Who is doing that? America, that’s who. America, a land of laws that protect you while also hindering you (there are always trade-offs) and America, the men and women who make up your workforce, who build the roads your products travel on. Once in a while you might want to look back and not only acknowledge that support but thank the people who help you to be successful.

I Googled the quote that began this post and found it attributed to Andrew Carnegie, an immigrant to the United States who built an empire from nothing (yes there was good and bad aspects to him) and if you think he didn’t have help you’re mistaken.

Listen to the entire context – we’re all in this together.

PS: I usually avoid politics but none of us exist in a vacuum. We depend on each other and I think far too many people are forgetting that.

Posted in General, Success and tagged , , , by with 3 comments.


  • nancy boan says:

    I don’t know why some people were flabergasted about that remark. From birth, we are helped along by people, places, and events. We are constantly beinf=g shaped and reshaped. We take what we like, what applies to us and pout it to work in our lives. We learn from mistakes and in that way become our own teachers…..It takes a Village…let’s not foeget that.

  • AJ,

    Love this post! I can feel how serious you feel about this topic and the passion you put into it. It is so important that we realize that we need others. This is very vital to our success. And Obama was right on in that speech.

    Since we need to depend on each other to succeed, do you think we can we put the blame on others when we fail? Just curious about your thoughts here. 🙂


    • AJ says:

      Thanks for the comment Joanne. I was afraid I was going to get flamed for this post with anything even approaching politics so polarizing.

      I thought about your question just after writing this so I appreciate you bringing it up. I do think there are plenty of obstacles that can cause one to fail or maybe just succeed less. A quick example is a business owner with an employee who is stealing. That might cause the business to fail. Not the owner’s fault but it doesn’t excuse any lapse in oversight. The blame is shared just as if the employee went above and beyond and generated huge sales, the success is shared. It is rare on either side when the actions of only one party is the cause of all the good or bad.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *