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Why Your Ego Needs To Stop Controlling Your Career

The most successful show us that making your dream job a reality has very little to do with money.

[Image: RAGMA IMAGES via Shutterstock]

It always seems the job you would love never comes with the pay you want.

Money is unfortunately a necessity that we all need in order to survive, and its significance causes us to make decisions and create goals that are derived from the idea of attaining wealth. It is often our primary motivator in life.

However, if we look back at the most successful people in the world, their motivation and drive had less to do with money than one may think. And this surprisingly enough is often what enabled them to succeed.

Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, has always encouraged others to follow their heart and make a difference: "I can honestly say that I have never gone into any business purely to make money. If that is the sole motive, then I believe you are better off doing nothing."

How Did They Do It?

The most successful often begin by joining or starting a company based around an idea that resonated with them on a personal level. They had a genuine interest in the product and were passionate about its potential.

Their belief in the product stemmed from the problems it would solve, the needs it would fill, and the value that it would bring others, not from the money they would make.

Because their passion, interest, and motivation with the business was not derived from a financial perspective, their decisions were no longer influenced by their ego.

By eliminating your ego, you are no longer creating a product and making decisions based around what is good for you; you’re doing it first and foremost for the customer, the most important person to your business.

Without customers a business fails. So the more we put ourselves in their shoes, the better. We hear more, understand more, and are able to deliver a product that will bring immense value to them; which in return will bring the same to us.

Putting Money Where Mouths Are

For a year, I had the pleasure of working as a consultant at Microsoft Headquarters in Redmond, Washington. One of the most important decisions I made was when I advised a client not to use our company for a large project because I had found a less expensive alternative.

Too many business owners and sales reps have a quota-first mentality, which can disrupt their ability to communicate with clients and can sabotage long-term relationships. In meetings they become desperate to make the sale and begin listening to respond, instead of listening to listen. By taking myself out of the equation the client and I were able to discover three brand-new opportunities that were much more substantial than the first.

Many of us are guilty at some point of taking the wrong job for the right money. We know it’s not what we really want to do, but we think that the additional money will motivate us and make up for what’s truly missing. Over time that missing gap often widens and we coast along being somewhat comfortable but never fully satisfied.

No one has summed up the money vs. passion conundrum as best as Steve Jobs:

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.


Why do what you love?

So you can persevere.

If you're passionate about a cause, setbacks will only motivate you to learn and make the necessary adjustments until you succeed. If you are unsure of what you love to do, then start discovering your passion for fear.

It is often our fear of failure and fear of what others think that dictate our decisions in life. Instead of letting fear catapult you back to your comfort zone, start using it as a guide to stay out of there. Follow your fears and attack them until you find your true calling.

When your heart and mind match up, you become an unstoppable force.

Graham Young is co-founder of Graham Theodor & Co., an investment holding company, and he manages business development for ePACT Network, a technology startup. the psychology behind personal achievement and how individuals reach their peak performance. Connect with him on Twitter.

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