The Ego Diet: The magic word


No, it is not “please.”

It is “ego.”

Lately, I’m noticing that people crave for affirmation, praise, love, approval, compliments the same way a smoker craves for a smoke break every hour.

I meet a lot of confused entrepreneurs, and the primary cause of their confusion is that they believe that money equals motivation.

They believe that people will choose the best value.

That people will buy what they need.

That the best products and services will spread because they deserve to be talked about.

That employees can be persuaded to do things by paying them more and that consumers will buzz something if you reward them with cash.

That he who has the most money, win.

This is true. Every once in a while.

It is true for people who deep down equate money to ego. This tiny subset of the population really and truly keep score via cash. They are rare indeed.

We are constantly on the lookout for someone’s real motivation.

We don’t understand why someone would volunteer at a charity or take a lower-paying job or recommend a cool new CD or post something on their blog. “What’s in it for them,” we wonder.

Here in the world capital of capitalism (yes, I just made that up…) People have fallen in love with the idea that money can feed the ego.

Almost all the time, that is wrong.

Since this is a post about ego, let’s talk about… me. I smiled the other day when I read a review of my blog. It said (paraphrasing) “Like many authors, Roche blogs to be popular and hopes to sell more books through his blog.” Wrong. Actually, I write books so that more people will read my blog.

I don’t blog to make money, most of the time, I blog for myself. Just like writing a journal of thoughts, my blog is a journal of my thoughts. Later on my I revisit these thoughts and connect the dots.

I don’t blog to make money. I don’t run ads on my site. I don’t even blog to win awards. I blog because it pleases me to see my ideas spread. I like it when I see people talking about one of my ideas, without even mentioning where the idea came from. That means it’s the idea that spread, not my brand. Which is the whole point.

For me, anyway. Not for you or for her or for him.

And that is the tricky part about marketing to ego. Everybody feeds their ego in a different way. The art is in telling a story that matches the ego-outlook of your target audience.

The next time you are in a meeting and someone pulls out a spreadsheet, realise that you are about to hear about money/value = ego. That is fine. But what about everyone else? Ignore the rest and they will feed their ego somewhere else.

Needing fewer ego-boosts gives you your mind back to focus on your priorities, making the best use of your options and opportunities.

A leaner ego diet also makes you less gullible.

Like a kid with a sweet-tooth who can be lured into danger by anyone dangling candy, people who need lots of praise can be readily manipulated. The hungry are soon eaten.

When you are hungry for praise, it shows. People can tell you crave to hear. They will sing your praises until you are feeding out of their hands.

When your ego-appetite is tamed, you are put in solid possession of your soul, your life and what you want to do about it, less distracted by your need for approval.


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