StartUp Tip #24: Narcissistic Personality Disorder


One of the most striking features of truly successful entrepreneurs is their unusual lack of narcissism.

Narcissism is an attempt to make ourselves feel less insignificant by appearing to be the opposite, special and important.

Reality TV shows, magazine covers, author’s faces on book covers, selfies, social media, obsession with bestseller list, media interviews are some of the tools that fuel narcissism.

We live in a world where self-made men [and women] are admired and adored.

On top of this, we live in an economic system that allocates resources and rewards via competition.

We compete for positions in sporting teams, in schools, in universities, jobs and for partners.

The impact being that we become overly concerned with how we are seen by others.

It weakens our independence and we become anxious about what others think of us.

As this sense of discomfort builds, we increase our sense of self-importance.

The result is that we need more and more to feel satisfied with ourselves.

We end up hardly ever feeling that enough is enough.

As a startup entrepreneur, it is important to keep your eye on the game rather than the scoreboard.

Successful entrepreneurs in their non-narcissistic way, are quite happy to simply build their businesses at the expense of self-importance.

Being ordinary gives you the enormous freedom of a non-narcissistic perspective where you can just get on with the job of building your business.

For individuals with narcissistic traits it becomes very difficult to love someone or something because the purpose of everyone or and everything is to make those individuals feel more important not you.

Typically the narcissistic person will lose interest in any person [no matter how significant that person may be] who stops making them feel important or special enough.

Instead, such an individual will become riveted by the next person or thing that shower them with praise and nurse her ego.

The consequence is that the narcissistic individuals struggle to establish long-term loyal connections.

It is a bit like trying to fill a leaking bucket, always leaking and always needing filling.

Without the nourishment of intimate relationships that can sustain an individual, there is likely to be a more promiscuous grasping of people who must feed one’s ego.

A narcissistic will move from one relationship to another based on how much praise and attention they get.

A narcissist are obsessed with controlling others.

When a narcissist has lost control over you, they try to control how others see you.

A narcissist will struggle to get along with teammates because they expect to be praised by their equals.

A narcissist entrepreneur will struggle to keep staff because instead of uplifting their staff to perform, they expect their staff to praise them.

Narcissist are so competitive that they even compete with their partners.

Instead of uplifting others, others must uplift them.

A humble entrepreneur is settled in her own skin, she doesn’t need praise or applause to do what she truly believes matters.

A humble entrepreneur lives according to her own world and has very strong roots.

A humble entrepreneur doesn’t need to be validated by others.

A humble entrepreneur has no fear of missing out. 

A truly humble entrepreneur gets on with her task of building her business and not trying to show off or out-do anyone else in the process.

She is not pre-occupied with others and their doings. This frees her to think about how she would like to do things.





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