Entrepreneurs: Don’t be Arrogant!

Making millions of dollars? Winning many awards? Doing things others can’t do? Yes, some of you would think that you have the right to brag about your achievements. However, be warned – someday, somehow, you will be caught off-guard; and when bad things happen while you are at the top (or at least you think you are at the top), it sucks big time.

business arrogance

Arrogance will destroy you, eventually

I was arrogant; I once the owner of two franchise units. I think I can play the franchising game. However, I forgot. You can’t buy experience, and more often than not, your experience will guide your decision making. And yes, no matter how hard you try to be someone who is experienced, you can’t rush things. All you can do is to do things right and do the right things for some period of time.

I failed miserably; I thought I understand franchising; I thought I understand how business ownership works. Truth to be told, I suck – really badly – at every level.

It turned out that I couldn’t manage people; I couldn’t grow a business that is said to run on a proven system; Again, I suck really badly.

The bottom line, my arrogance destroyed me. I was caught off-guard, and I have to pay the price. I lost both franchise units, and I was in a near-bankruptcy situation.

Don’t take things for granted

Now, all I can say that I am doing better; I learn from my failures and becoming wiser. Listen – learn from my mistakes. Don’t you ever think that you are invincible; you are still a human, and as Alexander Pope put it, to err is human.

Feeling that you have power to control other people? Backed by your wealth and important people? Remember, in great power lies great responsibility. If you can’t stand it; if you can’t manage your power, it can be overwhelming to a point that it could backfire.

You are not becoming successful because of you alone

Some entrepreneurs I know struggle to stay humble (I struggle, too… sometimes!); they think that their success is due to their hard work and dedication. The truth is, your business success is determined heavily by many factors other than you knowledge, experience and resources…

Who buys your service or product? Who helps you in launching a successful startup? What about your partnership? What about your local community? What about the competition?

We are here today due to others’ help – even if you still insist that you are successful not because of anybody’s help, to the least you are “fortunate” that a window of opportunity has opened for you to take action and benefit from it.


Be grateful of what you have and try really hard to keep yourself grounded on two feet. Thank those who are “responsible” for bringing you to success – even your enemies. Indeed, your enemies help you to be successful; without them, you might very well be not as successful as it is today.

When you are successful, watch the way you live. Even if you have the money to buy a Ferrari, speeding around in it and park in the best-located parking lot so everyone can see might be the least thing you want to do. While your car might impress others, your attitude might not.

You might say, “hey – it’s MY money!” Yes, you can do whatever you like with your money; it’s yours, anyway; but I’ve heard too many stories about how money destroys people’s business and personal life. As we all (should) know, your money is not eternal; just ask those celebrities and sportsmen who make millions but went bankrupt – simply because they are overwhelmed by the money they receive and eventually spend more than they make – “thanks” to the Ferraris, parties and new list of “want.”

So, again – be careful of how you live your life. Remember, as you are becoming successful, you are also becoming others’ role model. You don’t want to mislead others, do you?

Don’t be arrogant!