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Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

Entrepreneurs and the Hero’s Complex

Written By: George and Mary-Lynn | No Comments

Business HeroWe recently caught the movie Kiss the Girls. Morgan Freeman plays Alex Cross, a detective and forensic psychologist whose niece went missing.

Foul play was suspected. It was feared that she was in the hands of a serial kidnapper, who “collected’ young women.

Detective Cross tried desperately to find her, taking chances he shouldn’t have. Worse yet, he acted on his own – seeking no assistance from capable people who were willing and eager to help.

Once he let others in, they were able to solve the case.

Many of us entrepreneurs act just like this character – we have a hero’s complex.

We feel the need to go alone. It comes naturally. After all, independence is one of the hallmarks of successful entrepreneurs.

We want to do it on our own. We want to know the results of our decisions.

We want to feel “the thrill of victory” from our efforts. So we’re willing to risk “the agony of defeat.”

But going it alone can be costly. As with Detective Cross, we often don’t find the resolution we seek. One of two things happens as a result:

1. We fail without really understanding why. We don’t know what we don’t know and we never discover it.

or

2. Some of us become so frustrated, discouraged and exhausted that we give up. And that’s a good thing – because in this moment of apparent weakness, we reach out for help.

At that moment, we learn one of the most valuable lessons any entrepreneur ever learns:

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It’s a show of strength.

When you ask for help, the benefits begin to accrue almost immediately. Here are three of them:

Lose the hero’s complex and take less risk

Contrary to popular myth, successful entrepreneurs aren’t risk lovers. They are excellent risk managers.

Your perspective grows by giving up the self-made mindset. You quickly come to understand the world better. So you can better assess your risk. Then you can manage it better.

Get results faster by not trying to be a hero

As we coach entrepreneurs, we find many of them think in circles. (And the smarter you are, the more likely you are to face this.) It’s a natural by-product of the cluttered world we live in. We just have too many options.

An objective, outside opinion will help you filter out all the noise. So drop the hero’s complex and you’ll find your focus much faster.

Be a hero by not being a hero

Before you think we’re talking in circles, permit us to explain: You can deliver a superior experience to your customers by working with others.

So you can be a hero by dropping the hero’s complex. Stop trying to be all things to all people. Instead, focus on the few people you can serve superbly.

Focus on the few things you do remarkably well. Then turn to your network to help “the few people” for everything else. Your customers will love you for it!

What do you see as the benefits of losing the hero’s complex?

Article written by
George Krueger and Mary-Lynn Foster are the co-founders of BIGG Success, your place for entreprenurturing(TM). They also co-host "BIGG Success in a Minute," a syndicated radio show now playing on stations around the United States.