Often times the word ego is thought to be a bad word. It is connected with words like conceit, entitlement and self importance. So before I continue I want to define ego here. Dictionary.com gives the following definition.
e·go [ee-goh, eg-oh] Show IPA
noun, plural e·gos.1.the “I” or self of any person; a person as thinking, feeling, and willing, and distinguishing itself from the selves of others and from objects of its thought.
So really Ego is our way of being an individual. How we display our ego to the world defines who we are as people. As a creative person or designer you have chosen to display your brand to the world as an extension of your identity. It really is a beautiful thing but this is where ms people get hung up on taking their brand to the wholesale market.
There are 3 types of Egos that designers have in his industry. Only 1 of them will lead you down the path of success. Which are you?
The Under Inflated Ego
Designers with an under inflated ego have a product/design they love but lack confidence. These designers often wait to long to share their product, drag their feet on moving forward out of fear, or allow doubt to control their business decisions.
Most “under inflated ego” designers come to me with the following questions/fears:
1. Who do I sell my designs too?
2. What if they say no?
3. How do I find a seamstress/sew shop?
4. I really like my design but no one is buyng. Help!
5. What’s the best way to market?
6. Should I ask my friends for feedback on my product?
7. Is it hard to wholesale? How do I start?
The Over Inflated Ego
Designers with over inflated egos then to be over confident in their product or abilities. They move forward quickly and many find temporary success. They often come to me with the following questions/statements.
1. My product is great, I know it and all my friends have told me.
2. Noone makes anything like this.
3. I know exactly who to sell to, everyone, because my product is so fabulous!
4. What connections do you have for me?
5. Can’t I just get the orders and then find a manufacturer?
6. 5 stores already bought my product. I know what I am doing and I am ready for Nordstroms.
7. Hiring good help is impossible so I just do it myself.
8. I’ve been doing ti this way for 3 years. Why change it now?
The Business Minded Ego
Designers with a business minded ego have a healthy appreciation or their product but are able to separate it from themselves. They understand the saying “it’s business, it’s not personal”. These designers know they need a solid business plan and fresh product to have a healthy business. They make decisions for their business based on profit not on ego. They often have questions like this:
1. I have interviewed 3 manufacturers and need help selecting the best one for me. Can you help me narrow it down?
2. I have a business plan but an element seems to not be working. Can I change it or should I be more patient in the process?
3. My top selling product is slowing in sales. What should I do?
4. My sales rep is under performing. How do I handle this?
5. I have done some market research on a new product and it didn’t do quite as well as I thought but still yielded good results. Should I add it to my line?
6. How do i improve my profit margin for wholesale and retail?
I will be honest with you that I started as an under inflated ego with over inflated ego tendencies and then moved into an over inflated ego with business minded tendencies. With some experience under my belt I am finally rebuilding my brand with a Business Minded Ego. I will share my journey with you and how I came to this place as a business owner in the coming months.
NEXT POST: Overcoming an under or over inflated ego an prepare yourself for success.