I love entrepreneurship. I think it’s one of the most exciting and rewarding paths you can take in life.

But there’s a danger lurking in the world of entrepreneurship that I think needs to be addressed: the main character syndrome.

Main character syndrome is a term used to describe a psychological phenomenon in which an individual perceives themselves as the protagonist or main character of their own life story, to the point of exaggerating their own importance or downplaying the importance of others around them.

Someone who radiates the main character syndrome often thinks or sees themselves as someone they imagine or want to be like, or is pretending to be the lead of their own story or self-created tale.

They think their life is perfect.

The main character syndrome and narcissism are closely linked, and there is often overlap between the two concepts. Both involve an excessive focus on the self and a tendency to overestimate one’s own importance and abilities.

In the context of entrepreneurship, main character syndrome refers to a mindset in which the entrepreneur sees themselves as the sole visionary behind their company, and ascribes all of its successes to their own genius, while ignoring the contributions of others and being dismissive of criticism or feedback.

As an entrepreneur, you are the star of the show.

You are the one who’s going to change the world, disrupt industries, and make millions [if not billions], while there’s certainly a lot of truth to that idea, after all, entrepreneurship is all about taking risks and pushing boundaries, there’s also a dark side to it.

The main character syndrome can cause entrepreneurs to become tunnel-visioned, focusing on their own glory only.

They start to think that only their vision counts and that anyone who disagrees is holding them back.

They become arrogant, dismissive, and even hostile to anyone who doesn’t share their worldview.

This can be incredibly damaging not just to the entrepreneur themselves, but to the people around them.

When you’re so focused on your own success, you can easily lose sight of the needs and concerns of your employees, your customers, and your community.

You might make decisions that benefit yourself in the short term, but hurt others in the long run.

So, what’s the solution? Well, it’s simple [but not easy]: humility.

As an entrepreneur, you need to be willing to admit that you don’t have all the answers.

You need to be open to feedback and criticism, and willing to change your approach if it’s not working.

You need to listen to your employees, your customers, and your community, and take their needs and concerns into account.

Now, I know that might sound like I’m telling you to be a pushover. But that’s not the case at all. Being humble doesn’t mean being weak.

Being humble means being strong enough to admit your mistakes, and to learn from them. It means being willing to collaborate with others, and to build something that’s bigger than yourself.

So, if you’re an entrepreneur, I urge you to check yourself for signs of the main character syndrome.

Ask yourself: am I so focused on my own success that I’m losing sight of the bigger picture? Am I dismissive of other people’s opinions? Am I making decisions that benefit me at the expense of others?

If the answer to any of those questions is yes, then it’s time to make a change.

Entrepreneurship is a team sport. You might be the star of the show, but you need a strong supporting cast to make things happen.

So it’s always best to be humble, be collaborative, and be willing to learn.

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