Imagine a runner in a marathon who refused, out of pride, to wear his glasses and so hits every obstacle along the course. Road signs, other runners, everything that comes into his path causes him to stumble and lose time. Wouldn’t you find that type of pride foolish?

Why, then, do we do things out of pride that keep us from reaching our goals? Here are some ways pride might be stopping you from moving forward in your business. 

“I’ve already tried all that.” 

In this particular place in your journey, there are things that will work now that wouldn’t have worked a year ago. Ways to find clients, approaches to sales, all of the building blocks to success in business are open to adjustment, depending on where you are right now.

If, out of pride, you decide you’ve heard it all before, you might as well close up shop. We all need input from other people. Turn off that negative inner voice and listen with fresh ears when knowledge starts to flow your way.

“I don’t want anyone to know I need help.”

It’s interesting that sometimes in business, we shut off avenues of help in order to keep our problems secret. Whether it’s money, knowledge or practical help, letting pride keep us from getting what we need is counterproductive.

Perhaps all it would take to move up to the next level is to attend a seminar we can’t afford right now. Ask someone to invest in your success and set up terms to pay them back.

In the same way, when we’re lacking knowledge but don’t want to ask for advice, we’re slamming the door shut on our own fingers. Lay down the pride that keeps you from asking for help so that you can keep moving toward your goals.

“This person is too old/young/uneducated to advise me.”

This particular pride pitfall is far too common. We get into our minds all sorts of categories about who can and can’t help us. We decide that someone younger (but more successful) in our field doesn’t have the experience to advise us. On the other hand, young entrepreneurs sometimes have trouble taking advice from people who are older than they are.

Get rid of the categories you’ve created and begin watching for wisdom from unexpected avenues. They might not fit our old criteria, but they might just have the answer we’ve been missing.

“My situation is completely unique.”

This is the whopper of all prideful misconceptions. Many people mistake the unique talents and skills they have to offer with the actual structure of their business. In other words, a lot of what happens in business is pretty transferrable between different industries.

If we insist on believing our situation is completely unique, we might miss new knowledge someone else is able to share. Look for transferable wisdom, no matter how tight your niche. In that way, those unique products you’ve created will be able to reach and serve more people.

It’s perfectly normal to feel pride in the business you’re building. That’s one of the positive results of owning your own business. Keep that pride contained, though, to enjoying your growing success. Don’t let it get in the way of becoming even more successful in business.

(c) Bernadette Doyle

Bernadette Doyle publishes her weekly Client Magnets newsletter for trainers, coaches, consultants, complementary therapists and solo professionals. If you want to get clients calling you instead of you calling them, then get your free tips now at


The Editor

Ogo Ogbata is a writer, teacher, innovator and strategist.