Divorcing the Ego from the Message

Some of the best information that can be attained in life come from the most egotistical single-minded people, and to extract that information, you must be willing to be yelled at and trolled to oblivion. You must be willing to divorce the ego from the message.

A better way to understand this is to put yourself in this hypothetical scenario: You run an IT company processing payments, and you have 20 employees. Growth is stagnant and your competitors are catching up with your niche that gave you the initial foothold in the industry. You know you need to pivot, but you have no idea where to go. What if I told you that Peter Thiel (founder of Paypal, first investor in Facebook) would speak to you for 20 uninterrupted minutes on the topic of Internet business?

How much would you pay for that?

Probably quite a bit. Yet there exists a significant amount of people (the vast majority, I would wager) who get this opportunity from higher-up executives who laugh with derision about someone’s stupid business and pointing out all the mistakes they are making.

When someone calls you an idiot and tells you everything you are doing wrong – and they’re in a position to do so – just play along, or stoke their inner troll by saying more obviously wrong things. If you can’t sacrifice a piece of your ego to learn something potentially very valuable, you don’t belong in business.

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