I recently had dinner with a friend who owns a business.

He told me that in his space, there’s a temptation for young business owners to pretend they have big businesses.

He said, “You can see it happen on Instagram. They scale up their staff beyond what they need. They take showy projects that don’t have great margin. They overpay for office space that looks amazing online but is really unnecessary. They do expensive advertising that’s flashy but largely ineffective. Do you know why?”

I didn’t.

“They’ve chosen to get paid in self importance, instead of revenue.”

That hit me like a sack of wrenches.

I’ve avoided some of those issues. My staff is lean and awesome. I don’t have office space. I don’t over spend on ads, but if I’m honest, I tend to say yes to the wrong things. I can easily count a dozen things I did last year for my own self-importance, not revenue. They made me feel important but didn’t do a single thing for my business.

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Sometimes, I made those decisions because I didn’t want to tell someone “no.”

It’s easier to say yes if you want someone to like you than it is to say no.

That’s an ego decision right there and it costs you so much in the long run.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or not, it doesn’t really matter when it comes to this principle.

In every aspect of life, there’s the temptation to choose what’s best for your ego instead of what’s best for your life.

So, in 2019 I’m going to ask myself a question that keeps haunting me,

“Is this a good decision or just an ego decision?”

And if I’m unclear on it, I’ll ask my wife. And guess what? She will 100% be able to quickly tell me.

I dare you to ask that question in 2019, too.


P.S. Adding this simple tool to your life is always a good decision.

This post was originally featured in ACUFF.ME.

Jon Acuff is the New York Times Bestselling author of six books including his most recent Wall Street Journal #1 Bestseller, Finish: Give yourself the gift of done. For over 20 years he’s helped some of the biggest brands in the world tell their story, including The Home Depot, Bose, Staples, and the Dave Ramsey Team. Most recently he’s spoken to hundreds of thousands of people at conferences, colleges, companies and churches. Featured regularly on national media, Jon has been seen on CNN, Fox News, Good Day LA and several other key outlets.