Ryan is someone who has made a profound impact in the areas of self-improvement and our individual and collective aspirations for success. In his last book, The Obstacle is the Way, Ryan explored the idea of “turning trials into triumph.” In his new book, Ego is the Enemy, (Amazon link) [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.] Ryan picks up where he left off with the last book, and delves into an area that isn’t talked about much in this space, which is:
How to navigate through the hazards of early success.
I think if people want to become successful, they need to know what happens once they are, because success isn’t a one-time thing. It’s life-long. And Ryan, having achieved great success so early in his own life (he was Marketing Director American Apparel at age twenty-one, and now at twenty-six, through his own agency, has clients such as Tony Robbins and Marc Ecko), he is qualified to speak on the trials and tribulations of early success.
In Ego is the Enemy, Ryan goes deep into those early success hazards, including a detailed exploration of a crazy thing that happened at American Apparel while he was the Marketing Director: the CEO sued his own company after being ousted by the board over his management style, and it all tore the company apart. Ryan got to witness it first hand, and he takes this personal experience, as well as an analysis of other stories of people who have failed after finding success, to share what we can do to avoid the fall and to face adversity and difficulty with honesty and self-awareness.
The concepts Ryan tackles in the book are super fascinating and important to remember. Success can change people, even if it’s a success that crashes and burns. I personally have witnessed friends whose success really changed them for the worse. Those individuals I can’t really call friends anymore, which is pretty devastating. So, I take those types of experiences as a constant reminder to never let that happen to me.
Ego, that thing within us that sometimes comes out, is the enemy of anything great, it’s the obstacle for ambition and success, and I’ve worked hard on my own to avoid getting a big head (and I have a great wife, April, who helps keep me in check too!). But, in all honesty, the ego is a powerful thing. I’ve felt it myself before. It’s why this book is such a help to both me and to others out there who’ve maybe found success or not. It’s a guide to help you navigate and avoid these pitfalls from within.
One of the more fascinating parts in Ego is the Enemy is the section on the ego’s consistent presence in everyone who has had success, whether small or large. For some, the ego’s power is just more inescapable and life-changing. For others, it’s present, but not as oppressive. The important thing to remember is that it is there, and the more success you achieve, the higher chance our ego will lead to self-sabotage. That’s super scary! I don’t want to think, or others to think, that we shouldn’t aim as high as we can to attain success. We can (and should!) still do that. As long as we’re aware of the pull of our own egos, as the book highlights.
The book also jumps into some awesome real-life stories of success and ego, including from historical figures such as Jackie Robinson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bill Belichick, and others.
So, who should read this book? I’d say that you should read Ego is the Enemy if you are striving for anything and are eager to live up to your potential, because worse than never being successful is finding success and then losing it because we get in our own way.
Don’t let ego hold you back. Be aware of it, sensitive to it, focus on your good habits, and courageously pursue the success you want to achieve!
p.s. I gave away five signed copies of Ego is the Enemy to random book club members! For a shot at the next book giveaway, join the book club today! It's free!Buy the Book on Amazon