Taking on business partners and ego getting in the way of inclusion

Share This Post

Katherine is a People and Talent Acquisition Consultant with a specialty in inclusion and neuro-diversity. She also invented a patent-pending ant-bias applicant tracking system which was featured at Web Summit and HR Disruptor! She is a dynamic, funny speaker who brings passion and education to the stage.

Biggest fuck up?

When I tried having a business partner, that was my biggest fuck up.

Twice in my journey, I took on partners. The first taught me a lot but didn’t want to put in work or money, so we separated on fairly good terms, but… the second one was a nightmare.

Again, he wanted me to do all of the work, but he put in money. That was his contribution, so it was fine at first. Then he quit paying bills and even our staff! I made it all right using my personal funds, separated (taking the entire client base with me) and rebuilt back under my brand name, which had never been deactivated.

I was angry with myself. I took an easy option to put more money into my business, and it bit me in the butt.
Never again.

The good news, I still have a terrific relationship with the staff and clients from that venture. All is well that ends well ultimately.


I work in HR and Inclusion.

HR is antiquated, and we have never really had inclusion, so everyone is really just winging it. The frustrations boil down to self-centeredness and the inability to think for the future. From insisting on using resumes, which are horribly ineffective and generate bias, to many DEI folks picking at each other instead of focusing on true inclusion. People’s egos, limited perspectives, and insistence on staying in their comfort zone are the biggest challenges in the market.

Useful advice

Break your ego defense and respond with curiosity.

Ego Defense is a natural phenomenon that once had its place but is hindering human growth and inclusion. Our brains need to be correct, so when something tells us that we may be incorrect, our brain starts throwing up defenses, essentially saying, “I’m right. I’m right!”. When we cater to this response and allow it to rule instead of keeping it in check, we limit ourselves and our organization.

Instead, respond with curiosity.

When you feel that ego defense starting, tell your brain, “It’s okay. This is not a threat”. Then, respond with something like, “Okay, tell me more about that.” Ask questions. Learn.

Ego stunts your growth. Curiosity accelerates it.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

Opinions are like arseholes, everybody’s got one

If you work in marketing or advertising, you're surrounded by opinions. Some people don't like green in their logo. Some people don't like sentences beginning with "And" or "But."

Fuck milk

This was our first project for a huge household brand. I saw our hard work closing the deal, and my financial projections disappear in front of my eyes.

Interview with the Co-founder of Street Support

This week's interviewee is Viv Slack, co-founder of Street Support,...

Interview with the Head of Ecommerce at Lovehoney

This week's interviewee is Matt Curry, Head of Ecommerce at...

How to: find out what people say about you online

Here's a rundown of some ways to approach initial research...

Red flags and the toxic topless boss

I'm scared because of what the people in these stories might say and what you might think of me. But putting it out there feels cathartic and unburdening.