Have you ever studied successful people? How about successful business owners? I know I have. I am always fascinated by how entrepreneurs can build businesses out of nothing. Or how people who have a vision begin their journey. And I always wonder what all these people have in common and here is what I've come to find out.
There are a lot of qualities that an entrepreneur possesses that I could list including determination, perseverance, commitment, focus, drive... which are without a doubt very important. But there’s one seemingly insignificant characteristic that can deliver a huge, if not the greatest, impact. Any guesses? It’s positivity, or a positive mindset.
Why, out of all the qualities an entrepreneur posses, is positivity one of the most important and fundamental? I have several reasons why I think positive thinking is so important and also some ways to get into the positive mindset.
Positivity keeps you going
Being positive is one of those qualities that is beneath the surface but comes out in behavior and demeanor. If you’ve ever been around a positive person, it’s a great experience. They see the good, they think the best and they radiate confidence that things will work out.
On the other hand, if you’ve been around a negative person, they can drain you, make you feel insecure, they can put you down and you feel kinda icky when you leave. Negativity in is a killer for productivity and passion. I'm not saying a realist mindset but a negative one that is constantly putting people or projects down and not looking forward.
Separating yourself from negative people, especially when you're starting out can fuel you to accomplish more and keep you looking forward even when things get hard.
Even if you can't separate yourself from negative people I recommend surrounding yourself with positive people who believe in what you're doing. In the post "3 Types of Interactions to Grow Your Business" I talk about how to find people who can give you confidence and encourage you with positive thinking in your industry.
Surrounding yourself with positive people is important, but it's just as important to possess a positive mindset for yourself. Having this mindset can give you confidence, hope and encourage you when there's little encouragement to be found.
Now, this positivity isn’t blind, it’s backed with the other skills and traits that I mentioned earlier but it is the underlying quality that sustains someone just starting out in business or those who have been successful and helps keep them going.
You Bounce back quickly
Being positive can come in different forms and one of them is not quitting when things get hard. Barbara Corcoran is a real-estate powerhouse and one of the five investors on the the popular TV show Shark Tank, which I love! When asked 'what's the one trait successful people posses', she said,
“You have to be able to take rejection, handle failure, deal with disappointment and have no down time. Because it’s in the time you’re sitting there and thinking ‘Oh, poor me,’ that your competitor is running away with the bacon.”
She also said that out of all the people who worked for her, the ones who were the most successful in real estate weren’t the ones who were better salesmen, had more experience, multiple degrees... nope. The people who were the most successful were the ones who bounced back the fastest after rejection. And I attribute that to being positive.
When rejection comes, if you have a positive mindset you know you will be successful and so you keep going and don’t let disappointment get you down. You are, in a sense, a visionary for the best possible outcome.
So, if you don’t have a natural positive bent, here are some tips for getting into a positive mindset.
• Always be willing to learn and grow.
When something goes wrong (or not the way you hoped) ask yourself “how can I learn from this?” Always try to learn something from the disappointment or the rejection or maybe even the interaction that didn’t go too well. Ask, learn and pivot to make changes.
• When a door closes, move right on to the next one.
As Barbara Corcoran says, don’t wallow in disappointment. Keep on moving to the next opportunity because you will succeed. It might take dozens of rejections but if you keep moving forward you will get there.
• Keep the vision of what you want to accomplish alive.
Have your top 3, 5 or 10 major goals around you to remind you of where you going and why you’re doing what you’re doing. I would write and frame them and put them on my office wall (if I had an office). This will give you a visual of what you’re working towards and help you stay motivated when there is no motivation to be found.
And to conclude I want to leave you with an incredible quote from Charles Swindoll about the positive mindset, it’s a long one, but so good! He says that attitude trumps everything else in life.
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think, say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play the one string we have, and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes.”
Do you come at work and life with a positive mindset?
Is positivity something you need to work on?
How has positive thinking affected your business / blog / start-up?