Do you want to know the secret trait of every entrepreneur? I know you do.
I did too and since I read about it in an article, I realized it’s gotten me to this point right now and it’s going to take me wherever I want to go.
Okay so you’re ready? Here it is.
One of the qualities that is most helpful in an aspiring entrepreneur is optimism. Without it you would be foolish to attempt risk. Consider those before us who against the greatest odds managed to start and build successful businesses.
Just as there is no atheist in a foxhole, the writer states, there is no pessimist in a successful start-up.
As an entrepreneur, so many of us have great ideas for businesses, but it isn’t the fear of failure that’s stopping us. Instead it’s the lack of optimism.
Let’s take a closer look at being an optimist.
Being an optimist
According to Webster, the definition of optimism is an inclination to put the most favorable construction upon actions and events or to anticipate the best possible outcome.
Why is it important to be an optimist?
As you taken in what’s happening in your life, it’s best to interpret the information and events with an optimistic mind-set, viewing what you see, hear and experience as more positive than negative. It’s seeing the glass as half full.
Being an optimist means that you view things in a good light and remain hopefully confident that things will turn out well for you.
When bad things happen, optimisim helps keeps things in perspective.
That’s why optimist view negative situations as temporary and something that can be handled or resolved.
Pessimists think it’s the end of the world.
Optimist don’t just sit around with a huge smile on their face, pretend everything is great, and use the power of positive thinking to make bad situations go away.
In fact, optimists are more likely to take action to address the problem than pessimists are.
Pessimits think that the problem can’t be resolved! There’s no solution. They see negative events and experiences as things that cannot be controlled or stopped so why even bother taking action to resolve it.
Optimists do something about it. There’s always a way. Because they have that attitude, optimists general have found to be happier, live longer, handle situations better, have better relationsips, and live healthier lifestyles.
Which came first? Optimism or success?
You might think “Well I’ll be an optimist when I’m successful and living the life I have always dreamt of. Till then, it’s hard to be an optimist when my life sucks.”
Think about someone successful you look up to. Do you think they got there because they are optimists? Or do you think they’re optimist because they’re successful?
I think it’s the former.
Did Michael Jordan come into the NBA with doubts of his abilities? No. Failure wasn’t an option for him. He wanted to be the greatest of all time.
The London Summer Olympics are this summer. What type of attitude do you think have gone through the athletes’ minds while training? They envision themselves as the best. Training hard isn’t enough. Anyone can do that.
There has to be optimism. Often times in sports, the mental edge is what separates the great from the good.
It’s the same in business and in life.
If you believe in success, you’ll be empowered to achieve it.
If you believe in failure, those messages will tend to lead you to experience that as well.
Which one will you choose?
The outcome could be beyond your imagination
You have to believe what you are doing will bring to you the best possible outcome. The reality is it could come up short, or it be exactly what we imagined.
Sometimes the outcome turns out even better.
If you listen to many interviews with successful people they’ll often say something like, “If you would have told me (insert number) years ago, that right now I’d be (insert amazing life example), I wouldn’t have believed you.”
It’s not about pure luck either. It’s creating their own luck through their actions and not thinking of failure.
I know what it’s like to have something turn out even better than I hoped for. When I created Photo 365, if someone told me it’d be App of the Week in the first month, I would have looked at them with crazy eyes.
I did believe that it would make some money. That was my goal. That’s why I wanted to develop an app in the first place. I would have been happy with any amount of passive income per day.
But to be featured? I’d be lying to you if I said I expected it to be featured by Apple.
The definition of optimism says “to put the most favorable construction upon actions and events or to anticipate the best possible outcome.”
That’s what I did and I didn’t realize it at the time.
When I think back, I realized I didn’t doubt myself during the development of it. I didn’t think it’d suck. I didn’t think I’d fail completely. It’s easy to say that now, but it’s so true now that I think about it.
In the past when trying to make money online, I never felt really good about it. I just saw the potential, but didn’t really think that’d be me.
This time I didn’t think “What if this doesn’t work out?” I just put my head down and focused on getting the best app I could to the App store.
You can become an optimist (it’s not too late!)
Optimist aren’t born. If you’re not one, it doesn’t mean you can’t be one.
Science has proven that the brain can form new neural pathways by focusing your attention on it and deliberate practice.
For example, if you’re learning a new language, new neural pathways begin to be formed to acquire and store the new language. These new pathways become stronger the more they are used, causing the likelihood of new long-term connections and memories.
Think about stroke patients. A specific part of their brain is damaged, such as speech, but through therapy and practice they can form new neural pathways to that part of the brain again and regain function. It’s amazing.
That’s why old habits are hard to break. The neural pathways are strong. If you keep giving attention to it, the pathway forever stays strong. I have a horrible habit of biting my nails. I bet those neural pathways are as strong as steel.
Could I form new neural pathways and weaken the nail biting ones? Science is saying I can. It’ll take serious focus and effort to break a lifetime habit like that, but it is possible.
Therefore it’s not too late to reprogram our brain to think like an optimist.
In the next post, I’ll help you with some ways to help you be more optimistic. Easy changes that you can make a part of your life.
Do you think you’re an optimist? Be honest with yourself.
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