Below is an excerpt from Part One of our book Startups Made Simple: How to Start, Grow and Systemize Your Dream Business. Learn more about the book here.
“Optimism is a force multiplier.” – Colin Powell
I’m sure there are successful founders who are not optimistic—I’ve just never met one. Seriously though, an optimistic mindset is a huge source of energy, and the good news is that optimism can be learned. (See the Chapter Resources for more information.) Pessimistic and negative people are usually not only low energy themselves, but they tend to drain the energy of everyone around them. Pessimism is the last thing a founder needs in the startup process.
Think about it, have you ever met a pessimistic “Debbie Downer” who was a successful businessperson—or successful anything? I cannot think of one example outside of perhaps a few “artist” types that used negativity in their artwork. Otherwise, every inspirational business book or biography inevitably has an incredibly optimistic person behind it, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence.
Note that I’m not advising you to not be realistic; you can be realistic and optimistic. I’ve joked that optimism is worth twenty extra IQ points because you don’t immediately give up. When you have optimism, you give your brain permission to look at the bright side of things as they happen and see possibilities that a pessimist may have rejected or not even thought about.
That’s exactly how an entrepreneur needs to deal with the inevitable curveballs that will be thrown at them. They need to realistically assess the situation and see if there are any solutions to mitigate the problem, change the situation to their advantage or, at the very least, learn a valuable lesson. An optimistic mindset and many of the other superpowers in this part of the book will help you move away from pessimism and toward solving problems, which is what great founders primarily do.
This was an excerpt from our book Startups Made Simple: How to Start, Grow and Systemize Your Dream Business. Learn more about the book here or see our previous excerpts here.