When you wake up every day you have two choices. You can either be positive or negative; an optimist or a pessimist. I choose to be an optimist. It's all a matter of perspective.
You can whine because you have so much work or be grateful that you are your own boss and in control of your own destiny. You can complain about your lack of an IT department, or be excited about learning the tech you need to know. You can grumble about your unengaged employees or do everything in your power to make them succeed. You get the idea.
Pessimism doesn't grow your business or even maintain the status quo. The pessimists on your staff make the job harder for everyone around them. They make difficulties out of opportunities. And the worst part is that their surliness rubs off on others.
You need to be able to look on the bright side of tough situations in order to take risks, and survive both successes and failures. The sooner you accept the fact that you will have both successes and failures, the easier it will be to get your business and personal life headed in the right direction.
An optimist understands that life can be a bumpy road, but at least it is leading somewhere. They learn from mistakes and failures, and are not afraid to fail again. It may not be your fault for being knocked down, but it is certainly your fault for not getting up.
Does success or failure have anything to do with mental attitude? The answer is a resounding, “yes.”
A psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania proved that optimists are more successful than equally talented pessimists in business, education, sports and politics. Based on his research, Metropolitan Life, the insurance and financial services corporation, developed a test to distinguish between the optimists and pessimists when hiring sales people. The results of that experiment were phenomenal: The optimists outsold the pessimists by 20 percent the first year. During the second year, the difference jumped to 50 percent. Find me a sales person—or company—that wouldn not beg for those numbers. I know we would find office space for those optimists at MackayMitchell Envelope Company.
The right attitude coupled with the courage to reach for opportunity is the defining factor for success. It’s never too late to start early. Don’t get discouraged just because you haven’t practiced that approach until now.
I am an eternal optimist. I firmly believe that there is virtually nothing that I can’t do if I set my mind to it, and that's true of everyone. It helps to be realistic. I know I am never going to pitch in the World Series, but I can be a player/manager of a top-notch company. I took a big gamble getting my company off the ground, but I’ve never looked back.