Don't let the bastards get you down. That's right. If you can, going forward disassociate yourself with negative people. Friends and business partners with negative attitudes are often not worth having.

I stopped hanging out with negative people when I was in my 20s. It was hard to do because some of these people were friends of mine since pre school. It was a tough decision, but the right one for me in hindsight, kind of like your parents telling you not to hang out with people that take drugs. 

How to identify a negative person

How can you tell if someone is harmful to you achieving your goals in business and in life? They are not always easy to spot. Sure there are people that will criticize you when you are successful or they will tell you that you can't succeed. These are the easy ones to spot.

The tougher ones to spot are those that have a slightly condescending tone when speaking with you after you achieve a significant milestone in your life. One of my favorite quotes is this: 'unjustified criticism is a disguised complement!' Wow - what a powerful statement; this makes me want to say 'bring it on doubters!'

Surround yourself with positive people that believe there are no limits to what they and you can achieve. Surround yourself with people that are incredibly successful as their success, confidence and positive outlook on business and life will rub off on you and vice versa.

I have never met a successful entrepreneur, investor or CEO that doesn't have a positive attitude. Richard Branson is the quintessential example of a positive role model. I believe that his cheerful and positive outlook in life and business is the primary reason for his incredible success.  His positive attitude is the cornerstone of the happy and positive corporate culture at all of his Virgin companies.

Try flying Virgin America or Virgin Atlantic or one day Virgin Galactic and observe how amazing the attitude is of all of his employees. A company with an incredibly positive corporate culture will no doubt be much more successful than a company filled with negative people. A negative person would never consider launching a galactic service or taking on the airline industry. Richard Branson clearly avoids hiring "those" people.

Negative friends tell me I'm too old to change careers. Are they right?

No darn way!  We are on the cusp of a biotech and healthcare renaissance were we will see the eradication of many diseases in the next few decades. I think most people alive today will live to be more than 100 if they take care of themselves. According to British rejuvenation research scientist Aubry de Grey, the first person to live to 150 years old is alive today!

The average age of people that start companies in the United States is 55! With this in mind, why would you want to consider retiring in your 50s or 60s when you have another 100 potential years? You are never too old to start a new career or start a new company. Anybody that thinks otherwise is guilty in my humble opinion of age discrimination. It doesn't matter how old or young you are, leverage your network and reinvent yourself over and over again until you find your passion!

You are never too old to start over. Successfully changing careers is based on having an unbelievably positive attitude. With this in mind, surround yourself with incredibly positive people and, if you must, understand that when others criticize you that unjustified criticism is nothing more than a disguised complement!