Always Be Positive
The most important quality for success in entrepreneurship and in life is the quality of optimism.
The wildfires swept through San Diego in October, destroying hundreds of houses. The air was full of smoke for days, filling the nostrils and burning the eyes. Homes were on fire within a mile of us.
Every couple of hours, we got a “reverse 911” call to tell us if we were under “voluntary evacuation” or “mandatory evacuation.” If we received “mandatory evacuation” orders, we would have 30 minutes to pack and leave.
Fortunately, the fires never got too near to our house, and we never had to evacuate. Today, the city is back to normal and life goes on. This experience reminded me once again about the importance of remaining positive, no matter what happens.
The most important quality for success in entrepreneurship and in life is the quality of optimism. Optimists have an unrealistic expectation of success. As a result, they are willing to try far more things without becoming discouraged. In addition, because of their unrealistically positive attitude, they are willing to persist much longer than the average person. Optimism is a wonderful quality as long as you have it under control.
Temper Your Optimism
In order to be successful in business, and in any activity where your money is involved, you must temper your optimism with negativism. You must be enthusiastic about the possible upside of the investment but you must be skeptical, critical, suspicious and demanding about all the different ways that your money can be lost.
Listen to Negative Viewpoints
Seek out and listen carefully to people who are negative toward your idea. Look for negative thinkers, because their viewpoints can be invaluable and save you a fortune in time and money. I have a friend who is a lawyer. And he recommends and gives advice to many people on investments. And what he does is this. When someone comes and they want to make an investment that he’s unsure about, he says, all right, I want you to come to my office and I want you to sit behind my desk. And then I’m going to come in and I’m going to present this investment to you and I want you to critique this investment as if you were me.
Help Others to Evaluate Honestly
And he says that when his clients begin critiquing the investments they’re thinking about going into, when they begin becoming negative thinkers about the investments, he says they are astonished at how bad the investments really are. He said he has saved his clients millions of dollars by forcing them to be negative thinkers about their own ideas, simply by switching roles and sitting in front of the desk while they sit behind the desk.
Keep Your Mind Open
But don’t be overly influenced by negative thinkers. Just take their viewpoints into consideration. There’s a famous story of Mary Hudson, who started off with 200 dollars in the middle of the Depression and leased a gas station that two men had gone broke running at two different occasions. And from that she built a company called Hudson Oil, which is now the biggest independent distributor of gas and oil in the United States. From a 200 dollar investment, even though everybody told her she would fail. So remember, listen to negative thinkers, but don’t necessarily accept their advice.
When the inevitable fires and storms happen in your business life, no matter what anyone says, you must remain positive and optimistic, and take full control of your situation.
About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.