The most important
success in entrepreneurship and in
life is the quality of optimism.
Optimists have an unrealistic expectation of
As a result, they are
willing to try far more things without becoming discouraged.
Entrepreneur: 10 Action Roles
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.
Taper 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
8 Key Entrepreneurial Questions
Listen to Negative
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 gives advice to many people
on investments. And he does something very unique.
When clients want
to make an investment that they're unsure about, he asks them come to his office
and sit behind his desk. And then he presents the investment to them and asks
them to critique the investment as though they were he.
Help Others to
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 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 investment, even
though everybody told her she would fail. So remember,
listen to negative
thinkers, but don't necessarily accept their advice.
Estee Lauder: 15 Rules for Entrepreneurial Success
Here are two things
you can do immediately to get these ideas into
First, view your
idea as if you were an outside consultant. Ask, "What are all of the possible
risks or flaws in this cause of action?"
Second, seek out
the opinions of others. Listen without responding or defending. Thank them for
their input. They may save you a lot of money.