It takes a very special person to be an entrepreneur.
It’s a tough road, and it’s a road that you’re going to see many carcasses on of everybody before you who tried to walk the same path that you’re walking but didn’t have the perseverance to hold on and make things happen.
Entrepreneurship, and success in general can be a very lonely road at times.
At times, it’s going to feel like it’s only you, your vision, and the path you need to walk.
These times will be more frequent for some, but they will appear for everyone.
This is why it’s so important to have the character qualities that you need in place in order to become successful.
Time and time again entrepreneurs look for “recipes of success”, when they should really be looking to develop the qualities of character that are responsible for success.
The same qualities of character that allowed me to get a black belt in Tae Kwon Do are the same qualities of character that have allowed me to create multiple successful businesses.
The same qualities of character that allowed me to dead lift over 500-pounds are the same qualities of character that allow me to sit down and create content, whether I “feel like it” or not.
It’s time to work, there’s a job to do, and if I ever want to get from my Point A to that vision of Point B then I better be prepared, disciplined, and organized.
A “recipe for success” doesn’t exist as it takes the person out of the equation, and a person without discipline, preparation, or organization will fail no matter what “blueprint” some guru through at him/her.
Although discipline, preparation, and organization are all wildly important (and will be the subject of future article entries) qualities of character towards creating freedom and success in your life, it would be an incomplete conversation if we didn’t discuss optimism.
Optimism Has A Home
How is it possible to remain optimistic in the shadows of tragedy?
How can you believe “everything happens for the best” after a devastating loss?
You may have loved ones who have passed, you may have had breakups that are crippling, or you may have had a business partner screw you over so badly that it turned your entire life upside-down – and your family’s life upside-down as well.
How can “everything happens for the best” have any truth during these times?
It begins with understanding that optimism is not about wishful thinking. It’s much deeper than this.
There are people in this world (and you may know one or two of them) that suffer a brutal loss, and yet their spirit hasn’t been dampened.
How is this possible?
Because of the mere fact that you need to have the spirit of optimism even in the worst of times, and if you think about it, this is exactly what the “tool” of optimism is “used for”.
It’s not about “putting on a happy face” – it’s about having a happy face without the “put on” part of it.
The real truth in business is that you can aspire to have anything you want.
But this doesn’t mean that you always get what you want.
Optimism lives between the lines of aspiration and reality.
This is its home, don’t go too long without paying it a visit. Just like Grandma and Grandpa’s house, it’s sometimes hard to convince yourself that you “have the time” to go visit, but once you do you feel so much better that you did.
Optimism leaves its door open all the time, no matter what.
The Utility of Optimistic Thoughts in Real Life
Picture yourself in the forest going on a nature walk to try and recharge your mind.
Suddenly, a flock of birds comes by and lands on the ground all around you.
In this moment, you can feel alone and wish you had wings too – or you can be grateful for what you have and look for ways in which to optimize your talents instead of focusing on the talents of others.
Put another way, optimism, to the entrepreneur, is the gift of having an open mind rather then being held down by the restrictions of a closed mind.
We live in a world of pessimism, and social media isn’t helping turn things around any time soon.
Pessimism and being on the “hardcore grind” are trending right now, but in the end, optimism becomes the voice of success.
Who speaks success to you?
Who is as optimistic as you?
Who sees the future with bright colors and freedom?
Find these people and recognize what’s happening with the ultimate awareness because the voice of optimism can come from anywhere.
A TV show.
Your 6-year-old niece making a simple observation about what she’s looking at.
Recognizing these small “wins” in optimism and possibility is all it takes to realize them.
The truth here is that greatness already exists everywhere, you’re just spending too much time turning away from it.
Your business will never be a finished project and you will never be a finished project either, you have to keep adapting and growing through the viewing lens of optimism and possibility.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you already know good and well that things can go wrong.
Undesired events and terrible circumstances WILL come into your life, that’s a guarantee. And somebody who is optimistic wouldn’t deny this, optimism is very simply a strategy for meeting these tough times.
Every unfavorable thing than can knock your business down a peg can also, in the end, force you to adapt and become a more complete company once you stand back up.
A truth in life is that everything happens in seasons – so the optimistic thinker’s automatic behavior pattern is not to talk about how it feels like “this winter is never going to end”, but instead recognize that “summer is coming!”
The negative voices in your head will always be the loudest, but that doesn’t mean these voices need to demand your attention. You have full permission to alter the volume mixer in your head to “turn up the good and turn down the suck” (thank you Fubar for the hilarious movie reference).
Optimism is a filter for the negative voice in your head, loud negativity doesn’t make it past the mute button when an entrepreneur is “locked in” on their passion. You believe in you, and that’s all you need.
Negative voices focus on your current limitations, optimism focuses on what current opportunities exist. In fact, it sees the limitations as opportunities in its own way. It’s not what you have to work with, it’s how you work with what you have.
“If Not You, Then Who? If Not Now, Then When?”
If you can’t get more clients, then coach your current ones better.
If you can’t build a social media following fast, then build a community that loves you.
If you can’t record video content, then be the best writer and podcaster you can be.
If you can’t afford an advertising campaign, then create a referral campaign.
Optimism means understanding your disadvantages make you unique. It’s a shift in perception. It’s never about how you stack up to the competition, or what perceived advantages you think they have over you.
It’s only ever about improving yourself and improving your business. Moreover, it’s about participating – and enjoying – this improvement process as a whole.
Do not wait for perfection before you dive into full participation.
Speed kills in business, you need to get out there, act now, and be optimistic about your entire circumstances – this means everything about YOU and your business.
Why would you ever wait on perfection?
When being honest with yourself, how limited are you, really?
Having answered that, wouldn’t you agree anyways that limitations are merely a matter of perception without optimism?
The market will never be given to you on a silver platter, you need to order it with your relentless action and relentless optimism.
As I continued to write out my thoughts, this article became as much about you as it did your business.
And I love that it turned out that way, because that’s how it should always be.
The ship doesn’t mean much of anything unless there is a skilled captain on board.
The optimistic entrepreneur knows that the market will not provide a path for them to walk down, so instead you’re going to have to forge one.
You can have a life full of excuses, or you can have a life full of freedom.
Choose optimism. Doing so makes freedom inevitable.
To believe in optimism is to believe in the possibilities of life rather than the limitations of it.
…oh, and those birds you were upset about that you saw earlier on your nature walk?
They were jealous of your intelligence.
But, intelligence without optimism is just like a bird without wings.
You already have your wings, and you can fly anywhere you want.