It’s great to feel optimistic about your business. That’s so long as your optimism is justified. You see, there are 2 types of optimism. One is essential. One is toxic.
I’m referring to justified optimism and unjustified optimism.
- Justified optimism is born from knowing that your business is making measurable progress in reasonable time… seeing your plans come to fruition.
- Unjustified optimism is very different. It comes from ignoring the reality of your situation and hoping things will ‘just get better’.
Here’s the challenge
Unjustified optimism has the same effect on your mind as justified optimism. If your business is stagnating or shrinking, yet you choose to believe everything is great, it acts like a narcotic.
It takes away the pain (or urgency) you need to feel, in order to motivate yourself to fix what’s wrong. Here’s an example.
It’s like seeing black smoke bellowing from the back of your car, but choosing to ignore it and instead, telling yourself that your car is doing GREAT. The engine then gets trashed, because you didn’t take heed of the warning signs and take action when you should have.
Optimism is essential for business success. And business owners tend to be optimistic. Let’s face it, we have to be! The very act of starting a business, with no guarantee of success, requires a lot of optimism. The key here is to make sure that the optimism we feel is justified.
On track or off track?
If things are on track for your business, your optimism is justified. It’s an indication you have exciting things to come. And that you should do more of the same. (You may also want to share your ideas with new business owners or young entrepreneurs. It’s a wonderful feeling.)
If things are off track, your business is spinning its wheels and you’re doing more of the same, yet you’re feeling optimistic, your optimism lacks justification. Don’t see that black smoke and ignore it. Instead, use it as motivation. Motivation to put better plans, strategies and tactics in place.
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