I admit that I am more realist than optimist. I don’t always assume the worst, but I’ve seen the worst happen enough times to know that it can and does happen pretty often.
Much of the time, I’m pessimistic because I don’t give myself enough credit — yes, the boss will like your work; yes, you will have a good meeting with the client; yes, there are actually enough hours in the day to get everything done.
But when you’re starting a business, that optimism is necessary. As the Harvard Business Review points out, most businesses fail. Some grow and then fail; most we never hear about. But if you knew your business would fail, would you start it in the first place? Probably not. So businesses keep on forming.
But this is a good thing. Businesses beget more business, they bring in talented people, they often get the idea ball rolling, so to speak. If one business fails, but it brings people together so they can start a more successful one, was it really a failure — or more of a detour?
Of course, the chances that your business will be The Next Big Thing and allow you to retire in five years are pretty small. There is difference between realistic and unrealistic optimism. But to have a good attitude when you start a new business venture? That is essential.
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