It’s often said that “attitude is everything,” and that’s especially true in the business world. Being a pessimist and only seeing problems is unlikely to win you any friends or favors, while looking on the bright side might inspire people to band together and help solve a pressing issue.
The members of Young Entrepreneur Council know that creating a positive attitude can yield great results. We asked a panel of them to share some of the ways positivity has helped them in business, along with their recommended approach for maintaining an optimistic mindset. Specifically:
Q. How does speaking with a positive attitude help you in the business world? What is one approach people can use to stay mindful of how they’re viewing or discussing an issue?
Here’s what they advise:
1. Believe in Your Ability to Achieve Your Goals
A positive attitude increases productivity, which is a benefit in your personal and business life. When you have a positive attitude, you believe in your abilities and you are able to achieve your goals. Being able to accomplish things on a regular basis not only is steeped in a positive attitude, but it enhances one. – Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker
2. Focus on Where You Want to Go
When learning to ride a motorcycle, they tell you not to look at the obstacles you are trying to avoid because where your eyes and body are focused is where you will end up going. The same is true in business. If you spend your time focused on negative outcomes, then you will eventually go there. Being positive and encouraging your team to do the same will take you where you want to go. – Tony Scherba, Yeti
3. Ask Yourself, ‘What’s Great About This?’
When challenging situations arrive, instead of asking yourself, “why is this happening to me?” consider, “why is this happening for me?” I take it a step further by questioning what’s good or even great about this? It helps me stay grounded in positivity and gratitude. – Rachel Beider, Massage Outpost
4. Look for the Good in a Situation First
It’s not possible or desirable to be positive all the time. Criticism and negative feedback are essential to learning, but relentless negativity doesn’t help anyone. I try to look for what is good first and preface my comments with positivity. It’s best to look at any negative comments as teachable moments and remember that people learn best from those they trust. – Vik Patel, Future Hosting
5. Be Present When Communicating With Others
People can expect a positive person when I answer their phone call or email, making it easy for them to decide to communicate with me. Naturally, people seek to surround themselves with positive people, including in business. When you’re dealing with an issue, enjoy a moment of conversation with someone new or the exciting opportunity to present yourself. You might even get a solution out of it. – Codie Sanchez, www.CodieSanchez.com
6. Hold Yourself Accountable
I try to hold everything I say and do as a leader accountable to the “How would you feel if this was published on the first page of the New York Times?” question. As a leader, you should never say or do anything that you wouldn’t feel comfortable being made public. Hold yourself to a high standard of behavior, especially when you’re making decisions that will affect the company as a whole. – Roger Lee, Human Interest 401(k)
7. Use Positivity to Build Trust and Credibility
Negative people are hard to trust, and many find they lack credibility because negativity is a defensive behavior. Being positive is welcoming and opens others up to want to know you more, trust what you say, and be around you. Positive speaking and actions send good vibes to others, which help you stay top of mind for making them feel good. – John Rampton, Calendar
8. Carefully Consider Your Language Choices
Having a positive outlook is easier said than done, but when I’m able to achieve it, I find that the best people always want to work with me and stick around. To achieve this mindfulness, I’ve tried to always use positive sentences instead of negative ones; for instance, I say, “it’ll be challenging” instead of, “it won’t be easy.” The language we use shapes our thoughts and those around us. – Turgay Birand, EditionGuard
9. Keep Discussions Focused on Solutions
In many instances, you have the choice of whether to focus on the problem or the solution. Talking too much about problems isn’t helpful for coming up with solutions, and it can cause discouragement. Keeping a positive attitude helps to spark creativity and optimism. I like to approach difficult situations with the assumption that there’s always a way to make it work in my favor. – Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting
10. Send Out Positive Vibes to Attract Like-Minded People
In my 10-plus years as a business owner, I have found the sentiment “your vibe attracts your tribe” to be true. Having a positive and gracious attitude attracts others with that like-mindedness. I find working with these people to be more inspiring, invigorating, and productive. When dealing with issues, keep the big picture in mind: Don’t sweat the small stuff. – Leila Lewis, Be Inspired PR
11. Plan for the Best-Case Scenario
An easy way to stay positive is to reframe our approach and the questions we ask ourselves. At most companies, major emphasis is placed on, “what if it doesn’t work out?” While this is important, rarely do leaders and teams ask, “what if it does work out?” Those two questions approach work from two different angles — one pessimistic, and the other optimistic. – Antonio Neves, THINQACTION Inc.
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