The Realistic Entrepreneur

There are many acts we perform as entrepreneurs that are very similar to walking on a tightrope. They require just the right amount of focus, nerve-control, and balance to keep from falling into the abyss. You are probably experiencing one or more right now. But here is one to which you may not have given much thought. How do we be an “all-in optimist” and yet maintain a perspective that is grounded in reality? Another way of putting it is, “how do we see reality through rose-colored glasses?”

Let’s face it, sometimes reality bites. We prefer not to look at the downside which may lead us to fantasize about the upside. Eventually our point of view becomes one of hope which should not be confused with optimism. Rick Page wrote a great book several years ago entitled, Hope Is Not a Strategy. He is right. I have tried to remove “hope” from my belief system. To me, the concept of hope conveys a sense of passivity. I am more interested in assertively acting in such a way that there is no room for hope in the equation.

If there is no hope and we must face reality, how can we possibly be optimistic? I believe that there is a way to be very optimistic about almost every situation while still understanding and living in reality. First, we must assess and face the downside head-on. This means that we need to take an objective look at the situation and in a cold and calculating fashion determine the facts – whatever they may be, good and bad. There is no room in this process for ignoring, denying, or rationalizing. It is critical that we inventory everything.

Next, we look at the facts and develop a complete understanding of the risks at hand. We must look at every risk as an opportunity to fail. Identifying the risks puts us in a position to figure out how we will mitigate those risks. So, let us review so far. We have recorded all the facts we know about a situation – good and bad. We have determined the risks and mitigated them. And now we want to stack the deck in our favor. We do this by creating a clear path to win. Think about it this way. Suppose you are the captain of a sailboat. You need to get from Point A to Point B. But you know that there are many rocks, shoals, severe currents, and other dangers lurking beneath the water. Before you set sail, you take charts, weather conditions, current sailor reports, and every other piece of information you can get your hands on. You then plot your course (creating a clear path to win) around the obstacles (mitigating the risks you identified from your fact-finding effort).

The last step in this process is that of holding a positive mindset. This should be relatively easy because you know the clear path that you need to take to win. And you have already planned for known and unknown challenges. The result is that you possess an air of confidence, for in your positive state of mind, you know without a doubt that you are going to sail the waters smoothly, calmly, and successfully. Now that’s optimism!

Becoming a Reality Superstar requires that we be optimistic. Optimism goes hand-in-hand with reality when we utilize a fact-based process to embrace the challenges that we experience. No longer do we need to hold onto hope, because we are supremely confident of our success.

This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.

Reality Superstar

There are many acts we perform as entrepreneurs that are very similar to walking on a tightrope. They require just the right amount of focus, nerve-control and balance to keep from falling into the abyss. You are probably experiencing one or more right now. But here’s one to which you may not have given much thought. How do we be an “all-in optimist” and yet maintain a perspective that is grounded in reality? Another way of putting it is, “how do we see reality through rose-colored glasses?”

Let’s face it; sometimes reality bites. We prefer not to look at the downside which may lead us to fantasize about the upside. Eventually our point of view becomes one of hope which should not be confused with optimism. Rick Page wrote a great book a number of years ago entitled, Hope Is Not a Strategy. He’s right. I’ve tried to remove “hope” from my belief system. To me, the concept of hope conveys a sense of passivity. I’m more interested in assertively taking action in such a way that there is no room for hope in the equation.

If there is no hope and we must face reality, how can we possibly be optimistic? I believe that there is a way to be very optimistic about almost every situation while still understanding and living in reality. First, we must assess and face the downside head-on. This means that we need to take an objective look at the situation and in a cold and calculating fashion determine the facts – whatever they may be, good and bad. There is no room in this process for ignoring, denying or rationalizing. It’s critical that we inventory everything.

Next, we look at the facts and develop a complete understanding of the risks at hand. We must look at every risk as an opportunity to fail. Identifying the risks puts us in a position to figure out how we’ll mitigate those risks. So let’s review so far. We’ve recorded all of the facts we know about a situation – good and bad. We’ve determined the risks and mitigated them. And now we want to stack the deck in our favor. We do this by creating a clear path to win. Think about it this way. Suppose you are the captain of a sailboat. You need to get from Point A to Point B. But you know that there are many rocks, shoals, severe currents and other dangers lurking beneath the water. Before you set sail, you take charts, weather conditions, current sailor reports, and every other piece of information you can get your hands on. You then plot your course (creating a clear path to win) around the obstacles (mitigating the risks you identified from your fact-finding effort).

The last step in this process is that of holding a positive mindset. This should be relatively easy because you know the clear path that you need to take to win. And you’ve already planned for known and unknown challenges. The end result is that you possess an air of confidence, for in your positive state of mind, you know without a doubt that you are going to sail the waters smoothly, calmly and successfully. Now that’s optimism!

Becoming a Reality Superstar requires that we be optimistic. Optimism goes hand-in-hand with reality when we utilize a fact-based process to embrace the challenges that we experience. No longer do we need to hold onto hope, because we are supremely confident of our success.

This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.

pigs-fly

Visually Unimpaired

What does success look like for you? Is it something material? Is it a relationship or something intangible? What are you doing to achieve this success? How strongly do you believe that you can achieve it? How badly do you want it? What would you say if I told you that you can absolutely stack the deck in your favor? If it sounds like I’m selling swampland think again.

Success is not so much an end result as it is a constant state of mind. When we see success as an end result we may have a tendency to believe that we are less than successful during the time we’re working toward the end result. Think about it this way. Suppose we want to close a really significant transaction and it takes a long time to do so. Perhaps there are a lot of blood, sweat and tears along the way. A natural human reaction might be, “I know this transaction is going to be hard and I’ll make large sacrifices to complete it. But in the end, all the pain and suffering will be worth it.” There is an implication in this statement that we won’t be successful until the transaction is closed. I submit that this does not have to be the case.

We can visualize our success from the outset. Visualization is another form of affirmation and you’ve heard me talk before about how powerful positive affirmations can be. So how does it work? Let’s use the example of a significant transaction described in the preceding paragraph. We begin by sitting quietly and formulating exactly what the desired end result will be. It’s important that we be as specific and detailed as possible. Where will the closing take place? Will other people be there? Is there a specific date and day of the week that this will occur? Once all the details are discovered we are then in a position to begin the visualization process.

“Today, Tuesday, July 22nd, begins with a clear blue sky and bright sunshine. A closing meeting with the buyer is scheduled for 11:00 AM. I am wearing my black pin-striped suit with a purple tie. As I walk into the boardroom I am greeted by James, my attorney; Todd, the attorney for the buyer; Susan, the buyer; Fred, the buyer’s banker; Linda, my banker, and John who is a consultant I work with. All parties have big smiles on their faces. A three-inch pile of documents is neatly stacked on the highly-polished mahogany conference table. We make short work of signing the documents at which point Fred hands me a cashier’s check in the amount of $2,500,000. I hold the check for a moment before sliding it across the table to Linda to deposit in my account. We all shake hands and then depart to the Capitol Grille for a celebratory luncheon.”

By visualizing our success in such vivid detail, we are setting the stage for it to become reality. Before we go to sleep at night, we allow this visualization to permeate our mind and being. When we awaken, we see the same vision. This becomes a pattern that allows us to celebrate our impending success every single day. We feel the joy of closing the transaction a multitude of times – to the point that it is a fait accompli. No longer do we have any doubts about whether it will happen for we’ve already seen it over and over. I challenge you to try this. You can’t stick a toe in the water. You must jump in cannonball-style. Do it with your clothes on! Visualize with abandon and the results will be spectacular.

We are destined to succeed if we believe without condition. And we can believe without condition when we see our success being repeated in our mind’s eye.

This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.

goggles