A Positive Attitude Is Critical for Small Business Success

I travel for business every week.

Flight delays and cancellations are a fact of life, so I’ve learned to roll with the punches.

But many travelers aren’t so tolerant.

Here’s a case-in-point: A few weeks ago, I was on a plane that was called back to the gate and was ultimately cancelled because of mechanical problems.

The man seated next to me went ballistic when the pilot made the announcement. He screamed at the flight attendant who had absolutely no control over the situation. His face turned bright red and he was sweating profusely. I thought he was going to have a heart attack.

The reality of the situation was that it didn’t matter who he yelled at, the situation wasn’t going to change. What a waste of energy!

The cancellation was an inconvenience for me — no doubt about it. But not nearly as much of a problem as taking off in a malfunctioning plane. I had no desire to do that.

Attitude makes all the difference

Life throws us curve balls. How we deal with them can make all the difference in the world.

That’s particularly true when you’re building a business. It would be great if everything worked perfectly, but we all know that’s never the case. The journey is fraught with difficult challenges, and sometimes they make you so angry and frustrated that you want to throw in the towel.

Successful business owners, however, don’t focus on the negative. Instead, they put their energy into moving their business forward.

When things go wrong, you have a choice: You can let it defeat you, or you can learn from the experience and rise above it. As Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” Your attitude makes the difference.

So how’s your attitude?

Are you thinking positively about your business? March is National Optimism Month. It may be time for a little attitude adjustment in your business.

No doubt things have been and are tough for all of us in small business. But we’re still standing!

If you’ve been looking at your business as the glass half empty — focusing on the things you don’t have — stop.

A pessimistic attitude projects to your clients and your employees too. It hurts your sales, your company morale and productivity, and it’s most likely affecting your bottom line as well.

It’s much harder to remain optimistic when things are tough. But often, our most difficult moments turn out to be blessings in disguise. Plus, a positive attitude will reduce your stress, keep you healthier, and enhance your productivity — all important for business success.

The next time you find negativity creeping into your business, try the following:

1. Choose to be positive. Find a way to put a positive spin on what just happened. Just like my airplane story. A cancelled flight interfered with my business plans, but it was out of my control.

2. Put it in perspective. I always tell myself, “Okay. No one died so it could be worse.”

3. Move quickly to action. Don’t dwell on the situation. Analyze and learn from it, then quickly build your action plan to move forward. Remember: You can’t change yesterday, but you can create the future.

4. Get rid of the toxic people. If you’ve surrounded yourself with people who thrive on drama and trauma, extract them from your business. They can suck the life out of you and your business.

5. Celebrate your successes. Remind yourself of all the good things in your business and your life. Some of the most successful people in the world have faced tremendous adversity and bounced back stronger than ever.

I know it’s easier said than done to keep a positive attitude, but try it and you may find a real impact on your business.

How’s your attitude? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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