The Impact of Attitude
Your attitude makes all the difference in the world when charting your business path. Confidence, discipline, and a passion for learning will help you implement everything necessary for accelerating your business’ growth. For some of you, this may relate to launching your business.
I have yet to meet anyone who began her business or even took her first steps with a less-than-positive attitude. In fact, most entrepreneurs are downright optimistic. Now, moving forward, you may find yourself developing negative attitudes towards customers, competitors, co-workers or board members. I advise you to always remember your attitude will make or break your business. Bad attitudes have the ability to destroy companies.
Attitude is a Behavior
Attitude is how you view your world and behave towards people, things, situations and challenges. Every morning when you wake up, you choose what kind of attitude you’ll carry with you throughout the entire day. Your attitude impacts how your mind relates to challenges and growth opportunities. When faced with problems, a positive attitude is instrumental towards finding ways to solve them and transform them into opportunities.
For better or for worse, your attitude is contagious and makes all the difference in how others perceive and respond to you. People will ask themselves: do they want to invest in you and your business? If so, would they prefer to with you up-close-and-personal, or from a distance? On a frequent basis, or a limited or minimal timespan? Your attitude will determine the answer to all these questions.
It’s a small wonder, then, that so many people will insist that a positive attitude will get you everything you want. In reality though, a good attitude by itself is just one leg of the table. Combining an optimistic, positive outlook with talent, perseverance, and determination does not guarantee success will come.
Challenging Times Will Stretch Your Positivity to its Limits
It is at this very breaking point that your future will be determined. The first two examples I want to give you are about two very talented and determined aspiring entrepreneurs. These two young women found themselves facing unexpected obstacles. When faced with their respective challenges they took responsibility for their attitudes. Both girls decided their decisions were good for them at the time. You may or may not agree with what they did, and you may have done things differently. However, their decisions led each of them on paths they had not considered originally.
Aspiring Founder of a Website Design Firm
Mandy Martin wanted to start a website design business. Her goal was to service non-profits and social entrepreneurs. Mandy had immense talent for web design and a great attitude that left her excited to start putting her business plan together. In her market research, Mandy learned her growth projections and financial expectations were not very realistic. In fact, the competition in the area where Mandy wanted to locate is very intense – more so than she had originally considered.
It would take more money than Mandy had budgeted to attract and build a customer base. The business would not break even as quickly as she would like. In Mandy’s mind, there were too many obstacles to launch the business at that time. Nonetheless, she kept a good attitude while looking at other opportunities she had uncovered during her market research. Mandy Martin decided it would be better to work for someone else until she has acquired the finances and resources to launch her own business. One of those resources is time. Mandy would need time to attract and build a good client base while spending time and money on other areas of the business.
During her research, Mandy had found design firms that serviced her ideal clients, non-profits and social entrepreneurs. Mandy’s enthusiastic attitude about designing websites for her target market assisted her with finding a full-time position for these firms. Mandy’s challenges became opportunities to use her talents to work with non-profits and social enterprises. Mandy knew launching her own web site design firm was in her future once the time, finances, and location fit together.
What might have happened if Mandy Martin had taken on a negative, depressed attitude early on in her research? If it happened to you, what would you do?
Aspiring Fashion Designer
Andrea Adams wanted to start a fashion design business. She was very talented, had an exceptional portfolio of apparel designs and had even written a business plan. Andrea had a very upbeat and positive attitude. However, she did not have basic apparel construction skills. More specifically, Andrea did not know how to sew and fit patterns. One option for Andrea would’ve been to find experienced people to work with her, and fill in those skills she lacked. She would’ve needed additional money to pay those she hired.
A positive, confident attitude motivates people to develop useful skills, persevere long enough to gain experience, and work diligently. In the case of my friend Andrea Adams, how she responded to a need for these skills would determine her future, even when she had others with the skills working for her. Another obvious solution would’ve been for her to enroll in a basic sewing class and a pattern-making course.
Were there other opportunities and options Andrea might have taken, even if that meant delaying her own fashion design firm? Yes, for example:
- Enroll in a fashion design and merchandising program through an adult education-continuing school. Many design schools offer continuing education programs at night and on weekends.
- Show her portfolio to an established apparel design firm and see if they will hire her as a one of their designers. She would need to accept that whatever she designs for them is property of the company, but this type of job will help her learn about the design process and how to develop a rapport with others in her field.
- Take on a partner who has the technical skills and work out an agreement with job responsibilities and commitments.
What other choices did Andrea Adams have, with respect to launching her business? If Andrea had decided to hold off on launching her business, what else might she have done?
Optimism alone does not equal success. There will be adverse situations in your life that are not a result of your attitude or actions. The best attitude in the world will not stop natural disasters or an economic recession from hitting you. Your business partners or associates may also make decisions beyond your control. Decisions which are not a result of your attitude.
Never think that you are the cause of challenges or adversity brought on by someone else’s actions or decisions. But having a positive attitude, being confident, believing in your own success and that of your business will always be a definite advantage towards working your way through these dilemmas. No matter what, you can still control your attitude and how you handle the situation. You need to be realistic in looking at the situation and think of the different ways to change its impact on your life and that of your business.