If the business world was a Disney film, Olaf (from Frozen), Happy (from Snow White), Russell the Boy Scout (from Up), Giselle (from Enchanted), and Baloo (from The Jungle Book) would be much more successful than Iago (from Aladdin), Grumpy (from Snow White) or Phil the Faun (from Hercules).
Why? Because a happy and optimistic attitude opens doors. It draws people to you. It provides motivation, fortitude, and resilience. And resilience is one of the most important personality traits for any leader of a growing business.
Company growth is not linear. There will be many obstacles to overcome; even the most successful company leaders strike out occasionally. But optimists keep going; they learn from their mistakes, so that failures do not drag the company down.
Many research studies point out that optimism has a real impact on the ultimate success or failure of a growing business. Growing a small to medium-sized business (SMB) is not a small venture. The most optimistic executives and leaders stay on target. They stick to their strategy and always have their eyes on the ultimate prize. While these entrepreneurs are often more stressed than other types of workers (34% to 30%, respectively), their passion offsets some of the more negative aspects of stress.
In addition, optimism seems to be extremely profitable. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, in a recent study, found that overly optimistic business leaders are not looked at with more skepticism by bankers (or those who could fund their growth). On the contrary, bankers are actually more likely to approve loan applications to those they viewed as being more enthusiastic and optimistic.
In a recent survey of the Inc. 5000 (some of the fastest growing companies in America), almost 90 percent of respondents reported being “very optimistic about their business prospects.” Here is what they have planned for the next couple of months:
What causes this sunny outlook? Well, entrepreneurs are learners and report being extremely creatively fulfilled. A recent Gallup study showed that almost three-quarters (71 percent) of entrepreneurs reported having learned something interesting the day before; 89 percent had enjoyed their previous workday.
Pessimism is destructive; it does not promote growth. Optimism is a door opener, and it can feed upon itself. Therefore, surround yourself with positivity. If you’re hiring, look for people who have a sunny disposition and are focused on a bright future. These are the people you want working for your company.