Always have a positive mindset as a startup founder! Easier said than done, right?
As entrepreneurs, we know all too well that the journey of starting and running a business is consistently unpredictable — a roller coaster ride full of ups and downs. But hey, that’s the real deal; it’s what we signed up for!
The irony is that as entrepreneurs, we become the poster child of a positive attitude; it’s actually our starting line. It’s the only way to muster the courage to start a business!
But along the way, as we navigate uncharted waters of getting a business off the ground, that shiny, happy spark starts to dwindle and tends to dull down.
Time after time, top entrepreneurs have reminded us that the journey to entrepreneurial success is not very glamorous. Still, at the same time, they also emphatically reiterate that success is not as elusive as you think if you have the one thing that can pull you through it all – the right mindset.
As one of Canada’s most well-known entrepreneurs, Robert Herjavac, says – ‘mindset is everything
So what’s the hullabaloo about having a positive mindset?
Bad things happen in business; why are entrepreneurs expected to be positive about everything?
Well, that’s not exactly what a positive mindset is.
Psychologically speaking, a positive mindset is a cognitive process that produces feelings of optimism and hope; it’s a state of mind. And the reason that a positive mindset is so freely prescribed as a shortcut to success is that it just allows you to have an easier time with a tough situation than if you had a negative attitude.
So having a positive attitude doesn’t mean pretending challenges don’t exist or ignoring them completely (read: toxic positivity!); it simply means that you believe you can overcome the challenge by seeing the glass as half full.
Scientific Benefits of Positive Thinking
A lot of scientific research has been conducted on the impact of positive thinking on life; here are some eye-opening findings!
It’s a stress buster: Having confidence in one’s abilities to achieve leads to greater success and accomplishment. Studies show that viewing yourself more positively (i.e., having better self-worth, self-confidence, and self-esteem) can buffer the effects of stress. (Taylor & Brown, 1994)
It makes you feel in control: Believing that you have the skills and ability to handle current stressors helps in coping better! (Crum, Akinola, Martin, & Fath, 2017) A challenge mindset, where we believe control over stressors, is much more advantageous than a threat mindset, which conveys a lack of control.
Improves quality of life, literally: Scheier and Carver (1987) linked optimism to fewer physical ailments such as coughs, fatigue, muscle soreness, and dizziness. Optimists also seemed to recover faster from coronary artery bypass surgery!
Examples of Negative Self Talk vs Positive Thinking
Negative thoughts tend to put a lid on creativity; they downplay accomplishments and constantly stir up unpleasant emotions. It often starts with self-talk, the silent flow of thoughts within your mind. These inner dialogues can be either positive or negative. Some are based on logic and rationality, while misconceptions or biased expectations may influence others.
If your predominant self-talk leans towards negativity, it’s likely that your overall outlook on life veers towards pessimism. On the contrary, if your inner dialogue is mostly positive, it helps you embrace life with optimism, providing you with energy that can result in productivity.
Here are some very simple and practical ways to identify how you can switch your negative attitude to a positive attitude:
How can Positive Thinking impact your business?
Now that you’ve seen what positive thinking can sound like, here’s how it can completely change your entrepreneurial journey:
1. You learn perseverance: Start-up life can get tough, and giving up might cross your mind. But with a positive outlook, you become a pro at pushing through that negative thought and staying on track!
2. Nurture creative decision-making: When all the ‘can’t dos’ have been thrown at you, you have no option but to find a completely different solution! With a positive outlook, you’ll be motivated to get more creative to troubleshoot your challenges. And we all know pressure creates diamonds!
3. Become an opportunity magnet: Positivity attracts positivity! When you’re optimistic about your startup dreams, you keep your team, partners, and clients optimistic. This will help you find opportunities and inspire people who want to join your journey.
What habits can enable you to maintain a positive attitude more effortlessly?
1. Never forget your ‘Why’: Your “why” – your core values behind the business, your passion, your purpose– will always be there to fuel you. They remind you why you started on this journey in the first place! If you want to keep this handy, write down your ‘why’ in a diary or note on your phone and take a quick glance at it every time you feel like you’re down on your luck.
2. Foster a Positive Self-Image: Your belief in achieving goals is shaped by your self-image. A positive self-image empowers you, while a negative one leads to self-doubt. Remember everything you’re good at, your abilities, and the qualities that make you the right person to push this business and vision forward. Cultivating this positive self-image will help you think more positively and empower you to charge ahead.
3. Focus on your progress: Don’t allow yourself to step into the quicksand of comparison! Avoid unnecessary stress and dissatisfaction from constant comparison with other companies. Compete against your deadlines and goals!
4. Set Achievable Goals: Boost productivity by setting realistic goals for your business. Break them into manageable chunks, celebrate the milestones to build confidence within your team, and keep moving closer to your ultimate goal.
5. Prioritize “Me” Time: Dedicate time for yourself for self-care through activities that you like, going for walks, playing a sport, meditating, reading, karaoke, and spending time with friends! Avoid burnout by making self-care a daily priority.
6. Ask for help: Noone can do it all! Seeking assistance shows humility and leads to personal and professional growth. Build a strong support system around you and ask for help when needed. At BHive, we have mentors, the BHive team, and your peers who can help along your journey!
7. Embrace humour: Allow yourself to smile and laugh, even in challenging moments. Find humour in everyday situations- it can seriously reduce stress and lighten the mood!
8. Choose a positive company: Surround yourself with supportive and positive individuals who offer constructive advice and feedback. Avoid negative influences that may escalate stress and undermine your abilities.
Starting up in Canada?
We are BHive, a startup incubator located in Brampton, Ontario. We offer international startups the tools, resources, and space to establish – and quickly scale – their businesses in Canada and North America. To apply to our Global Entrepreneur Incubation Program, click here!