Cautious Optimism: 17 Secrets to Success in a Broken World (Pt.3)

This is Part 3 in a series … to read Part 1 click here.  To read Part 2 click here.

To recap from the previous articles, the first ten Secrets to Success in a Broken World are as follows:

1.  You are going to make mistakes, but don’t worry about it.
2.  Fear of failure is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
3.  Look to the future.
4.  Remain healthy and avoid fatigue.
5.  Never give up on your idea.
6.  Optimism, enthusiasm and energy are your allies.
7.  To be powerful, optimism must be rugged, resilient and proclaimed from the rooftops.
8.  Cultivate a “You Can Do It” attitude.
9.  Don’t get discouraged, even when your upward climb seems painful and difficult.
10.  Optimism is the foundation of courage and true progress.

Here are the last of the 17 Secrets to Success in a Broken World

Creativity and Entrepreneurial Spirit11.  Optimism will drive your creativity and embolden your entrepreneurial spirit.

William Harrison “Bill” Frist, is an American physician, businessman, and politician. He began his career as an heir and major stockholder to the for-profit hospital chain, Hospital Corporation of America. He later served two terms as a Republican United States Senator representing Tennessee.  He was the Republican Majority Leader from 2003 until his retirement in 2007.  He had much to say about our country and its inherent optimism.  He was once quoted as saying, “We are a strong, robust, and prosperous nation. Optimism is the essence of our success.  It drives our creativity and emboldens our entrepreneurial spirit. It is what makes us invest in the future and accomplish our highest aims.”

The United States of America is an entrepreneurial nation — is and always has been.

Here ideas flourish, businesses grow, innovation is paramount, and ultimately lives are changed by men and women with vision.

America’s legacy to you and your business is its inherent optimism — sometimes strained by economics, but never defeated.

Here you are free to follow your dreams, indulge your creativity and engage completely in the entrepreneurial adventure.

As you invest in your future, while reaching out to your business contemporaries, remember that you are creating a better world for your family and fellow citizens.

Commitment12.  Cultivate optimism by committing yourself to a cause, a plan or a value system.

Robert Conroy is an author of alternate history novels. He is retired from automotive management, and currently teaches business and economic history at a local college.  He lives in suburban Detroit.  He, like the automotive city he calls home, understands the importance of commitment during the search for optimism.  He once wrote, “Cultivate optimism by committing yourself to a cause, a plan or a value system. You’ll feel that you are growing in a meaningful direction which will help you rise above day-to-day setbacks.”

Detroit, and the auto industry generally, has had more than its share of setbacks.  Commitment has been the benchmark of their painstaking march back to profitability and international recognition.

Similarly, you will find that by committing yourself to your business, its plans for the future and the welfare of its employees, the result will be a shared optimism that grim circumstances cannot dissolve.

Experience13.  Optimism, with some experience behind it, is much more energizing than plain old experience.

Twyla Tharp is an American dancer and choreographer, who lives and works in New York City.  In 1965, she formed her own company, which performed original works around the world.  Tharp has written three books, including The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It, which has been translated into Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Korean, Thai and Japanese.

Optimism without experience is ineffectual, but experience without optimism is a total waste of time.  Experience can be recruited, but optimism must spring from the heart of the entrepreneur.  Both of these characteristics are crucial to ongoing business success.

Profits are built upon a foundation of five knowledge and experience disciplines:  Finance, income, operations, technology and product.  If you cannot personally supply these skills in abundance, hire them or engage them — but don’t ignore them.   Surround yourself with experts in each field, infect them with your optimism, and then stand back.  Unbridled success is on its way.

Stand Out14. You can stand out:  Be aware, recognize solutions, believe difficulties can be overcome, accentuate the positive, and expect the best.

William Arthur Ward is the author of Fountains of Faith, and is one of America’s most quoted writers of inspirational maxims.  His biography appears in Who’s Who in American Education, Who’s Who in Public Relations, and Who’s Who in the South and Southwest.  He once said, “Deep optimism is being aware of problems, but recognizing the solution; knowing about difficulties, but believing they can be overcome; seeing the negative, but accentuating the positive; being exposed to the worst, but expecting the best; having reason to complain, but preferring to smile.”

To be successful, especially in today’s information avalanche, you must stand out.

Being part of the masses may seem secure, but it is seldom profitable.

As an entrepreneur, you must strive to be the best of the best.  Never settle for mediocrity.

Buy Out Your Competition15. Buy out your competition … you can do it.

Robert G. Allen, is a Canadian-American financial writer.  In 1974, by his own account, he began making small real estate investments and had amassed a multi-million dollar net worth in just a few years. He is the author of several personal finance books including: Nothing Down, Creating Wealth, Multiple Streams of Income, as well as co-authoring bestsellers Cracking the Millionaire Code and The One Minute Millionaire: The Enlightened Way to Wealth. He is also the author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul franchise.  But one of his most telling comments was, “Many an optimist has become rich by buying out a pessimist.”

Optimism, experience and very hard work, will give you the opportunity one day to buy out your competition.  Sound crazy?  Many companies have done it.

We have all heard the expression, “If you can’t lick em, join em”, but what’s wrong with its corollary, “If you can’t lick em, have them join you?”   You can expand your reach, multiply your effectiveness, solidify your profits, and diversify your business.  All this while quadrupling your market capitalization and stock price.

As long as we are being optimistic, why not shoot for the moon?  An entrepreneur’s reach should always exceed his grasp.

Business Blessings16. Reflect on your present blessings, not on your past misfortunes.

Charles Dickens was the most popular English novelist of the Victorian era, and he remains popular, responsible for some of English literature’s most iconic characters.  He might not seem too relevant in today’s business world, but his advice seems appropriate to this discussion.  He suggested, “Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many – not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”

All of us have many blessings, count them.  Many of us have past misfortunes, forget about them.

We live free without fighting for it.  We have opportunity without sacrificing for it.  We have God-given skill without deserving it.  What a glorious future lies behind every sunrise.

Reflect on these blessings daily, be thankful for them and optimism will naturally follow.

Sunshine17. Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow.

Helen Keller was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. The story of how Keller’s teacher, Anne Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become widely known through the dramatic depictions of the play and film The Miracle Worker.  She once said, “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence. Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow.”

Who better to help us see the right path, than someone who was blind but had better insight than any one us.

In much the same way as a Sunflower mysteriously faces the sun, you must condition yourself to turn towards the source of positives in your business life.

Be relentless and determined.

You cannot be discouraged if you concentrate on the many things you have done right, while disposing of the things you have done wrong.

You don’t need to ignore your mistakes, just learn from them and press on.  In short, be cautiously optimistic.


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Have a question? Or just want to chat about your business? Simply call the number below. During normal business hours (8 AM – 5 PM Scottsdale, Arizona time) it is my direct line. Otherwise, just leave a message. If you would prefer to exchange email I would love to here from you. Just email michaelstewart@jerichotechnology.com or click the email badge below. I promise I will get back to you within 24 hours.

Michael R.H. Stewart, President, Jericho Technology, Inc.

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About Michael R.H. Stewart
"Give me faith, freedom, resources, and a little time ... and I will make things happen that matter." Michael R.H. Stewart is a respected Internet executive with broad experience in all aspects of online business, with an emphasis given to social networking development, and company management. He has over 131,000 engaged Twitter followers. He enjoys 22 years of direct experience with corporate, entrepreneurial, governmental and non-profit clients, having advised them on all aspects of their online initiatives. Prior to his Internet career, he served as a Senior Vice President of AIG Marketing, doing business in 135 foreign countries as well as the United States. Stewart is an experienced public speaker and communicator, with worldwide experience; an expert on corporate branding; an accomplished writer, a creative thinker and problem solver.

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One Response to “Cautious Optimism: 17 Secrets to Success in a Broken World (Pt.3)”
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