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Entrepreneurs need a positive mental attitude

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As a so called serial entrepreneur, and having multiple friends and colleagues who would wear the same badge, although we have many differences, we have one thing in common and that is we are optimists, constantly so even in the face of hugely contradictory evidence we keep as Winston Churchill termed “buggering on”.

This PMA could also be termed resilience and stamina, or even sheer naivety and bloody mindedness, but whatever it is that runs through our veins is certainly not just blood. For the most part I wake up positive and believe things will happen in a favourable manner rather unfavourable.

Of course I have blue days and suffer from self-doubt on a regular basis, but the difference is the ability to bounce back from so called failures relatively quickly. In fact, the word failure is one I am even very averse to using.

After all, what is failure? Is it not really just another step towards a positive outcome? Certainly this is something that James Dyson, the famous inventor, would confirm. He had hundreds of setbacks on his journey but never gave up.

The maintenance of this resilient attitude is no easy task, particularly when you are surrounded by naysayers as often we are.

Those people who always will assume a new initiative won’t work no matter what the evidence to the contrary, and when this situation persists, even the most positive of people can feel pulled down to despair levels and even the most confident of individuals often has had a fairly fine veneer of protection that can be reduced by persistent negativity.

Us half glass full people all develop our own techniques of dealing with this, one friend goes for a run, another goes to the gym and yet another might go and splurge on a personal shopping trip.

My approach is not a regulated process but can include something as simple as a personal pep talk in front of the mirror in the ladies and also the constant affirmation that will not matter in 12 months’ time, let alone 100 years. 

It does definitely help to talk to other positive people about the issues they have dealt with – it’s as simple as well if someone else has dealt with it. Why can’t you?

Jo Haigh is head of FDS corporate finance and the author of The Keys to the Boardroom – How to Get There and How to Stay There.

Related: Five skills you need to become a strong leader

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