This post is brought to you by Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation.com.
When it comes to running a startup, the reality of the business more often than not outweighs the expectations. Conventional wisdom is that entrepreneurs shouldn’t expect to immediately pull the same salary running a business that they did while working for another company. During your first, and probably your second, year of business, most of what you earn is going to be invested right back into the company. On a financial level, that can be really disappointing, especially if you left a particularly well-compensated position to run your own business. But if you let pessimism take hold, it can have a very real, and very dire, impact on your startup – an impact that can easily be avoided if you think positively.
Optimists Make Better Leaders
To lead, you need to be enthusiastic. To be enthusiastic, you need to be optimistic. No one wants to work for the sad sack that spends the day mired in pessimism and regret. Your employees are going to mirror your energy, and if you aren’t optimistic about your company, they won’t be either. In fact, they may feel like it isn’t really worth working at all since the business is doomed anyway, creating a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Even if your startup salary is a bit lower than you’d like, you should still stay confident and happy – you are running your own company and get to be your own boss! Enjoy yourself, and look for the light even when it gets dark.
Optimists Cope with Pressure
Running a business involves solving a lot of problems. How are you going to turn a profit? How are you going to find new customers? What parts of your business should you invest in? Pay close attention and put in some thought when it comes to answering these questions. If you take a misstep, even once, your brief stumble could become a full-on free fall off the face of a cliff. That puts a lot of pressure on you, but if you remain optimistic, you can adapt and adjust to any situation because you earnestly believe things will turn out okay. Perseverance is one of the very best ways to handle the stress of running your own business. Meet your problems head on, persevere through the rocky patches, and savor the good times when you can.
Optimists See Opportunity
You started your business because you saw an opportunity. Many of you reading may have, in fact, started your business in the middle of a recession, something most people wouldn’t try. Success as an entrepreneur is dependent on the ability to see the broader picture, and pick up on subtle cues and hints as to where a market is headed. If doom and gloom cloud your sight, you’ll convince yourself that your vision is faulty and thus never see any opportunity.
Now don’t get me wrong – irrational optimism is as useless as irrational pessimism. But running a successful startup requires you to believe in the sustainability of your company. The mere act of leaving a salaried job to chase a dream requires an optimistic outlook, so it is up to you to cling to it and continue to let it guide you. Remember to have faith in yourself, and in your business – if you don’t, no one else will either.
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @deborahsweeney and @mycorporation.