Earl G. Graves Jr., President & CEO of Black Enterprise
It’s the beginning of yet another year, and I’m sure a good number of you have been engaged in that annual ritual of making resolutions. You’re psyched that this year you’ll absolutely change your life for the better—whether shedding unwanted pounds, spending quality time with loved ones, or learning a new language by summer. Well, not to burst your bubble, but studies show that less than a quarter of us succeed in turning over a new leaf.
So scrap that list of empty promises. The sure-fire way to achieve all your objectives is actually quite simple: This year commit to developing a positive attitude. Despite these uncertain times, stop caving into defeatism before even entering the arena. Bring energy and brilliance to each and every situation instead of allowing your life to be consumed by doubt and darkness. Remember the lyrics to that old ditty: Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative.
I recently talked with a good friend and business associate regarding how too many of our entrepreneurial and executive colleagues seem willing to put their livelihoods in the hands of others, accepting whatever fate is dealt them, and resigning themselves to the inevitability of defeat. To me, failure is never an option.
Let me set the record straight: Just because I’m a dyed-in-the-wool optimist doesn’t mean I’m a Pollyanna wearing rose-colored glasses. I choose to surround myself with a network of positive people and admire those individuals who seek out possibilities and forge ahead without excuses. I take great pride in believing I’m equipped with everything I need—drive, intellect, health—to maximize personal and professional success. I thank God every morning for another chance to make today better than yesterday.
Over the years, I have chosen to adopt the mental attitude of a champion excited to snag opportunities from challenges, fully confident I have the God-given abilities to eventually achieve my goals. You must develop this level of confidence whether you run a business, seek employment, or invest in today’s volatile market.
As an entrepreneur, being positive will allow you to realize greater productivity and profitability. I have never met a successful organization with a downbeat CEO at its helm. Enthusiasm is infectious and energizing. People are motivated by leaders who possess a vision for a better tomorrow.
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