Looking at the bright side of things is more than a matter of natural inclination.
Are you hungry? Does your head hurt? The answers probably just rolled off your tongue (unless you’re asleep). But, what if you were asked what kind of attitude you bring into work and into the wider spectrum of your life every day? Most people have to think about it and a lot of us walk around without much thought about the attitudes we adopt and use, even though there are thousands of clichés about positive attitudes “meaning everything”. Well, they do.
So as you approach things as mundane as taking the dog out in the rain you can grumble OR you can pet the little guy for an endorphin rush (if you don’t want to sing) – or, if a client walks into your business while you are knee-deep in accounting, you can put off a sense that you were interrupted OR beam a welcoming smile their way and receive one in return. There are millions of examples of how the right attitude can be the difference between plummeting to a crash or growing wings and soaring over problems into the place where solutions reside. In fact, attitude is one of few things we can actually control. So, as you know if you are hungry or if you are feeling a headache coming on, you should also be acutely aware of your attitude so you can center it to a place so positive it serves you and the world around you for the better.
If you aren’t a sourpuss and you leap from bed with a giant “P” for positive emblem upon your chest each day, you are ahead of the game. Each day, the rest of us must direct our consciousness to our attitudes. In every moment, we have a choice to take our infamous “inner voice” and give it a new script, one that is laced with the sun, rainbows, ice cream, money (or whatever else revs your engine), while ditching the idea that the sun is melting our ice cream and it’s too expensive!
A positive attitude isn’t necessarily something we are all born with, but turning our minds away from self-pity, defeat and negativity and towards motivation, humor and encouragement is a talent that can be purposely developed. It’s actually a superpower and you have it, the decision to be positive in all things. This is different from being delusional in the sense that problems don’t exist. For instance, we all encounter heartache, financial challenges and difficult people, but you can be positive that your “swag” exists in a way bigger than any problem can ever drag down for long. The trick is the realization that while none of us can control much, we can control our attitudes in response to situations and come out on top.
“Positivity builds and is contagious in a good way. Negativity is destructive. Being positive isn’t about being false. It’s about being real, but ending with a good message.” – Greg Duffey, owner of Minuteman Press in Norwalk, CT
Gary Nowak is the Ohio Regional Vice President for Minuteman Press International and he has had the good fortune of greeting and assisting legions of the most positive entrepreneurs ever, many making award-winning strides from choice franchise opportunities. He has spent many years putting his full support behind each challenge and helping to toss the confetti when milestone sales goals are reached and surpassed among the community of franchisees within his region. Also, after lengthy, satisfying and lucrative careers, when it comes time to help someone else buy a printing business, Gary is there to help make sure the positive attitude that ensured award-winning growth continues to serve franchise owners who are content to avail themselves of just the right exit strategy to suit their needs and keep their lives happy and healthy in retirement.
Attitude is a tone that affects the entire life-cycle of entrepreneurship. Gary says, “If you have a negative attitude, you are guaranteed to fail. Thinking positively allows you to put your best energy forward, and every single person you interact with throughout the day will pick up on that. This is how relationships are built– and how you’ll ensure repeat business and referrals.”
“People prefer to be around those with good attitudes. A positive attitude helps people achieve things they otherwise would not.” –Erik Schwartz, owner of Minuteman Press in Turnersville, NJ
We have been conditioned towards “glass half full” or…not, since childhood. The kid who watches the space shuttle take off for the stars and is inspired to work for NASA, might have been told, “You’re not good enough in math. Oh…and the Challenger blew up. Try writing.” That kid may not have breached the stratosphere as an astronaut, but can decide to eliminate or reprogram negative patterns of thought once that kid, now an adult, gains the awareness that negative input happens in life but it doesn’t need to impact his or her attitude; it doesn’t have to correlate to our truth and therefore can be dismissed.
Entrepreneurs will experience defeats of varying kinds. It’s part of the path they have selected to break away from the rat race and find success, which never comes without challenges. There is good news, (in an article about positivity, of course there is…) – Numerous studies tell us that positive attitudes will help you develop resilience, the ability to bounce back in a way negative attitudes do not allow.
“Positive emotions help speed recovery from negative emotions, even if the positive thinking is self-generated,” according to Barbara Fredrickson, psychology professor and author. That smacks of “fake it ’til you make it”, but no matter how you define it, after you accept the facts of a situation, a conscious choice to turn towards the bright side of things or towards the solutions (instead of wallowing in panic, anger or despair) actually increases your chances of success in all things.
Greg Duffey and his partner Joe Brenneis made the bold decision to buy a printing business through B2B services industry leader Minuteman Press International after Joe was laid off from the corporation at which they were both employed. Each man was ready to take their expertise in the printing industry as well as their indomitable spirits into a new adventure, convinced that the print business for sale at the time was ideal, but they knew they couldn’t bring any negative energy (like resentment) forward into their new roles as owners of their own business. Greg tells us that we are going to make an impression whether we put effort into it or not, so it is wise to identify your attitude and turn it around if you realize you’re being a dull drag instead of being a bright force to be reckoned with, as the saying goes.
In order to move up to a new level of success, Greg and Joe led with optimism and crushed any notion that leaving the drudgery of a typical job would land them with a Minuteman Press ripoff result. The contrary turned out to be true. They command an enormously successful digital print, design and marketing franchise and maintaining a positive attitude was an absolute necessity. As Greg says, “If you don’t put your best foot forward, you will put your worst foot forward. Impression is key in any business and in life in general. It can be tough to do, but we need to stop at times and try to think objectively about ourselves, whether it be in regards to our families, friends or business. How do we want to be perceived? If I were on the other side of the door, what would I like to see when I enter? What would I do if it were me in that situation?”
Greg Duffey tells us 3 things that reveal what being positive is all about:
1. Being positive is one of the most crucial things we can offer our business and families. It overlooks so many shortcomings, and so many faults.
2. Being positive will empower your employees to do better and encourage your clients about having you as a business partner.
3. Being positive is not about displaying false happiness. It is about taking the time to listen to others, saying please and thank you. It’s about acknowledging others and being attentive. This is definitely an attitude that needs to be practiced even when we least feel like doing it, much like a work out regiment or practicing an instrument. It needs to be done daily so that it will become stronger and flow more easily.
Greg assures, “Once this positive attitude is expressed and lived, success in family and success in business will be sure to follow.”
Your mind is a tool that can be used productively or wastefully and your self-talk has a lot to do with which way you’re going to go because your attitude, for better or worse, will follow. Bummers happen. Celebrations happen. How you present yourself to both, whether you are pumped up or deflated, will determine your peace and your success, personally and professionally.
The ability to control your attitude from the moment your eyes open in the morning is your superpower, plain and simple. Sure, there are many clichés associated with “staying positive” (the sun will come out tomorrow, etc.), but don’t dismiss them as such. Sometimes clichés exist because they are carrying essential truths, so deciding that “the glass is half full” strengthens your resolve, ignites goodwill and makes the cup of your inner peace overflow into every encounter you might have.
Ultimately, while attitude is a mindset with emotional strings attached, remaining positive in life and as a business owner – ALWAYS – is simply and purely the logical thing to do.
About Minuteman Press International
Minuteman Press International is a business service franchise that is rated #1 in category by Entrepreneur for 13 years in a row and 24 times overall, including 2016. We are the modern version of the printing industry, providing high quality products and services for businesses that go way beyond just ink on paper. Today our stores provide a full suite of branding and marketing solutions and produce promotional products, custom apparel, direct mail advertising, large format printing (banners and signs), and much more.