The Glass is Half Full, Because the Other Half is on My PantsNovember 11th, 2009 | Humor,Online & Small Business Resources,Small Business,Uncategorized | 7 Comments »
Optimism. That’s the number one characteristic of most entrepreneurs. Is it raining today? No worries, because I look great in my raincoat. No food at the party? Not a problem, people just come for the beer. The economy is on the verge of the second Great Depression? Hmmm…I guess, no worries, because I look great in my raincoat.
What made me think about the preponderance of sunshine in most entrepenuers’ outlooks? Well, as usual, it began with a margarita (actually 2 and 1/2 margaritas). My wife and I were having lunch at Rosa Mexicano. And as the saying goes, “When in Rosa, order at least three pomegranate margaritas.” It could have been the humidity, or the sheer weight of the glass, but as I gripped the drink and raised it to my mouth, it just fell into my lap. I could have quit, but I started scooping the pooled liquid back into the glass (see above drink picture and realize most of that was sitting on my jeans prior to being salvaged).
So, how does this relate to small business and optimism? I guess it’s a bit tenuous, but making the best of whatever the economy or marketplace throws you (or what you throw on yourself) appears to be a cornerstone for successful entrepreneurs.
The University of Chicago Graduate School of Business did a thorough study on optimism as it relates to an investment stnadard for start-ups. The outcome of the study is not shocking (but when you have a GSB study to back you up, you sound more impressive). The overall gist was that entrepeneurs generally are overally optimistic in their assessment of their own businesses. This has both good and bad implications for investors in these start-ups. The Bad: optimism makes it difficult for the founders to truly asses market acceptance and overal value of the business. The Good: Because of their optimism, most founders will work the required nights and weekends to make sure the business is successful. Of course, the study hedges the overall take-away by claiming that “realistic” entrepeneurs will have a better ability to value the business.
So, is optimism a curse or a blessing? And did I actually drink the salvaged margarita?