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Is Your Optimism Getting in the Way of Your Success?

Optimistic entrepreneurs can be great for motivation and helping create an office environment that is upbeat and encouraging. However, being too optimistic can often have negative effects on your business. When it comes time to raise funds, entrepreneurs must often tell stories to ensure the company has a dazzling public image. In the midst of all this optimism, it sometimes becomes hard to see the realistic and sometimes not-so-dazzling parts of your business.

A study by Keith Hmieleski and Robert Baron surveyed 209 entrepreneurs and found there is actually a negative correlation in the success of new businesses to how optimistic the founders were about said venture. Basically, entrepreneurs shouldn't go into a new project with too many high expectations. That doesn't mean, however, that you should be pessimistic. Simply find the balance so you don't lose hold on reality.

Walter Chen of Entrepreneur points out the wise words of Admiral James Stockdale, who was a leader and prisoner of war in Vietnam:

"This is a very important lesson. you must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end -- which you can never afford to lose -- with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be."

The unfortunate truth is that optimism can often blind us to seeing the truth in front of us, which can lead an entrepreneur to make foolish decisions. Know both the good and bad sides of your business to help keep your head on right, without losing your hope for a successful company.

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(Photo credit: kalyan02/Flickr)

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