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Entrepreneurship and Optimism

Chris Gale, CEO of Latin Resources

“As an entrepreneur, you have to be an eternal optimist!”

Jason Feifer, editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur magazine

"Entrepreneurs make me optimistic. They already have many of the mental tools required to get through this. They already know that change is inevitable, and that old plans have to be scrapped, and that today's successes do not guarantee tomorrow's survival. That's why, as soon as this crisis started, they began focusing on solutions—and I believe they'll build a better world as a result."

Nick Stanley, CEO of Runway

"It’s been my experience that optimism is the single-most-important characteristic of the successful entrepreneur. It’s a characteristic that you look for in the toughest of times.”

Richard Branson, Entrepreneur

“Those swimming in a glass half empty are more likely to drown than those swimming in a glass half full. I’m an incurable optimist, and I like it that way. It’s enabled me to remain hopeful and future-focused. Attitude is everything in life and in business.”

Richard Branson, Entrepreneur

"Entrepreneurs are people who see obstacles as opportunities and refuse to accept that problems cannot be solved. We are natural optimists, and we believe that bringing people together to tackle seemingly intractable challenges can change the world."

Andrew Reid, CEO of Rival Technologies

“As an entrepreneur, I hold an abundant and optimistic view of technology.”

Caterina Fake, Founder of Flickr

"The most successful entrepreneurs I know are optimistic. It’s part of the job description.”

Charlie Mullins, Pimlico Plumbers

"In my experience, the best entrepreneurs are optimistic realists. Their desire for business success drives them on and, even in the darkest of times, they summon up all their positivity and creativity to keep things going."

T. Boone Pickins, American Entrepreneur

"A good plan and hard work helped me get there, but neither are possible without healthy optimism. So, be the eternal optimist."

Susan Bibby

“As a farmer and budding entrepreneur, for me optimism lies in investing new innovative renewable technologies in production of clean green environmentally sustainable foods, so that as a country we are self-sufficient. I'm talking about food security. Following years of challenge and markets that are heavily influenced by overseas players I believe Australia has an optimistic future if they begin to start with looking after their own first and with this they showcase inexpensive innovative food production technologies for our own populations rather than selling our commodities continually overseas.”

Michelle Worthington, Author

"I am optimistic when I see creative entrepreneurs. People with creative minds are valued in a whole range of businesses as this can translate into fantastic writing skills, unique concepts and new, strategic and efficient ways of doing things. Many skills can be learnt over time, but it is exceedingly difficult to teach creativity. Our society is learning to value an imaginative, creative thinker."

Babette Bensoussan, CEO, The MindShifts Group

"I believe that every inventor and entrepreneur is an optimist. When you look around the world today and see all the things that are happening to create better lives, it is outstanding - poverty is declining globally, child mortality globally is also declining, and literacy is rising. We are an ingenious race. I also believe people are basically good and want only two things in life - to love and be loved. All the rest is peripheral. If leaders understand that, then imagine what they can achieve with compassion, caring and thoughtfulness.”

Dr Andreas Kappes and Dr Tali Sharot

“Entrepreneurs are more optimist than the average person. Is being an optimist a helpful thing for entrepreneurs and innovators?…  It turns out optimism can be a blessing and a curse. Optimism enhances the likelihood of identifying creative solutions. It also induces over-confidence in the ability to successfully implement these solutions, which makes it more likely that entrepreneurs will take the plunge. It also makes entrepreneurs more persistent in the face of setbacks, protects against stress and makes networking easier.”

Miriam Feiler, co-founder,

Optimism drives every entrepreneur. The deep belief that we can, and will “make it”, whatever our “it” is, enables us to push through the obstacles. Optimism helps us believe that our next venture will thrive, even after a spectacular fall. In this way, you could argue that ‘small business’ isn’t actually the engine the powers most economies in the world. It is Optimism.

Jonathan Lamb, CEO, The Entrepreneurs' Forum

“Entrepreneurs are all about resilience andoptimism and taking on and overcoming challenges and they are the key to creating future jobs and prosperity.”

Rachel Carlson, CEO, Guild Education

“Like most entrepreneurs, I am a wildly optimistic person. My optimism is most rooted in my deeply held belief about our individual and collective ability to solve problems and change systems to improve the human experience.”

Nancy Youseff, Author of "Fear Money Purpose."

The way I see it, entrepreneurs are typically a different breed: we don't think the same as everyone else. We are eternally optimistic, even in the fast of overwhelmingly difficult odds. That optimism creates the ideas that keep you persistent, resilient and bouncing back when things fail. It’s almost like a disease!

"Having a positive outlook for the future and for the world as a whole makes entrepreneurs the visionaries that they are. When you’re optimistic, you’re usually a happier person and that creates endorphins, also known as the happy hormones.

"But I think the biggest thing about entrepreneurs being over-optimistic is it means that they’re very focused on achieving their goals – which makes them super clear on their strategy. If you're optimistic and driven and you can get buy-in from the people around you, particularly your teams and key stakeholders, and that can show a stronger leadership style and inform your strategy.”

Mariano Fabrizio, Partner, Nicholson y Cano Abogados

“Optimism is a state of mind that works as the underlying asset of every project, the main pillar of every successful enterprise.”

Stephen Ibaraki, Futurist and Entrepreneur

“In collecting more than 200 attributes that define success with entrepreneurs, there are four that stand out—one is optimism. When looking at the related area of happiness, prior to 2000, it was believed that people were born with a happiness set point—immutable thus setting your course for the future. However, when studying Tibetan monks and their brain activity, it was discovered that this could be raised through technique. The same is true of Optimism; you can increase your optimism by reframing everything into opportunities or key lessons for growth. This is similar to stress hormones, they are produced in relation to how you frame workload and challenges—think optimistically about opportunities and skill growth—the stress levels go down thus improving your life quality. Finally, there is this definition of success related to Grit most recently defined by psychologist Angela Duckworth which I’m modifying based upon my experiences:

Talent x  hyper effort = skill

Skill x hyper effort = achievement

Achievement x passion x perseverance x optimism (squared) = Grit applied over long-term goals = Success”

Paul Solman

"Entrepreneurs are optimists. They have to be. And thank goodness, wrote the famous 20th-century economist John Maynard Keynes, because "If spontaneous optimism falters, leaving us to depend on nothing but a mathematical expectation, enterprise will fade and die"

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