Most entrepreneurs and people who start businesses are optimists. By the very nature of what they are doing, they are often taking optimistic leaps of faith. Sure, they can back it up with research and a sound knowledge of their target market and audience, but at the end of the day, they are taking a risk with the optimistic view that it will pay off for them.
Let’s face it, if you’ve ever started your own business you’ve been in this situation. You start projecting out what’s going to happen and everything looks great. At some point you probably find yourself sitting down at a spreadsheet looking at your revenue and expense projections and tightening them up a bit, but most of us are always hopeful.
But when does that optimism go from being something that motivates you to something that blinds you? When does it become something that changes you from being hopeful to downright ignorant about the reality of your situation?
From my experience, this happens far more than it should and the consequences are always pretty bad.
A few weeks ago I talked about internet marketer math – using seeming small incrementally increasing compound numbers that add up to bigger numbers to justify something.
I saw this again today with a lady selling some kind of program where she was telling people that they could sell video info products for $2000, group coaching for $5000 per month and masterminds for $25,000 per year. This Hopium Dealer was using the small number of sales to make it all sound so very easy, “You only need to make one sale per week and you’ll have a six-figure income in no time”.
These people are evil and this particular She-Devil does NOTHING except sell that worthless Hopium – she has no other business than selling her little coaching scam.
Optimists buy into these programs because they think, “I can make one sale a week, how hard can that be? In fact, I’ll probably make two!”
To be fair, the Hopium Dealers need a market to sell their products. Those people are terrible and their customers are usually just addicted to the dream of success.
But… We’re not really going to talk too much about either of those two groups today because I’m going to focus in on the people who bring this on themselves!
You see, Hopium Dealers and Success Addicts form their own little disgusting symbiotic relationship. The Hopium Dealer latches onto the wallet and drains it of its hard earned money and in exchange, it whispers the sweet nothings of promised easy riches into the ear of the Success Addict. They form a closed loop.
The Cock-Eyed Optimist though, they don’t need the Hopium Dealer to fill their minds with future glory, they do it themselves. They visualize themselves dancing naked in a field of money as far the eye can see with more customers lined up waiting to fertilize their abundant field of wealth. None of the pests like expenses, competition or failure to execute invade their fields, their hope acts like Roundup for those nasties.
They sit down at their spreadsheet to start working on the financials to back up their business plan and every revenue number is vastly overinflated. They “just know” that everyone is going to want their product or service so even these numbers are probably conservative. However, to appease everyone else who is cautioning them, they lower their projected income figures in the first quarter by 10%… Just to be on the safe side.
When things don’t quite pan out the way they had envisioned what separates the normal person who’s optimistic from the Cock-Eyed Optimist is that the normal person realizes they’ve miscalculated the upside and starts rethinking the numbers whereas the Cock-Eyed Optimist just thinks that the market doesn’t quite understand yet, but it’s only a matter of time before everything comes good.
The Cock-Eyed Optimists almost always fail. They drown in their optimism. They can’t differentiate between what they believe to be real and what the market is telling them – when those things are at odds, they think that the market is wrong.
You need optimism, it’s vital for you to be successful. If you were entirely pessimistic about your business you’d probably never get anything done. A good entrepreneur knows how to swim and the depth of the water before diving into the pool, a Cock-Eyed Optimist watched swimming at the Olympics, bought a really awesome bathing suit and figures the pool will change its depth to suit them if they get too tired to swim… Then they drown.