Entrepreneurs are awesome people. They have a vision and they work to live that vision every day. Your typical entrepreneur will have the following in his/her toolbelt: optimism, resilience, vision, creativity, etc. One thing you should add to your tool belt… a healthy dose of pessimism.
Not the type of pessimism that comes with a fixed mindset of never being able to change and being a victim to your circumstances. The kind of pessimism in your business that forces you to challenge all of the assumptions that you make about how your business functions in the marketplace.
Before your think me a dream killer, let me explain.
What happens when you get an idea? You get excited. You start seeing the possibilities and, before you know it, you’re standing on a yacht with your family and T-Pain. Optimism is great but it can’t be so great that you fear the other side. That other side being pessimism.
The next time you have an idea for a business or want to change your business in some way, do this. First, think about all the great things about the idea and write it down. Next take a look at all the bad things about the idea and why it can’t. Write these things down as well.
Adding a little dose of pessimism to your vision or idea will do the following for you:
- Create certainty. Yes certainty. When you have looked at an idea from all sides you can feel confident that you have vetted the idea.
- Prepare you. That’s right Boy Scout or Brownie. When you look at what could go wrong you can prepare accordingly and make adjustments.
- Give you some facts. Being pessimistic about your idea requires you to validate your theories. One of the ways that you validate is through facts. I know this can work because the data tells me it can.
- Uncover your weaknesses. We all have weaknesses. Damn it! Now what? There’s nothing to fear here, you now know where the holes are and can find resources to fill them. Like if you don’t know a lick about coding a website but you need a website built.
Finally, a little pessimism will make your vision or idea more likely to happen through the due diligence that you were forced to do to prove yourself. At the very least, it should save you some money and time if you verify the legitimacy of the idea going forward.
A simple and long time tool for vetting your vision or ideas is to run a SWOT (Strengths, Opportunities, Weaknesses and Threats) analysis and bring in other people to go through this with you to get different perspectives. We have been taught to fear pessimism or not to look at things negatively. However, in the right context, a dose of pessimism is a healthy thing for your business. Is your glass half full or half empty? Maybe it’s both. Maybe there's a goldfish swimming around in it. Ponder that until next time. Oh and while you are here, do be so kind as to leave a comment. Thank you!