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Staying Positive in a Tough Economy
February 1, 2009

With doom and gloom all around, how can you maintain a positive outlook and continue to find creative and effective ways to grow your business?  This is the challenge for today!

Positive ideas and people

Normal Vincent Peale, author of The Power of Positive Thinking (which sold more than 22 million copies in 40 languages), argued that the power of the mind for good could be unleashed with positive thinking. He maintained that self-doubt (expressed by whining and expressions of resentment) was a devastating handicap to overcoming obstacles.

It follows, then, that positive thinking is reinforced by surrounding ourselves with positive people.  Apparently, positive thoughts breed more positive thinking (and negative thoughts feed negativity).  Review your list of customers and acquaintances so you can end toxic relationships involving people who are continually negative about almost every idea you suggest and every action you take.

Surrounding yourself with positive people isn't the only way to reinforce good thoughts and attitudes.  Also, keep yourself informed about positive actions. For example, at PositiveNews.net you can read inspiring stories from around the world. You can also sign on to receive for free motivational thoughts five times a week to help you retain focus on positive thinking.

Action plans

Richard DeVos, co-founder of Amway and chairman of NBA Orlando Magic, writes in his book, Ten Powerful Phrases for Positive People, that focusing on key phrases, such as "you can do it" and "I respect you" can help you instill confidence, build relationships, change attitudes, and make us more positive about ourselves and others. So action here is for us to help others—our employees, our customers, and other associates---become more positive.

Setting goals is another way to act on positive thoughts. With the year still new, make sure to write down short-term and long-term goals you want to accomplish for your business and your personal life. Maybe a short-term goal is hiring a new employee, or, when sales reach a certain level, buying a new truck for the company.  A long-term goal may be expanding your business to a new location or getting ready to sell the company and retire.

Finally, smiling—a simple exercise that requires less energy than frowning---can help you stay positive. It's virtually impossible to think negatively when you’re smiling.


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