9 Ways Positive Thinking Leads to Success

Author Jon Gordon shows you how being an optimist is a boon to your business.
Getting Small Businesses Unstuck, Shafran Moltz Group
May 03, 2012

Most small business owners see the glass as half full. On the roller coaster of starting and running a company, it is really the only way to survive and thrive. Jon Gordon, author of The Energy Bus, believes that positive energy can actually be the difference between long-term success and failure in any business. In my full interview with Jon, he discusses how thinking positively can lead to success. Here are some takeaways.

1. You are the driver of your bus. You have the ability to choose the ride you want. As Gordon says, “You choose your energy and it will determine the ride, your attitude, how people respond."

2. Stop blaming others. In the long run, it’s not their fault. Being accountable for your own business is the reason you started a company, right? 

3. Fuel your ride with positive energy. Gordon believes that “whether we feed ourselves each day with negative fuel or positive fuel, our attitude, our mindset, our belief, our optimism has a big impact on our day.” With positive energy fuel, you will be able to accomplish things that others thought impossible.

4. Lead with optimism. Gordon studied great teams, leaders and organizations. He shows that optimism is one of the defining factors of their success. “Optimistic salespeople outperform pessimistic salespeople," Gordon says. "Optimistic leaders are able to get their people in the right direction and … create success. I work for a lot of NFL teams, for instance, and I’ve seen this principle play out.”

5. No energy vampires allowed. Gordon quotes Gandhi: “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” He points out that stress, business and fear are the main enemies of positive energy.

6. Stop complaining without solutions. Gordon compares complaining to vomiting. He says that “afterwards you feel better, but people around you feel sick.” Ultimately, complaining is counterproductive and hurts your company. Gordon's “No Complaining Rule” dictates that you are “not allowed to complain unless you come with one or two possible solutions to your complaint.” In this way, complaints will serve as a catalyst for innovation and change within any company.

7. Be thankful. Gordon insists that you can’t be stressed and thankful at the same time. He takes a “thank you walk” every day. Like in so many areas of our life, we become what we focus on.

8. Find your "why." Gordon advises people to stop seeking happiness at work. He says to “instead, decide to work with passion and then purpose and happiness will find you. Find a purpose and allow it to energize you.” Gordon cites a mortgage broker he met that felt her purpose was “saving marriages because she feels like if she can help people with homes they’ll keep their marriage intact and the research shows that to be true.” The "why" helps overcome most challenges.

9. Share it at work. Gordon states that leadership is really a “transfer of belief." He encourages leaders to share them with their employees. He says we should start asking "What do we value? What are our expectations? What are our beliefs? What do we want to accomplish?" It helps the employees become a team and work toward a common goal.

How have you used positive energy to fuel your business?

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