Positivity Is Profitable: Adopt The Mindset That Makes Millions
A common saying in computer science is “garbage in, garbage out.” The output from any system is only as good as the input. This same idea can be applied to entrepreneurship. When you’re running a business, it’s imperative to surround yourself with positivity and uplifting influences. If you constantly listen to negativity or surround yourself with negative people, it can destroy you and your business.
That’s why positivity matters. When entrepreneurs choose to be positive and surround themselves with the right types of voices, it greatly increases their odds of success.
Hazem Mulhim can attest to this truth firsthand. A Palestinian whose family hails from Halhul in the West Bank, Mulhim relied on his positive influences during his journey to found Eastnets, a global software solutions company serving 750 financial institutions, including 11 of the top 50 banks in the world. His new book, Two Brown Envelopes, details his story to success with stops in Jordan, Kuwait, England, Bulgaria and the U.S.
“I’ve chosen to surround myself with positive advisors to give me the best outlook and help me to make the best decisions I can for my company,” Mulhim said. “There have been times when my ego kept me from listening to these advisors, and it negatively affected my business.”
Harnessing the power of positivity starts with examining your mindset, Mulhim said, to ensure you’re ready to add positive people into your inner circle and benefit from their ethos and demeanour.
Start with your mindset
“The people around who live positive lives look at the world in a certain way,” Mulhim said. When they wake up in the morning, they make the choice to be happy they’re alive, healthy and have food in the fridge. They’re thankful their position is better than it could be.
“I’m by nature an optimist, but I think entrepreneurs need a sunny outlook on life,” Mulhim said. “There are so many obstacles that are put in your way that if you, yourself, become another obstacle through the negative way you think about things, then you will never succeed.”
Positivity breeds possibility. With the right mindset, you’ll start to see the possibilities available in your life and business, and reach to achieve them. Beyond maintaining a positive outlook, entrepreneurs will benefit from projecting that positivity to those around them.
“If you, as the business owner, look downcast, that sense of negativity will spread through your office like wildfire,” Mulhim said. “If, by contrast, you look upbeat, then that mood of positivity will be shared by your family, your colleagues and your customers.”
Add the right voices around you
Once you’ve adopted the right mindset, you can look to surround yourself with positive people who uplift and encourage you. To navigate this in his own life, Mulhim uses a concept he learned from Erin Meyer and her book Culture Map. He looks for “cognitive advisors” and “affectionate advisors” to share their wisdom and lift him up during tough times.
Cognitive advisors provide you with information that’s essential to your business, Mulhim explained. Your trust in them is logical because you have confidence in their accomplishments, skills and reliability. They’re helpful for finding the best solutions when challenges arise.
Affectionate advisors support you in a slightly different way. While they still offer sound advice and want what’s best for you, they also support you when you need someone to share your emotional struggles with. Your trust in them comes from your heart more so than your head.
Mulhim’s ultimate advisor was his late father, Mohammed. If he ever strayed too far from what his father would’ve advised (or done in his shoes), Mulhim knew he was in trouble.
“He taught me about persistence and perseverance,” Mulhim shared. “Whatever life throws at me, I aim to stay positive, look forward and keep my eyes trained on the horizon.”
Positivity is profitable: adopt the mindset that makes millions
Watch out for the greed trap
Even with the right mindset and the right influences around you, the forces of business can drag you into negativity if you’re not careful. One of the most sinister forces is greed because it looks a lot like ambition, which is a virtuous trait. Every entrepreneur needs ambition to succeed.
But “there’s a fine line between greed and ambition,” Mulhim said. “You must be careful about the choices you make to grow your business or they can take you down the wrong path.” Mulhim knows the importance of not mixing greed with ambition, and values having trusted advisors he can lean on who also support this.
Besides greed, other forces will try to drag you into negativity. How this negativity usually manifests is in separation: thinking more about yourself than about others, or imagining what could go wrong as opposed to seeing the positives. This is when your mindset and the presence of positivity around you become critical.
If you do fall into one of these traps, as Mulhim did, learn from it and evolve. Keep pressing forward. As one of his favorite mantras advises, “Don’t look back, unless it’s a good view.”
Positivity is profitable
Like many entrepreneurs, Mulhim’s journey to success has been marked with failures and setbacks. Many times, he can recall negativity pulling down on him like gravity. It would’ve been all too easy to surrender to its tug and fill his mind with everything that had gone wrong.
But where would that have gotten him? “Not to the helm of a successful global business,” he figures. Every failure and setback was preparing him to meet future challenges head-on and overcome them. They also reinforced the importance of positivity in building a business, because each time he let the negativity seep in, his efforts in business fell apart.
“Everything has a solution,” Mulhim shared. “Even seemingly intractable problems have a workaround. I do my best to be positive and project that positivity to those around me.”