From the September 2008 issue of Startups

As an entrepreneur, you'll often face stressful situations that don't have an apparent solution. Approaching these situations with a positive attitude is vital to building your business, especially when you're just starting out. Having an optimistic outlook creates a secure atmosphere that attracts the people, ideas and resources you need to succeed.

To create a "yesitude," start by recognizing that maintaining a positive attitude is a choice. People and events in your life can influence how you feel, but you ultimately decide how you think and interact with others. An optimistic mind-set positively affects your personal growth and helps form a supportive environment for your entrepreneurial efforts.

  1. You empower your mood. When you approach challenges with a positive attitude, the world offers possibilities you never imagined. Inevitably, negative thoughts will enter your mind and attempt to distract you. Pause at these moments and remind yourself that these disheartening feelings are temporary. Tell yourself that you can push any negativity aside and restore your optimism.
  2. Act to create your future. As an entrepreneur, you're ultimately responsible for your attitude as well as your actions. Focus on one thing you can do to move forward rather than wasting valuable energy complaining. By taking that step forward, you'll strengthen your resolve and create workable solutions. Remember--as my good friend tells me--if you don't take action on something on your to-do list within two days, it's probably not worth completing.
  3. Turn off your internal critic. Remove the word but from your conversations and always state things positively. Focus on three or four words that energize you, and use them to quickly change your attitude when necessary. "I can do it" is my mantra.
  4. Expect positive outcomes. No matter the circumstances, tell yourself that positive outcomes will emerge. Don't disregard any opportunity: Return calls that may not initially sound promising--you never know where the next great idea will grow. Investigate all opportunities to open new doors or assist others in their goals, and know that your business will be the better for it.
  5. Allow your surroundings to support your upbeat attitude. Your physical environment plays a big role in changing your attitude. Entrepreneurs are fortunate because we can often adjust our office spaces without having to worry about repercussions from our co-workers or a boss. Locate your desk near a window if it helps you relax, and display cartoons or pictures of your friends, family and pets that make you smile.

Those around you will appreciate your positive attitude.

Free yourself from self-imposed negativity by declaring that you'll have a joyful day at the start of every morning. Nurture positive energy by creating moments--even if it's just for two minutes--when you can release any tensions you're harboring, and your environment will support your ultimate success.

Romanus Wolter, aka "The Kick Start Guy," is author of Kick Start Your Success and Kick Start Your Dream Business. Write to him at romanus@kickstartguy.com.