Success first and foremost starts with the senior management, principals and visionaries that start or grow business ventures. Our clients typically range from startups to established small to mid-sized businesses. Hence, when assesses the psychology of success, I am speaking about the CEO or the lead principal in a business, the ultimate leader of that enterprise. The leader sets the tone and indirectly and/or directly in his or actions…or inactions. The leader should have confidence, but not an ego in excess that prevents him/her from accepting solid advice or in building effective teams.
There are varied classifications of behavior, including Type A to Type B personalities. From trustworthy (OK most of the time) Wikipedia, "The theory describes a Type A individual as ambitious, rigidly organized, highly status conscious, can be sensitive, care for other people, are truthful, impatient, always try to help others, take on more than they can handle, want other people to get to the point, proactive, and obsessed with time management. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving "workaholics" who multi-task, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence." There is no doubt that describes me in ALL respects, but being rigidly organized, truthful, impatient and being obsessed with time management really stand out.
Again, from Wikiperdia, “People with Type B personality by definition generally live at a lower stress level and typically work steadily, enjoying achievement but not becoming stressed when they are not achieved. When faced with competition, they do not mind losing and either enjoy the game or back down. They may be creative and enjoy exploring ideas and concepts. They are often reflective, thinking about the outer and inner worlds." Clearly, Type A personalities are positioned to success more in that nature, but Type B personalities success as well.
I recently had extensive conversation with a prospective client, five times more than the norm for prospective as I approached by so many and have become adept at identifying negative or flawed behavior when it comes to the potential for business success. I have limited tolerance for a negative based thought process that is far more typical in a Type B personality. He had repeatedly emailed me and also expressed the same concerns in two calls focused on the growing competition in solar sales versus focusing on his strengths and the opportunity in a burgeoning market. Of course, that does not mean you ignore the competition but means you become informed on as much of the competition's varied sales efforts and offerings as much as possible, and aggressively pursue a well thought about marketing plan. Successful people seek ways to overcome a challenge and get things done, while those that fret about the challenges over and over are rarely successful. The glass needs to be way more than half full to succeed a consistent basis.
There are perhaps hundreds of books on positive thinking, with the Power of Positive Thinking written by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale one I read in my youth. I have written often on the positive thought process, including an analytic 20 question tool for Psychiatrists to Counselors that measured positive versus negative behavior. A 50 is an average score, with the ultimate Pollyanna a 100 and the ultimate in a depressed individual that has a literal gun to his head a 0. Me, I am a healthy 70 as to attitude. I am not suggesting being totally and always positive when a pragmatic and realistic approach to all is best, but I do suggesting that we will all be much happier is we are predominately positive...and more successful.
We get so many business plans completed by do-it-yourselfers or so called professionals, and so few have a Risk Factors or Risks and Challenges section in business plans we complete. One risk is always the extent of competition but there many others. It is later in the plan and a small section because it is not the focus, just added words of caution that investors expect. It is part of the open book reality that may be negative in other parts of the plan, but the plan is overly optimist, providing there are legitimate reasons to be positive. That is supported to reflect the behavior and beliefs of principals, but if they are not inherently positive and realistic in the balance of the opportunities and the risks, their success will be in great question.