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The Key to Happiness in Life…and Business

Building a successful business starts with the right support

When you’re looking to start your own business, to jump out and follow your entrepreneurial dreams, it’s important to understand that your emotions play an important part in your success.

As an entrepreneur, you’ll face a lot of adversity and obstacles. How you face those challenges will determine whether you can push through. And when you’re feeling negative and defeated, your chances of pushing through are slim to none.

That’s why one of the most important things an entrepreneur can do is focus on staying motivated and happy.

How do you stay happy?

How many books, articles, and talk shows communicate the endless keys to success and happiness? Hundreds? Thousands? Maybe more.

I only want to share one key with you. This comes from my own personal experience. It is the one key that I feel is the most important for anyone seeking any level of success and happiness in their life.

Surround yourself with supportive people.

Said another way, get rid of the negative people in your life. Supportive people encourage you to go for your goals and dreams. They want you to win, tell you why you’ll succeed, and offer their guidance and support.

Negativity pulls you down

Negative people will tell you all the reasons why you can’t do something. They’ll tell you, “It’ll never work,” “Don’t be ridiculous,” “What makes you think you could pull that off?” or “Don’t take a risk. You might lose.”

I made the decision years ago to get rid of the negative people in my life. The price was too high and it was too tough to be polite and keep them around me. Negative people kill creativity. They squash your dreams. They keep you doubting yourself. They drain your energy and waste your time. Negative people keep you small.

Negativity pulls you down when you should be soaring!

When it’s all right to walk away

I seldom give advice, but I’ll adamantly state here that if you have negative, toxic people in your personal or professional life, walk away from them. It’s rarely an easy thing to do. It wasn’t for me. But knowing now that these people no longer have any influence on me, I wish I had made the decision many years earlier.

Stretching yourself and going for your goals and dreams is tough enough without negative, limiting baggage. Your success will be much grander, easier, and more fun when the people surrounding you are on your side.

Finding—and being—a good partner

Lester Crown, chairman of Henry Crown and Company, an investment firm, said it this way: “You can’t make a good deal with a bad partner.” I read two points into that statement.

  1. No matter how good the deal—be it business, investing, or personal—if you have a partner who’s unsupportive, negative, or working toward his or her own agenda, the good deal will become a bad deal.
  2. To attract a good partner, you have to be a good partner. So don’t just look at those around you. Look at yourself as well and ask yourself, “What kind of a partner am I? What kind of a partner do I want to be?”

The most important action I took toward my own increased success and happiness was cleanly severing ties with the negative and pessimistic people in my business and personal life. I also regularly check in on myself and ask, “Am I the kind of person and partner that I want to be for others?”

Eliminating the negative people in my life and constantly evaluating myself as a potential partner changed everything in my life for the better.

Original publish date: October 23, 2014