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Successful Business Owners Radiate This Quality. Do You?

I recently had the honor of speaking to the Greater DC chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners … or NAWBO … and I came away with a heightened appreciation for a critical success factor in business.

It’s one I’d always given a lot of weight to, but hadn’t talked about much, at least not exactly in the way I want to in this newsletter.

I hadn’t presented at a live event since COVID.  Lots of Zoom webinars.  I’d missed the connection you can only get when you’re there in person.

What stood out in the room, from the moment I arrived, is that these women were warm, friendly, welcoming, outgoing, upbeat, engaged, and enthusiastic.  You could feel the positive energy.  It was palpable.

And that positivity is, in large part, what defines successful business owners.

They’re optimists.  And I don’t use that term in the superficial sense that they have on rose colored glasses or are Pollyanna-ish.

I mean it in the sense that they know full well that it ain’t always easy.  Life has plenty of challenges and running a business simply compounds those challenges.  Stuff happens.  There are setbacks and dry spells.  And pandemics.  Ugh.  And sometimes it gets overwhelming.

But they keep going, firm in their conviction that given the proper focus, the right strategy and enough grit and rigor, they’ll do just fine.  And they do it with a smile on their face and a good word on their lips.

That’s exactly what I did when I started my business 20 years ago!  Failure wasn’t an option.

It’s a deep kind of optimism … one that isn’t just a blind faith that fate will be kind, but a belief that you have the power to make good things happen.

I ran across the following saying recently and I think it gets to the heart of what I’m talking about.

A pessimist is an optimist with better information.  

Funny and spot on at the same time.

That is absolutely true for the superficial kind of optimism.  Give a superficial optimist some ugly facts and they’re likely to not be so optimistic anymore … and maybe they’ll flip and become pessimistic … disillusioned and crestfallen.

But a true optimist rises above that discouraging “information” and just keeps on keepin’ on. Damn the torpedoes.  Full speed ahead. 

And I think that validates what Tony Robbins says … “80% of business success is psychology … only 20% is mechanics.”

It’s a special person who thinks like that and acts like that.  And that’s who successful business owners are … special people.  Gotta love ‘em.  They make the world go ‘round.

I’ve often said a business owner / service provider has to be good at three things.

  • They have to be good at what they do … the service they provide … or they have a great product to sell.
  • They have to be able to run a business … handling basic operations competently.
  • And they have to be able to market themselves and actually acquire clients and customers. That’s, in fact, a big part of what I teach.

But I want to add a fourth ingredient to the mix.

They have to let that positivity in their beingness shine through whenever they’re interacting with folks.  It’s what tells the world around you that you’re the real deal, a force to be reckoned with … a mover, a shaker, a dream maker.

You produce results for people.  And that makes you a treasure.

We used to call it the can-do spirit.  We see it on your faces.  We hear it in your voices.  We feel it in your presence.  When you shine it, we feel empowered.

So, thank you NAWBO ladies and thank you business owners everywhere for being there for us.

You don’t get celebrated nearly enough.

You are truly special.

Best wishes,



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Meet Denise: Denise Hedges is a Business Development Coach and Speaker Coach for small business owners who want to be more comfortable, confident, and successful with their sales and marketing efforts. She specializes in helping them use speaking as a way to dramatically improve their results!