Invoice Bazaar Blog

Why should a small business owner learn to balance optimism and reality?

By Invoice Bazaar | January 21, 2023

As a business owner, you are accountable for everything that happens to your business enterprise, both good and bad. You are liable for all its debts, dues, and all operational and monetary aspects, including paying employees’ salaries. As such, unless entrepreneurs and business owners are inherently optimistic, they would never dare to accept the above responsibilities or take risks associated with managing business ventures.

On the other hand, business owners also need to be very realistic when assessing the prevailing and emerging market scenario, their own strengths, weaknesses, and business capabilities, as well as while estimating the market demand for their firm’s products and services, setting business goals and finalizing the strategies to achieve them. Furthermore, they must also strike a delicate balance between their optimism and reality to be able to manage their businesses successfully and reap the rewards therefrom.

That is because a disposition disbalanced by high optimism can make business owners overestimate their abilities and encourage them to make impractical projections while disregarding or overlooking crucial facts that warn of setbacks. On the other hand, an overwhelmingly realistic tendency that is devoid of optimism also has the potential to paralyze business owners and discourage them from making crucial and much-needed decisions promptly and implementing them in a timebound manner.  

So, any imbalance between optimism and reality can prove to be a recipe for disaster and business failure, as it would be like trying to run a firm while remaining cut off from all the crucial information, including those of the market, competitors, or about logistics and other related aspects. However, there is no straight or fixed line on which a business owner can create a balance between reality and optimism because the point of balance is not static but keeps moving or changing depending on various factors. 

For example, a business enterprise in its launch phase would be trying out a new concept, experimenting with something unknown, or foraying into an area in which it has no exposure or experience. So, in this phase, the business owner has to be more optimistic than realistic compared to other business situations. Meanwhile, the balance will have to change after the launch phase is over and the firm starts striving to break even as high levels of optimism are needed to overcome failures. Hence, in this emerging phase, the same entrepreneur must become highly realistic while handling success.

Thus, the balance keeps shifting and doesn’t stay at the same point forever. As too many factors come into play while running business enterprises, entrepreneurs must remain aware of those factors and realistically keep making the much-needed adjustments. On the other hand, the same entrepreneurs should stay optimistic so that they can take various risks while staring at high chances of failure. So, the mix of reality and optimism has to be apportioned according to the prevailing situation. Thus, there will be situations where business owners will have to be very critical and realistic, and there will also be situations where they may have to be more optimistic than realistic.

For instance, you must be highly critical when market testing your product. And you should not get overly emotional and back something just because it is your brainchild. Business owners must do market research, market testing, and pilot projects to be doubly sure of what they are getting into before putting in heavy investment, effort, and other resources. Hence, it would be best if you also silenced the cheerleader inside you and actively looked for discrepancies and flaws in your product concept.However, once your product is ready after market research, tests, and pilot drives, you have to remain highly optimistic and cannot allow your marketing and sales efforts to get bogged down by apprehensions and uncertainties. To sum up, a business owner is under continuous stress and can withstand the pressures of running a business only with courage and optimism. But everything in life has its pros and cons. So, while boundless optimism can make you feel good and enable you to weather bad times, it can also make you blind to realities, and you may suffer from a delusion of success. That is why it helps to learn how to balance optimism with reality.