The Entrepreneur Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in America’s startup scene contribute answers to timely questions about entrepreneurship and careers. Today’s answer to the question “What’s something you wish you knew before starting your business?” is written by Feris Rifai, cofounder and CEO of Bay Dynamics.
Most entrepreneurs are optimists. They envision an outcome, develop an action plan, and happily jump off the mountain. However, in the midst of their journeys, they often encounter roadblocks that seem impossible to overcome. They often see them as failures or negatives, which can ruin their excitement. There are two valuable lessons I wish I would’ve learned before starting Bay Dynamics: What appear to be failures or negatives are actually positives, and optimism is a key component to any business leader’s success.
When building a company, you must be prepared for the crazy ride and realize that each up and down you experience will lead to a success. Latching onto that way of thinking will get you through the tougher times and give you more clarity into how you can transform a seemingly negative event into a success beyond what you originally envisioned. I can think of a number of examples where I encountered an event that, at the time, I thought was negative, but when looking back and rescoring that event based on the current state of our company, I realized it was for the greater good.
For example, whenever I would meet candidates who I thought were a perfect fit for our team, I’d chase them relentlessly, trying to remove all of the obstacles that could steer them away. But just a few months after they would join the team, both sides would realize it wasn’t working out. I used to score it as a failure—I spent all of that time chasing one candidate who, in the end, wasn’t the right fit. But now I realize that when those candidates left, it opened the door for the right candidate to step in, and in the end, I had an employee who exceeded my expectations and helped us achieve things I never would’ve imagined.
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I learned from those experiences and now have a better understanding of what to look for when interviewing potential employees. If you have to tirelessly chase a candidate, then he or she most likely isn’t the right fit. Seemingly negative hiring experiences can produce positive outcomes on a few fronts: You’ll end up with even better employees, save time, and miss fewer opportunities to hire the right people.
As Winston Churchill said, “I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else.” If you’re in a bad mood or distracted by personal issues, strive to not project the problem externally. If you project negativity, the rest of your team will feel it, too, and everyone will be less productive. Try to be enthusiastic and optimistic when talking to team members.
A company is really a group of people coming together and working toward a common goal. Your people are the bricks of your company, and they need a consistently strong mortar (you) to hold them together. They watch how you approach situations, whether they are negative or positive, and follow your lead. As a leader, if you exhibit feelings of distress, anger, or frustration, your team will pick up on those feelings and reflect that same negativity. But if you approach situations confidently and optimistically, so will your team, and they’ll perform at their best in the end.
Read all responses to the Entrepreneur Insider question: What’s something you wish you knew before starting your business?
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