By Michael Gunther

Ahhh, spring…flowers in bloom, tax season complete, warmer weather is here and I’m feeling energized about the possibilities of life and business. What is it about springtime? Maybe it’s through the darkness of winter that there is new life and focus with spring.

Now, I don’t have any empirical evidence to show that businesses are doing better than they were last year, but I have been receiving a lot of anecdotal evidence through my peers, clients and fellow business owners within our community. The “spell of spring” is also invading their mindset and perspectives.

There’s an upbeat attitude developing and an overall feeling that businesses are stabilizing and beginning to see some growth. Companies are hiring new employees. Organizations are introducing new products and services. Things are beginning to bloom.

Could it be that simply having the right attitude tied in with the right actions just makes one feel like things are progressing? I know there have been many studies on the power of attitudes – they can impact our health, our thinking and our actions. Now I’m not suggesting we become Pollyanna-ish but I do know the right attitude tied in with a realistic perspective can create significant impact on success.

It can be hard sometimes to maintain a positive attitude or perspective. Pick up any newspaper or watch any news program and you’re bombarded with the negative. This can certainly cause one to get depressed about this new economy. The reality is that media gets paid to find the negative aspects of our daily existence. In fact, most people would not pay attention to the media if it was about the positive things happening around us – human nature has a tendency to focus on the negative and the extremes.

I guess the key is not to allow these external forces to shape or influence your attitude and actions. I read a book many years ago called The Artist’s Way and the author recommended that you do not read the newspaper or watch the news for at least 30 days in order to develop a more positive space in your mind that would allow you to be more creative. Have you lost your creative edge by being too cynical and focused on the negative?

I know when I go away on vacation and totally decompress – no emails, voicemails or newspapers, I do find that I get the most creative ideas on how to improve and grow my business or myself. Lee Johnson, one of my business partners, recently took a week’s vacation and said that he did the non-electronic thing as well – no voicemail, email, news, newspapers, etc. He said that it was one of the most relaxing vacations he’s ever had.

As I look at the businesses that are growing and being creative – I always find that the leaders who are driving those processes are exhibiting the right attitudes and energy to make things happen.

Bottom Line

If you feel that you and your business are not expanding and blooming, I would suggest you take a step back and assess your attitude, but more importantly, consider what outside sources are providing information? How are they impacting your perception about your situation and contributing to your attitude? Remember, your perception determines your thoughts, your thoughts determine your actions. If your perceptions are negative, your actions will be as well.

This is another article in a series on Michael’s entrepreneurial story and how being raised in a large family has influenced his career. To read the previous articles in this series, visit his blog at

Michael Gunther is Founder and President of Collaboration LLC, a team of highly skilled business professionals who are dedicated to assisting proactive business owners to build profitable, sustainable businesses through results-oriented education, coaching, and consulting services. Learn more at

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