Hopelessly Optimistic

Hopelessly Optimistic

I wonder if I’ll read this post a year from now and think that hopelessly optimistic = foolishly optimistic. I hope not. (See?)

This is, for better or worse, how I’m wired. It’s part of what makes me an entrepreneur: I see things that could be better, and I believe it’s possible. Sometimes I even think I’m the person to make it happen.

Hopeless optimism is part vision, part delusion, and part resilience. It has been suggested that childhood adversity can make for successful entrepreneurs. I believe it.

When I was 17, my mother passed away. She had cancer, so there were about 15 months between diagnosis and death during which to practice my hopeless optimism. At first, I hoped that she would recover. Later, I hoped that one day life wouldn’t feel so painful. Resilience wasn’t really a choice; it was necessary for survival.

Optimism and happiness are not the same thing.

Anyway. Here I am now… wondering if, maybe, this is a silver lining, 20 years later.

The entrepreneurial community celebrates failure. Failure means you’ve probably learned a lot of lessons… and, presumably, you won’t make the same mistakes again. But failure is only a good thing if you’re then able to pick yourself up and come back from it.

Sheryl Sandberg’s Option B¬†takes it one step further. You don’t just come back – you come back stronger. So I guess that means that win or lose with Simili, I win. I just might not be terribly happy about it for a while.

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