Positive Attitude in Business

Episode 1015: Positive Attitude in Business, with Jon Gordon

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Positive attitude in businessUnlock the power of optimism for better business outcomes by exploring our guide on positive attitude in business.

Positive attitude in business — Jon Gordon’s best-selling books and talks have inspired readers and audiences around the world. His principles have been put to the test by numerous Fortune 500 companies, professional and college sports teams, school districts, hospitals, and nonprofits. He is the author of 23 books including 10 best sellers and 5 children’s books. His books include the timeless classic The Energy Bus which has sold over 2 million copies, The Carpenter which was a top 5 business book of the year, Training Camp, The Power of Positive Leadership, The Power of a Positive Team, The Coffee Bean, Stay Positive, and The Garden. Jon and his tips have been featured on The Today Show, CNN, CNBC, The Golf Channel, Fox and Friends and in numerous magazines and newspapers. His clients include The Los Angeles Dodgers, Campbell’s Soup, Dell, Publix, Southwest Airlines, Miami Heat, The Los Angeles Rams, Snapchat, Truist Bank, Clemson Football, Northwestern Mutual, West Point Academy and more.

Jon is a graduate of Cornell University and holds a Masters in Teaching from Emory University. He and his training/consulting company are passionate about developing positive leaders, organizations and teams.


What you’ll learn in this episode is about the positive attitude in business

  • How Jon wrote his bestselling book “The Energy Bus” when he was at a low period in his life, and how he learned to overcome his challenges, fears and negativity
  • Why having a positive attitude in business means having fun while following your purpose and continuing to strive for excellence
  • Why some people lean towards optimism and some toward pessimism, and how you can train your mind to increase your optimism even if you’re a natural pessimist
  • Why success leads to fear, and why before you achieve real success you’re naturally less fearful of taking chances and risks
  • Why being fearless isn’t the same thing as being reckless, and why being smart about the risks you take is crucial
  • Why it is important to define what winning means to you, and why you shouldn’t fear failure because it offers its own rewards
  • Why “anxious” means “divided”, and why developing your strength to face your anxiety is the key to unlocking your potential
  • Why love is the greatest success principle of all time, and why loving what you do and who you work with is vital
  • How feeling love allows you to perform at a higher level and is the ideal antidote for your fears

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Positive Attitude in Business: Full Episode Transcript


Get ready to find your recipe for success from America’s top business owners here at Onward Nation with your host, Stephen Woessner. 


Good morning. I’m Stephen Woessner, CEO of Predictive ROI and your host for Onward Nation, where I interviewed today’s top business owners. So we can learn their recipe for success, how they built and scaled their business. But here’s the reality Onward Nation, and this might seem a little bit surprising when you hear me say this, as you gain more and more success from building and scaling your business, which is what our episodes are all about. The Moore fear will emerge as business owners often make the mistake of thinking that the more successful they become, the less fear they will have. And actually, the reverse is true. 


The more successful they become, the more fear they have, the root cause of any busyness in any stress it’s actually fear or the stress your experiencing right now is the manifestation of the fear of that is driving you. Or maybe you have fears of not being good enough, not smart enough or not fortunate enough to be successful yet. And then holy bananas, what if I am successful? Can I live up to all the while the pressure from the fear pushes you to work harder in conquer your demons, but we don’t actually conquer them. Do we Onward? No fear and success. They become this dizzying cycle. 


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Positive Attitude in Business: Jon’s Introduction


And that’s why I’m so excited for you to meet our guest expert today, Jon Gordon Jon’s best-selling books and by the way Onward, in full transparency and giving credit to Jon. I was just quoting and paraphrasing one of Jon’s books and title, The Carpenter, His books inspired readers around the world. His principles have been put to the test by Fortune Hundred companies, professional sports teams, school district’s hospital’s and non-profits his clients include really who’s the LA Dodgers Campbell soup, Dell Publix, Southwest Airlines, the Miami heat, the LA Rams Snapchat, the United States military academy at west point in the list goes on. 


And right now Jon is here with us so we can learn his insights and expertise. So without further ado, welcome to Onward Nation, Jon. Hey, great to be with you, Steve. And thanks for having me. Thank you for saying yes to the invitation and Chris Prefontaine. If you’re listening right now, thank you very much for making the introduction between Jon and myself so that we can have this great conversation. But Jon, before we dive into the greatest success strategy of ball and give us, give us our audience, or just some additional context of beyond your bio, take us behind the curtain for just a minute and give us a little bit more context around your path and journey. And then we’ll dive in. Yeah, I’ve written in 24 books now in 12 bestsellers, but it all started with The Energy Bus writing that book when I was down out not happy life and not going well. 


Not sure what my future held. I wrote this book in three and a half weeks of real, in many ways of divine inspiration, never wrote a fable before. And it came to me and I wrote it rejected by over 30 publishers was told to give up is not going to happen, but eventually got a publisher to take it on Jon Wiley and Sons Publishers wouldn’t even, I mean, the bookstores wouldn’t even take it. So I went in the 20th city tour is paid for by my self publish. It would even pay for it. And I went from city to city is sharing the message and the book and over time more and more people started to read the book started to get out there and then allow me to write these other books, but I’m not naturally positive. Even though my books sent around positivity, positive leadership, building, great teams with a positive culture and that is naturally positive, I have to work at it. 


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Positive Attitude in Business: A Journey of Transformation and Leadership Development


Positive attitude in business — And I think working at it all these years, wanting to be more of a positive person, a better leader, a better father. It’s really made me a good teacher and how to overcome the negativity university. And the challenge is, is that we face I’m someone who my wife almost left me years ago. I was 31, miserable, negative, and happy. And she said, have you don’t change. Or I’m out of here. I had to change. I wanted to stay married. And that began this journey of asking, what am I born to do? Why am I here? And that’s when writing and speaking came to me that my background, I’m an entrepreneur in many ways, I’ve owned restaurants in the past and second mortgage in my home, 20,000 thousand credit cards to open up a Moe’s Southwest grill burrito place, which they’re in out over 300 of eye was the first one and Florida. 


Positive attitude in business: Wow. Fifth store and the country when I was 24, I owned a bar in Buckhead after we got my masters in teaching in Emory and with teaching for a little bit and bartending. And then I opened up a bar, we got some investors together and did that business awhile and new the restaurant business. When we started a non-profit call, the Phoenix organizations, we raised money and volunteered for youth focused charities, went to go work for a.com and the.com. I thought it was going to take my resilience in the.com crash like so many dot coms. Cause we weren’t making money. We can’t survive if you are not making money. So, that dream ended. And that’s what I was so negative and miserable in the life of is falling apart. 


Positive attitude in business — And my wife and mother left. And so when you can see now how like I had this hope is dream, this ambition and everything came crumbling down. And then from there I found my purpose, my colon, I said, this was, this is what I’m gonna do for the rest of my life. I’m gonna write, I’m gonna speak. And I focus all that entrepreneurial spirit and energy into building a brand in and books that I believe in that I write not to sell books, but to make a difference, I will only write a book if there’s something to say. And now out of that, we do a lot of leadership training. We do consulting and we really worked with the leaders all over the country and the world to develop positive leaders who build great cultures, develop great relationships in great teams who leads with the purpose and passion and who pursue excellence, being positive. 


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Positive Attitude in Business: Positive Leadership Development


Positive attitude in business? That doesn’t mean you’re just here to have fun. It means you hear the build a great culture with fun, but also striving for excellence in the process to be great together. So passionate about developing positive leaders around the world. I feel like my first 50 years was to get to this point where I was developing like me and becoming a leader in growing. And now I know my next 50 is going to be too, or hopefully the next 50 is, is going to be develop leaders around the world in an impact for people in that way. The Lord works in mysterious ways, my friend. And when you mentioned finding the purpose and passion and to make a difference, certainly for the right reasons. I think that’s amazing. So thank you for the context, lets go back to the one piece before we get into the greatest success strategy. 


Positive attitude in business? When you said not naturally a positive person, just for additional context, based on your experience now of doing this a long time, like, are people really wired that way? Are there probably are a few who are just naturally positive, but I’m wondering if that’s the majority, if that’s the minority, like what has your experience been, I guess is, is that more often than not? We have to work out just like you have done. Yes, we do. I grew up in a Jewish Italian family in the long island, New York. So a lot of food, a lot of the guilt. And so I naturally had some of the negativity and how to work out and we all have the work at it, but here’s the deal like you born with the weight set point. Some of us are born with more of a heavier disposition than others. 


Positive attitude in business — Some people are very thin and skinny and they’re naturally that way and they can work out and they can build up a frame, but they’re naturally more lean. So just as you have a weight set point, I could become the healthiest and fittest version of me, but I genuinely have a heavier disposition so I can not eat for a while. And I still am thick. I’m not going to elephant. I eat grass. And I’m still a little thick, no matter what I do, I have that wet, safe, and that weight set point, the same thing with AR positivity, where we are in that level of some people are born and more positive than others. I can become the best version of myself and becoming a more positive person, but I won’t be as positive naturally as my wife who is more of a natural, happier person, that’s her disposition. 


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Positive Attitude in Business: From Pessimism to Optimism and Success


Example of a positive attitude in business – I naturally go towards the negative. I’m a pessimistic optimist. And so at first I can really pessimistic, but then I have, this is a turtle. Hope that somehow some way it’s going to get better, the best is yet to come. I believe that. But at first I may get a little negative, so you can become the best version of yourself, but we are born with a certain happiness set point. The research says a positivity set points. Soyou disposition may be a certain way, but you can become a better version through your perspective, through your reframing, to your overall attitude and outlook to how you do with stress and manage stress. There are so many factors to it in your diet, you eat more wild salmon and fish oil. 


Positive attitude in business? We know that actually, research shows that it helps with depression. So there are a lot of things we can do to increase it, but I’m a different person now than I was years ago. I have rewired my brain from negative to positive where I was more naturally negative. And now I do get up. And even though I’m naturally wired that way, I do see the positive. I feel better. On most days I dealt with depression and anxiety in the past. And now that really isn’t something that’s, that’s a, that’s a part of me. There are moments in days, but there used to be weeks and months. Now there are moments and days and it’s different. So, the more we feed ourselves, the more we can feed others. 


Positive attitude in business — So, I do believe that you can feed yourself every day. You can feed that positive side of you. And the more you do that, you have the disposition, The Energy and a perspective, and now feed others. And that is what I’m passionate about. And that’s what I’ve seen changing my life. And so many people I worked with I’ve and I’ve worked with thousands and thousands or the last 15 years and now, and I’ve seen people transform them. And I know you can, but to answer your question is as long answer, yes. We’re. I believe we were born a certain way, but we can also develop it just like anything nature and nurture. Yeah. That’s a great perspective. So let’s dig into, would really love to get your point of view around this correlation between success in fear. And so when I was reading The Carpenter, one of your great books and talking about this, when I would have a defined as really more of a negative correlation, meaning that a success goes up, fear goes down, but actually reading your book was a pretty big high of no-no actually success goes up, fear goes up. 


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Positive Attitude in Business: Understanding the Relationship for Growth and Achievement


So, positive relationship or correlation. So take us inside there. Give us your point of view around that because that’s counterintuitive to what most people I think would assume. Yeah. When I wrote The Carpenter and as you’re reading that in the introduction, I’m like, oh wait, that sounds familiar. So when you were sharing that, I was like it really is a myth that the more successful you become, the less worry as you have. I find the highest performers is the most successful people. The more success they have, fear comes up in a bigger way. Why? Because you have more to lose your father to fall when you’re just starting out. And you’re thinking like a rookie and you are a rookie, you don’t know about the good old days. 


Positive attitude in business? You don’t know about if what you’re doing is gonna work or not. You just trying things, you were just going for it. And you’re naive enough to be successful. You’re giving everything you have, you don’t even know about rejection. So you haven’t been tainted by past experiences or rejection. You just go in for it. And so when you have that mindset as a rookie, there’s not a lot of fear. There might be initially, but you’re willing to go for it and try anything as you succeed in making money as a family, then it’s harder to lose. You become more fearful of losing what you have. You don’t when your family to live in a van with you down by the river, right? You want to make sure that you have a level of success. 


Positive attitude in business is something like when you’re younger, it’s easy to go for it. I find that as you get older and you start to become satisfied with your life and comfortable, it’s harder to take chances and risk and go after things. And for me, my wife, and when we were, we were pretty comfortable. I knew that I had to go for this. I had to live this dream and try it out. I remember my wife’s saying, that when I want write and speak and sell the restaurant’s and focus on is 100%. Cause we were pretty comfortable with that point. And she said, what happened if it doesn’t work? We sell the restaurant. And the speaking doesn’t work. I said, there are no other options. Like I’ve got to go for that. And a lot of times we don’t. And so we can be very calm. I mean, a lot of people who are so comfortable and they settle for average rather than going after their dreams because of that fear. 


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Positive Attitude in Business: Smart Risk-Taking and Fearless Pursuit of Success


Positive attitude in business means that if you see an opportunity, you got to go for it. And then when you have success, you have to keep going for it. Now that doesn’t mean you can take a lot of risk. It doesn’t mean that you, or reckless, don’t be reckless, be fearless. Reckless is stupid, but be smart about the rest of your taking while going after the dream’s and the goals that you want. I read and hear stories of where people put all their savings into one, this one investment. And you know, if it doesn’t go well, like if you’ve created a level of success, don’t then risk it all, like take some of the chips off the table, keep your foundation and then take a certain amount of money and risk. It’s like crypto, right now I’m investing some in crypto technology is in blockchain and I’m doing that, but I’m not risking everything. 


An example of a positive attitude in business – I’m risking 10%. Yeah. And I’m saying I’m to invest 10% in this risky investment. And that’s a smart move to make. Now I know that goes beyond when we talked about with fear, but the idea is to be smart, but as we become successful, the fear can come in and say, you can please, what you have, you are not going to be able to beat your competition. The products is not going to work, and not be able to lead my team. LeBron, James does PI worried about failing and not getting to the championship. Cause if he doesn’t make it to the championship, they think is a failure. So you become successful. There’s a lot of high expectations. So how do you overcome those expectations? You show up every day, you do your work. 


Positive attitude in business? You focus on the moment you focus on the process. As I wrote in the carpenter, you loved the process and we will love with the process produces you. Don’t worry about the outcome. You give everything you have in the moment and the present and let the outcome take care of itself. You control what you can control. You. Don’t worry about tomorrow. You, when today you focus on winning today, and you identify what winning today means to you. For me, it means I’m going to stay positive. I’m going to get better every day and prove myself. And I’m going to encourage the people around me. I’m going to do that every single day. And if I do that every day over time, I will when the future. So, I’m not worried about all the outcomes. And if things don’t work out, if you fail, it’s okay. It’s okay to failure. It’s okay to fail. 


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Positive Attitude in Business: Learning Pathways to Success with Love and Faith


Take note of this for a positive attitude in business:

It’s okay to fail at times. You’re not a failure. When we fail those little failures become also the learning pathways to success. And so you have to go through those moments of failure. If you have to be willing to fail in order to truly succeed. And so the fear that holds us back will keep us from our destiny, but the fate that moves us forward or will take us towards it. I should also say the love that we have. If you don’t love it, you’ll never be great at it. So that’s why I love is the greatest antidote to fear. You got to love it when you love it, that will overcome the fear that you have. So again, a long answer to answer your question, we have, we have so much fear as we become successful. 


Positive attitude in business means that the key is to pay attention to that fear. What is it telling you? What can you learn from it? And keep moving forward with the love that you have and the fate that you have in your business, in a growth. And when you do that, the fear will dissipate. Love, casts out. Fear. Love is more powerful than fear. And here’s the other thing. The word anxious literally means divided at its Greek root word. Anxious means divided. When you’re anxious, you feel divided, you feel separate and wood that’s living is that when you’re feeling separate from your source, from, from God, you’re not trusting your higher power. Every addiction program has a higher power. Why? Because they know that the self is not strong enough. 


We all need a greater power to tap into, to overcome our struggles and our challenges. It’s the same way with light or whatever you believe in God is for you. But for me there’s a God and I have to tap into that power. And when I do tap into it, it helps me stay United and connected. And I experienced that oneness, which allows me to overcome the fear and the division and the anxiety that I have. We have to wonder why is there so much anxiety in the world? Well, it’s because there’s so much the vision in the world right now, remember anxious means divided. So the more you connect to yourself, to others, your team have a people agree, a group of people that you work with and where you connect. 


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Positive Attitude in Business: Overcoming Anxiety with Purpose and Love


Positive attitude in business — And in our United connected spiritually, the more you will feel that strength and that power and love and that force to be able to move forward, to overcome the fear. So just to understand the anxiety is cake as so many people are struggling with anxiety now. Yeah. and it sounds like what you are doing either consciously or subconsciously, but I think it’s probably more conscious for you. It sounds like you’re doing it in some form of daily marination around success, around positivity, around not being anxious. Like you’re constantly working at this every single day and it’s not happening by accident for you. Okay? If you have you lived or you’re gonna build visibile muscle, right? 


And you’ve got to build your mental, emotional, spiritual muscle, you have to be intentional with the life that you want to create. What do you want to build? What do you want to create? How will you do it? You do it with vision and purpose. You do with optimism and belief or you do it with great relationships you do with the grid to keep moving forward. If you do it and the pursuit of excellence being a craftsman or a craftswoman working on your craft, getting better every day, you have to be intentional. Yes. And the mindset is key. So what I’m going into a talk and there’s a few thousand people and I’m having some nerves come up and some anxiety come up and some do it, right? Do you have what it takes today? Jon? 


Is it going to go well as the crowd gonna listen or are you going to be able to deliver when that comes up in that moment, you have to be prepared on how you will handle those moments in your mind in being an intentional on how you will respond. Otherwise they will overcome. They will, they will take you over. They will cause your demise. You will lose the moment. And instead of waiting in the moment. And so for me, when that’s happening, I know how to handle those moments because I’ve been in them. I have failed in those moments. And now I know how to approach those moments. And what I say to myself is making a difference, impact those people. It’s not about you just impact them right now. Love, casts out fear, or just have fun. And in love with Jon loved this moment. You’re going to die one day. 


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Positive Attitude in Business: Embracing Fearlessness and Love for Success


You don’t want to look back and feel like you didn’t go for it that you will allow this fear to keep you from being your best. In that moment. I don’t want to live with regrets. I want to live my life by going for it in that moment. Having fun of the process because when I die, is that really going to matter now? So I’m going for it. So I intentionally have to have these conversations with myself, feed myself with the optimism and belief. I take a walk of gratitude and while I’m walking or practice gratitude, ’cause the research showed you. Can’t be stress and thankful with the same time. So if you’re feeling blessed, you won’t feel stressed. Here’s the key. I think the sums up everything. The mine is like a garden. You have the, we the negative and feed the positive each day. 


If you do that on a daily basis, the garden starts with a lot better. At first one day, it’s not going to do a whole lot, but we didn’t feed the garden for a week, a month, a year, do it for 15 years. Like I’ve been doing it, do it for a lifetime. The garden of your mind starts to look magnificent and becomes amazing. And guess what? When you invest in the root, you produce a lot of fruits, focus on the fruit in Northern route, the tree dyes, right? Division negativity, sabotages, you fear causes you to crumble, but invest in that route. And you build an incredible foundation that produces great fruit for your of life. You’ve already alluded to this, but, and I should say, I know that we’re quickly running out of time, but before we go, let’s dig into something that you’ve already alluded to. 


When you said love, casts out fear and kind of teased us a little bit about how that’s the greatest success strategy of all time, which is something I’ve learned from your book, The Carpenter, which is amazing onward nation. So take us into that. Tell us a little bit more about why your belief around love makes it the greatest success strategy of all the time. Well, it’s even in my belief, it is the greatest success principle of all, because I love you nights. If you don’t love it, you’ll never be great at it. Love is what drives grit, because you love something. You keep working at it. You keep pushing towards it. If you love your team, you don’t quit on them. Lover’s with the unites people, the relationship’s you have brings the team together is what causes team grit. 


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Positive Attitude in Business: Building High-Performing Teams with Heart and Accountability


So it makes you successful as a team of the team that loves each other and hold each other accountable. Doesn’t need a lot of rules because you love each other. You want to be great together. So to me, it’s about love tough, not tough love a team that loves each other we’ll chat and then challenge each other to be great. Love tough. If tough love exists and tough comes first, or that causes burnout and they’ll tune you out. But because you love someone, you love your team, you earn the right to challenge. So is it the cake? And in the moment of competing as an athlete, for instance, I work with a lot of professional sports teams. If you are, if you’re loving, playing love and the competition loving the moment. 


Well now you’re not worried about failure or fearing failure. You just loving the process in loving the moment or playing and competing. That loves cause you to perform in a higher level. So I love is the most powerful force in the universe from a spiritual perspective guide created the universe in the world and UHS with the love. And the love is the intention. My good friend, Erwin McManus would say is the intention of the creator. So we were created with the love to love, and when we are living in that love and performing in that love and building businesses and teams and selling and all of the earthly things we do with that love, we have a higher power and energy that we’re tapping into. 


So well, you can also measure energy like research shows is when you’re in lifting weights. If you think loving thoughts, or actually stronger than negative thoughts, ironically, people think of, I get angry. I’m going to be strong. I don’t love S is sustaining. Fear is draining fuel. Actually, you’ll be strong maybe in that one second, but, but you, it will, it will drain you right over time. Love is what energizes you and sustained you. But if you think loving thoughts, you will lift more weights than if you’re thinking fearful thoughts. This has been so amazing, Jon, thank you very much. I know that we have a really tight schedule today and I’m grateful for your time and generosity before we go, before we close out and say goodbye in, in any final advice you like to share in, please tell Onward Nation the best way to connect with you. 


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Positive Attitude in Business: Last Bit of Advice and Connect with Jon


Yeah, thanks for allowing me to share. I appreciate it. I loved your interview as awesome. And people can connect with me at JonGordon.com, Twitter and Instagram @JonGordon11. And I’m always sharing tips on there, and a lot of advice, information, and buy the way because they share advice. That doesn’t mean you have it all figured out. One thing I realized as my greatest lessons come from my failures more than my success is because I’ve made mistakes and I’ve learned over the years. I’m always sharing from that, which I think helps people learn and grow. So sorry. We never were time today. I’ve actually of a, another interview and I have to do, but I really appreciate this time with you. And hopefully people could connect with us. And now in the future, the last piece of advice, don’t listen to yourself, talk to yourself, negative thoughts, or always coming in. 


They will tell you things about yourself and your future. That just aren’t true. Negative thoughts or lie. Don’t believe the lies, speak truth to the lies. So when a negative thoughts come in and recognize those lies, I’m telling you things that aren’t true, speak truth and words of encouragement to yourself as you move forward self-talk is really essential and key. And that self-talk will feel awkward at first, but over time, it will give you the and encouragement and you need, and the word encourage means to put courage into. So when you are encouraging yourself or you put in courage into yourself, when you’re encouraging others, you put in courage in to them. And that encouragement is the fuel that you need to overcome. The discouragement that so often sets in from those negative thoughts that we have. So hope that helps keep moving onward and forward. 


Thanks so much for having me. Thanks, Jon very much for being here. Really appreciate it. Talk soon. Take care, Stephen. 


This episode is complete. So head over to OnwardNation.com for show notes and more foods. If you have your ambition, continue to find your recipe for success here at Onward Nation. 


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