A Positive Outlook

This morning I was scouring the newspapers and came across what’s wrong with a lot of business.

Peter GranataBy Peter Granata, president, Granata Design and the Marine Design Resource Alliance — This morning I was scouring the newspapers and came across what’s wrong with a lot of business.

As business leaders we try and stay abreast of what’s in the news so we can make well-informed decisions for our companies today and in the future. Maybe we’re looking in the wrong place.

This morning I noticed two separate and distinctly different views on the same information from two different news organizations.

Reuters News led with the headline: “Higher GM and Ford sales point to steady recovery.” I was glad to hear that news, but then I noticed Bloomberg News reported on the exact same story and led with the headline “GM, Ford sales in July come in below expectations.” Same news, different story.

It reminded me of the story my dad told me about the value of a positive outlook and how damaging it can be to have a negative outlook on the future.

The story my dad told was of this little old man who had a hot dog stand and worked hard enough to send his son to college (back then this was not something to be taken for granted).

The son returned in the midst of the Great Depression and was shocked to find his dad had so many hot dogs. The son convinced his dad that this was a great depression and that if he continued to inventory so many hot dogs he would surely go broke. Being sure that his son had received the best education and was therefore more insightful about business than he was, the old man got rid of much of his inventory.

Soon after, with less to sell, his daily receipts began to tumble. Within a short time the old man was out of business and became convinced that his son had saved him from the great depression.

The bottom line is that the little old man listened to the fears and created his own depression. Now you can tell me you’re not doing what the little old man did and you can tell me all of the things you’re doing to avoid going broke, but, can you tell me what you’re doing to sell something?
Or are you waiting for better news before you invest in your business’s future?


  1. It has been my opinion that the media helped fuel the great recession and as that was unfolding I thought the media would fuel the recovery with reporting all the good news. I haven’t seen that happen yet!

  2. There is no substitute for positive self-affirmation, especially since our self-esteem is constantly being worn down by criticism, negativity, and the stresses of everyday life.

    Isn’t it true that people perform at their best when they are confident and feel good about themselves? This is a fundamental ingredient in developing a great sales person. When you purchase a big ticket item, whom would you rather buy from? A confident, well trained sales person with excellent people skills, product knowledge, and understanding of the sales process, or someone who is insecure, lacks people skills, and doesn’t seem to know either the product or how to sell it? No brainer right?

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