Emotions And Business Make For Lousy Tango Partners

Some of my loyal readership is not going to take this information lying down.

Might make a few people pretty miffed.

I can see the feathers ruffling already.

However, I don’t envision any picket signs, flying daggers, or bad press on Twitter, just some ruffling feathers.

But I’m going to trust my readers know me well enough by now to graciously and respectfully grant me my own opinion, even if they don’t share it.

Okay, here goes …

How many times since you bravely crossed over that line to become an entrepreneur have you heard, “Dream BIG!”? “Ya gotta dream BIG!”

I’m the last person on earth who’d set out to squash anyone’s hopes, but …

Dreaming (or daydreaming) about great entrepreneurial success is not productive.

Becoming emotionally vested and all wrapped up in the thoughts of making a gazillion dollars, traveling around the world in your yacht, and having a garage full of luxury vehicles … uh, not productive.

Sorry if that statement comes across as harsh.  But spending time with your head in the clouds dreaming about having a successful business is not going to get you any closer to having one.

Taking time to throw some wishful thinking out into the universe is not productive (or lucrative).

If you want to be a successful business owner, you’ve got to leave your emotions out of it and simply do the work of building your business.

Emotions and business are a bad mix.

Any thoughts?

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  • @Carrie — Thank you so much for your eloquent commentary (it’s longer than most of my posts!) 🙂

    I believe, vociferously and vehemently, that visualization and meditation are very powerful. They contribute a great deal to our success in life, our focus, our path, and our well being. My intention here was to underscore not getting sold on the lie, if you will, that just dreaming about success will get you there. It won’t. It can’t. You’ve got to do the work — along with dreaming.

  • @Mike — I can tell you really wrapped your brain around what I was trying to say here: “People really need more action and less dreaming.” Thank you for joining in this very lively conversation! I rarely write a piece that stirs this much emotion or controversy … and I may just play it safe and not touch this kind of chord again with a ten-foot poll! LOL 🙂

  • Thanks for the kudos, Theresa, and I must say that Keith Davis got me thinking more about the comments I made about ‘Mack’. I may have come on a little strong but I still think he needs a MAJOR shift in his thinking. 🙂

  • p.s. Mack probably is flipping burgers! That’s so great you asked that question here! 🙂

  • I do that too. I think about other things I might add to a post — usually when I’m writing the post. Then I think, “Nah, the points will come out in the comments.” I think you made your point brilliantly.

    Great comments on this one Melanie. You did ruffle some feathers and I think that’s awesome. You got people thinking and involved in a conversation. I love it.

  • Theresa, with all the other wonderful qualities I love about you … you’re a quick study, too!

    “Get your damn head out of the clouds, roll up your sleeves, and work.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. 🙂

    After reading everyone’s comments, I can see where I could have added a few more elements to this post, but I’m pleased to know you loved my “angle”. Thanks!

    It may be a bit hidden (or somewhat vague), but the point I wanted to drive home more than any other is that you can’t get sold on the “dream”. By all means, DREAM. But keep yourself in check so you don’t allow your dream to overshadow the reality of what is required of you to be successful.

    Really got a bang out of your most recent post! Do you think Mack is flipping burgers somewhere for minimum wage? 🙂

  • Hey Melanie – well… I agree, and disagree. I think there’s something to be said for ‘fake it ‘til you make it’. And that’s kind of the dreaming part. You’ve got to be able to picture how you want to be, to see yourself handling it, to have an idea of what you are working so hard for.

    But okay, I’ll lighten up. I totally know what you’re saying. Get your damn head out of the clouds, roll up your sleeves and work. I work more hours as an entrepreneur than I would in regular job. Far, far more. I know you know what that’s all about.

    I am saying you gotta see who and what you’re going to be and where you’re going – the important things is to start acting like it now. Today. Tomorrow might not arrive.

    Very interesting post. I loved your angle!

    ~Theresa

  • You’ve put my thoughts and philosophy in such beautiful synopsis, Yvonne — thank you kindly! Your feedback is golden.

  • Left my comment on Facebook but I agree totally. While you should never block your emotions, allowing emotions to control your business decisions is not the course of wisdom. One is done with the heart, while the other needs to be done with the mind – clear thinking faculties that can see all sides of the issue and make a thorough evaluation so that you can know what you need to do, not feel you want to do. Well said, Melanie!

  • Take me with you on your boat, Sheila! I could use a vacation and a Margarita right about now. 🙂

    You’ve made a really good point — there are lots and lots of pretty slimy folks out there selling the big “dream”. And they’re roping in some very unsuspecting good souls.

    This line in your comment is a winner:
    “The heck with facing reality… create one.”

    I’m all for using your imagination, spirit, and will to create your own reality, map out your own destiny, and design a life that’s right for you!

    Always excited to have you put in your two cents worth. This thread would not be complete without you in it. 🙂

  • Thanks for your awesome input, Becky. Your heart and soul and mind are in the RIGHT (business-building) place.

    “Emotions” are a part of every human action and interaction — no question about it. And emotions will definitely play a role in your life as an entrepreneur.

    I can quickly see you wrapped your brain around my point — “sitting on the couch cutting out pictures of yachts” as well as wishing on stars isn’t going to cut the mustard.

    Thanks a heap for chiming in!

  • Ah heck I better put my two cents in here.

    I say do it all! Dream Big – Think Big – Imagine Big

    Dreamers are the creators of the future. Life is way tooooo serious. I can’t tell you how many times I see people squashed (especially children) because they spend time dreaming…even day dreaming.

    There is nothing wrong with picturing myself on a big boat in the Caribbean sipping margaritas in my bikini…it could happen.

    The problem with the usual picture that is painted by marketers selling the big dream is that the big dream is full of “stuff” and it caters to those who think all of that really matters and makes them happy.

    I am not saying there is anything wrong with own lots of nice stuff, it is making that stuff the goal and leaving out our personal purpose for being successful.

    Imagination and dreams are the hope of things to come. They are what makes you get up in the morning and pull yourself up by the bootstraps and create a new day.

    The heck with facing reality….create one.

  • I wouldn’t say emotions and business don’t mix. Emotions are the fuel that drive every aspect of our lives.

    It’s important to dream. To connect with a vision that we want to create for our lives. To feel that we can accomplish it. And then to take positive, strategic action to then make the dream a reality.

    You are right in saying that sitting around on your couch with a pint of ice cream cutting out pictures of yachts and affirming “I am a millionaire” will cause you to wake up in a week with a bank account brimming with cash.

    However life and business without emotions would be a stagnant stale world.

  • Ooh … I love your take on this, Gwen.

    “All those tiny little dollars that are the foundations to making the gazillion they are dreaming about.” Excellent point!

    Love you and always appreciate your insights.

  • Well, hurry along with those winning speeches from the Oscars, Keith — I’m anxious (okay, overly anxious!) for your three-part series on impromptu speeches. I can predict with one-hundred percent accuracy it’s going to be smashing.

    And, anyway, I need an impromptu speech when an unexpected and unwelcomed telemarketer phones me at 9 PM on a Sunday night peddling his wares. Good idea to have something (saucy) ready to say! 🙂

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  • Hi Melanie – you know that I’m a realistic person and I’m sure you know I agree with you 100%. I think when people DREAM BIG, and only dream big, they are missing out on all those tiny little dollars that are the foundations to making the gazillion they are dreaming about. To me, every dollar made is progress and is just important. Invest time in little dreams too!!

    Hugs,
    Gwen

  • Hi Mel
    I use that story when I’m coaching people to give impromptu speeches – no notes and just a few minutes to prepare.
    Sometimes less than a minute.

    I use the story to illustrate that we don’t need more than a few minutes because we’ve been preparing for the speech “all our lives”.

    Once the Oscars are finished and I’ve written a short post about the winners speeches, I’m starting a three part series on impromptu speaking so you will hear that story again.

    Sunday tomorrow so you can sleep in late.

  • Keith, you’re a godsend!

    Your lovely public speaking story is a prime example (perfect, really!) of what I was hoping to convey here.

    Using your words to reiterate my message …

    “Time, effort, and commitment. Dreams aren’t enough.”

    Thank you, Keith.

  • Well said Mel
    Too easy to see the success of others and forget the knowledge, ability and shear hard work that produced that success.

    Quick Public Speaking story to show what I mean.

    A man had just given a fantastic speech, the applause went on and on.
    When the applause finally died down the speaker returned to his seat and the man next to him said “that was the best speech I ever heard, tell me, how long did it take you to write it?”
    And the speaker replied… “All my life, all my life.”

    Time effort and commitment. Dreams aren’t enough.

  • My mistake, it said 0 comments before I posted. Boy lively conversation over here! LOL

  • Hi Melanie,
    No takers yet huh?

    Hahaha. Actually I like this subject.

    I agree and I disagree.

    1. Money that is not tied to purpose feels shallow and empty an will not sustain me over the long haul, that is for sure.
    2. Time spent visualizing my perfect day … what am I doing, how do I spend my time, who do I spend it with… that is so amazingly powerful that you will actually create it in great detail if you just keep at it.
    3. When I feel blissful from a visualization, I find that time spent in silent stillness, waiting for thoughtlessness … is my most productive time of all!

    I used to spend hours on a buckwheat cushion in silent stillness.

    I miss it actually, need much more time for that! lol

    But now it is mostly one minute meditations, though I must say I don’t time them, and I’ve been told they are often longer than that 😉 …. but those minutes feed my soul and spirit.

    Oh yes, I come back to me in those peaceful still minutes. Now there is a powerful visualization. aaaaahhhhhhhh

    Many blessings,
    Carrie

  • Appreciate your honesty and the oomph behind your words, Leona!

    If you read everyone’s comments, carefully, and read them more than once, you’re going to recognize a distinct pattern of thinking — a common thread running through.

    P.S. I promise not to write another “brain drain” anytime soon. 🙂

  • Wow! Everyone has put so much thought into their comments — thank you! I really appreciate the time and talent you put into delivering your feedback.

    I can’t recall another post in the recent past where my readers have poured so much meaning, heart, and emphasis into their responses. I’m so proud and lucky to have each and every one of you in my circle of influence.

    Indulge me, please, for a recap …

    FIONA has, without a doubt, the absolute right idea:
    “Emotions are the best driver in business, but ONLY if focused, managed well, and supporting specific goals.”

    ROBERTA has invaluable firsthand experience:
    “When emotions got in the way of business, I lost the opportunity.”

    LEANNE definitely has a healthy “success mindset”:
    “Just throwing big dreams ‘out there’ is not productive and won’t get you anywhere. Action has to be a part of it.”

    LYNN is a realist and doesn’t want people to feel the sting of getting burned:
    “It always irks me to see some of the online marketers preying on those that are not understanding what it truly takes to make your dreams come true.”

    MAUREEN does not have her head in the clouds – her eyes are wide open:
    “I firmly believe you need to dream, have goals, and think big about where you want your business to be, but that alone is not enough.”

    I encourage you to dream and dream as big as you want to. Get excited about your passions in life and shoot for the moon! But please keep in mind …

    Just emotionally wishing and hoping and dreaming something will happen (like success in your business) won’t make it a reality.

    My readers ROCK!!!

  • Hi Melanie
    Interesting thoughts. I firmly believe you need to dream, have goals and think big about where you want your business to be, but that alone is not enough, you need to act to make them come true.
    I also believe totally that making money as an end point does not necessarily lead you to success but having a desire to make a difference to others , in whatever business you are in, seems to be the point of difference in many successful entrepeuners.

  • Nothing wrong with dreaming- that is what gets you to the “doing stage” in the first place. To remain there – I think that all those big dreams need to have a realistic base. You then at that point do have to have a firm hold your intentions and in the methods of how you will grow from that point on.

  • Right on Melanie! It alwasy irks me to see some of the online marketers preying on those that are not understanding what it truly takes to make your dreams come true. They show them pictures of yachts, fancy cars and homes with promises they will achieve this within 6 weeks.

    I appreciate fellow entrepreneurs, like yourself, stating the true facts so that others will learn that dreams will come true, with hard work, dedication and determination.

  • Awesome discussion. I’m firstly going to smooth my feathers down ; )

    I disagree. Emotions and Business is a tango that MUST be danced. Either you find a way to master your steps on the floor, or you step on each other’s toes and you don’t leave the floor very happy.

    Emotions are the best driver in business, but only if focussed, managed well, and supporting specific goals. Emotions can fire up your drive to succeed, but it’s important to understand them, and make them your friend, not your enemy.

    Great topic Melanie 🙂

  • I agree with you in the sense that just throwing big dreams “out there” is not productive and won’t get you anywhere. Action has to be a part of it. But I disagree with you in the sense that they’re somehow mutually exclusive. I totally agree with doing the work of building your business . . . and I agree with having dreams and a vision and goals. It’s not one or the other for me.

  • And I can attest that when emotions got in the way of business, I lost the opportunity. No ruffling folks and this is not a woman’s issue. I have watched emotions, especially anger turn many men into stupid arrogant pricks. (excuse the language)

  • Melanie, another great blog! No offense here and you are so right!! Can’t be dreaming big is not productive!

  • BINGO!!

    “AS LONG as you put in motion a plan of action to achieve them.” My sentiments exactly, Martha.

    Thanks so much for sharing your insights!

  • Daydreaming and dreaming BIG are waaaaay far different animals!
    All the successful people I know have had very big dreams, they rolled up their sleeves, took action, moved forward and that is WHY they are successful.
    If your final dream is to have the material things you mentioned, I don’t see a problem with that. AS LONG as you put in motion a plan of action to achieve them.
    A true entrepreneur is not a day-dreamer. Far from it. We are BIG dreamers and proud of it!
    Not sure who you were afraid of offending with this post? 🙂

  • But I really want that huge estate overlooking the ocean, Melissa!! 🙂

    Kidding aside …

    Having something to work toward is the key. And mapping out a route to get there is critical.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  • I have to agree with you Melanie. There IS a difference between focusing on a the vision that you have for your business versus just dreaming.

    I think that focusing on your vision is a very productive way in which to grow and develop your business as you are more apt to actually WORK towards something as opposed to just dreaming about living in that huge house over looking the ocean.

  • Like the way you think, Roy, and thanks for adding a splash of humor. Refreshing!

    You’re brought up a really good point — focusing on the vision for your business (goals, mission statement, business plan, etc.) is NOT the same as dreaming. 🙂

  • Well- there are two messages there. One- dreaming does NOTHING for you. Dreaming- as in developing a vision- and then making goals to accomplish same is the ONLY way one gets anywhere. So, I vehemently agree and disagree with you. (Had to get those emotions in somewhere 🙂 )

  • If you’re floating above the ground, Patricia, you’re apt to miss a step! Glad to know you’re a gal with her feet planted firmly on the ground. 🙂

    Thanks for your visit today — always love to see you here.

  • Hi Melanie

    Spoken like a true marketer and business woman 🙂 I did have a dream to have my own small on-line business. That is becoming a reality by me keeping my feet firmly on the ground and my head out of the clouds 😉 Thanks for the reminder Melinda.

    Patricia Perth Australia

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  • Having a plan and a goal is important but dreaming without viable action is a waste. Great post.

    People really need more action and less dreaming.