The Power of Negative Entrepreneurial Thinking

The Power of Negative Entrepreneurial Thinking

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting tired of all the entrepreneurial cheerleaders and hoopla. The message is that if you only have perseverance and grit, you can be successful. If you can just walk across some coals, the brass ring is almost in hand. You can achieve anything if you put your mind to it!

Instead, for physician entrepreneurs, there is a lot to be said for the power of negative thinking and the ability to say no:

  1. It is just easier to get rid of stuff and toxic people than create new positive habits. Acting on no is a lot easier than acting on yes. Have you done anything about those new year’s resolutions 5 months later?
  2. Entrepreneurs manage risk. That means worse case assessment and how to manage it.
  3. Thinking negatively might discourage you from wasting a lot of time and money on something that you are,quite simply, not built to do or really are not very happy doing.
  4. Recognizing insurmountable barriers makes you more appreciative of what you already have
  5. Negative thinking releases you from expectations imposed on you by parents, society or your boss.
  6. There is a lot of power in a positive no when you are protecting your interests
  7. Saying no opens the doors of opportunity to something else
  8. It turns out visualizing the positive can backfire.
  9. Defensive pessimists were more anxious and set lower expectations for themselves in analytical, verbal, and creative tasks. Yet they didn’t perform any worse.
  10. Optimism. at the extremes, creates unrealistic expectations and people see through the facade. The idea is to be balanced and create a realistic picture of the challenges ahead…nothing to fear but fear itself kind of thing.
  11. Saying no to things means you can barter for things instead of rent them, and rent instead of buy or do without altogether. Then, you won’t have to ask for money.
  12. Saying no to things will help prevent blurring your focus or tempt you to multitask when you just have so much bandwidth.

13. Failure should be the foundation of your success.

14. There are many benefits to not giving a F#$K

15. It helps you avoid the distraction of traction.

Being negative and grumpy will get you about as far as being a foolish Pollyanna. Otherwise, as they say in the Lone Star state, you will just be one of those people with a big hat and no cattle.

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Arlen MyersArlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at and co-editor of Digital Health Entrepreneurship

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Arlen Meyers

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is an emeritus professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine ,teaches bioentrepreneurship and is Chief Medical Officer for Bridge Health and Cliexa. He is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at and author of the Life Science Innovation Roadmap.




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