The Power Of Positive Pessimism

I am a positive person.


I always believe and have faith for the best possible outcomes, that I am guided by God in everything that I do, and protected from my mistakes when I'm not listening to Him carefully.

That being said, I also believe God gives us wisdom for dealing with practical matters in our lives.

When it comes to our business, I believe we should believe for the best, and plan for the worst. I call this “positive pessimism”.

What does this look like for information marketers?

It means we should set up our companies so that we can still make money even in the worst of circumstances. This translates to:

  • Making certain your margins are high.
  • Keeping your costs as low as possible.
  • Always planning for very low response rates.

Planning for poor results allows us to build in safety nets, so that even if our campaigns don't work the way we hope, we can still be profitable.

This is much better than the way most people plan their businesses: planning for the best, and counting on it in order to make the bills.

Question for you: What do you think of the idea of positive pessimism?

Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at

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  • Hi Ray,
    I guess I relate a lot to scripture so I respond to this post with  “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” -Matthew 10:16.  Simply put, God gives you a brain that is meant to be engaged in every endeavor. 
    What value is there in being so “heavenly minded” that you do no “earthly good.”  Moving forward in faith does not mean tunnel vision that ignores reality and sets aside responsible behavior.
    This is one area where I have some questions with the “Law of Attraction” crowd.  Things are never quite as simple as positive thinking only, there is also strategic thinking and tactical actions when life takes negative turns. 
    That’s my take.
    I’m digging into your WITS course big time.  It looks to be the template I’ve been looking for to bring my info product ideas to fruition (along with the Platform course for techie stuff).  Thanks for sending it along, I know it will help in ramping things up for me quickly.
    For I am…building a business to save the world!
    Be God’s!
    Robert Miller

  • SarahBethWrites

    I’m an realistic optimist. Our old family saying is, “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.” That applies to everything in life it seems.

  • I have a slightly different take on it that invariably brings me to the same line of thinking, but I call is cynical salvation. People laugh when I say that, but I believe that if you progress with the mindset that Murphy is plotting against you, then you can’t help but cover all of the bases which leads to not being surprised by the negative that comes your way as well as giving you a sense of “God is Great” when things work out better than you expected.