Bad News vs. Good News

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
William Shakespeare

I will leave the discussion aside as to whether William Shakespeare is indulging in moral relativism.

I think he is not, if one reads the above quotation in context, but I do think the quotation illustrates a basic principle we, as entrepreneurs, would be profited to recognize and employ with more frequency.

It is popular, in our culture, to be well versed in bad news.

It is popular to be able to quote the bad news, and to elaborate upon its badness, and one is presumed to be more erudite and wise for doing so.

But as entrepreneurs-those who create something from virtually nothing-I believe it is the kiss of death. It is a way of limiting ourselves, of violating the principle of the best use of resources.

The best and highest resource we possess is ourselves, and that never brought so into focus as in what we think about most of the time.

I don’t believe it’s possible to talk about the bad news all the time, without also thinking about it all the time. And it should stand to reason that thinking about something all the time tends to put one’s focus on that something, and that focusing on something inevitably draws us closer to the something.

I’m not talking about mysticism here.

I’m simply talking about the fact that the more we tend to think about a thing, the more likely it is that our behavior, actions, attitudes, and lifestyle will come into alignment with that thing we’re thinking about.

So the “bad news” is this: thinking and talking about bad news all the time might make you seem smart, but it inevitably makes you dumb, and what’s more it likely will make you broke. In the rare cases that it does not make you broke, because you have in some perverted way discovered how to profit from bad news, it will make you soul-sick.

Yes, I’m sticking my neck out on this one. But my poster child for the premise of being rich but soul-sick is Howard Hughes. And I don’t think any of us wants to end up like him, hoarding our fingernail clippings, living on orange juice, and slowly going insane.

The good news is, there is obvious profit in thinking and talking about good news. In looking for the good news in every situation. It is after all, as entrepreneurs, what we are paid to do.

Let’s go do it.

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