On Being Positive

The single most important thing you can do in business is stay away from negative people. They’re like building a quicksand pit for yourself. That’s one of the common traits I see in successful people. Everything’s always great and getting better – even when it isn’t. That kind of positive approach is important, because if you listen to negative people you’ll get a migraine. You’ll never get anywhere. Some people turn whining into a career, but those people can be so depressing. They’ll bring you down, and you’ll never be at your best when you’re down.

There’s no room in any venture for a defeatist attitude. A lot of young people walk around thinking all the great ideas have been taken or that all the great projects have been started. But that’s nonsense. There are opportunities all over the place.

The barriers to entry in any field are the ones you put up for yourself. There’s always plenty of room at the top. The middle can get pretty crowded. The bottom can get pretty crowded. But at the top’s there’s always room.

The other important thing I tell people is to be nice. It sounds so simple, but you’d be surprised how rare that is these days. People respond to you if they get the feeling you respond to them. If you’re polite and businesslike. If you don’t throw your position around. If you take the time to talk to people and actually listen. In every office, in every field, people can derail you if they don’t like you. But if they like you, if they’re pulling for you, things tend to work out just fine.

~ Roger Ailes


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