Optimists, We Get The Job Done

Someone once told me that I was the type of person who would pop champagne while on a sinking ship. It’s true; I’ve always clung to positivity.

I not only hope good things happen, I convince myself good news is always right around the corner. I expect sunny days. I expect success. I not only see a glass as half full, I see the glass, yes, full of champagne.

I’ve been thinking lately about my pretty constant happy disposition. The truth is, I’m usually smiling. I’m pretty good at cheering people up around me.

Did this happen because I’ve been a mother for 29 years? For me, showing my children a world full of possibilities, a world full of hope, full of adventure, full of fun, has always been my mantra.

For me, supporting, cheering, pushing, catching, resting, playing, singing, dancing, jumping and laughing have been at my core of being a mother.

Yes, we may have cried together a few times but I’d like to remember that there were smiles after. Have I known a grumpy mother or two along the way? Yes, yes I have but I always thought this disposition was so detrimental to the child.

I recall trying to show some fun and cheer a few times to kids with grumpy moms. I’m pretty convinced that a happy mom raises happy children. Now, mostly grown, my kids still believe they're going to change the world, and I believe them.

I wonder if moms try a little bit harder to be positive than dads? Do moms more often fake a little cheer even when it’s not there for their children? Maybe.

The “Mad Men” era Dad would not only NOT hide his angry, grumpy disposition, but he'd also expect the Mom to cheer him up. I wonder if those days are really behind us?

In the past few months I have begun to wonder if my perpetual optimism has in fact served me well. Eeyore famously said, “I never get my hopes up, so I never get let down.”

I embrace Pooh Bear saying, “Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon.”

I’ve heard many times “Hope for the best, Plan for the worst.”

This was never my style.

Twelve years ago I decided to become an entrepreneur and I was optimistic from day one. I’ve always loved pajamas and with a background as a retail dress buyer I decided to launch an online store selling pajamas. I was pretty happy when I spent $7.99 to own the domain name www.ThePajamaCompany.com.

I was on my way.

I’ve worked very hard for the past 12 years building my e-commerce business. I created my online store with the tagline “Spreading happiness in pajamas.”

There have been ups and downs but I’ve always focused on the ups. We have customers all over the world. We’ve been a go-to website for Christmas shoppers since our launch.

For the past year, we’ve been building a new website that was glossier, cleaner, faster. I was optimistic about the momentum that would come from its launch. It never occurred to me that there would be so many problems once it went live. And problems there were.

We launched in January and business has been gloomy ever since. I assumed, “If we build it, they will come.” They haven’t.

We’ve gone from 1000s of customers online at any moment to only a handful as my dispersed tech team continues to fix outdated URLs and sync old categories.

The daily issues have been challenging my optimism. At times it's been hard not to let that part of my brain that only sees the high walls around me and not the light at the top take over completely.

Winston Churchill said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

Recently, I've been wondering if maybe a little pessimism would have better prepared me for this current challenge.

But today, I'm grateful for the few customers who are shopping on my site. I know it's my optimism that will keep me pushing forward.

Do life experiences turn people into pessimists? Well, I’m having a life experience now but resist this I will. The sun will come out tomorrow.

I’m working so hard to make sure it does and I’m working with a smile on my face.

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