Entrepreneur

Why negativity in your startup is a good thing

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Negatism is “the act of learning from negative outcomes or behaviors” — and boy, will we petition heavily to officially add this word to the dictionary.

However, if “negatism” can’t be a real word yet, it sure can be a clever new online forum that appreciates the value in, well, failure.

Negatism.com is an advice and sharing company whose mission is to boast the positiveness of, according to the press release, “avoiding business decision pitfalls before making them.”

Created by Kevin Wenig, an accountant with over 20 years of experience working with small businesses and of oozing negativity “out of his pores,” Negatism is for business CEOs, entrepreneurs, and those who are beginning to dive into their own startup companies. The website aims to give accurate and genuine advice from business leaders who made some wrong business decisions. It encourages leaders from all walks of business to contribute some failure stories and wisdom for hopefuls.

For contributions, the website asks that leaders answer four simple questions:

  • What was the biggest mistake you made in business so far?
  • What lesson did you learn the hard way?
  • What would you not do again, if given the opportunity?
  • What is the one warning you wish someone gave you when you were first starting out?

With organized categories like Financial, Advertising, Employees, The Water Cooler, and more, one can easily navigate the website to find a plethora of specific answers to the aforementioned questions.

“One of the great benefits of today’s businesses operating amidst a virtual and social revolution is the ability to amass experts on a wide variety of subjects, with varying experience instantly,” says Wenig, in an official statement.

Although one might value the advice of an in-person coffee session with a mentor, nothing beats instantaneous access to trusted resources who are “a bit more weathered” to help readers make decisions right away.

Wenig offers some humorous bits of information about his own life on the website’s About Us page. He says that he “subscribes to most conspiracy theories, argues a losing point for no apparent reason, and has an office air filter because someone once told him they create negatively charged ions, whatever that means.”

His personal touches actually make me feel comfortable enough to disclose all of my failures to him, so I’d say he’s doing a great job with the website so far.

After all, as Michael Porter, Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at Harvard Business School, once said, “The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.”

You can read some great Negatisms here or submit your own here.


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