Albert Einstein once said “Stay away from negative people, they have a problem for every solution.” He was entirely right. Negative people can shoot down our ideas, weaken our confidence and erode our passion, but only if we let them.

In 2008, psychologists at Harvard University interrogated the link between emotional states and relationships. The researchers found that not only does negativity spread much faster than positivity, but that negative people have a far greater impact on our mood and mindset than positive people do. The study concluded that happy people can increase our chances of being happy by 11%, but if we spend time with negative people our chances of being unhappy double. Negativity is like a virus – it spreads.

In order to realise their goals, a rebel entrepreneur must have a people plan – a coherent list of the people who can help you achieve your objectives and key results. There is no room for negativity in the people plan. Negative people are uninterested in helping you make your goals a reality. In fact, they want to see you fail. They’ll plant seeds of doubt, rob you of your passion and waste your time. Without confidence, passion or time your company will never take off.

In order to protect your business and yourself, negative people should be identified as early as possible. If you share your idea with them and they immediately shoot it down, think twice about that when you see them again.

Remember the opposite is also true, so surround yourself with “Can Do” positive, authentic people. The saying “Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are” is very important if you want to build success.

This is not to say that a rebel entrepreneur won’t listen to critique – they certainly do, but they understand the difference between constructive feedback and negative criticism. When positive people offer constructive criticism, a rebel entrepreneur will listen and take their advice on board if it is conducive to their business model.

Eleanor Roosevelt famously said “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” You have no obligation to let negative people impact your future. When we cut them out, we create room for positivity.

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