SMALL BUSINESS
07/24/2013 03:49 pm ET | Updated Jul 24, 2013

How To Start A Business? Use Self-Delusion (VIDEO)

America's small business climate is tough, but author AJ Jacobs says there's one simple way for entrepreneurs to give themselves a leg up -- self-delusion.

Jacobs has written a story about his belief that forcing yourself to be optimistic about something that seems unlikely to succeed will eventually lead to true optimism and a greater likelihood of achieving goals. He told HuffPost Live's Josh Zepps that he exercises this approach himself when self-doubt creeps into a book he's working on, and says it is equally applicable to new business owners.

"The odds against any new business actually succeeding are incredibly low, so for me, the most important tool is to delude yourself, to be irrationally optimistic that your business is going to succeed, and then you actually have a better chance of succeeding," he said.

Of course, complete denial of reality isn't a good idea. Jacobs added that a balance of delusion and truth may be the best way to find success.

"The best companies have a balance between a CEO who's completely, irrationally exuberant and someone else who is a hand wringer, a bean counter," he said.

Check out the full segment on what causes a startup to fail on HuffPost Live HERE.

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