Every top performer — in whatever the industry — knows there is a “zone” they sometimes achieve when everything is rolling … a state of mind where success comes easily. They can seemingly do no wrong when they’re in the zone.
Many business owners I know have talked to me about being in the zone. Usually “the zone” in business has a lot to do with operating in a frothy economy or in a white-hot industry. Certainly it is easier for us as business owners to find the zone in a hot market. But let’s face it, we ALL find ourselves in a challenging market at one time or another, even if we’re not all in the challenging market at the same time. For example mortgage brokers might be up while repo men are down and vice versa. You get the idea.
So, how do we as business owners find “the zone” in a tough economy?
There’s no doubt that marketing expertise makes it easier to find the zone in a tough economy, but I want to focus on a characteristic that can quickly help anyone find the zone (even in tough times) if they’re willing to embrace it.
I call it “Disciplined Optimism.”
Disciplined Optimism is a combination of positive attitude, tenacity and hard work. It requires the business owner to:
- Constantly think positively (read Peale’s Power of Positive Thinking)
- Tenaciously pursue the success you have envisioned; and
- Work hard to remove obstacles, always believing you will achieve that success (google “Jim Collins Stockdale Paradox” for more on this)
I believe Disciplined Optimism is the heart of entrepreneurship. Unfortunately some small business owners are not entrepreneurs — they have not cultivated Disciplined Optimism. And that’s too bad. Because business owners who possess this trait are able to find the zone, even in tough economies … while those business owners who do not possess this trait struggle mightily to find the zone, especially in a tough market.
If you’re finding yourself bogged down by the negativity surrounding you, I can’t recommend highly enough Peale’s book and Collins’ writings on the Stockdale Paradox. I also recommend you follow the advice my Dad taught me many years ago. It’s amazing how the power of positive thinking enables business owners to work tenaciously toward their goals… and find the zone that makes success come easily.
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About the Author: Clate Mask is the President and CEO of Infusionsoft. He loves to turn small businesses into big businesses. In addition to running the day-to-day operations of Infusionsoft, Clate also writes at the Infusion Blog about marketing and entrepreneurship topics.