Every top performer -- in whatever the industry -- knows there is a "zone" they sometimes achieve when everything is rolling ...\u00a0a state of mind where success comes easily.\u00a0 They can seemingly do no wrong when they're in the zone.\u00a0 Many business owners I know have talked to me about being in the zone.\u00a0 Usually "the zone" in business has a lot to do with operating in a frothy economy or in a white-hot industry.\u00a0 Certainly it is easier for us as business owners to find the zone in a hot market.\u00a0 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.\u00a0 For example mortgage brokers might be up while repo men are down and vice versa.\u00a0 You get the idea. So, how do we as business owners find "the zone" in a tough economy?\u00a0 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.\u00a0 I call it "Disciplined Optimism."\u00a0 Disciplined Optimism is a combination of positive attitude, tenacity and hard work.\u00a0 It requires the business owner to:\u00a0 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)\u00a0 I believe Disciplined Optimism is the heart of entrepreneurship.\u00a0 Unfortunately some small business owners are not entrepreneurs -- they have not cultivated Disciplined Optimism.\u00a0 And that's too bad.\u00a0 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.\u00a0 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.\u00a0 I also recommend you follow the advice my Dad taught me many years ago.\u00a0 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. * * * * * 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.