From the July 2007 issue of Entrepreneur

A good friend of mine regularly runs marathons. Every morning, he gets up more than an hour before the rest of his family and puts in about 10 miles. I was curious how hard it is for him to successfully complete runs that are more than twice the length of his regular practice.

He told me that his morning run isn't only about conditioning his body; it's also about improving his attitude. He said his mind, not his body, is the key to being able to extend his daily runs to 26 miles. Keeping a positive mental attitude allows him to push himself when his body feels like giving out.

Likewise, your ultimate business success greatly depends on your strength of mind. A positive outlook enables you to believe your goals are achievable and to discover opportunities where others may not see them. Like preparing for a marathon, maintaining an upbeat attitude is something you need to practice regularly so you can power up your mind for success.

1. Believe in yourself no matter what. Don't let yourself get beat before you even attempt to accomplish a new goal. Self-confidence is an impenetrable shield that helps you maintain a positive frame of mind. An optimistic, anything-is-possible mind-set encourages customers and colleagues to support your efforts. Hesitation, on the other hand, will make them question your abilities. A strong self-image doesn't necessarily mean you have all the answers to accomplish a specific objective--it simply signals that you have the conviction necessary to make your goal a reality.

2. Put in your 10 miles of mental practice each day. Persistence can produce miracles. The skills you need to accomplish your big dream are the ones you acquire through hard work. Define where your mind needs discipline, and set up a regimen to practice, practice, practice. Gain clarity and strength by observing what helps you maintain a positive mind-set, and do more of it. Whether it's completing a crossword puzzle or working out, your self-confidence will improve, and the path to accomplishing your goals will be illuminated.

3. Program the voice in your head. It's up to you to keep yourself moving forward even when negative thoughts creep into your mind. When you experience doubts that undermine your conviction, program your inner voice to maintain a positive attitude. Remind yourself of your past accomplishments, and know you can succeed by pushing past obstacles. Like the marathoner who keeps running despite physical discomfort, you can break through any mental barriers by refusing to give in to self-doubt.

4. Execute with flexible efficiency. Your daily behaviors can positively influence your attitude and mind-set. Don't obsess about the final outcome; instead, devise a plan of action with the incremental steps necessary to achieve your goal. Freeing your mind to continually move forward allows solutions to come into view. Fuel your positive attitude by celebrating every one of your accomplishments.

Creating a powerful mindset requires practice and a personal connection; continually experiment with different devices to determine what works for you. Increase your accountability to your new attitude by telling others about your objectives. Your positive outlook will attract people who will support your efforts and encourage you to keep powering up your mind for success.

Speaker and consultant Romanus Wolter, aka "The Kick Start Guy," is author of Kick Start Your Success and Kick Start Your Dream Business.