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Recharging Your Willpower and Other Tips This Week

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A roundup of the best tips of the week from


World leaders, elite athletes and other top achievers are often praised for their immense willpower. "Willpower gives you the energy and endurance to deal with challenges, the ability to persevere in the face of setbacks and the strength to tolerate conflict or stress that might otherwise make us run away from goals or projects we care about," says Kelly McGonigal, a psychologist and author of a book on willpower. But even high-achieving people can lose heart and let their willpower slip from time to time.

One way to recharge your willpower is to forgive yourself for making mistakes. Rather than indulging in "the usual self-criticism or ego-boosting," McGonigal says, you should extend to yourself the understanding you would give a friend who had dropped the ball. But don't stop there; analyze how you can do better next time. That way you'll recover from failures while still making it possible to grow. More: 5 Ways to Boost Your Willpower

When networking, don't pitch -- just talk.
There's nothing worse when you're at a networking event than getting the hard sell from a fellow attendee -- unless maybe it's getting a dozen hard sells from a dozen fellow attendees. Don't be that person -- treat your conversation partners as human beings, not as potential clients. To break the ice, ask simple and disarming questions such as, "What brings you here?" More: Networking Strategies for People Who Hate Networking

Plan for additional costs as you grow.
When considering whether you can quit your day job to launch that hot startup idea, you'll need to use your financial statements to project how well your business will perform from month to month. And it isn't enough to forecast sales growth; you'll need to factor in added expenses, too. "Typically, entrepreneurs will be overly optimistic about revenue and over-optimistic about containing costs," says Chris Carey of Brooklyn-based Chris Carey Advisors. More: Can You Afford to Quit Your Day Job?

Don't be too integral to your business if you want to sell.
Among the hard questions you should ask yourself to figure out whether you're ready to sell is: "Can my business thrive without me or without a key customer?" Allan Siposs, a managing director of Irvine, Calif.-based FMV Capital Markets, says, "A good business can operate when the owner is on vacation and has good revenue diversification, where no one customer represents more than five percent of the business." If that isn't the case, it may be tough to find a buyer. More: 10 Questions to Ask Before Selling Your Business

Define your vision.
"Culture is squishy," says David Vik, a former chiropractor now known for helping Zappos and other companies build effective company cultures. Nevertheless you have to come to grips with it, and one of the best ways to do this is to nail down your vision for your company. Define not only what you're doing now but also what you want to accomplish in the future. Vik recommends giving yourself a broad definition that allows for flexibility and growth in your products or services. More: Zappos' Secrets to Building an Empowering Company Culture

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