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Beating 'Imposter Syndrome' and Other Tips From the Week

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A roundup of the best tips of the week from

According to psychologists, many successful people, including entrepreneurs, suffer from "imposter syndrome," the belief they don't deserve their success. Sooner or later, they think, someone will recognize them as the frauds they think they are. "Millions of people, from entrepreneurs to celebrities, have a hard time internalizing their accomplishments," says Valerie Young, an authority on impostor syndrome and author of The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women (Crown Business, 2011).

One way to beat imposter syndrome is to willfully interpret your fear and insecurity as excitement. "Fear and excitement have the same physical reaction," Young says. "Your body doesn't know the difference." So, next time you have to pitch a client or do something else that gives you jitters, convince yourself that it's an opportunity to achieve something great. Let the power of positive thinking -- and your body's own adrenaline -- work on your behalf. More: Fake It Until You Make It: How to Believe in Yourself When You Don't Feel Worthy

Give yourself a crash course in color.

The best companies and products resonate emotionally with customers. One powerful way to create an emotional association in customers' minds is through color. Courtney Garvin, a graphic designer, recommends that business owners familiarize themselves with the standard "color palette" in their industry, to ensure they are sending the right signals to customers. You should also understand what it means to go outside the norm. Her client Rimdi, a healthcare service provider, chose a bright magenta as its primary color rather than the safe shades of blue common in the healthcare industry. Why? "This particular client had some new technologies that were innovative," Garvin says. "They chose to stand out." More: Are Color Trends Important in Product Design?

Recognize and reward your staff to prevent employee burnout.

Since the recession began, many business owners have been forced to cut back on hiring and ask a reduced staff to take on more work. Employees who are on the verge of burnout from this increased work load tend to display anger or anxiety or to withdraw from others, says Debbie Zmorenski of Orlando, Fla.-based Moren Enterprises, a business consulting company. Burnout "can lead to an entire list of things that damage the bottom line of the company," says Zmorenski, including mistakes by once-conscientious employees and conflicts between co-workers. To improve morale, she suggests increasing flex-time and instituting or stepping up employee-recognition programs. More: Staff Stretched to the Limit? 4 Ways to Tell

Create a YouTube trailer for your brand.

YouTube's One Channel redesign, which officially launched Wednesday, gives brands more tools than ever to win fans. You can now create a video trailer about your company, display it prominently at the top of the page, and set it up to play only for new viewers as a way of enticing them to subscribe to your channel. And YouTube's free video-editing software allows you to build trailers easily by cutting together videos from your existing YouTube library. Ting, a wireless service provider, is one startup that has jumped at the chance. Ting's current trailer shows how its signature Android app works and highlights its key features. "It's interesting to be able to present a new view on our YouTube channel, and a chance for us to say what our brand story is about," says Andrew Moore-Crispin, content development manager at Tucows, Ting's parent company. More: How to Make the Most of YouTube's New Redesign

Avoid social-media monologues.

Social-media rudeness can take many forms, says social strategist Brendan Brandt, and one of these is the lengthy monologue giving your view on a controversial topic. Venting on Facebook or another platform leaves you vulnerable to negative feedback. What's worse, your post may go viral. Save yourself the bad press by keeping your interactions light and engaging, says Brandt. For entrepreneurs, social media shouldn't be a soapbox. More: Social Media Is Getting Nasty. How Can You Rise Above It?

Brian Patrick Eha

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Brian Patrick Eha is a freelance journalist and former assistant editor at He is writing a book about the global phenomenon of Bitcoin for Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin Random House. It will be published in 2015.