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Perfect Pitch Former pitcher's advice is a hit with entrepreneurs.

By April Y. Pennington

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Jim Abbott was an inspiration to those on and off the field whenhe pitched a no-hitter with the New York Yankees, despite beingborn without his right hand. Overcoming obstacles to achieve hisgoals, Abbott now shares his insights with small-business owners asa motivational speaker. Here, in his words, is his key tomotivating and inspiring entrepreneurs:

"I use an acronym when I speak--ADAPT. A stands foradjustability, and it's using your own ideas on how to dothings. Be open-minded and flexible in looking for solutions;change course if something's not working. D isdetermination. Don't allow someone else's expectations todefine you. Ignore critics, and believe in what you can do, inspite of the skeptics. Next, accountability, to me, is the heartand soul of ADAPT. It has to do with our obligations to others--theteammates in our lives--and the abilities we've been given,making the most of our talents. That's something that came frommy experience--never use the circumstances of your life to makeexcuses. P is perseverance. We think it's a magicalpower, but it's just a matter of making slow and steadyprogress. There were a couple of seasons where I really struggled.I wanted the quick fix, but I had to keep practicing to becomebetter. You make the smallest of successes and just do itagain.

"Lastly, we have trust. Be fully aware of what yourstrengths are. Focus on those, have them available to you, and beable to apply them."

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