Building a 'Growth Team' and Other Tips This Week How your personal network can fuel your productivity, how confidence can defeat burnout, why your products need emotional content and more: our best tips of the week.

By Brian Patrick Eha

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A roundup of the best tips of the week from

Nobody is an island, even hard-driving individualists need support in their business ventures. The people who you surround yourself with can either bolster your energy or drain it away.

To improve the quality of your personal network, productivity expert Jason Womack recommends building a "growth team" of people who will listen to your challenges and give you advice. Start by making lists of the individuals in your life that you admire and would like to spend more time with. Then ask yourself, "Who are the top three people who care the most about my personal and professional success?" Reach out to these people to let them know how much you value their input. Ask if you can be accountable to them -- while respecting their limited time -- and prepare to take off with their support as rocket fuel. More: How Your Network Can Make You More Productive

Build your own confidence to keep burnout at bay.
Burnout is always a danger for full-throttle entrepreneurs, and it can damage not only your own health but the health of your company culture. Top employees can sense when their leader has become burned out, and they often jump ship, says Stephen Courtright, a Texas A&M University professor of management. One way to stave off burnout is to ask for help when you need it. Be committed to learning on the job in order to prepare yourself for whatever might come your way. "You can't just wake up every day and tell yourself, 'I can do this,'" Courtright says. "Confidence comes from being able to meet the demands." More: 3 Skills to Prevent Leadership Burnout

Consider the changes growth might cause.
Most business owners are not content to rest on their laurels; they want to grow their companies, whether this simply means increasing revenue or a major undertaking like expanding into a new market. Creating growth projections is essential, but you should also consider how your business might change in other ways. Sometimes growth also means consolidation – laying off people or combining certain operations. Be sure these factors don't blindside you. More: What to Consider Before Your Business Expands

Emotional content is a key to viral success.
Whether it's joy, excitement or anger, people tend to share media that affects them emotionally. To make your products or promotional materials go viral, make sure they have emotional content that connects with your customers. "People often think that contagious products just get lucky," says Jonah Berger, author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On. "But it's not luck and it's not random. It's science." More: The Secrets of What Makes a Product Go Viral

After a disaster, think of your employees -- not money.
For a business owner, a natural disaster can throw one's whole livelihood into jeopardy. It's natural to think of money at such a time, but if you want to survive, your first priority should be caring for your employees. Joe Worth, vice president of operations at B2B CFO, a CFO services firm, recommends "doing everything you can to make employees' lives a little easier: organizing transportation, setting up on-site daycare, instituting flexible work schedules." Your efforts will pay off in employee loyalty and willingness to help see you through the crisis. More: How to Handle Cash Flow When Disaster Strikes

Wavy Line

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.

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