As someone who has spent much of her career guiding innovators and entrepreneurs, Linda Rottenberg, author of Crazy Is a Compliment: Taking Smart Risks in the Pursuit of Big Dreams, understands that when someone launches a new business or project there will be those who call them crazy. Perhaps many might take offense to this but for Linda, however, this is a compliment. In Crazy is a Compliment, Linda argues that if people aren’t calling you crazy when you are starting something new, then you likely
First, it should be noted that in Crazy Is a Compliment, Linda Rottenberg is not arguing for young, up and coming entrepreneurs to take insane risks, or to give up everything in order to pursue an idea that’s not as well thought out. Instead, Rottenberg calls for entrepreneurs to take on smart risks – risking just enough to get into the game. As the CEO of Endeavor, a nonprofit she founded in 1997 to help and guide high-impact entrepreneurs, Linda has interacted with entrepreneurs of all walks of life. Since 1997, Endeavor has has gone through 40,000 screenings of potential candidates out of which 1,000 across 20 countries have been chosen. The candidates were helped by Rottenberg and Endeavor in taking those critical steps that all companies must take when wanting to grow. As of 2012, these entrepreneurs have generated over $6 billion in revenue and created over 225,000 jobs. This goes to show what smart risk taking can achieve.
Rottenberg draws on examples of some well known innovators, influencers and brands, going through how they took risks and embraced an entrepreneur’s mindset to get to where they are know. This includes Walt Disney and companies like MTV. Rottenberg also introduces readers to entrepreneurs who have gone through Endeavor’s guiding programs, many of whom started with just an idea and which now earn them millions.
This book is a great read for anyone, be it anyone starting a new job or someone who has recently been tapped as a CEO. It isn’t just a book worthy of being read by those seeking to follow through with their own ideas. Many people, in all positions, can benefit from smart risk taking to give themselves that opportunity to truly stand out from the rest.