Linda is the CEO and Co-founder of Endeavor, a non-profit organization that pioneered the field of High-Impact Entrepreneurship. Rather than starting a company as an entrepreneur herself, she started a movement, a factory-like organization with offices all over the world, to produce entrepreneurs in volume.
Crazy is a compliment is her first book. Is it a business book? Is it a personal memoir? Is it inspirational? Is it a story that you must read, because you can not put it down? Yes, the book is all of the above. Will be available for sale in October 2014.
Unlike other positive thinking books - I know one of them claiming to have discovered a "Technology for happiness" - Linda's book stands out as being honest, sincere, uplifting and enormously influential.
The first thing Linda did after graduating as a lawyer was to decide she will never be a lawyer. She did not know what to do. yet so she went to South America. She dropped out, like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, except she did it after the school ended.
"What is it like to get accepted into Stanford University?" The question is on Quora social web site. Someone responded : "Confusion. Surprise. Joy. Hysterics. In that order. I ran downstairs screaming at the top of my lungs and launching myself at my mom and yelling that I made it I made it I'm going to Stanford."
Linda probably managed to shock her suburban well to do family (her father is a lawyer). She seemed "crazy". How can someone reasonable just abandon that life where the most coveted doors open to you? Reason means to throw yourself in the arms of your mother, yelling "I made it!"
"My journey started in a taxicab in Buenos Aires", she tells an audience at Stanford University in May 2014. The taxicab driver was an university graduate in engineering. The government did not create enough engineering jobs for him to have one. "So Why don't you become an entrepreneur?" Linda asked? "A what?" said the cabdriver? In Spanish the world "entrepreneur" translates as someone very rich, an "empresario", who either inherited the wealth or had power. There is a word in Wikipedia; "political entrepreneur" which was more applicable in the Argentina from twenty years ago.
This is not what Linda meant. One of the reasons she wrote the book, is that "entrepreneurship isn't just for entrepreneurs anymore". From Wikipedia
According to Paul Reynolds, founder of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, "by the time they reach their retirement years, half of all working men in the United States probably have a period of self-employment of one or more years; one in four may have engaged in self-employment for six or more years. Participating in a new business creation is a common activity among U.S. workers over the course of their careers."Let's listen to Linda herself as she conveys all over the world what was lost in the translation of the term entrepreneur:
This sounds like the Kabbalah scholar Gershom Scholem, who explains the mystical interpretation of the Torah by reading the white spaces between the black letters (the white fire over the black fire)Stop Planning. Start doing. Endeavor plan was on a napkin. Intel plan had only 151 words, with typos. Entrepreneurs don't read the letters on the wall, they look at the spaces in between.
"You have a dream, but you don't know how to turn your dream into reality. Or you've already launched your dream, but you are unsure how to take it to the next level. This book can show you all the way"Entrepreneurs also need turbulence. Chaos is the friend of the entrepreneurs Stability is the environment of the status quo. When the economy goes down, the entrepreneurs go up.
Entrepreneurs are presented as part of four "species"
The Gazelles, someone who starts and want to be big, real big. They are fast moving and jump high. Only two to four percent of the businesses fall in this category.
The Skunks are also called intrapreneurs who start something new inside an existing, large company. The name come Lockheed Corporation during World War II. "Entrepreneurs working within large corporations go out of their way to stink up the joint."
The Dolphines These are "contrarians in the non-profit and public sector, community groups, and social service organizations" They fight for change and new ideas the establishment is slow to adopt or reluctant to even consider.
The Butterflies, are the fastest growing group of all. These are "the plumbers, yoga instructors, freelance writers, organic farmers, artists... Forty percent of the American adults are working on their own, and 24 million more are expected to be self-employed in 2018. By 2020, we will have globally 1.3 billion contractors.
The readers will discover what is the Linda's "secret sauce for entrepreneurship and the sheer simplicity" of it. She will tell you "why you don't need to be a hoodie to be an entrepreneur".
From Stanford University DFJ Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Series, here is Linda Rottenberg answering a question from Prof. Tina Seelig,