Linda Rottenberg

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Everybody needs to get a little crazy, argues Linda Rottenberg in her newly released book Crazy is a Compliment: The Power of Zigging When Everyone Else Zags.

Defined in dictionaries as insane, flawed and obsessive, “Crazy” in Linda Rottenberg’s new book earned a new meaning – a compliment unique to enthusiastic people who think out of the box and develop innovative business ideas.

Rottenberg argues that entrepreneurship isn’t limited to college dropouts, emphasizing that people who work for Fortune 500 companies, non-profits, or mom-and-pops have all the potential. They just need to act like true change agents, adopt an entrepreneurial mindset and follow their dreams.

“…Maybe you’ve skipped college and yearn to start your own design firm; maybe you’re sitting in your cubicle and brainstorming a new idea that can improve your company. 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’re unsure how to take it to the next level. This book can show you the way,” writes Rottenberg, cofounder and CEO of Endeavor, a leading organization which supports fast-growing entrepreneurs.

Interviewing several successful entrepreneurs, Rottenberg brings to life inspiring stories of people who were once inside traditional corporations and have given themselves the green light to pursue their entrepreneurial dream.

Endeavor Entrepreneur, TA Telecom Founder and CEO Amr Shady, who left a successful family business to start his own company at the age of 21 was quoted in Rottenberg’s book as saying, “Too many aspiring entrepreneurs make the pre-Bannister mistake…We censor ourselves. We discount our potential and therefore don’t make it big.”

The pre-Bannister mistake is the wide belief that athletes could not run a mile in less than four minutes – perceived as the human body’s physical limit. Shady explains that when British athlete Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile world record in 1954, more runners succeeded in breaking the psychological barrier.

Rottenberg writes, “Amr’s chief lesson: Don’t look to others to validate your desires; look to yourself. Or as the legendary Bob Jones said about golf, it’s ‘a game played on a five inch course – the distance between your ears’.”

The book, released last month, offers valuable tips and showcases exciting stories which continue to be sources of inspiration for many innovators and entrepreneurs today. Rottenberg refers to the iconic entrepreneurship success stories of Estée Lauder and Walt Disney. She also demonstrates how embracing an entrepreneurial mindset helped MTV, GE, and Burberry maximize their success.

The author also cites the success story of Leila Velez — one of the hundreds of entrepreneurs she advised. Velez, who started her hair-care business in her kitchen sink, is making $80 million in annual revenue today.

In Crazy is a Compliment, Rottenberg shares her expertise on how you can go crazy smartly, and follow your dreams while taking minimal to no risks at all.  She demonstrates supported techniques that help entrepreneurs unleash endless possibilities. “The only person who can give you permission to take risk is you.”