This is a webinar replay that was recorded on Wednesday, June 8, 2011 with Massimo Paolini, Miles Kehoe, Dorai Thodla, and Sean Murphy discussing Barry Moltz‘s “You Need to Be a Little Crazy: The Truth about Starting and Growing Your Business.” They share how they personally found the courage to start their businesses and their desire to make “working for yourself” mean not only a better job but building equity.
You Need to Be a Little Crazy
“You Need to Be a Little Crazy” is a Great Book for Bootstrappers
Barry Moltz offers the ground truth about entrepreneurship in “You Need to Be a Little Crazy.” This is a great book for bootstrappers on the emotional roller ride of entrepreneurship. I first wrote about it in 2006 right after I read it:
Theresa heard a radio interview with Barry Moltz in 2003 and suggested that I get his book. In December 2003 I purchased a copy of You Need to Be a Little Crazy and when it arrived from Amazon I put it on my to-be-read pile where it languished until early this morning when I read it in one setting, making notes in the margin and jotting down page numbers for quotes I was going to harvest for later re-use on a 3×5 card as I read.
Moltz Writes Directly and Candidly About Entrepreneurship
When we did the “Book Club For Business Impact webinar series I knew this was one book that we had to do. Here is an overview from my original introduction to the webinar:
Moltz writes directly and candidly about entrepreneurship as I know it and have heard others describe it around the Bootstrappers Breakfast table: entrepreneurs are motivated much more by a desire for autonomy and achievement than wealth. Many start businesses because they have no choice, they have to try their hand at forging their own path or solving a problem that has become very important to them.
Identity, Family, and Failure
Some excerpts from the Preface by Howard Tullman that offers a nice overview of the book and explains why Barry Moltz’s perspective on entrepreneurship is focused on the real issues: Identity, Family, and Failure. The passage was originally all in plain text, I have added bolding to highlight what I consider key points.
When I first met Barry Moltz, I was struck by his unique perspective on the trials and tribulations of entrepreneurship. He took as a given all of the typical questions and concerns (about deal making, valuation issues, control issues, etc…) and turned instead to much more interesting and harder personal issues. Identity. Family. Failure. These aren’t soft subjects and it’s not easy talking about what no one wants to hear. But that doesn’t make them any less important.
Identity is important because entrepreneurs constantly confuse what they do with who they are. We’re all certainly responsible for what we do but failing doesn’t make us bad people and succeeding doesn’t make us omniscient.
Family is important because it’s a much more important extension of ourselves than any work we’ll ever do. There’s always more work but you’ve only got one family.
Failure is important because the first time you win (or lose), it could be luck, it could be timing, or it could be talent. It’s only after you fail once or twice and learn to rely equally on thought, analysis, and anticipation–in addition to speed, talent, and execution–that you can really call yourself an entrepreneur. […] In the long run, it’s mind over muscle, strategy over strength, and a healthy perspective–not just a lot of perspiration–that make someone a real success in his or her business and in the equally important rest of his or her life.
Quotes We Explore in the Webinar
“I have never been much of a follower although I like to learn.”
“It is easier and in the long run more profitable to get a job than to start your own business. If you want to have your own business for the money, then forget it: go get a job. That motivation will never sustain you through the ups and downs of starting and building your own business.”
“Entrepreneurs start businesses because they have no choice. Passion and energy drive them on good days and sustain them on bad ones.”
“Only Experience Teaches You: You can’t learn skiing by watching videos. They might help but you still need to find a place with snow, put your skis on, and thrust yourself down the mountain.”
“It does take courage, but it actually takes being a lunatic to start a company against such great odds. Simply stated you must be crazy.”
“The simple truth is that once I get a big, potent idea, it moves me to distraction. I felt compelled to move others with me…Perhaps there is something seductive about traveling into the unknown. The journey itself thrills me, and I don’t think I’d ever feel altogether happy if I didn’t know there was risk involved.”
“It’s in your blood. That is just who you are. When you are an entrepreneur you are the puzzle. It is hard to just use a portion of what you have.”
“Truthfully, most people can make a lot more money just being a successful freelancer or a successful sole proprietorship than working for somebody else. To build a business means you have to sacrifice a great deal of that for a long period of time, because what you are trying to do is build a business that is not dependent on you. You are developing equity value in it.”
Webinar Panel of Three Founders
- Miles Kehoe, Co-founder and President of New Idea Engineering, Inc.
- Focus: Making Enterprise Search Work
- Massimo Paolini, Founder MPThree Consulting
- Focus: Monetization Analyst / Revenue Performance Management
- Dorai Thodla, Founder iMorph, Inc.
- Focus: Mining information on the web; tools for tracking emerging technology trends.
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