Turn Up the Crazy

Why a little madness can be your best business weapon.
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This story appears in the May 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »
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Launching a business--creating something out of nothing--is a leap into the unknown. If a person were perfectly sane and followed all the "safe" rules, he or she wouldn't likely take that leap, suggests Barry J. Moltz, author of You Need to Be a Little Crazy: The Truth About Starting and Growing Your Business. We asked Moltz to share a few crazy ways to reshape your thinking to the mad-hatter world of entrepreneurship.

Crazy Idea #1: "Find a group of people who are just as crazy as you and start the business with them, because who you're doing it with is much more important than what you're doing," says Moltz. "Ideas are meaningless. It's about the execution of those ideas."

Crazy Idea #2: Strive for minimal achievement. You don't need to be everything to everyone, so don't spread yourself too thin. "You can get incredible power by just focusing," says Moltz. "Focus on one or two things you can be really good at."

Crazy Idea #3: We actually can't sell anything to anybody--we just need to be there when someone is ready to buy. Moltz says people only buy when they are "in pain" and your product or service eases that pain or need. "At the movies, why do I spend $3 on bottled water?" he asks. "Because I'm thirsty."

Crazy Idea #4: Too much money can make you stupid. That doesn't mean you should be undercapitalized--it means you shouldn't think that throwing money at a problem will solve it.

Crazy Idea #5: You're not alone. "People have been calling you crazy your whole life, saying, 'You shouldn't do this,'" says Moltz. "Most entrepreneurs are relieved to find they're not alone. You're not crazy."

Edition: June 2017

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