Crazy is a Compliment Book Summary - Crazy is a Compliment Book explained in key points

Crazy is a Compliment summary

Linda Rottenberg

The Power of Zigging When Everyone Else is Zagging

4.4 (14 ratings)
15 mins

Brief summary

"Crazy is a Compliment" by Linda Rottenberg is a guide to entrepreneurship and innovation. The author provides insights and advice on how to turn one's unique traits, such as being "crazy," into strengths in the business world.

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    Crazy is a Compliment
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    To do the impossible, you can’t listen to your friends or family.

    When facing important life decisions, most people eagerly consult their friends, family or partners for their opinions. But in fact, this could be a big mistake.


    Because you need to get rid of so-called psychological limiters: the beliefs that say you are incapable of reaching your goals. These limiters arise from a basic fear of everything that’s unknown and uncertain. Your family and friends can actually exacerbate these limiters.

    For example, if you’re a bit doubtful about quitting your job and starting your own company, and then talk to your parents about it, they may be horrified as they’ve been accustomed to holding down the same 9-to-5 job for 50 years. Their attitude will naturally discourage you.

    So what can you do to overcome psychological limiters?

    For one, you need to understand that the only reason you’re facing negativity is because you’re pushing the limits of what’s thought to be possible. This is much more difficult than staying in the realm of what’s already been done.

    Before 1954, everyone thought that running a mile in under four minutes was physically impossible for the human body. But then, after Roger Bannister accomplished this “impossible” feat, 16 others accomplished it too in the following three years.  

    A second option in avoiding psychological limiters is simply not sharing your ideas with family and friends. Your ideas are fragile when in their infancy, and you can be thus easily discouraged by negative feedback.

    And somewhat counterintuitively, the people you trust the most can be the least trustworthy when evaluating your ideas. This is because their responses are by nature emotional: people may offer negative feedback because they secretly hate you, or because they’re worried about the consequences of you pursuing your idea.

    Or they might applaud you, just to give you an ego boost: “Oh wow, a hotel for pet iguanas is the best idea I’ve ever heard!”

    Both of these approaches are harmful, because they give you a warped view of the quality of your idea.

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    What is Crazy is a Compliment about?

    Crazy is a Compliment explains why to pursue your dreams, you need to be entrepreneurial and maybe even a little bit crazy. This mind-set, combined with the expertise provided in these blinks, can help anyone to start the company of their dreams.

    Best quote from Crazy is a Compliment

    If you are not called crazy when you launch something new, it means you are not thinking big enough.

    —Linda Rottenberg
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    Who should read Crazy is a Compliment?

    • Company managers or entrepreneurs just starting their own companies
    • Anyone who wants to learn the smart way to take risks without sacrificing everything
    • Anyone concerned that they have to choose between a career and a family

    About the Author

    Linda Rottenberg is the cofounder and CEO of the non-profit organization Endeavor. She has been named as one of the “100 Innovators for the Twenty-first Century” by Time magazine and as one of “America’s Top Leaders” by US News.

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