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Linda Rottenberg: 'If you aren't being called crazy, you aren't thinking big enough'


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"If you aren't being called crazy, you aren't thinking big enough," Linda Rottenberg, co-founder and CEO of Endeavor, told gatherings of entrepreneurs at the WeXchange conference and a book signing at The LAB Miami this week. She was in town for Endeavor's International Selection Panel being held in Miami and her best-selling book, "Crazy is as  Compliment,"  is  out. She shared her own "kitchen table moment" when she and Peter Kellner hatched the idea for Endeavor, a global nonprofit that finds, mentors and accelerates high-impact entrepreneurs,  and  how everyone including her parents thought they was crazy.

Indeed, the biggest barriers  entrepreneurs face are themselves and getting past the fear is key, she said. Sometimes the people closet to you don't get it either.  In fact, in a survey by Babson College,  the No. 1 regret entrepreneurs expressed was telling friends and family too early -- friends don't let friends start businesses. She said that is why it is really important that an ecosystem has entrepreneurial role models in the community, a key mission of Endeavor, a global nonprofit that selects, mentors and accelerates high-impact entrepreneurs.

Find like-minded communities at entrepreneurship centers like The LAB Miami and online, she said. Crowdfunding can be a great way to find the like-minded too, and they can become your storytellers and carry your message forward, she said.

Telling stories of other famous entrepreneurs, including several females such as Este Lauder, she left us with this message, especially well received at WeXchange, a conference focused on women entrepreneurship in Latin America where she was the keynote speaker: Being an entrepreneur is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor.  "You don't need a hoodie to be an entrepreneur."

Posted Dec. 11, 2014