You ARE Crazy and Why You Should Hang Around With Other Crazy People
Just a few thoughts for those of us who are crazy and why it is important for us to connect with other crazy people.
I recently spoke on the phone with a friend of mine, Elliot Hulse. I don’t know if you know of him, but he is a great guy. He is really big on YouTube; he has helped millions of people. His target market is young guys between 16 and 26 years old. Elliot is a strong man, a great philosopher, and a genius mastermind.
One of my goals is to try to connect with like-minded people at least two or three times a week. Elliot is one of those people. We are a lot alike, and we always talk way too long. I find it so fulfilling to talk to people like him- people that understand me. He feels the same way — understood. It is interesting though, people who are really close to us think that we are both a little bit crazy.
“… people who are really close to us think that we are both a little bit crazy.”
As an entrepreneur, we have to do crazy, innovative stuff in order to grow. We have to get out of our own way and make unpopular decisions. These types of things are what make us crazy for even wanting to be entrepreneurs. Why the heck would you want to do crazy stuff and have the uncertainty of making money or paying your mortgage?
I find it interesting that the really crazy guys — the Steve Jobs, the Richard Bransons, all the other entrepreneurs — are the people who are really changing the world and making it a better place. It seems you have to be a little bit crazy in order to achieve that status or to grow as an entrepreneur.
What is the worst thing we can do as entrepreneurs? From my perspective it would be to adapt or — and this might be a popular thing to do — dumb down for the normal people. Of course, when we have conversations with people, we adapt. But, we are different and if we continue to adapt and work really hard to be normal, well… that just ain’t right! It is the opposite of who we are.
I have been thinking a lot lately about the saying ‘do who you are’, and I spoke with Elliot about this. We have to ‘do who we are’ as entrepreneurs. We should not be adapting ourselves to systems and to a lot of rules and laws — maybe laws, but not rules. Instead, we should have the systems and rules adapt to us so that we can do who we are.
We are powerful! We do awesome stuff that nobody else would ever do. We take risks that nobody else would take. We come up with ideas that nobody else would think of. That makes us powerful. However, if we adapt, because we hang around too much with people who think we are crazy, we start to believe them and then we begin to change or even dumb down. That is the worst, worst, worst thing we can do as entrepreneurs, but also as people.
How do we do it? How do we keep doing all these things and not adapt to the people around us? Well, we must hang around with other crazy people who ‘get’ us. Most people don’t understand the entrepreneurial thing, which is okay. You can’t blame others for not really understanding your vision or your crazy ideas, but it is so empowering to hang around with people who do understand. They may not get the whole vision, but they do recognize that you are on a path to success or growth. So make the choice to hang around with other great people who understand.
I coach a group of entrepreneurs that I named the Bar Raisers. These people really want to grow. Not just with their businesses, but also in their personal lives, their lifestyles, and their wealth. When I do their intake I ask them how much money they would like to earn in the next 12 months. I am not talking about sales, but how much extra cash they would like to get in the next year. Most of them are a little bit ashamed to say a really large number, so they dumb down their answer. For example, they may say 100,000 or 200,000. But if I ask, “If you were by yourself and you were thinking big and feeling great, what is the number that gets to you?” Then, a lot of them change their answer to maybe 500,000 or a million. The amount varies depending on how big their business is already, but it is interesting that they are afraid to say a really large number, even to me, the person who is supporting them. This is just one example that shows how conditioned we are to dumb down our ambitions.
That is why it is so important to surround yourself with people who understand you and respect your ambition, so that you don’t feel ashamed of sharing your great vision. This is something you need to do on a regular basis.
“That is why it is so important to surround yourself with people who understand you and respect your ambition, so that you don’t feel ashamed of sharing your great vision.”
I make sure on a regular basis to spend time with these people — people like me — with their crazy ideas. I just made plans with Elliot to visit him in May at his home in St. Petersburg. Tomorrow I leave for Barcelona with my mastermind group. I rented a great mansion with a cool swimming pool so we can chill for a couple of days. A couple of weeks ago I went to Phoenix for a 25K with Joe Polish. These are the things keep me going and give me the big, big insights. They allow me to be that entrepreneur with crazy ideas.
It reminds me of a book I read called Meditations. It is about Marcus Aurelius, a stoic, and the letters that he writes to himself each day. The events took place in the 1700’s and one of the stories tells about Marcus going to a gladiator show where people kill each other, but there is also music and good food. Marcus did not really care for the gladiator events, but he liked the food and that is why he attended. In the letter he wrote to himself on this particular day, he said something like, “I shouldn’t be around those big groups of people because I average myself when I am with them.” He was expressing how he felt he would begin to adapt to them and therefore feel less and less like himself.
I might say that you should not stop hanging around normal people, because that would be the popular thing to do, but I am not saying that. I am saying screw it! Do not adapt yourself! Do who you are! If you think you are crazy, it is probably because there is very thin line between crazy and brilliant. The world needs crazy people with great ideas and visions. So keep surrounding yourself with great people. Don’t be afraid to invest in your personal growth. Just don’t get caught in the adapt trap, because you could end up having a safe, simple, mundane life, which is great if that is what you want; but a true entrepreneur would go crazy if they adapted too much.
Are you an entrepreneur doing crazy things? If so, please let me know by leaving a comment below or send me a Tweet @EelcoDeBoer.