Book Review: You Need To Be A Little Crazy

A few weeks ago, Barry Moltz dropped me a note asking if I would mind looking at his book You Need To Be A Little Crazy, which he has subtitled “The Truth About Starting and Growing Your Own Business”.

I presume Barry found me via the web and the Garage Entrepreneur columns I wrote some time back.

In any event, I agreed, and finally made it to the book in my reading pile.

Barry’s approach is certainly different from most other entrepreneurial texts. Whereas most books on the subject give you an action list of things that are surefire to work but rarely do in real life, You Need To Be A Little Crazy explains that failure is a natural, and expected part of being an entrepreneur, and that typically there’s not much you can do to prevent failure.

External events, like market conditions, world happenings, key client failures, and partners with different agendas, among others, impact one’s business in uncontrollable and unforeseeable ways.

Barry has filled his book with examples from his own personal experiences as an entrepreneur, along with snippets and anecdotes from other successful and failed entrepreneurs he has encountered along the way, organized into topical sections.

I found a lot of parallels in places between his tellings and my own entrepreneurial background, but there were small differences too (like never having gone bankrupt, for example).

One topic that Barry addresses as pivotal in entrepreneurialism is the concept of luck, and I agree with that wholeheartedly. While it is said that one makes his own luck, that only goes so far – things like being in the right place at the right time are too much a matter of happenstance to be able to be planned. However, there are other factors you can control when you run your own business, and Barry touches on those too, including the benefits that networking and maintaining contact with friends and past co-workers can provide.

You Need To Be A Little Crazy provides a healthy dose of reality, and is a great book to temper the feel-good but unrealistic advice most entrepreneurial books dole out.

I give You Need To Be A Little Crazy a 9.0 out of 10.0 on The Richter Scale.