Times to Be Unreasonable

The other night I caught about five minutes of Larry King with Anthony Robbins. You know Anthony Robbins – that very successful fellow with the big smile and a phenomenal skill at motivating people.

Anyway, he said something that caught my attention. He said that successful people are often unreasonable.

How right he is.

I’d never really seen it that way. But now I come to think about it, some of the most effective entrepreneurs I know are also the most unreasonable.

They use being unreasonable as a tool.

When people say, “Boss, it just can’t be done,” our unreasonable boss says, “I don’t care, find a way.”

When people say, “I can’t work this evening,” he or she says, “Sorry, but you’re going to have to.”

When people say, “You can’t build a decent advertising campaign around a budget like this,” the boss says, “Get creative, I bet you can do it.”

We all know people like this.

And these are the people who get stuff done. They break new ground. Because they aren’t distracted by claims like “It can’t be done.”

True, these people are also the biggest SOBs you’ll ever have to work with. They’re a pain.

But if you want to build a hugely successful business online, you may want to consider a few key points at which being unreasonable could help.

  • Be unreasonable about how many shares you give out to the folks you employ early on. Don’t give out too much too early. Or you’ll end up owning only three percent of your own company.
  • Be unreasonable with the angels who provide your seed round of financing. They’ll want as much as they can get from you. Stand firm.
  • Be unreasonable about holding to your vision. Only you see it clearly. Those around you will question it and seek to dilute it. They just won’t see it clearly enough. Again, stand firm.
  • Be unreasonable about making everything better than it is right now. Your Executive Summary could be better. Your business model could be refined or improved. Your homepage could be designed better. The navigation of your site could be easier.

    Never stand still, never be satisfied. Every line, every graphic, every presentation and every concept can be improved upon.

    People won’t like you for it – but be unreasonable and demand that they improve on what they’ve already done.

  • Be unreasonable in the demands you make on yourself. A lot of entrepreneurs are fast-burners. They work like crazy and then crash or coast for a while. Be unreasonable with yourself. Bad things can happen while you’re coasting.

Of course, there’s a downside to being unreasonable. It can be tough on friendships and tough on your family.

So if you can – control it. Recognize it, exploit it.

Because being unreasonable is a big part of what makes you successful.

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