Crazy Is a Compliment (2014)
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The American entrepreneur, promoter and author has gained a few nicknames throughout the years, including ‘the entrepreneur whisperer’, ‘America’s best leader’ and even ‘La Chica Loca’. But being crazy has paid-off for Linda. At a time when popular opinion ran against her, Linda insisted that high-impact entrepreneurs existed in emerging markets. She made it her mission to find and fund those entrepreneurs through the non-profit she created, Endeavor.
Endeavor identifies entrepreneurs with a potential to create change and helps them overcome barriers to growth by providing the key ingredients to success: mentorship, networks, strategic advice, talent, skills, access to smart capital, and inspiration. Starting in Chile and Argentina back in 1998, Linda’s network connected several entrepreneurs with international mentors and prominent local businesspeople. Today, Endeavor is a global movement; with 50 offices around the world, Endeavor Entrepreneurs – 1700 individuals selected from over 55,000 candidates — generate over 15 billion dollars in annual revenues and produce more than 1.5 million jobs. In 2013, Endeavor successfully brought its proven scale-up model to underserved areas in the US, earning the organization the prestigious Kravis Prize for Nonprofit Leadership.
Swimming against the tide has defined Linda’s leadership style. In 2014 she published “Crazy Is a Compliment: The Power of Zigging When Everyone Else Zags”, which went on to become a New York Times best-seller. In it, Linda argues that all of us can nurture an entrepreneurial mindset, not just young techies. All of us have to be nimble, adaptive, daring, and maybe even a little crazy, as Linda was herself, in order to become a changemaker.
In between running Endeavor, writing best-sellers, and sitting at the board of several businesses, Linda is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Young Presidents Organization and serves on the entrepreneurship steering committee of the World Economic Forum. Linda lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their identical twin daughters, Eden and Tybee.
‘You can be an entrepreneur at any age, male or female, any background. If you’re someone who is able to follow through and execute on that idea and convince others, then there is a group of people that will support you to dream even bigger’.