The question stumped me for a minute.
I have been promoting my latest book on talk shows everywhere, and the question was one I had never gotten before.
I had been going on about how everyone will need gain the same skills entrepreneurs have to thrive in our rapidly changing economy.
I wasn't arguing that everyone will have to become an entrepreneur--but I think eventually that will be true--but rather that we will need to learn the skills for dealing with uncertainty that all successful entrepreneurs have.
"But don't you have to be a little bit crazy to become an entrepreneur? It's like being an actor or painter. It is a very uncertain career path. Don't you think that all entrepreneurs are a little bit nuts?" the interviewer asked.
Well, some creative folks aren't "normal" for effect, of course. (Have you ever seen Johnny Depp interviewed?) But most of them come by their odd behavior honestly and the reason I think is fairly simple. Creating anything is extremely difficult, and if you are not wired strangely to begin with, the process can alter your view of the universe.
Constant rejection and skepticism is part of the process.
I think it is no different for entrepreneurs.
Starting anything is difficult. And the three-year survival rate for the average company shows that long-term success is hard. On a strictly rational basis you wouldn't do it. ("You are telling me I am going to bust my backside getting my idea up and running and three years later there is 50-50 shot I am going to be out of business. No thanks. Let me see if I can get a 'real' job.")
And yet about 10,000 new business are started each week, according to the Small Business Administration.
Invariably, when people write about what makes entrepreneurs successful, they focus on such things as financing, marketing, smarts, and the like. And that's all true.
But in light of the host's question I am think I am going to add to list: Being a little bit different probably won't hurt.
If others want to consider the idea of starting something new "nuts," I am not going to argue.