Do Something Unreasonable

Seth Godin’s excellent blog post yesterday and one of my clients served to inspire this message.  Godin offers one or two posts daily – generally short and packed with insight.  If you’re not already a subscriber, it’s worth adding to your list.
Godin helped me realize one of the things I love most about working with entrepreneurs.  Almost as a rule, they are unreasonable.
  • Despite a debilitating ice storm and the coldest temperatures in 15 years, 7 of 8 members of the leadership team from a great client in Dallas made it to a local hotel for a Quarterly Planning Session. The eighth member participated by phone – nearly all day. That was unreasonable.
  • Nearly all of my clients started their successful business without the necessary capital, carefully researched strategic plans or safety nets that their friends and advisers suggested they have in place before risking everything on an entrepreneurial venture. To most, that is unreasonable.
  • Many clients impacted mightily by the economic downturn simply rolled up their sleeves, made dozens of tough decisions and tremendous personal sacrifices, and weathered the storm. Most did it with an unreasonable sense of optimism that – at the end of the day – their company would be better for it. That was unreasonable.
  • On average, I spend two full days each week with harried business owners and leaders who have trouble making time for their families – much less a day outside the office working ON the business rather than in it. To many leaders, that seems unreasonable.
If competence and stability is what you seek – reasonableness works. If you want to build something great – have the courage to be unreasonable.