It was while in a taxi cab in Argentina that Linda Rottenberg was confronted with the fact that while the entrepreneurial spirit is something to be celebrated in the United States, this is not the case in many places across the globe. In fact, her driver, who held a degree in engineering was not even familiar with the word entrepreneur. When Linda cofounded Endeavor in 1997, it was to help people like this; people with the skills and expertise but without understanding of how to create a business.
Endeavor is a non-profit organization the focuses on fostering high impact entrepreneurs globally. Linda helps focus budding entrepreneurs on a path that allows them to grow their business, grow the economy and then in turn, support the next generation of entrepreneurs. This was unheard of twenty years ago. If you can’t imagine it, you can’t become it, Linda explained to Deepak Chopra in this show.
We started out thinking that we would only be needed in emerging markets, Linda recalls. But what started as a small project in Latin America quickly grew as Endeavor started getting calls from entrepreneurs in the Middle East, Europe and in countries across the globe. When economies turn down, that’s when entrepreneurs look up and with the global economic crisis, Endeavor was able to fill the void and help small businesses begin creating jobs and spurring economic growth.
Linda’s book Crazy is a Compliment: The Power of Zigging When Everyone Else Zags chronicles many of the experiences that have made Linda so successful. Linda explains that the secret has been learning not to expect it to be easy, chaos is your friend, failure is ok, and distress is opportunity. Linda is living proof that risk carries reward and that even when a door is closed in your face, there is still so much opportunity for success.
26:38 | 2014