Are you paranoid? You should be. The best always are.
In any business, at any stage, it pays to have what I call a healthy sense of paranoia. The reason is stated in the quote above by Andy Grove of Intel. "Only the paranoid survive." In fact, he wrote a best-selling book about the subject of the same title. He's right.
Healthy paranoia is good for you. It drives you. It keeps you on your toes. It makes you work harder. It causes you to innovate and stay on your game. It keeps things interesting.
It also causes you to not rest on your laurels or get complacent. In the entrepreneurial life cycle, there are peaks and valleys - especially in the early years. But if you persevere and stick it out, you eventually get to a point where things are pretty good. Your bills are paid every month. You're making good money...or enough to sleep well at night. It is at this point where a lot entrepreneurs and leaders lose their edge. They get, as Andy says, "Complacent."
Complacency is death by a thousand cuts for a business. It isn't necessarily the end of the business, but many times it is the end of growth of the business. It's the end of what made that business great. It's the end of the "magic." Many times this happens when a founder leaves as they were the spark and catalyst....and they had the healthy paranoia. Apple with Steve Jobs and Starbucks with Howard Schultz are good examples. In each case, they both left or retired and the business got complacent and sputtered. When each returned, they brought back that edge, that drive, that feeling of "we have to go to do better or we'll get passed up."
Healthy paranoia is good for you. It drives you. I keeps you on your toes. It makes you work harder. It causes you to innovate and stay on your game. It keeps things interesting.
If you are an entrepreneur or even in a position to affect the direction of a company, embrace being a little paranoid. Here are 5 examples of how being a little paranoid can make a difference:
Developing a healthy sense of paranoia is critical to success and a big part of how people keep their edge.
If you want to be more successful, get paranoid!