The Rogue Psychology of an Entrepreneur
“I want people to tell me I will fail. I need to know who I am battling against. If I don’t have someone that I want to go after, then how am I going to win?”
This is a peek inside the mind of successful entrepreneur Jeremy Andrus, longtime President/CEO of Skullcandy, and now Traeger Grills.
I had the opportunity to interview Jeremy and ask what drives him. Jeremy explained that he utilizes what he calls the “rogue psychology of an entrepreneur” to propel himself and his businesses to succeed. This psychology, the blueprint for his success, has driven this former underdog to the top of the business world.
Keep a Chip on Your Shoulder
It’s not easy to be an entrepreneur. It requires tough decisions, long hours, a sharp mind, and an intense drive to succeed. This drive, while difficult to maintain, is essential to success. “You have to walk around with a chip on your shoulder,” Jeremy explained. “You need to have something to work for, like you’re an underdog.” Having a “chip on your shoulder” means that you remember rejection and negative energy from others, and you use it to fuel a desire to prove them wrong.
Rejection played an important role in the careers of many successful business icons, from Ben Franklin to Bill Gates. Like these men, Jeremy turned defeat into a burning desire for success. In 2002, he became the subject of a Bloomberg Business article describing the woes of recent business school graduates. A recent graduate of Harvard Business School, he was rejected by 21 of the 22 consulting firms where he applied, who didn’t even give him an interview.
But the way he tells it, being rejected was the best thing that ever happened to Jeremy Andrus. “I got rejected over and over,” he explained. “And I loved it. Rejection just added fuel to my fire. I wouldn’t be where I am today without that experience.” Jeremy didn’t quit; he regrouped. After a short stint at a management consulting firm where he spent time with Fortunate 500 clients filled with apathetic employees in endless cubicles who didn’t even know who their competitors were, he joined the entrepreneurial fight. And this time, he had a very large chip on his shoulder. Only a few years later, Jeremy led Skullcandy to a successful IPO and nearly $300 million in annual revenue.
Today, not many people tell Jeremy he can’t do something. But he still wants a chip on his shoulder to keep him motivated. So what does he do? An avid BYU football fan, Jeremy reads the Salt Lake Tribune comments section that regularly bashes the Cougars. I don’t know if only reading Trib comments about BYU is what keeps the chip on his shoulder. I could be wrong, but I imagine there is more he does. He takes that competitive desire with him to work and uses it to propel his company to even greater heights.
Battle the Competition
One sure way to avoid complacency is to have an enemy. Every company needs another company to go after. The tension of competition can drive your company to innovate, compete, and succeed.
“I know a guy who used to be second in command at Under Armour. He kept talking about their enemy, a company he called ‘N.’ Turns out he was talking about Nike,” Jeremy recalled. “He wouldn’t even say their name.” At Traeger, Jeremy named his Monday leadership meeting “WBR” which stands for Weekly Business Review. “When my team walks into that room I want them to remember the goal is to be no. 1 everywhere we compete. And if we are not no. 1, we need to pick up the tempo,” he said. This competitive strategy is one that many other successful CEOs use and that I use in my own company.
Several years ago, when I was a department head for a certain tech company, I told my boss that I was going to leave to become an entrepreneur. He said I was too young and didn’t have enough experience to be successful. That statement burned inside of me, and I vowed to prove him wrong. I set up a similar business and got to work. Within a couple of years, I had successfully sold my business, and his had declined. I attribute my success in large part to that burning desire to succeed.
Jeremy Andrus’s philosophy on “the rogue psychology of an entrepreneur” is controversial, aggressive, and irresistible. Successful entrepreneurs use it to motivate themselves personally and instill in their companies a team spirit and a desire to crush the competition. With a chip on his shoulder and a burning desire to compete, Jeremy embodies entrepreneurial success. Just don’t tell him that.
Reference : https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/rogue-psychology-entrepreneur-ryan-westwood