The Beauty in Paranoia

I don’t think paranoia is a dirty word when used correctly.

When you think of paranoia, how do you feel?

  • Anxious
  • Worried
  • Scared
  • Cowering
  • Trembling

A couple weeks ago, I was watching an episode of Shark Tank I had on the DVR and Robert Herjavec said something I’ll never forget to a show guest.


The Most Paranoid Wins

He said, “In this and any other business, the most paranoid wins!

The most paranoid wins?  Are you nuts?

This statement may have sent shock waves through thousands of viewers throughout the country, but I think they’re missing the boat.

Paranoia in business isn’t about fear, Xanax, or meetings with a mental health professional.  I believe it’s the exact opposite.  Paranoia in business is about being proactive.  The more paranoid, the more prepared.  This was Robert’s point.

The business world today is being recreated weekly if not daily.  New triggers and trends are impacting our world from hundreds of different angles.  Mistakes are being made in the thousands if not millions, and people are learning from these mistakes at a phenomenal rate.  The business owner looking for funding on this specific project wasn’t paranoid enough and Robert sensed it with his super-human shark senses.

That said, how can you be more paranoid about your business today so you don’t make the same mistake?  Below is a list of five questions you can ask to be better prepared (or more paranoid).

  1. What keeps your client awake at night?
  2. How can you make your product/service offering better immediately to the end user?
  3. What are you missing to achieve more scale with your efforts?
  4. Are you building a business or collecting transactions? (There is a difference)
  5. Have I taken time alone this week to think about our client/customer?

Paranoia in business revolves around two key words.  Solutions focused.  Paranoid leaders are challenging leaders inspecting their team’s work and process.  Paranoid leaders think of their offerings from the client perspective instead of always from the business owner’s viewpoint.  Paranoid leaders don’t know all the answers, but they’re not afraid to ask the questions.

Lastly, paranoid leaders think a great deal about their PEOPLE.  Are they challenged? Are they having fun? Are they growing personally and professionally?  This is the leader’s responsibility, and the paranoid leader isn’t afraid to challenge themselves to get better daily.


Tough times never last; tough people always do

ACTION ITEM: Try and be a little more paranoid this week and utilize one or a few of the five questions listed above.  If you put them to use and see results, I’d love it if you’d share your outcome with the group.