Entrepreneurs are a little crazy

I remember the first time I found out that I wasn’t the only crazy one.  I thought that other entrepreneurs had everything all together and that once I “made it”, I would also have it together and know exactly what to do next.

But I was talking to Johnny B Truant at SXSW about 7 years ago and he told me that even the successful ones were a little crazy.  And I was so relieved.

Because I didn’t have to try to get rid of the crazy thoughts in order to be successful.  I didn’t have to not be afraid and not doubt myself.  I just had to keep moving.

When I first started my blog over 8 years ago, I was excited and on fire and ready to take over the world.

But along the way doubt creeps in.  Comparison rears it’s ugly head and you look at others and think that they are doing so much better and you don’t really know what you are doing.

Everyone seems so sure and the voices in your head are saying mean things to you.

But it’s freeing to find out that everyone has those thoughts (ok maybe I can’t speak for every successful entrepreneur but I know for a fact that a LOT of them do – and who knows, maybe it is just me – maybe it’s the voice in my head again telling me that I’m not normal and I’m going to make this the longest parenthetical out there).

Seth Godin answers the question “How do I get rid of the fear?” with this:  Alas this is the wrong question. The right question is “How do I dance with the fear?” 

Andrea Vahl Speaking at Digital Commerce Summit

Here’s a picture of me speaking at the Paramount Theater in Denver in front of 500 people at the Digital Commerce Summit – dancing with my fear.

I think it’s important to have a practice that grounds you, manages your mindset, and gives you an outlet for the fear.  For me, that’s running or performing quite badly in triathlons and then getting back up and trying another triathlon.

I run to burn off the crazy

This is one of my running shirts (I don’t iron).

And it’s also important for me to remember that I have a gift to share.  A passion for helping other entrepreneurs grow their business.  And I will make mistakes.  Things won’t always go right.

But this entrepreneurial journey is a marathon, it’s not a sprint.

So much of your success depends on just continuing to show up, share your gift, and get better along the way.

Give yourself permission to fail because when you are allowed to fail, you have so much room to be great.

Smart enough


Being an entrepreneur is not always easy but it’s worth it.  Even when we feel a little crazy.

And yes, that picture at the top is me.  Sometimes I’m crazier than normal.