Entrepreneurs Are So Damn Weird
The only way to succeed is to understand what makes you different and be faithful to it
Over the past two decades, I’ve been lucky enough to be a repeat startup founder, and I’ve also had the opportunity to work alongside some of the top serial entrepreneurs in the country. And there’s one thing I can say about every single one of us.
We’re all a bunch of weirdos.
It’s something that neither surprises me nor is it off-putting in any way. In fact, taking my own weirdness into account, I not only naturally gravitate towards curious people, but I’ve come to realize that I seek them out.
I’m not going to go so far as to declare that the stranger the character, the better the entrepreneur. But I have concluded that being strange definitely helps. That is, once you admit it and come to terms with it.
Let’s get weird.
Look, I’m not talking clown shoes or a fake British accent. I’m not talking about being weird for the sake of attention. I’m actually referring to those innate-but-awkward qualities that make good entrepreneurs: the qualities that drive them to swim upstream against a current that most of the world calls normal.
Because “normal” is just another way to say “status quo.”
Exhibit A: Elon Musk. Dude is weird.
Sometimes Musk will sell flamethrowers to the general public or try to buy Twitter. Other times, he’ll let slip even more questionable tendencies that often get him into trouble. But he always eventually skates on his public mistakes. Why?
It’s probably because those same questionable tendencies are also what wrangle the cats in his brain to bring to reality ideas like electric cars and space-travel — ideas that his contemporaries can only drag until he gets them working. People generally understand this about him.
It’s not out of bounds to believe that money is what allows Musk to comfortably perch on a more extreme end of entrepreneur weirdness — still definitely a far cry from anti-social wack-job — but most of us are much closer to the center of the spectrum. Without the money (and the podium and…