You Can’t Be an Entrepreneur and Normal

For a while I’ve entertained the notion that it might be possible be an entrepreneur without coming off as weird or salesy to some people.

This is a very easy illusion to maintain when you work for a company – even an early-stage one. So much of the infrastructure and normalcy you can rely upon as an employee was purchased by people who had neither but did have the willingness to make things weird.

Over time you find that a company or project or brand from scratch requires the kind of always-on salesiness which can make you seem snake-oily, one-track minded, overly enthusiastic, and a little weird.

Selling things will always be just a bit awkward. And as long as your business lacks a consistent revenue source, clearly defined futures, or fully fleshed out infrastructure, it will be needed.

So don’t try too hard to stay cool or stay above the fray. Join the hustling masses.  These people we might call “weird” are just doing the work of 1-2 people companies. And that’s a very good thing.

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James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, intellectual explorer, and perpetual apprentice. He opted out of college to join the Praxis startup apprenticeship program and currently manages marketing and communications at bitcoin payment technology company BitPay. He writes daily at