3 Reasons Why I Was Scared to Tell The World Who I Am

By October 20, 2015 Uncategorized 6 Comments

In seven months, I leave for a five-year, around-the-world trip in my van. I’m going to rock climb, surf, give motivational speeches, write, expand my businesses, explore, and see what life has to offer.

How did I make this happen?

Continue reading…

For some reason, I used to be so scared to share my successes.

I wouldn’t tell people that I am:

  • The co-founder and CEO of Student-Tutor
  • A marketing consultant for million-dollar startups
  • A motivational speaker at high schools and for corporate events
  • The co-founder of a real estate property management that currently owns 4 properties
  • A blogger with over 60K readers per month
  • A world-traveler with over 33 countries’ stamps in my passport
  • The founder of a community called “Yoga & More in the Park” with 1200+ members

Why was I so scared to share my successes with the world, when I have worked so hard to get there!?

Seriously–it has been a rollercoaster ride that has not been easy.

I have worked thousands of hours with little to no pay, wondering if what I was doing was the right move. I have questioned everything. It’s been exhausting and stressful.

So, why was I ashamed to let the world know what I have gone though?

Well, for a few reasons.

1. I didn’t want people to think I have a lot of money… because I REALLY DON’T!

Most of my accomplishments are investments that won’t pay out for several years down the road.

I am definitely working hard to set myself up for the future, but any extra money our tutoring company makes goes into hiring the next employee or R&D for the latest ACT/SAT prep program.

And the income generated from my 4 rental properties goes back to my business partner, because he made a larger initial investment and is still owed some back.

I feared that if people heard I have ‘growing companies’ they would assume things about me that simply aren’t true.

And honestly, I am not doing this for the money. I do this because I truly enjoy it and hope that my businesses make lasting impacts on individuals lives for the better… here at Student-Tutor we like to call that “Sparking Bright Futures!”

2. I wanted to blend in.

The lifestyle I’m going to have in seven months is, admittedly, a dream.

I will have set up two successful companies. With my low day-to-day expenses, living out of a van, I will bring in enough passive income to the point that if I wanted to ‘retire’ and literally not work another day in my life, I could. 

I will have the freedom to do whatever I want at a moment’s notice, and have the knowledge, courage, network, and expertise to start any successful venture I may choose.

But not many 25 years olds can say the same thing. I wanted to blend in and not draw too much attention to myself. So I downplayed my accomplishments.

3. I didn’t want people to look at me differently

I don’t aim to be treated any differently because I am successful in a couple different areas of my life. I worked my ass off to get here, and I don’t want to be put on a pedestal.

I am a firm believer that the CEO is no greater than the janitor. They both work hard and bring value to the organization.

But now, I’ve decided–screw those reasons. I should be proud to tell the world who I am.

Even though I’ve accomplished huge things, I still get insecure. Surprise—I’m human! And as I push this self-consciousness away, I want to help my readers do the same.

This is because it doesn’t help anyone else if I stay quiet about my successes, or my struggles. But doesn’t it make so much more sense to be open about how you got to where you are? About the lessons you’ve learned?

I hope to be the call to action for all of you. I want this post to be the inspiration and motivation to get up, take charge of your life, and have the chance to experience this feeling of true happiness that I have now.

Here goes…

My name is Todd VanDuzer, and I am driven by the need to help individuals face their fears and go after their dreams.

I love:

  • Connection – Listening and connecting to people at a vulnerable level.
  • Adventure – Rock climbing up a massive 2000+ foot cliff, high-lining thousands of feet off the ground, skydiving out of an airplane.
  • Uncertainty – Not knowing what the next day will bring, getting on a plane to a city with no plans or hotel booked.
  • Purity – Genuine, honest, and real people that value friendships and love over materialistic items and money.

By 2030, I have goals to:

  • Create a 50 million dollar tutoring company that “Sparks Bright Futures” worldwide.
  • Start a music festival with 50,000 people in attendance
  • Rock climb up El Capitan
  • Travel to over 50 countries
  • Speak at a TED Conference
  • Write a New York Times best seller
  • Travel around the world in a van and inspire, motivate, and help people gather the courage to live the life they want along the way.

Will I reach all my goals?

Maybe! Honestly, I’m not sure about some of them. But why just shoot for the moon when you can shoot so much further?  

Why not create a goal that pushes your self-efficacy?

Self-efficacy is the strength of one’s belief in one’s own ability to complete tasks and reach goals.

As you reach goals and milestones in your life that you didn’t think possible, you increase your self-efficacy. It can be “big” things, like the first time you travel abroad by yourself, or “little” things, like the first time you ask someone on a date.

Self-efficacy is confidence that translates to real success. It is what helps you become fearless like I wrote about in the Huffington Post article here. 

Creating a 50 million dollar company is definitely not something I fully believe in yet. But if I break down this goal into SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely) baby steps that align with this goal, I will slowly get there and my self-efficacy will grow until one day I reach it.

Five years ago, I never thought in a million years I would rock climb up 2000+ foot cliffs…but just eight months ago, I rock-climbed up Epinephrine, and my self-efficacy grew.

Five years ago, I never thought I would be able to create two successful companies that would bring in enough passive income to help fund a trip around the world for an indefinite period of time. But through focus, determination, and SMART goal development, I am seven months away from embarking on that journey.

Today, I hope to inspire you.

I am not writing this to boast about how great my life is. I am writing this in the hopes that I can inspire you to gather the courage to take life by the balls and be the captain of your own ship.

We all have it in us. We all have the potential to do great things. My journey has just started, and I can’t wait for all the challenges and successes that await me.

I hope you realize that no goal is too big if you break it down.

Look at me. My dream is quickly becoming reality, and although it was hard, stressful, and exhausting to get here…the journey has been the most exciting part.

What are your SMART goals in life? Please let me know in your comments below? The first step to reaching them is telling the world!

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Todd VanDuzer

Co-Founder & CEO at Student-Tutor
Todd VanDuzer is co-founder and CEO of Student-Tutor, an inspirational leader and speaker for high schools and companies across the country, an avid rock climber, adventurer, world traveler, and more. He is driven by the need to help others go after their dreams by setting lofty S.M.A.R.T (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely) goals while having someone to hold you accountable. Todd is preparing to embark on a 5-year trip around the world in his van to help challenge, motivate, and inspire students to take charge of their lives. Follow Todd via Instagram or Twitter!


  • Max says:

    Hey Todd,
    That’s a badass article and that responds with me so much ! Kudos for putting the words of what you feel and describing it with such honesty.
    I feel the same and find myself in that situation too (minus the actual companies/startups… For now 😉 and there’s definitely great inspiration in reading this. I hope we connect along your 5-year trip as we discussed last time !
    Go for it and see you somewhere soon ! 🙂

  • Pam Buehler says:

    You should be be proud of all your hard work. Looks like it is paying off in that you are living your dream life.
    Congratulations on dreaming of the life you want to live and forming a plan to get there.
    You have inspired me to join a group of young active and motivated people. To step out of my comfort zone , join the group and accept new challenges .
    I wish you continued success , joy,vans a sparkling future.

  • Wow! I am so inspired! You are amazing, and the fact that you are sharing this story, stepping out and claiming it is amazing. Tommorow I am traveling and I am going to spend the time making my smart goals. Although I have heard of the concept, use it for work, never have I made smart goals for my personal growth. Thanks so much and can’t wait to follow you on this adventure.
    Btw, I know your mom and I’m sure she is so proud of you (she’s pretty amazing? Too)

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