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Adii Pienaar

Now working on Receiptful. Founder & ex-CEO of WooThemes. Author of Brandiing. New Dad. Ex-Rockstar.

Being A Bad Loser

I'm ultra-competitive and I absolutely despise losing. At anything. It doesn't mind whether I'm working on my business or playing a game of Scrabble. I always play to win.

And that's a good thing.

In Grade 6 & 7 I had a teacher that always told us: "Show me a good loser and I'll show you someone that loses often."

That thought has stuck with me ever since and when I think about it now, I realize that I've applied that opinion in a very specific way in my life.

I'm not a bad loser in that I'll throw my toys and be a complete twat when I lose; in fact, I can be (somewhat) graceful in defeat and I can (eventually) accept it. But that doesn't mean I have to actually like losing.


If I look at my entrepreneurial journey in the last 5-odd years, I can remember multiple challenges I faced which I only got through, because I absolutely despised the possibility that I might fail / lose. Knowing that I would hate the feeling of losing, made me more competitive and more driven to actually succeed.

So I worked hard. I invested in myself and I tried to learn as much as possible. I took a chance on myself. And sometimes I was obviously flying too close to the sun, believing my wax wings would not melt.

I just hate losing.

And to some extent that has been a primal-like survival instinct that has helped me navigate the tough road of building a business.


This feels like second nature to me; like something that is deeply entrenched into who I am as a person.

It's what makes me, the most unique me I can be.

And it's a competitive advantage; one that will hopefully see me succeeding more often than not in future.

Hate the player, don't hate the game.

PS. I'm creating something new aimed at helping entrepreneurs be more successful. If you would like to learn about being a bad loser and other lessons from my entrepreneurial journey, sign up here.

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