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Adii Pienaar

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

Beyond Most Others

Average is what average does.<...>

I suffered from FOMO a little bit in the last couple of weeks... December in South Africa literally translates to holidays, endless sunny days, beaches, family, friends and cold beers. And for those unfamiliar with Cape Town weather, "endless sunny days" means daily temperatures of 30 to 35 degrees Celsius. :)

The only snag in my December was that I couldn't really immerse myself into all of those things like previous years. With the arrival of my second son, Jamie, in early December, we had made the decision that we'll be spending the holidays at home, because it would make the arrival of a new baby that much easier.

But when mid-December rolled in, all of my friends enabled their out-of-office auto-responders and started posting photos of beaches, cold beers and those endless sunny days.

Whilst I had been a part of the decision to stay at home (and I rationally agreed with the merits thereof), I felt really low and could feel this bout of FOMO settling in.

On top of that, I was still at work and trying to make that one last little push forward on Receiptful before the year was done. I have great passion and an almost-endless supply of energy for such endeavours, but I could feel that this heaviness in my heart was draining that and causing me to lose focus.


This feeling probably lasted for about 48 hours before I reached a point where I felt I had greater clarity. I also remembered this post that I had made to my Facebook page a couple of weeks before that seemingly resonated with a whole bunch of my friends:

"Most achievements are accomplished after applying a level of persistence and diligence that will seem alien to the majority of the people you know."

Stumbling onto that tipped the scales for me. Even though those were my words, re-reading and remembering them, crystallized something for me: success (in whatever field) always requires that little bit extra effort, which will always be beyond what most other people are willing to do. Read the biographies of successful people and you'll find this to be an universal truth.

The FOMO (mostly) subsided and I was now armoured with this new level of conviction that I could apply to my time. I decided that I would invest that energy in all of the different spheres of my life and think the results are a just reward:

  • Our main metric and goal at Receiptful (the number of receipts we're sending) grew by more than 400% from November to December.
  • We published an e-book that has been downloaded 2500 times in under 2 weeks.
  • I set up my new weekly newsletter for eCommerce entrepreneurs, gathered a lot of content and drafted the first couple of issues.
  • I finished reading 4 books.
  • I implemented a new training program and actually lost 2kg's (regardless of how much I stuffed my face on Christmas day).
  • And I actually took about 10 days off-work to hang out with my family. This meant I avoided my home desk and did less than a hour of day of just checking in / dealing with urgent customer support e-mails.

I'm a hard worker, but I'm definitely no workaholic. Not anymore at least.

And I didn't have to push myself to any kind of extreme to accomplish any of those things above. Instead I managed to do it whilst working from home and helping to wrangle to kids.

The challenge wasn't finding the time to invest in this. Instead the hardest part of all of this was that 48-hour bout of FOMO and changing my mindset about my reality at the time.

Most people won't (or can't) do that consistently.

To achieve most things though, we need to go beyond what others are willing to do.

How are you being average today? How can you change this one thing to do that little bit extra and go beyond what's average?

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