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Adii Pienaar

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

Founder (Il)logic

Because there is no pattern.<...>

I can (should?) only speak for myself here in saying that the biggest parts of my life - as an entrepreneur and founder - resembles very little logic and a scattered pattern of decisions, ups, downs, successes, failures and things in-between.

This frustrates me, because I try be very conscious of how my general mood and mindset (fueled by past experiences and my inherit nature) influeces my perspective of this. This is my attempt to find consistency, quiet and safety in the scatter plot that I call life.

I constantly osciliate between spending more time in front of my computer; working and making progress on whatever it is I've set my mind too. This lasts for a couple of days until I realise that I'm definitely not going to regret not having worked more on my deathbed some day. Only to veer to another epiphany next week.

That said, I know that I want nothing more than to create stuff and be a founder. I love that regardless (or because of) the journey and I know that I can't be a truly fulfilled individual if I wasn't exercising my founder muscle.

I also know (because logic dictates that) that somewhere in-between all of this, balance (of whatever kind) is the answer.

But the experience of regular confusion reigns over the infrequent moments of clarity.

I bring this up, because I think there's very few things that founders do that are truly logical within the bigger context.

We become founders knowing that startups and entrepreneurship is hard. That decision itself may be a logical consideration of risk versus reward, but beneath the surface lurks things that are less logical.

We publicly embrace failure, because that's the way we learn. Or that's what we say when we hold up that bravado regardless of the emotional scars failure creates. In this sense, we're almost masochistic in the way that we're happy to be the martyrs for our own (possible) success.

Throughout this we seek out advice and best practice from people that have seemingly figured things out. Yet I bet that the honest individuals amongst us would tell you the only thing they've figured out is that they simply don't really know. (I admit that I know much more about things that don't work than things that do.)

When we find advice that we like, we preach it. When we find advice that we don't like, we disregard it as if we never knew of it. Relevance doesn't matter; personal preference - and perhaps timing - determines what advice we make our own.

We sacrifice so much for this journey, because we stand to gain as much (if not more). But the rewards can never directly pay back the debt we accumulated; success however does become a pretty awesome band-aid at least.

It makes no sense to be a founder today.

Yet it also makes all of the sense in the world.

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