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Adii Pienaar

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

On Birthdays & Milestones

Today, 4 years ago, WooThemes was born.

I've never spent much time scrutinizing my own birthday, but every year on the 9th of July I reminisce & reflect on the year that's been for WooThemes. This year WooThemes turns 4 and thinking about the magnitude of the impact that it has had on my own life, leaves me with little words.

In searching for words, I guess the easy way out would be to say "In the last year, we more than doubled the size of the team, revenues are continuing North and even though we experienced a life-threatening hack, we've recovered well." (ala last year's post). Yet, this wouldn't encapsulate any of the real, true & sincere things that happened in the last year.

Today, WooThemes defines a large part of my life. And this has been the case for at least the past 4 years. Regardless of how confident, self-assured, independent or autonomous I am, I can't deny the inherent hand that WooThemes has in most things in my life.

WooThemes is the source of all of my income and thus also the source of most of my (materialistic) blessings. Similarly, WooThemes has given me a platform from which I've gotten many great speaking, investment and other professional opportunities. I've also met many great people, mentors & friends via this platform. But it stretches further than that... If I've had a shit day at the office, WooThemes has a direct, negative influence on all other spheres of my life. WooThemes is my creative & professional outlet and if I'm not happy within that space, I struggle to find energy to pour into those other spheres.

I'm not a workaholic. Instead I'm only human. I'm my own man, make my own rules and have a very happy, multi-sphered life. I would however be selling you bullshit if I said that my work with WooThemes has not had a far-reaching impact on my entire life (both good & bad).

This makes me feel vulnerable. When things like the hack happens, it just naturally spawns a complete evaluation of absolutely everything: the business, my livelihood, myself.

The good news is that I've learnt in the past year that even though this is a natural reaction (which I'm unlikely to ever evade), this isn't the truth and not an accurate representation of who I am. Yes, my daily life is inter-related with what's going on (and sometimes, not going on) at Woo, but it doesn't define who I am.

Instead this is me... "Hello! My name is Adii. Amongst other things I'm co-founder of WooThemes and we're celebrating all that's good on our 4th birthday today. Let's break out a couple of beers."

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