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Adii Pienaar

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

Startup Activity

I always thought that I'd be a management consultant.<...>

I loved the idea that I could be in and out of another business every couple of months. I could see the cogs move, be exposed to their dirty laundry and I'd then have the challenge of making everything better.

I'd be Adii, The Fixer. Or something like that.

And that's way before Don Cheadle made management consulting super-sexy with an infinite conveyer belt of opportunities and beautiful ladies. On that front, I'd like to think I was ahead of the game.

This dream however never came to fruition.

I lasted 6 weeks in my corporate gig before I quit to work on WooThemes.

Suffice to say, I didn't experience a fraction of the awesomeness that Don Cheadle gets into every other week on my TV screen.


Every now and again I think about this (youthful) dream of mine.

Today my perspective is obviously a hell of a lot different to what it was back then. Back then I was wrapping up my Business Management studies at university and being a management consultant seemed like the perfect gig.

I mean, just think about all of that after-work. (And that's billing for after-work; not being billed for it.)

But my journey - as a founder and entrepreneur - in the last 7 years has shifted my opinion of this.

Sometimes I still think that it'd be a cool gig to be a management consultant, because there's definitely a coolness factor to it (the cogs, dirty laundry and challenge).

I now know that - if I were ever to pursue this - it would only be a very, short-term thing. A quick, short joyride.

But why?

Not talking about this directly, Noah Kagan kinda summed up why I would never be happy as a management consultant:

"Investing gets you 10%, Creating can get you 100%+."

Noah touches on the other fantasy I have: being an angel investor.

I'd love to be an angel investor, mostly for all the same reasons that a management consulting gig appeals to me: I'd get exposed to so many awesome businesses and be able to interact with like-minded entrepreneurs.

That and angel investors all become filthy rich, right?


There's a big difference between consulting and doing. And that same difference exists between investing and creating.

Consulting and investing are more passive, whilst doing and creating is all about activity.

And that's exactly the thing that I'd crave most about being a startup entrepreneur: the activity.

Having run WooThemes for almost 7 years, I can tell you that the biggest thing I miss since pressing pause on PublicBeta, is the activity and the adrenaline that comes with that.

It is an addiction.

I love that a startup is a temporary state of being really confused.

I love the challenge that this confusion presents.

LET'S FIGURE OUT SOLUTIONS AND ANSWERS FOR ALL THE THINGS!

And as much as I hate it, I love the rollercoaster ride and how that impacts my own emotions. Not because it's all good, but because it is an activity that induces shitloads of activity.

This is why the start is so important.

Activity has a beginning.

Activity is about doing, making mistakes and figuring out the lessons learnt.

I might never have Don Cheadle's sex appeal or the (lucky / random) riches of an angel investor.

But I'll be more than content with my activity.

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