The Tortoise finds clarity (and still finishes the race)

Jul 2013

We're all familiar with the fable of the tortoise & the hare. I've learnt something new about this, my life and ambition in the last ten days.

Today is the one month anniversary since I moved into a non-executive role at WooThemes to work on my new startup (and baby), PublicBeta. In this time, I've been working hard and pushing myself to launching / releasing as quickly as possible. At times it's felt like this mad dash down a rabbit-hole, which only serves to fire up those endorphins that comes from being on such entrepreneurial rollercoaster.

My biggest challenge in the last month has been that I travelled up to London for a week (PublicBeta will be based there; so I had to wrap up administrative stuff), which meant I wasn't as productive as I would've been in the office at home. I also had a 10-day, second honeymoon pre-booked to the East with my wife, which eliminated the last third of my first month working on my new startup.

So whilst I still managed to make some great progress (more on that later this week), I'm further away from launching than I would've liked to be.

Spending the last ten days in Thailand though, has given me a sense of calmness and clarity about the way forward.


See, this trip is the first ever that I actually relaxed. On some days, I wasn't even a tourist; I would just laze by the pool, grab a nap and then move back to the pool. Not very daunting at all.

I even managed not to think about business too much. And this is the first trip ever that my wife spoke more about her business than I did about mine. :)

When I did however think about PublicBeta, I tried to figure out what the first week or two would look like when I get back home. And especially how that roadmap relates to shipping something & getting closer to launch.

It's within those thoughts (along with being well-rested), that I was reminded about Dan Shipper's recent post. Why was I in such a rush?


Here's some context to my situation:

  • I'm self-funding PublicBeta from personal savings. I'm bootstrapping, I'm being lean and I've capped my investment. So I fully control my runway.
  • I'm still earning a (reduced) salary for my non-executive role at Woo.
  • I don't believe PublicBeta to be in a space where the opportunity will vanish in 6 months. Speed thus isn't a competitve advantage.

So any deadline I impose is only my own. And I don't need to rush.

I can be the tortoise.

It's within that mindset (once I made the decision to take things slow), that I found some clarity:

  • I've conceptualized a sequential roadmap for the way forward. Instead of an "all-in" approach immediately, every action will be a building block to the next.

  • I need to focus on only the important things and I need to be better at prioritizing tasks and opportunities. This was something I used to great effect at Woo.

  • Since PublicBeta is just me (for now), I'm doing everything. I should take this opportunity to learn new skills and try new approaches. This should be a reminder that I am in permanent, public beta myself and all of this is aimed at being a better Adii tomorrow.

  • I need to stop, take a breathe, reflect and take it all in. Just because I'm doing this startup thing again, it doesn't have to feel robotic. I can have new experiences, make new mistakes and learn new things.

It's with this kind of clarity that I can see myself finishing my race, without having to rush forward every minute of every day.

(Excuse any typo's; they're the result of using an iPad Mini to type this post.)

You've successfully subscribed to Adii Pienaar
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to Adii Pienaar
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.