Welcome to the inaugural article of WordCamp Slide! In these long-form articles, I’m going to break down each slide from my WordCamp presentations the way I wanted to present them. I’ve always left something out when the pressure hits, so here is a chance to say it all.
You see, combined with impostor syndrome (video), I also feel like I’m talking at triple speed and that if I pause for a moment, someone in the audience is going to shoot me and take over without hesitation. Being told no fewer than four times yesterday that there were proper pauses, I’m just going to have to believe that to be true.
Ridiculous, I know, but after four WordCamp presentations, I’m pretty sure that feeling is never going away. Hopefully this format is more valuable with everything I intended to convey live. There will also be a video edition for each of these coming along after each article.
This slide is from WordCamp Orlando 2014: Being Profitable in WP (SpeakerDeck link)
Before you can be profitable in anything, not even restricted to monetary profit, someone must know themselves. If you don’t know who you are, you really don’t know anything of value.
Do you know what makes you tick? You need to know what your motivators and de-motivators are. Things are simple here: quantifiable results make me keep going. If I don’t ship, the wheels start to spin and I enter a cycle of broke, desperate, and stupid.
Do you know what time of day you do your best work and how long you can work at peak performance? If you have control over your schedule, don’t force yourself to work before lunch if you do your best work after 10pm. I do my best work from 4pm until 7pm. By that time, I’ve cleared my inbox and incidental items and finally get into the groove. Then dinner is at 6pm. Sometimes I will text downstairs and say it would be very beneficial to eat later. That last hour of work could equal a day of work during off-peak times. You likely have a similar sweet spot time and similar “epic work” time limit.
Do you know what skills you are a rockstar in or what you want to become a rockstar in? I used to think my CSS is pretty good and was well aware that my PHP was intermediate, at best. I now know, with the help of someone experienced as a business talent scout, that my strongest and most valuable skill is a complex mix of client relations and cutting through any useless wants and translating them into functional needs.
Do you know what drains you? People drain me. Plain and simple. If you’ve ever taken the Meyers-Brigg personality profile, I’m an ISTJ. A decade ago, I was way up on the introvert slider. After years in corporate America and running my business for 6 years, I’m right on the line between introvert and extrovert. Now, instead of appearing to be an introvert, no one is the wiser but my battery is completely drained each day. By the time we were at dinner after the 2nd day of WordCamp last night, I was sitting at the table and just smiling.
My good friends and family know when and how to rescue me when they see I’ve reached my limit.
Do you get drained by other things, like coding, designing, sales, migrating, or some other area of business? Think of some way to minimize the drain by pairing it with something that recharges you. If coding is a drain, spend a couple of hours in Illustrator. I can always edit photos in Lightroom or pull a Marvel movie up on iTunes. My office drain is switching tasks from creative to logical several times per day… that and back to back calls.
The big question
Why do you do what you do? If you’re going to have a purpose-driven life, that necessitates having purpose. Two poignant questions were tossed at me that took me by surprise. While my answers were complete and accurate, my brain needed more time to formulate a more intimate angle, which I believe community deserves. Our son was also present, which influenced my words chosen.
It’s no secret to those who follow me on Twitter that we are foster parents. We’ve primarily had one boy for the past three years, yes, 3 years, but we’ve had 18 in all as of today. The System takes an unbelievable toll on our schedule and emotions, not just with mandated appointments but the aftermath of them, also. I have been focused on increasing profit to increase my time with the family and decrease my dependency on being at my desk. In order to help any more kids, there will have to be an end to trading time for money for our primary revenue stream.
The next few months and years are being set into motion with that target in my sights.
A related question of “what is your end game?” received a simple answer of “when enough is enough to not need to work… but it won’t be much more lifestyle than we have now.” A more expanded explanation is a whole post by itself, so I’ll link to it from here when it’s ready for public consumption. For sure, “being set” won’t mean an end to work – I love what I do too much to stay out of WordPress and out of what WP Valet is doing.
Helping people is me, and I am helping people.