Podcast E119 – When & why to change directions within your WordPress career

kswp-e119This week I discuss when & why to change directions within your WordPress career

Upcoming Events

Segment 1: In the News

• My friend Bridget Willard’s husband mercer passed away. The community came together, created a site to help raise funds to cover expenses willardfund.org

• Shiny Updates Project Officially Proposed for Merge Into WordPress 4.6

Segment 2:  When & why to change directions within your WordPress career

• Suggested reading: Essentialism Book

Segment 3: Tool of the Week

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Adam Silver:

This is the KitchenSinkWP podcast, episode 119. [Opening Audio Sequence]

Why hello there everybody this is Adam Silver, the host of the KitchenSinkWP podcast. Thanks for being here. Let's get started. We have upcoming events, of course starting with that. Four word camps next weekend. We have word camp Marbella, which is in Spain if you didn't know. I've been to Marbella actually, about eighteen years ago this month, next month June. I've been there. It's one of the coolest little cities that I went to when I was traveling through Europe backpacking before I got married. Anyways, it's June tenth. Looks like it's a one day event, word camp Marbella. Also, word camp Kansas City, June tenth through the twelfth. Word camp North East Ohio, NEO is what I've been calling it. Actually, I will be there June eleventh and twelfth. I fly out next Thursday night. I am there Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I'm doing a couple talks there, looking forward to it. Hope to see you there. If you're there and I don't know you reach out and say hi. If I do know you, I'm sure ill say hi and see you.

There's also word camp Bilboa. I think Bilboa is … Where is that? If I'm saying that correctly it's, I'm not sure where Bilboa is. Let me see here real quick. It looks like it's also in Spain, by the way. Yes I believe it's in Spain. There's two in Spain next weekend. That's awesome so check that out. If you have access, if you're nearby check them out and go to a word camp. If the tickets are sold out then check social media as I was saying.

Segment One, moving right along. In the news, unfortunately some sad news. Bridget Willard who is a friend of the WordPress community, she's a good friend of mine here in the Southern California area, her husband passed away after twenty three years of marriage. What's amazing here is the community stepped up. Her friends and family, the friends in the WordPress base stepped up. Within less than eight hours a domain was purchased, designed, and set up to allow people to give feedback and words of encouragement who knew her well, knew her better than me even. I've only known her for about a little over a year, maybe two years now. The encourage her, to be supportive of her and also to donate to help. It was set up to do that because it's always a tough time. Our prayers are with Bridget and her family in this time. That's really it for the moment for that. Anyway, condolences to Bridget and the family.

Also in the news, shiny updates project was officially proposed to be merged into WordPress 4.6. Now if you don't know what that is, this project modernizes the process of installing and deleting themes and also updating themes and the plugins to hide the boring-ness of doing that process. There's a video out there. I'll link to the article actually that was over on Debbie [inaudible 00:03:10]. It was a nice little write up. I will share that with you over in the shout outs so check that out. It's called shiny updates and it's going to be proposed to be merged into 4.6. I believe Constantine spoke about this specifically at word camp San Diego. That might be on word camp dot TV. Check that out.

Moving on, segment two, but first I want to thank the sponsor this week. It's a new one. It is actually Events Espresso. If you're looking for an events calendar plug-in that not only manages events but can also sell tickets, print tickets, integrate with your party email providers, accept payments with all the leading payment services, Paypal stripe etcetera, definitely check those out. Event Espresso stared in 2009 to solve the developers needs. They had a need within their own business model. It's gotten a lot bigger ever since, much more functionality since that time. With summer around the corner, or it might here for you already I have two more weeks of school for my kids left, so summer's right around the corner. The great use case here would be concerts, music festivals, museums, and even the business side of things. You're already thinking of Q4 even Q1 for next year for 2017.

It sounds crazy, but a lot of companies plan that far out so don't forget about it. That Event Espresso can also be used to manage business conferences, trade shows, events, webinars, all that kind of things. It can be used to do a lot, to do many many things that way. It's easy to use out of the box, but also has on the website there are referrals other developers. If you need extra help getting it coded specifically to what you want to do. There is a reference point there as well.

Test drives are available on the website for version three and version four. There is a free version called decaf but it doesn't have the level of features that the full espresso version has. Keep that in mind. It's a paid product with paid add-ons is how the model works. Anyway, so if you're looking for an events calendar solution, this is it. It's seriously really cool. It'll take your events calendar to a whole new level. Okay? Check it out. Go to event espresso dot com. Also, they've offered a 20% discount code to any listener to Kitchen Sink WP podcast so head to Kitchen Sink WP dot com forward slash events espresso and save 20% at checkout. Thanks again to Event Espresso for their sponsorship.

Now moving right along into segment two, the meat and potatoes. When and why to change directions within your WordPress career. Kind of a esoteric, I don't know. It's not like how to do something specifically but it is. This week's topic came from a conversation I had with a friend recently. Not sure how the conversation started but the fact came down to these two things. The friends is a developer, and a really good developer, also runs his own business and business is good. Maybe too good. Which is a weird thing to say, but it happens I guess. He's not happy anymore in that role of lead developer and wearing all the hats all the time. Just isn't happy period. Of course the easy answer would say hire someone. Outsource, bring in more staff, then become just to owner if you will but that has its own challenges. You have to manage people, trust people etcetera. Per his request I'm stepping in to be his coach. Maybe his mid life crisis I'm not quite sure it's that. We're good friends but he literally asked me my thoughts in what his next move should be and should he stay in WordPress. Should he leave Word Press?

It got me thinking how can this help others, like you guys listening right now? We took a few hours, we talked about it and with his permission, no names here just a gender so we know it's a guy … Here are three things to think about when contemplating a change in direction within WordPress. It just depends, you know so take a listen. Interest, first and foremost. Are you still interested in what you're doing? Simple questions, right, but here's an odd thought. You might become very good at what you hate. Seriously you might love, originally you liked it but you might be really good at the work that you hate. You may the best person to answer support tickets faster than anyone else. You may have the most experience in creating documentation, but deep down you don't care for that product or service in question. Even if you're the owner of it, that's even worse, right? We've all been there. Sure, sometimes we do work that we don't love because you have bills to pay and families to support. It only lasts for so long because once that interest is gone, then the larger picture is it's time to make a move, but to where?

Well, that leads to number two. In this case opportunity. What did you have the chance to do or not do based on your current role and situation? Keep in mind this isn't just applicable for self employment. This could be used the same if you work for the company. For every time you say yes to something you're saying no to something else. I can't take credit for that. I'm not sure who said it first, but I do know I've read it a lot recently because I'm reading the book called Essentialism by Greg McKeown. I'll put a link in the show notes on that if you want to Amazon. No affiliation just I like the book. It's really good. I'm almost done with it. I've actually already ordered a copy for my friend because I think it'll help him. The Essentialism really helps you focus down on what it is that's essential to you and the opportunity costs of yes and no.

That leads then to the third thing here. It's goals. We know that the interest in this current situation is gone. It's not there anymore or it's overwhelming. There are other opportunities, but what's next? The next thing is goals, like I said. Again Essentialism does a good job in helping to focus on that. I'm not trying to be a commercial for the book, but it does have some great points in it. In this case his goals weren't more money because he's doing okay financially. He doesn't really want to hire more people necessarily because he doesn't really want to manage them. We're trying to figure that out. It's the matter of what is going to make him happy not soldiering day in and day out? I asked him what would make you happy? What do you want to do that you're not doing now? His answers were pretty clear once we kind of took time to figure them out. Spend time with family, take a vacation, have date nights again, and even pursue other ideas which I would call hobbies. Not necessarily business ideas just hobbies. Go back to what he wants to do and get to tinker. Maybe go back to surfing. These are things that he was saying just kind of taking it all in right?

If you work chronically, if you are chronically worn out and you're exhausted and depleted you really aren't good to anyone, yourself, your family or your work. It's time to make that change. Once you're clear on the goals you can then focus on those. Make appropriate moves and decisions. That's the key. Decide versus wonder what if in quotes, right? Decision's the key here. We can make that decision. Trust me I've been there. Heck, I'm even there right now sometimes. I wonder about some of the projects I have going on. Should I kill them, cancel them, move on with them, etcetera?

For the record, my friend is taking steps to make some changes. I wish him the best. I really do. For his family, for himself, for his own mental health, for his physical health etcetera. Once again, just to repeat them real quick, you have to know what level of interest you have I what you're still doing. At this point if you're listening this much into the show you maybe right along there like I don't really want to be a developer anymore. I want to be more of a project manager. Maybe that's where your strengths really lie. Maybe development you're good at it but you want more interaction with people or business development.

I love that part. I am not the strongest developer. I can do it, developer slash implementer. I'm a pretty good troubleshooter but I like the BD. I like that going out interacting with people. I'm focusing on that right now and social media. That's been growing for me lately. Anyway, you get the gist there. You got to figure out what it is that you don't want to do and what you do want to do. Focus there and make those moves slowly but surely but then decide to make those moves. If you need to talk to your spouse. Talk to your partner because it's a partnership in that case as well.

There you go. Hope that helps you with that. Let me know if you have any questions like that. I don't mind kind of diving in and helping people focus. It's hard to do your own sometimes. I have a hard time doing my own, right? It's easier to have a third person look at it from the outside perspective. Anyway, there you go.

Segment three, moving along here. Tip and Tool of the Week. This week, I've mentioned this before but I'll mention it again, it's Give WB. It's a great plug-in. It's free and it helps people. In this case It helped my friend Bridget Willard, helped raise funds that she needed. It's that, like I said earlier I don't want to get emotional here but raising funds that were helpful for somebody for whatever cause may be, everyone needs help. Give WP it's free with some add-ons that's how they make the business model. Great guys out of San Diego. It's Willard fund dot org by the way, if you want to check out the website and donate that'd be great. There you have it. Give WP dot com.

That's it for this week. If you any questions, go ahead and send them in via email Adam at Kitchen Sink WP dot com or use the speakpipe functionality of the website. Thanks for listening. See you next week. Go out and do some awesome things on WordPress. Bye-bye.


This weeks episode is sponsored by Event Espresso