Thoughts

The Udemy Game

Recommitting to Udemy

Nearly two years I was contacted by Udemy to develop a custom WordPress theme course for them in an effort to refresh their offerings. They told me a number of things, like how much money I could make and what it would mean for me as a featured instructor. They didn’t tell me how to play their game. Like how my price didn’t matter; it’s usually $10. I also wasn’t told that I’d be constantly hit up for free content, no matter how I felt about the amount of money I was making. The whole thing annoyed me. But I’ve decided to recommit, and I’m going to play the game.

Get the Free Gutenberg Checklist

Gutenberg Hits the Mainstream with WordPress 4.9.8

Last week, the WordPress Core Team released 4.9.8, which among other things, included the “Try Gutenberg” call to action. Since then, the amount of Gutenberg installs have exploded (63,000+ on day one – about 17% of all installs). Whether you’ve know about the new editor for a while, or just hear about it this week, it’s sure to have an impact on your website and business. Because of that, I’ve put together a free Gutenberg checklist for you.

Ugh, clients. Am I Right?

Clients Always Mess Things Up

Imagine you’re buying a new phone. You walk into the store and you overhear a conversation with 2 of the sales clerks. One says to the other, “Ugh. One of my customers put an ugly case on the beautiful iPhone I gave them. Customers are so stupid. They always mess things up.” You probably wouldn’t want them helping you buy a new phone. Why would you want that kind of ridicule? Wouldn’t you take your business elsewhere? But somehow, we think it’s OK to say this about clients pretty regularly.

podcast headphones

Top 5 Things I Learned at Podcast Movement That Will Help All Aspects of my Business

Last week I was at Podcast Movement, a big 4 day conference that focuses on all things podcasting. I had a few goals in mind going into the conference – things I definitely wanted to focus on. While my show has seen great growth, I wanted to do even better; I know I can grow How I Built It through better engagement, and I wanted to get ideas. I also wanted to learn how to pitch show sponsors better. I’ve been grateful for the success I’ve seen by working with my network, but I don’t want to tap that well too much…so I need to grow. I’m happy to say I learn about that and so much more. Here are my top 5 takeaways.

Who would you hire with investment money?

What Would You do if You got $100K for Your Business?

Over the weekend my friend Dave asked me an interesting question regarding my business: What would you do if someone handed you a bunch of money today? The root of this question, to me, is this: what would I pay for that I currently do myself? The context of the conversation that lead up to that question follows suit. He also asked me if I’ll ever grow to hire someone, and who that would be. After talking through so solutions I came up with an an answer.

Self Employment: Year One Recap

I started my first business in high school, making websites for anyone who’d give me a shot. It was a great way to make money that I carried through college, grad school, and my adult life. I even did it full time a little after college, but lack of benefits and the need to learn more forced me to find a full time job. For pretty much that entire time, the stakes were different – and not very high. I didn’t have anyone except myself to support and I didn’t require too much.

That changed when I got married and had a daughter. I thought my chances at full time self-employment were dramatically lower as a result. However, today marks the anniversary of me leaving my full time job to pursue my side business full-time. I’d like to reflect on the first year.

How to handle Talk Interruptions

How to Handle Interruptions During Your Talk

Maybe this has happened to you. You take the stage. The slides are peeped and displayed. Your talk starts. The nervousness subsides and you’re getting into a good flow. Then, when you’re finally comfortable, someone just has to interrupt you. This has happened to me more times than I can count. It even happened recently, when someone in the crowd felt the need to correct me on the duration of a construction project. So what do you do? What’s the best way to handle interruptions? Let’s take a look.

Be Inquisitive

Have an Inquisitive Mind

If I had to pick one thing I knew for certain my wife likes about me, it would be my inquisitive nature. She says it regularly. It’s because we’ll be talking about something and I’ll blurt out, “I wonder how that started,” or “Who do you think the first person to try that was,” or “I wonder if that’s because of <X>.” One of the reasons I love going to Disney World is because I like figuring out the Disney Magic. They push the limits of technology and engineering and I want to know how they got to those limits. But being inquisitive isn’t just about picking up fun facts or things to file away for pub quiz (or quizzo, or whatever it’s call near you). There are lots of ways being inquisitive has helped me, both personally and professionally.