Always Be Learning

Reading Book

In 2011 I joined a small ad agency and moved from a team of 4 developers to a team of 1 developer. Just me.

If you’ve ever worked on a small team or by yourself you know how challenging it can be to learn & improve. You’ll be able to get by just fine but you know there are smarter and faster ways of doing things. And every day you feel farther and farther behind.

It only took a couple months of this before I forced something to change. I started a WordPress meetup group. And in one of the very first meetings someone talked about backing up your site.

I started backing up my sites the very next week. And then you’ll never guess what happened. A week later we got hacked. Hardcore. Viagra images all over the “site”. Not good.

And thanks to my backup I had it cleaned up in less than an hour.

Small Continuous Improvements

I’ve always loved learning but this experience made me realize the importance of continuous learning. That you might not know what you need to know. And there’s value in learning every single day.

If you spend an hour a day to learn a new skill or to practice that skill you’ll very quickly be more productive and get more work done.

I actually ran the numbers.

Your productivity spending 1 hour every day working.

Your productivity after spending 1 hour every day learning.

In 15 weeks (<4 months) you’ll be able to work 35 hours a week and be as productive as someone who works 40 hours a week.

In 28 weeks (7 months) you’ll have done just as much work as someone who didn’t spend anytime learning and spent all that extra time working. You’ll also be outputting 45 hours of work in just 35 hours.

In 52 weeks (1 year) you’ll be putting out 58 hours of work a week. And you’ll have done and extra 7 weeks of work.

In 104 weeks (2 years) you’ll have done an extra 2,191 hours, or 54 weeks, of work.

So if you spend an hour a day learning. You’ll get 3 years worth of work done in 2. Pretty amazing right?

Always Be Learning

I love meetup groups but the topics are rarely what I need right at that moment. Which means that I learn but I don’t put it into practice and I quickly forget.

That’s why I’m really excited to share the Week of Learning with you. You’ll get access to the entire library. For free for this whole week. You can take any course you need right now.

This includes my three courses on WordPress eCommerce, WordPress: Customizing WooCommerce Themes, & Shopify: The Basics.

Weekly Learning

If you’re on the fence about learning let me just share

Week 1 & 2. You get your first client and they ask for a WordPress website. You take WordPress Essential Training. This is a long course and there’s a lot to cover so it might take you two weeks to take the course and to implement all the principles.

Week 3. Your client says they want a contact form so their customers can reach out to them. You take WordPress Plugins: Contact Forms to learn about three different contact forms and you pick the best one for your client.

Week 4. There have been a few miscommunications between you and your client. You take Project Management Fundamentals so you can have better relations with clients and keep those clients longer.

Week 5 & 6. Your client says they want to pay you to help them rank higher in Google. You take WordPress Plugins: SEO & WordPress Plugins: Analytics. This way you can measure & improve your client’s SEO.

Week 7 & 8. Now that you have the technical knowledge you want to know all the concepts & theory behind SEO. You take SEO Fundamentals. This is a large course and there’s a lot to digest so it takes 2 weeks to get through.

Week 9 & 10. You’re first client is pretty happy with their site and all the things that did to help it rank. There’s ongoing work with the client but it’s now time to get more clients. You take Freelancing Fundamentals to help you attract more clients.

Week 11. You get a new client who wants to have a new custom theme. You take WordPress and Genesis: Building Child Themes from Scratch to learn how to customize every single element of the theme.

Week 12. The client wants to sell items on their site and they ask for your recommendation. You take WordPress Ecommerce (my course!) and you make a recommendation that’s perfect for your client.

Week 13 & 14. The client asks you to build this site for them. And you take WordPress Ecommerce WooCommerce. to learn everything you can about the plugin to help you set it up.

Week 15. The client wants to customize some of the e-commerce functionality on your site. You takeWordPress: Customizing WooCommerce Themes (my course) to customize every detail of their e-commerce portion of their site.

Week 16. You start getting more requests than you can handle. You take Hiring Your Team to start to grow your business beyond just yourself.

Learn Every Day

This is just 4 months. There’s are thousands of courses. Imagine if you did this every day for two or three years.

You have a free week of courses on right now. No harm in not trying it out.

How I Left My Job

Tying Shoe Laces

Automattic is a great company with an amazing vision and purpose. And two months ago I left.

There wasn’t any crazy drama (although that would make this post more interesting). I simply wasn’t working on things that excited me. And eventually I to got into a “good enough” slump and that left me drained. I missed that feeling you get after a solid day of work and you want to tell everyone the amazing things you’re working on.

Work is such a big part of our lives and our identities and I didn’t want that part to be unfulfilled.

I’m mostly writing this for myself but if you’re thinking about leaving your job I hope it can provide guidance.

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2016 Q3 Business Review

Map & Moleskine Notebook

Over the weekend we slid into quarter 4 and that’s the end of the first quarter working for myself.

I wish I could say I’ve already mastered cashflow, selling projects, and creating products but I’ve only just begun. I think I’m doing a good job so far but I realize that I don’t know what I don’t know and that scares me.

I’ve always had side projects but there’s a huge difference between a side project that brings in fun money and a project that has to pay your mortgage. I need to build up client work and work on my own projects to bring in recurring revenue.

So I’ve decided to hold my self accountable. Not by putting something on my to-do list. But by posting it publicly right here.

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Learn how to use Shopify on

Over the past couple weeks I’ve been pretty busy. So busy that I completely forgot to do those traditional business things like get business cards. facepalm

That’s okay though – because I’m able to announce two projects this week.

I’ve spent part of my time consulting for some amazing e-commerce businesses (<- future post). And I’ve spent another part creating e-commerce content for And today I’m happy to announce that we created and launched Learn Shopify: The Basics.

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Leaving Automattic

TLDR; I’m leaving Automattic. My last day will be August 25th. I’ll miss working with this incredible company – mostly because of the incredible people. 🙂

Why I’m Leaving

Let me start with Automattic is the best job I’ve ever had. By far.

Anytime there is a merger or acquisition there’s bound to be some restructuring. And gradually over the last year I did less and less of the things that I like to do.

I don’t know where I’m going or what I’m doing. I just know that I need to be challenged to continue to grow. I’m keen to dig more into product management & product marketing.

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Add an Arrow to WooCommerce Add to Cart Button

At the very first WooConf Cyndie Shaffstall talked about some of the conversion rate optimization (CRO) techniques. One of those techniques was to add an arrow to the Add to Cart button. The arrow helps people find the add to cart button and should increase conversions as it did with many of her clients. So with that knowledge I thought I’d document how you can do that with WooCommerce.

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