Changing your life in big ways requires a lot of choices, but that doesn’t make the hardest choices suck any less to make. When making these choices are essential for reaching your goals in the long-run you have to trust that you are doing the right thing.
Last week we released Pods 2.5.2, which is a minor maintenance release for Pods, but it is a significant release for me. It will be the last Pods release that I will be actively involved in.
Starting in June, I will be reducing my responsibilities, and commitments to the Pods Framework project. While I will stay on in a limited role, and probably will always be involved, I am now preparing to step away from direct involvement with the core Pods plugin, as well as most of my day to day responsibilities.
It was not an easy decision to make, as my job at Pods is the best job I ever had. It has taught me more about being a part of an open-source community and being a developer than anything else I have ever done. More importantly it has allowed me to work with some incredible people. I will always be grateful for having been able to work with the Pods team — Scott Kingsley Clark, Phil Lewis and Jim True, as well as all of our awesome volunteer contributors.
I am forever in Scott’s debt for giving me this opportunity and allowing the job to evolve with me. Being a part of Pods, has been an incredibly gift in my life. It made me into a better developer, by a million times, it introduced me to new people, including my business partner at CalderaWP, David Cramer. Being associated with the project helped me get me better freelance business, helped legitimize me in the WordPress community, and helped me find my niche as a developer.
The reason I decided to make WordPress development my business was I wanted to be an entrepreneur. Balancing my commitments to Pods, the freelance work that still pays most of my bills and the two business I set out to start is incredibly difficult.
Earlier this year I launched CalderaWP. It’s been a ton of fun and hard work. The work we’ve done so far is awesome and I see a lot of success in our future.
I did give up on the other business I was looking to start due to a lack of time, and partners as well as a way too ambitious scope for a minimal viable product (MVP) that was riddled with the technical debt. That’s OK, as I have a similar business just starting out, Foundri. Our WordPress and Pods-powered MVP is more reasonable in scope, and I’m jumping into it with tons of experience.
I’m very happy about how things are developing in my life. To reach my goals, I know things need to change. Changing your life in big ways requires a lot of choices. In order to change from being a freelancer who makes time for his entrepreneurial goals, to being an entrepreneur who budgets time for freelance work to pay the bills I’ve had to make a lot of hard choices.
Honestly, these were choices I made, subconsciously before I ever really became aware of them. One of the hardest things that we learn, as humans, is to recognize, consciously, what subconscious decisions that we have already made. Accepting these decisions as valid is, tricky as these completely true gut feelings can easily be confused with laziness or procrastination.
Some were easy to accept, I’ll never agree to make another website or do anything that involves writing CSS. I make developer tools, and create and implement architecture for WordPress as CMS type sites and apps.
The hardest decision to accept was that it was time to move on from the best job I have ever had: community manager and contributing developer for the Pods Framework. I struggled this for awhile, until I found the clarity to understand that I could never leave Pods.
Putting these two truths together, that I couldn’t keep putting the kind of time, and emotional energy into Pods, but that I couldn’t leave the project left me with an obvious solution. I’m so grateful that Scott, the fearless leader of the Pods project, accepted my proposal that I dramatically scale back my hours, responsibilities and financial compensation starting in June.
Earlier this year, I committed to “get out off the house” more. Part of that was just signing up for some cool things I saw happening in town, that I would normally put off because I was busy or they cost money. One of those was Tallahassee Startup Weekend. As a result, I have an awesome team of people working with me on my new startup, Foundri.
But, for weeks I wasn’t getting started on coding our MVP. I wasn’t making the change, in both mindset and priorities in what I was doing. Having to tell Scott, and the rest of the Pods team that I had to pull back, and knowing that Pods 2.5.2 is the last Pods release I’m going to be involved with sucks.
But, once I told Scott and the rest of the team, and put my other decisions into action, I actually started working on the Foundri MVP. It’s simple, modular, and while not feature complete, it works from the start. I’ve gained the maturity as a developer/ entrepreneur to start small with something I can grow into something bigger.
But, I trust myself that I’m doing the right thing. I got into this — WordPress development, because I wanted to be an entrepreneur and knew that meant I needed to learn to code things myself. What I didn’t expect was that I would fall so in love with programming and with the WordPress community. I didn’t know that I would receive the incredibly gifts that I have received from Pods and the WordPress community.
What I know, more than anything is how lucky I am. To have the opportunities that I do, to do the work I do, and to have my wife and my family.
So I’m leaving the best job I ever have, but I’ll still be a part of the project. And I’m reorganizing my life around my goals. And I’m working on some really incredible plugins, not only at CalderaWP, but some other awesome stuff including Lasso, a beautiful front-end editor, for Aesop Interactive and Epoch, a killer live commenting plugin, for Postmatic and more.
And yes, I’m still doing too many things. One fo the most important things I’ve learned from working at Pods is the value of having a team of people with diverse, yet overlapping talents, that you enjoy working with. Working with others can be frustrating, but nothing great ever gets done alone.
I’m super proud of everything that has been accomplished by the Pods team while I have been a part of it. I look forward to being able to spend my Pods time focused on improving Pods Templates, our REST API add-on plugin, and other important projects. I’m truly lucky that I get to stay involved with this great group of people. Community and success isn’t made out of code, it’s made out of people exchanging their gifts with each other.