What Inspires You Every Day?

Written by Mark Forrester on August 15, 2011 Blog.

We have quite the jobs over here at WooThemes, working with WordPress and creating beautiful themes. On paper it sounds wonderful, and it really is in reality as well. That still doesn’t mean that there isn’t any monotony to our jobs or burn out that may happen. Yes, even for founders of hugely successful companies the problem exists. Or at least I assume, since I can’t speak from experience.

So what do I do personally to keep my spirits high and my passion burning? Well I’ll tell you a little bit from where I’m at currently.

Inspiration In Three Forms

Unfortunately, my title as Community Manager counts me out from doing any theme development, which is for the better trust me. This doesn’t stop me from digging through our themes and tearing them apart best I can though. I’ve lately been really digging into child themes and have had a blast doing so. This provides me a good opportunity to really become familiar with our themes and possibilities provided by them. Which in turn helps me answer questions about modifying themes or if certain things are possible with WordPress. Given the open source nature of WordPress, people are always doing something incredible with it and I like to try and stay on top of what’s being done. This is definitely one spot that keeps me inspired, I try to spend some time every day doing what many of our customers are doing. Experimenting and molding our themes.

Another area that I’m very excited to try is an idea that the WooTeam recently proposed… The idea is that I take Community Management to the physical world. Meaning I get off of my butt and meet people that are part of our WooCommunity and WordPress community at large. All of us did this in the first week of June as we spent some time in London and at DIBI in Newcastle, but we’ve chatted shortly about getting all of the WooTeam to conferences as a WooThemes ambassador of sorts. My main goal will be to represent Woo, but I’d also love to be able to meet other WooThemes and WordPress fanatics. Simply taking the email and Twitter out and doing some face to face talking.

I know the guys in South Africa have already been doing this quite a bit in some interesting ways, e.g., The Grow Academy among others and it makes me jealous. Getting to meet other people that share our passions is another spot that keeps me inspired.

The Road To Inspiration

Finally, the interaction with our community each day is something I do look forward to and that inspires me. No matter if it’s difficult or not. Some customers are easy to handle. They’re genuinely very understanding and grateful for the help, while others aren’t happy no matter what you try to do for them. It’s always rewarding to help someone accomplish a goal, and it’s also a great challenge when you are trying to take a very upset person and make them a happy customer. I welcome the challenge with open arms. I believe I’ve succeeded many times so far, but do recognize times when I’ve failed too. It’s not easy to have someone give up on you, but I’ve always taken this back to the drawing board and after a quick pep talk with myself I’m ready again. Lessons learned and it makes me do better next time, at least I do hope so.

The Big Picture

For me, having a job description that is able to evolve and mature is definitely exciting and inspiring. This title is still something relatively new to both WooThemes and myself. Thus it’s been given a somewhat “grow-as-you-go” approach to what this means. I do have set out responsibilities, don’t get me wrong, but the field is open for my responsibilities to grow and take on different shapes. Which is one spot that ignites a passion in me.

For instance, I have a major love of video. It can be anything, creation, editing, watching, etc… It’s great that I can bring that passion and inspiration and weave it into WooThemes. A video is part of what got me here, and I think we’ll be pumping out videos whenever we can. E.g. – 100th theme video, screencasts, interviews, etc… could all be on the docket for us.

At first I felt a bit timid about setting my own goals and being responsible for myself with WooThemes. I think as time has gone on that I’ve begun to grow into it though.

So what keeps you going and growing each day, sound off and leave me a comment.


9 Responses

  1. Cain
    August 15, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

    Working with Woo and WordPress feeds my need to solve problems and discover new things, so I’m always inspired to keep going. Knowing that I’m never done with making my site the best that it can be is what spurs me on to the next thing. Knowing that there’s still so much for me to learn in regards to Woo and WordPress keeps me asking questions and trying and failing or trying and succeeding. Also, knowing that that I’m part of a community that’s passionate about new ides and making things better, is a constant reminder for me during those times when I feel I’ve hit wall.

  2. Jared Hallal
    August 15, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

    The view out my window inspires me. From where I am sitting right now, I see people walking to places they love, green grass, smiling faces, cars driving to work.

    Also today, I’m loving that I’m sharing a story about using WooTheme Simplicity for a great client, Rainbow Dance Academy, in New Albany, IN. The design will be on my website, http://www.crescentmoonpro.com, and the post will come later on the same site.

  3. William Muncrief
    August 15, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    Finding inspiration is fairly easy for me after 50 years of trial, and error. I have found that we are inspired by our connection to our families, the environment, knowledge, and past experience. Inspiration is just like Love in that it requires nurturing. We are what we think so think well, dream big, work hard, and give more than you take as such are the seeds of great inspiration.

  4. matt
    August 15, 2011 at 8:50 pm #



    • Ryan Ray
      August 15, 2011 at 11:12 pm #

      Could maybe lead to inspiration… but there’s got to be something else! 😉

  5. Henrik
    August 16, 2011 at 7:02 am #

    A though question. But what inspires me is good design. It keeps me wanting to get better at designing.

    For simply crawling out of bed I need no more inspiration than the joy our two dogs bring me each and every day when one of them stomps me in the chest as wake up call 🙂 While the older one is more gentle and caring.

    • Ryan Ray
      August 16, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

      Ditto, love great design online and off.

      What kind of dogs are they? Sounds like they like their owner. 😉

      • Henrik
        August 17, 2011 at 12:12 am #

        I´m mainly online looking at sites and wondering how they´ve done it. Mainly WP sites now 🙂

        Both of them are from the breed howavart. They look like a Golden Retriever but are a tiny bit bigger and have a more defined nose.

        I think that they have a soft spot for me yes. But since I´m home with them almost 24/7 and treat them like children I suppose it´s to be suspected that they will like me in return. And they are so much fun to be around as well so I can´t really complain.

  6. Ask IT
    August 18, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

    Weed, and park walkings 🙂

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