When you don’t hear from my blog for a while, it’s a pretty good sign that I’m deep into development. I won’t disclose all that I’m working on...yet :), but there are some fun things on the horizon. For instance, an updated Dev-in-a-Box is going to be released in the next week. It has some much sought after functionality added to it.
Another project I’ve been working on, which will be available in two weeks, and will be the point of this rambling post, is intended to help partners get out of the rough and onto the green in their Business Catalyst development.
A lot of my posts have been focused around that concept (though, mind you, none with a golf analogy, and never with a picture of Happy Gilmore). From my perspective, I see a lot of partners roughing it; swinging and swinging, finally getting the ball into the hole. Then onto the next hole. I see a lot of energy spent for little return, whereas some lessons and a slight adjustment to their stance could really change their game.
I get emails from partners, where they mention their particular plight. Probably a few a week. A bit ago, one partner stated her problem pretty well. I think her words match the plea I’ve heard from many partners since I first started blogging about the problem. This is how she expressed the problem (though she probably should have used a golf analogy):
I felt dejected after reading one of your first posts because I already knew your words were true and I didn't want to accept that.
I feel like I am supposed to swim to shore but I'm treading water and wondering why nothing wonderful is happening with my career.
She made this request:
I think recently you went through a process to focus on a niche market for yourself with your BC Apps.
I'm wondering if you could share your process of getting to where you are now and any books and resources you used to help you get to your new 'place' in life.
It might even be helpful to others as well. You've written articles discussing the heavy reliance on templates within the BC community. I've become reliant on templates myself and find that I have to look up code that I used to know. My skills are slipping in the HTML & CSS. Yet, I am constantly studying and spending too many hours on my job. The problem is the breadth of skills that I think I have to provide my clients.
The latest project that I have been working on is learning Google Adwords and Landing Pages for a client who wants to use Adwords. I won't recoup the money I spent on books, courses, and my time.
Any thoughts would be appreciated - possibly by all your blog followers.
If I could help myself by finding my niche, then I could concentrate all my studying in that area instead of hopping from one learning experience to the next and never feeling skilled enough in any one area.
So, if you could share any resources or processes you used and found helpful to find your niche, I would appreciate it if you could share that experience.
Girl needs a caddy
The problem is, most of us carry our own bag, stealing precious time and attention away from actually playing the game.
I have to break away from golf for a second, so forgive me while I change the music to...classical:
I heard an analogy once of a boy who wanted to become a great concert pianist. So one day he asked his dad to pay for some lessons. His dad, who was a long-tenured businessman, thought he would do his son one better. He said, “My boy, I will pay for your lessons on one condition: first, you have to prove how badly you want it. You go out and learn how to build yourself a piano, and when it is built, I will then pay for your lessons.”
I hope that boy ran away. Truth is, growth is a graceful combination of hard work and enabling gifts. Whether we acknowledge it or not, everything we have is a combination of those two. I’ve had my own experiences where I was asking for “piano..err, golf lessons”.
Years ago, when I was first starting out on my creative path, I realized that I lacked any tools of the trade. I didn’t have my own computer, I lacked the software required for the field, and I didn’t have any experience. I knew I wanted to be a graphic designer, but I had no money to get started. I remember well, that instead of having to spend my time working in an unrelated field to earn the money for my tools, my grandma and parents pooled some money together to buy me a Mac and the Adobe graphics software so I could immediately get to work. They picked up the bag. (and...we’re back to golf!)
Also, in pursuing my Business Catalyst path, I’ve had two great mentors who have helped steer me right (no, the other right). I know about gifts.
I also know about hard work. Yes, I have read the books and spent the hours struggling to learn. Yes, I have poured over the forums and burnt the midnight oil in search of an answer to a perplexing problem (which, by the way, in code, always seems to be a missing semicolon). But hard work can be made less hard when built on the experience of others.
How I’m going to help pick up your bag
I’ve got a new service that will debut in March. I will take a service I’ve already been offering individually to partners, and make it more accessible to the community. I’ve been offering ONE-on-One partner support for over a year now, where I’ve helped and trained partners who were trying to step up their game. I recognize, though, that not everyone can afford that, so, starting in March, ONE Creative will be hosting development webinars. These will be inexpensive, small-group, interactive trainings, focused on producing better websites, faster.
Some of the topics will be:
- Getting started, the right way (equals my way ;)
- Cleaner code, higher margins
- Learn to be lazy
- Focus, dummy, focus
As always, I welcome feedback, suggestions and comments. What would you like to learn? Feel free to email or tweet me. My twitter handle is @adamONEcreative.