My life has taken a few twists and turns in the past five years. Some awesome, and some not so awesome. I have a beautiful wife, and together, we have six wonderful children. Even through the not so awesome times, we stay a tight niche family. I would do anything that was ethically and morally right for my family.
Five years ago, I was working from home, trying to get my own business off the ground. I had just ended a business partnership which left me starting my own business in the red off the bat. Choices I made prior to starting my own business, had lead me down a path of destruction, financially. I was way over my head and drowning in debt. Borrowed money from banks and family just to keep afloat. With bills racking up, and creditors breathing down my neck, I had to do what I knew best, and so I started my own WordPress development company.
I started this new business with the intention of ‘maintenance’. I was going to be the next best thing for self-hosted WordPress site owners to lean on for any customization and website support they needed. Wpcrutch.com was a monthly service I was providing to customers that could not afford a full-time web developer, but would rather not have the salary on their books, and use me as an outsourced service, on a monthly retainer. It was awesome for about six months. I had a number of customers, all on auto-renewal, and it was flowing like clockwork. Until, I lost the first customer. That was the tipping point. I had just enough customers to not have to borrow money, then I did not have enough. I quickly put on my sales hat, and went out shopping for new customers. Spent countless hours revamping my email marketing campaigns, and bought a few lists to market towards. Nothing worked, as fast as I tried to get new customers, I kept losing customers…until it imploded, and I could no longer maintain the business…
I spent about a month, looking on job sites to find the right gig that I thought I would fit in nicely with. I found a few, sent in my credentials, and had a few phone calls to interview for the positions. Eventually, I landed one… but, I was still a couple months behind in my financial budget, so, now the need to make some more money was even more pressing. I took a contractor position with an out of country company. They paid handsomely, just enough for me to pay my monthly obligations, but nothing more. It was a plugin development position. It went great for about six months (magic number?), then there were no longer any projects for me to work on, and it ended abruptly. But, I learned a lesson here: There were plenty of companies looking for guys like me, especially as contractors, remote to top it off. So, the search was on again.
I found a few companies that were looking for a guy like me, and I landed one that seemed to have a ton of legs. So, I took it, and away I went. Things were going great, I was making more money than I needed, and life was turning the corner. I was doing all kinds of web development: from editing basic HTML files, to modifying WordPress plugins, life was good. I would work, from home, every waking hour, until I could not work any more.
Then I got a very interesting call from my wife…we are to have our sixth child!
Are you nuts!?! There would have to be something wrong with us, if we thought bringing a child into this world, in the financial state we were in, would be a good thing. This is what society would think. We are different, we are weird, and God blessed us with five children before, why not a sixth? God has a master plan, and we are just soldiers in the Army of the Lord. So, we did not argue the fact, we took it in stride. I had to do, what I had to do.
We had two prior children when we were self-insured, which was a bit expensive, but we did it. However, we could simply not afford to do so with this one. Because I had been looking for positions previously, I had submitted countless resumes and inquiries to countless companies about wanted to be hired. I then received a call from Socious, Inc. About a year prior to this call, I had applied for a developer position with Socious, Inc., through LinkedIn, and normally, I never heard a peep from those submissions. However, this time was different. Socious, Inc. is a local online software company that was ramping up very fast, and was looking for a person like me. From the first face to face, we hit it off, and soon after that, I was sitting in an office with a view. I am still employed with Socious, Inc. today and happy to be on board. I could not have asked for a better position to be in right now. Socious, Inc., is a wonderful group of talented business persons that are going to be here for a very long time. I am not planning on leaving this awesome position anytime soon.
Although I was now employed, I was not making the level of money that I was making a few years back. So, I had to maintain my side contractor work, even if that meant staying up to the wee hours of the morning. You do what you have to do to make up the difference, for your family.
At that point, I had a couple side contracts that kept me afloat for the time being, and continued to add more as those ended. Life was steady, but not advancing by any means. I seemed to have hit a plateau.
While working for Socious, Inc. during the day, I was also contracted with Tweaky.com (now elto.com) as an internal developer. They then decided that they were changing business models, and I no longer fit into that model, and so, they were releasing me from being a contractor. There was only one problem with that, what they heck was I going to do now. Tweaky was paying me a monthly amount that equaled the difference I was looking for, that allowed our finances to be in sync with our monthly obligations. Back to the hunt for another contract position. Lesson learned here: Do not rely on other people to stick to their word…get it in writing…
After a few Skype calls, and a few paperworks filled out, I stumbled across I company that was on the verge of greatness. Codeable.io For the past eight months, I have been taking on Codeable tasks from customers that are looking to make a significant change to their WordPress websites. Whether it be in the form of a theme enhancement, or a new plugin needed, this contractor position, has been both fun and rewarding. I have managed to get back to a steady monthly budget that I can count on, as long as I put in the time.
From the Codeable.io About page…
There’s almost no limit to what you can accomplish with WordPress — until you reach the limits of your technical expertise, that is. You don’t have to be a programmer to install and maintain a WordPress site, but when something mysteriously stops working or needs updating, you’ve got two choices: you can spend many frustrating hours trying to fix the problem on your own … or you can turn to an expert for help. That’s where Codeable comes in. We connect you with a talented group of WordPress developers who can solve your biggest coding headaches in the blink of an eye. Whether you’re looking to fix a bug, modify an existing site, develop a custom plugin, migrate to a new server, or get some one-on-one WordPress training, our developers are pre-qualified and motivated to get the job done.
That’s me! I have been having a blast with Codeable, they have treated me with the utmost respect and servitude that any contractor could ask for. My hat is off to Per, Tomaz and all the guys who are working hard behind the scenes to make the contractor life so much better, and to all the awesome developers I have met through Codeable. Better yet, the customers have been awesome too! They understand the level of developers they are dealing with, and also provide that same amount of respect and gratitude. I do not envision anything changing in this relationship anytime soon.
With Socious, Inc. during the day, and Codeable.io at nights, life has truly taken a turn for the better. I have managed to get back to zero, and closer to debt free then ever before. The best part of it all, I have gained a great group of friends, co-workers, and WordPress experts along the way. In the past eight months, I have also learned quite a bit about coding as well. Even though I have no formal education in computer languages, after talking with WordPress experts from all over the world, (in no particular order) Devin Vinson, Liam Bailey, Gabriel Reguly, Mark Fayard, Bogdan Dragomir, they are what makes life at Codeable even better!. I have learned so much while being at Codeable.io, I can truly say that my expertise level has risen. I have had the pleasure to do tasks such as: recreate a responsive designed theme, build a custom slider plugin, extend a few Woocommerce extensions, custom theme templates, add custom fields to profile/account/cart/checkout page in woocommerce, custom plugin development for WordPress.org repository, and many more tasks. This short list of the 65 tasks accomplished thus far, leads me to believe it will only be a matter of time to hit the 100 tasks completed mark.
That’s when the badge in the top right corner of this site will change over to look even better!