Today's guest is Tom McFarlin. Tom is a WordPress developer, blogger, and guitar player. He operates his own business, Pressware, building custom WordPress applications and products and writes the Practical WordPress Development blog.
Tom is from Atlanta (which, incidentally, is where The Walking Dead is filmed). Tom and I happen to be huge fans of the show (so much so, we created a small, private, and exclusive Slack channel about TWD). Each season, Tom scouts out the places where they filmed the show and then shares his photos online - it's a fun project.
Tom started blogging back before it was a thing, and grew his audience with consistent, high-quality content (sometimes posting up to five times a week). Beyond writing and teaching, Tom has been doing WordPress consulting, theme development, plugin development, web application development throughout his career.
Part of the journey was learning to lean into his strengths, which, for him, meant focusing on development and partnering with other designers. Tom applied this same process to business, which has lead him to focus on small businesses and entrepreneurs. Being able to work with clients he likes and solve interesting problems, while providing for his family has created a lot of career satisfaction.
Though there has always been a teaching element to Tom's work, he eventually created a membership site for WordPress developers. He's currently working on "phase two" of this project.
[click_to_tweet tweet="For me the challenge is always learning, so I try to keep on top of that. It's definitely a struggle sometimes, but at the same time it's what I enjoy doing." quote="For me the challenge is always learning, so I try to keep on top of that. It's definitely a struggle sometimes, but at the same time it's what I enjoy doing." theme="style3"]
In this episode Tom talks about:
- Growing his audience through consistent blogging.
- Finding the sweet spot for his business and career.
- Building a business that can sustain itself for the long-term.
- How having a supportive partner and family can make all the difference when it comes to pursuing your ideal career.
- Sometimes the best thing you can do for your business is to rely on the strengths of others rather than forcing yourself to do things you're not good at.
- Choosing your niche customer isn't always about the money, it should also be about what you love to do.
- Every industry has its highs and lows but it is possible to build a business that can withstand those changes.
Important Mentions in this Episode
Season 3: Origin Stories
More episodes in this season:
S03 E01 - Building relationships, focusing on your strengths, and why you need a therapist with Justin Jackson
Season 3 Teaser
S03 E02 - Family, Priorities, and Writing it Down with Curtis McHale
S03 E03 - Philip VanDusen on evolving career paths, identity, and building the work and life you actually want
S03 E04 - Paul Jarvis on keeping things simple, freelancing, and being a business owner
S03 E05 - Carrie Dils on being your authentic self, and fearless freelancing
S03 E06 - Vincent Pugliese on getting out of debt, freedom, and choosing not settle
S03 E07 - Matt Inglot on running an agency, finding the right clients, and starting over
S03 E08 - Val Geisler on raising daughters, why you should specialize, and how to provide real value for clients
S03 E09 - Bridget Willard on WordPress, Why Twitter is the Best, and Relationship Marketing
S03 E10 - Ryan Carson on Relationships, Motivation, and Mastering Sales
S03 E11 - Avani Miriyala on Design, Finding Your Niche, and Facing Your Fears
S03 Bonus - Tom McFarlin on Blogging, Balancing Work and Family, and Building a Business that Lasts
Best of Season 3 - Building Relationships
Best of Season 3 - Get out of the comfort zone