Everybody’s inspired by somebody, right? Whether it’s art, fashion, kindness, or code, we take our cues from the people we respect and admire. If we follow their leads well, we might even receive the honor of some one else’s respect and admiration.
Author Tim Sanders wrote one of my favorite business books, Love is the Killer App (How to Win Business and Influence Friends). It was written in 2003, so you might giggle at some of the technical references, but his #1 chunk of business advice is timeless:
Be a Lovecat.
How do you become a lovecat? By sharing your intangibles… Love in business is a matter of sharing your knowledge, your network of relationships, and your compassion – or any combination of the three.
I Wanna Be a Lovecat
More times than I can count, I’ve been on the receiving end of someone else’s knowledge, network, or good ole-fashioned compassion (thank you, Heather, for keeping me company at that networking happy hour all those years ago – you introduced me to people who’ve shaped my career).
So, when people ask me to share, my answer is WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW?
Twice in the past week I’ve been asked by strangers to share my resources (knowledge) and my network (relationships). I responded to both and it occurred to me maybe others would find it helpful, too. So, I’m gonna share like a lovecat.
Below are resources I use for learning and keeping up with business and the WordPress industry.
I’m reading (well, listening to) Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port and it’s a great read for a little soul-searching into your ideal client/project.
For a ridiculously great list of business books, check out Cory Miller’s All-Time, Ultimate Reading List.
Business Blogs (by technical people)
- Chris Lema – Business relationships, customer service, freelancing.
- Cory Miller – Entrepreneurship, career advice, working at what you love.
- Curtis McHale - Client experience, communication, smart spending & practical tips.
Technical Blogs (by business people)
- Bill Erickson – Into the guts of Genesis Framework and WordPress.
- Chris Coyer - Tons of goodies for front-end developers, especially CSS tricks.
- Tom McFarlin – Development philosophy, standards, and discussion.
- Design is Philosophy – Technical design and theming.
- Megan Gray – Keeping it real when it comes to presenting yourself and your designs.
- Rafal Tomal – Design process, typography, and other goodies.
- Post Status – Run by Brian “Easy for You to Spell” Krogsgard. Visit the website, or be lazy like me and just follow on Twitter.
- Week in WordPress – Put on by Slocum Studio. Catch up on the week’s summary in WordPress over your lunch break.
Develop Your Developer Skills
Honing your craft is a combination of reading, learning, trying, failing, asking, doing, and repeating. While there are some fantastic technical blogs out there and one-off tutorials, sometimes it’s worth it to pay a little for an organized track or course.
- Code Academy - Learn web fundamentals via interactive tutorials.
- Lynda.com – My first exposure to learning WordPress by instructor Morten Rand-Hendriksen.
- Pippins Plugins – Plenty of free WordPress awesome, but totally worth a little money for access to his premium video series.
- Try Git – Learn Git in 15 minutes (well, learn a little anyway…)
Relationships take time. There’s no magic bullet to grow your network overnight into meaningful connections. But you already know that.
Here are some folks who’ve influenced and helped me in the WordPress world. These are all links to their Twitter accounts, ’cause that’s where I find good conversations are started.
These ladies pull me into community, make me laugh, and encourage me to contribute.
WordPress Community Badasses
If you want to know what community participation looks like, follow these fine folks.
Coders & Teachers
These folks care about coding quality and standards and keep me on my toes, teaching along the way.
More smart people who engage, share, and make me smile.
- Bob Dunn – WordPress trainer
- Bobby Brooks – WordPress double-unders
- Dan Gilmore – WordPress Multisite for the Guvm’t
- Daniel Espinoza – WooNinja
- Diane Kinney – WordPress, design, BS monitor
- Jan Dembowski – Photography & cookies
- Jesse Petersen – Genesis/WordPress developer
- Jessica Barnard – Genesis theme designer
- Jessica Commins – All things Copyblogger
- Nickie O’Brien – Sales, marketing, keeper of the keys
- Ryan Sullivan – The WPSiteCare man
- Shawn Hesketh – The WP101 man
Get to Know People Podcasts
Check out these podcasts for interviews and introductions to some fantastic people in the WordPress community and tech industry.
How you reach out to and engage with others is specific to who you are and how you operate. Imitation doesn’t really work here – it’s about finding a way to show compassion as a natural extension of who you are.
Here are some examples I’ve seen in the WordPress community recently.
Keep it Real
I’ve finally wrapped myself around the idea that I’d rather affect a few deeply, than many on the surface. With that said, I’m going to be changing the tone of my blog and consequentially altering the things I write about. – excerpt from post Redefining My Website
By separating his technical posts from his personal thoughts, he’s chosen to connect on the topics most important for him. Read through the comments on some of his posts and you’ll see how those interactions are opportunities for compassion.
Jen Mylo, Automattic employee and all around promoter of equality and community, was a driving force to enlist WordPress as a mentoring organization with Google Summer of Code (GSoC) the GNOME Outreach Project for Women (OPW).
I am beyond pleased to announce that this summer we will be mentoring 8 interns, most of them new [WordPress] contributors… – excerpt from GSoC/OPW announcement
How cool is that? Eight interns partnered with veteran WordPress mentors and an opportunity to learn and contribute on an open source project.
There were LOTS of WordPressers involved (I don’t mean to leave credit on the table – so please pipe up in the comments), but the bottom line is Jen used her position and her passions to create opportunities for others.
Are you a Lovecat?
Do you share your knowledge, your network, and your compassion within a business context? If so, has it strengthened your business? Ever been a time when worked against you? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments…