On this day last year I went all in with WP Dispensary, leaving behind 10+ years of full time freelancing.
It was one of the most exciting times in my life, both professionally and personally.
I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders when I was able to stop freelancing and focus full time on my own product.
Since then, a lot has happened, both professionally and personally.
I wanted to take some time today to reflect on the last year, talking about the things I’ve done, the things I’ve gone through and the things I’m working towards in this next year.
I’ve learned a lot in the last year
Personally, I’ve learned:
- Some of my “friends” weren’t really all they claimed to be.
- There are things in my life I enjoy, and I can no longer spend time on anything else.
- My health habits (or lack of) are starting to take effect, and I hate it.
Professionally, I’ve learned:
- I jumped in to full time work at WP Dispensary a little too early.
- The cannabis industry is still very much in a state of flux, so what works today usually won’t work tomorrow.
- WP Dispensary needs it’s own cart solution instead of simply connecting to WooCommerce.
When life gets in the way
I think one thing that I didn’t anticipate when I jumped in full time with WP Dispensary last year was that I did it at the beginning of the holiday season.
The holidays are chaotic by themselves, but last year I spent them with people who I knew shouldn’t have – and wasted a lot of time and money with.
That’s my mistake for putting time and energy into people who don’t know what real friendship is and don’t know how to keep their mouth shut when it’s needed the most (long story – ?).
And no, this isn’t a cop out saying that other people caused the problems in my life – I know I did it, by fucking with people who didn’t deserve my time or energy.
Live and learn.
I’ve been freelancing again
Over the last few months I’ve been freelancing in order to keep life moving forward.
After Stripe, the payment processor I was using at WP Dispensary shut my account down in January, I was left scrambling to find another processor.
Luckily I found BlueSnap, who have been great since the switch.
Then there was the time needed to set it up and switch over the entire store on WP Dispensary from Easy Digital Downloads to WooCommerce because the new processor only had a WooCommerce payment gateway plugin available.
If you look over at my Github account, you can see that March through May I spent a LOT of time updating products, pushing code pretty much every day – and on days there weren’t, it was because I was pushing to a private repo on Bitbucket.
This was in addition to freelancing during that time.
I had to take freelance work in order to keep money coming in since WP Dispensary earnings dropped from the previous months of bullshit.
My wife will tell you that I was a zombie during these months, sleeping for a couple hours and at the computer the remainder of the day.
I worked hard to keep pushing updates to WP Dispensary and get the earnings back up while still freelancing to pay the bills.
To be honest, I’m still working on getting it back to the earnings it was last year at this time.
Do I feel like a failure?
Simple answer: No.
If I’m being honest, I know that I jumped in too quick – and had zero savings to back me up when things shifted unexpectedly.
From Stripe shutting my account down which left me scrambling to find another payment processor to keep money flowing, to the mountain of personal bullshit, I’m proud that I’m still standing.
On top of that, I know by looking back that there were times when I wasn’t as focused as I should have been, which contributed to lower than normal earnings.
Add in the cannabis industry itself changing at a frantic pace, with millions and millions of dollars of funding being pumped in for other technology companies, it’s safe to say this last 365 days has been a blur.
And that doesn’t even include the clients I’ve ran into who run off when it’s time to pay their bills – and try a Catfish level of fuckery for an explanation on where they’ve been.
That awkward moment when a client tells you there's been a horrible car accident …
and it turns out there was:
— Robert DeVore (@deviorobert) September 24, 2018
But, I’m still here fighting without any outside help; funding or otherwise.
Well, I’ve had a couple people reach out privately to discuss funding but they turned out to be flakes.
And that’s another story for another day ?
Adjusting to the changes
Here’s what I’m doing to adjust to the changes and get myself back to full time work for myself and my own products.
It’s time for multiple streams of income
One thing I would change if I was able to go back a year is to not put all my eggs in one basket.
I don’t think I realized how much the WP Dispensary earnings were being padded with freelance earnings from the Setup Service I offer.
The goal now is multiple streams of income, and I’ve already started this process by releasing Delivery Drivers for WooCommerce.
It’s a free WordPress plugin to help streamline mobile workforces who use WooCommerce.
You can read the release notes for it here.
Building this plugin, I knew before even writing one line of code that a Pro version would follow.
My first thought was to sell it directly here on my personal site, but I remembered I have been looking for a way to re-brand the Devio Digital website, so I begin building the new site.
For instance, my DocuPress plugin had a new version released a few days ago and will begin being prepped for the DocuPress Pro version soon.
These plugins are just a small part of the much larger plan to have multiple streams of income, both online & offline.
But all in due time.
My Next Steps
I’m starting another 90 day grind on Twitter and will be documenting everything I’m doing each day to get myself to a better place in life.
90 days until Christmas 🙌
What are you doing to make the most of the time left?
I'm starting another 90 day grind and documenting my progress on Twitter 🤘💯💯💯 pic.twitter.com/r5oZlgxPCX
— Robert DeVore (@deviorobert) September 26, 2018
Come follow along and watch as I transform my life in 90 days ??
Freelance WordPress Development
And I’m also still freelancing, so get in touch if you think I’d be a good fit for your next project ?