One of the hardest things to do in any profession is to accept setbacks. We do our best to avoid them & mitigate them but no matter how hard you try you'll always run into them. The trick here is not to try to avoid every single setback since that's impossible but to build your business & life with setbacks in mind.
Setbacks You Can Control
Some setbacks you actually do have a fair bit of control over. These are the ones that be avoided by using the right technology, using standard practices, and planning. I recently ran into one which I didn't handle well. I developed a plugin and I included some PHP 5.3 functionality forgetting that the minimum version of PHP for WordPress is 5.2.4.
This resulted in a couple hours of debugging. Instead of handling this the mature way and accepting that I needed to make a minor rewrite of my plugin I decided to grumble on Twitter. What a waste of time.
If you can't even download PHP 5.2 anymore why is that the minimum version for WP? http://t.co/J7gs5AJl59
— Patrick Rauland (@BFTrick) January 2, 2014
Setback You Can't Control
I'll be honest – normally I'm very chipper but today I'm a little bummed. I was so excited to attend Big Snow Tiny Conf and talk with some other WordPress (and non WordPress) people about products, marketing, support, cash flow, and all sorts of other juicy topics you don't usually get at a WordCamp.
Sadly due to the insanely cold weather United decided to cancel my flights and the earliest they can get me out is Thursday where at best I could probably catch the guys in the airport. Obviously not great.
This event I handled a little bit better. I've already been chatting with some of these guys and hope to continue to do so. I've already created my presentation so I'm hopeful that I can get together with the guys on a Google Hangout to share and connect with them.
Setbacks are Everywhere
The biggest lesson I got out of this is that setbacks are everywhere. And while some of them you can plan and avoid (I've already changed my MAMP to use PHP 5.2) others you just have to roll with the punches.
Setbacks are certainly time consuming but that doesn't mean they're without value. I learned a lot about hosts (did you know that 50% of hosts still use PHP 5.2 which is at its end of life)! And if there's ever a discussion about raising the minimum version of PHP within WordPress to 5.3 I'm all on board. I'll contribute and help out in anyway to push that forward so other developers don't lose hours of their life figuring out these bugs.
When you run into your setbacks (and yes you will) learn from them if you can, prevent them if you can, but most importantly accept them with grace.
Photo Credit: nixter