Value of Making Mistakes

Dark Profile Shot

In 2011 Netflix made an announcement that they’d be splitting into two companies:

  1. Netflix would focus on streaming &
  2. Qwikster (the new company) would focus on DVD rentals.

Netflix claimed they wanted to make it easier for customers and doing this gives both companies the best chance for success. The feedback was instantaneous & almost uniformly bad.

There were numerous reasons this separation didn’t work (it didn’t add any value for customers, costed more, required more work, was rushed, terrible name, etc. They made a mistake and that mistake cost them nearly 800,000 customers.

The most important part of the story is that two months later they reversed their position. They could have continued down the path of “I know best” but they didn't. They stopped all plans for Qwikster and haven't looked back. They started earning back the trust of their customers and they went on to dominate online streaming.

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Spending Time with Friends & Family

Exhausted Traveler

The other day a friend asked if I could hang out. So I pulled out my phone and started looking through my calendar.

scroll past a week

scroll past another week

scroll past yet another week

Well I can hang out with you next month how does that sound?

Does this sound familiar to you?

I've been spending a lot of time at conferences over the last year and I wanted to do a little digging and see how I could optimize my time so I'm still learning & networking and I can also spend time at home with my friends & family.

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Feeling Guilty

Man Feeling Guilt

I've been using this blog as a place to record my own thoughts. A place to document so that I learn and also so that others learn. And today I want to document a feeling.

I feel guilty.

I feel guilty about my job organizing WordCamp Denver. This past year I was speaker wrangler. That means I set up the procedures so the organizing team and myself can pick speakers and add them to the schedule.

And this is the 3rd year doing this for WordCamp Denver and 4th overall. So I have a good idea what I'm doing. The reasons they didn't go smoothly don't matter too much. But in short we tried a different schedule and that led to a lot more work.

What is so strange about me feeling guilty is that I'm used to projects going sideways and encountering obstacles. I'm okay with “failure” because I know I can improve and do better next time. So why do I feel different this time?

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How to Protect Content on Your WordPress Site

Protect Content on Computer Screen

This post covers the SEO & marketing strategies around how you should protect content with WordPress.

A few days ago someone asked me a good question about SEO. When they have premium content is it best to de-index the page or to use a membership to control access?

I do have an SEO question. I've got a free 10-part marketing course. People sign up on the email list and the autoresponder sends them a lesson each week.

My means of protecting the content is to make each page an un-linked stand-alone page. But then Google can't search it.

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I’ve Got 99 Subscriptions

I've been thinking about how I want to run Lift Off Summit next year. I had a few technical headaches with Gumroad and I think I could have a much nicer experience using WooCommerce. So I started adding together all of the individual pieces of software I wanted to add onto their site.

And when you add it all together it costs $638.00 per year. And for an event that made a little over $1,000 in profit last year that's would cut my profits in half. Of course, I expect to make more money next year and some of these plugins might even help me sell more.

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How to Sound Like an Idiot While Introducing Yourself

Business Man Introducing Himself

This is a story about how I'm terrible with introductions and how I'm going to fix that.

I was at a conference recently. And before the conference a group of attendees got together to form a sort of mastermind group. We were there to talk about business problems and I was really excited to be invited to this group.

Since most of us didn't know everyone we started with introductions. And the host asked us to share our name, where we live, and what we do. Pretty standard stuff right?

Well as I was listening to other people introduce themselves I started going through my introduction in my head. Do I share this detail? Is this job title too boring? Should I be funny? How funny?

My palms started sweating and I was only one person away. I pan the room as all of the eyes turn to me. It's my turn. And here's the pile of garbage that came out of my mouth.

I'm Patrick Rauland from Denver Colorado.

Off to a good start! I said my name & where I love correctly! This introduction is going to be amazing!

I'm not the smartest guy I just make a lot of mistakes.

The host mentioned that we were all smart people which was why we were invited and I tried being humble and making a joke about it. It probably would have been funny if I pulled it off. But if you don't well you feel like not the smartest guy.

I used to do a lot of stuff with WooCommerce. So yeah that's what I'm doing now.

And when I finally said the most important part of the introduction I totally flubbed. I still don't have a solid definition for what I do. It's a bit of a challenge because I don't do one thing. But what came out of my mouth was terrible.

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Three Things I Improved Immediately After Lift Off Summit

Last week I wrote about my experience running an online summit. I talked about marketing tactics, money, and even the hours I put in. One thing I didn't touch on was how educational Lift Off Summit was.

I've been in eCommerce for over 5 years and I'd like to think I know a lot but when it comes to marketing I'm still learning. A lot in fact.

There were three things I learned while recording the interviews for Lift Off Summit which were so powerful I immediately implemented them. And I want to share them with you.

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